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Those Who Feel Rejected Direct Hostility Toward Others

Getting the cold shoulder can turn some people into hotheads.

A University of Kentucky study found that people who feel socially rejected are more likely to view other people's actions as hostile and also more likely to behave badly toward other people. The researchers said their findings may help explain why social exclusion is often linked to aggression that, in some cases, is so extreme it can result in school shootings and other tragedies.

"Prior case studies show the majority of school shooters have experienced peer rejection. And while not everyone who feels rejected reacts violently, we found they tend to act out aggressively in other ways. We wanted to explain psychologically why this happens," study author C. Nathan DeWall said in an American Psychological Association news release.

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The Paradox of Temptation

Does the mere availability of something tempting weaken the will to resist? The answer is of more than theoretical interest to public health experts, and the problem goes far beyond serious addictive disorders. Just think of all those Christmas cookies in your office recently. As our national obesity crisis shows, difficulties with discipline and self-control are widespread and harmful.

Every self-control challenge is a tradeoff of one kind or another, and with chocolates and other desserts it's a tradeoff between satisfying a sweet tooth and commitment to good nutrition. Although it seems intuitively obvious that the dieter should not keep bonbons in every room of the house, psychological theory argues the opposite. According to counteractive self-control theory, we deflate desire for readily available temptation when indulging conflicts with pursuit of more important goals.

Three psychologists recently decided to test the paradoxical view of temptation based on counteractive self-control theory. Kristian Ove Myrseth and Ayelet Fishbach of the University of Chicago and Yaacov Trope of NYU predicted that increasing the availability of sweets would indeed deflate desire for them.

Family

Principal Says Banning Sugar Made Students Smarter

A suburban Atlanta school principal claims to have a simple solution to improve test scores, reduce discipline problems and improve student health: ban sugar.

"My personal health challenges inspired this," said Yvonne Sanders-Butler, who once suffered from obesity and severe high blood pressure.

For the past ten years, the now-trim principal has required students at Browns Mill Elementary in Lithonia to participate in daily physical exercise and eat healthy foods. Her school enforces a strict ban on sugar.

Evil Rays

Deborah Orr: A Tribute to the Propaganda Box

Is there anyone left out there who hasn't been sucked into TV Land - British (or American) style - who can still attest to life devoid of the culturally (politically) requisite 3.75 hours of daily TV watching, or 26.25 hours per week? It's worth noting that Deborah Orr tells us within her below article, published in today's Independent newspaper, that these figures only include broadcast television, not watching DVDs, films in cinemas, YouTube or other internet-broadcast content.

According to Al Gore the American equivalent of this knucklehead phenomenon is "an average of four hours and thirty-five minutes every day," or "almost three-quarters of all the discretionary time that the average American has."

Like many things transatlantic, there exists little difference, despite what many Britons blindly believe, between the two criminal-war-waging nations and the complicit cultures they breed.

Family

Sociologist Says This Month's Family Murder-Suicides Only 'the Tip of the Iceberg'

A family sociologist at the University at Buffalo says this month's murder-suicides involving a family of four in Ohio and a family of five in California may be "just the tip of the iceberg."

Sampson Blair, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at UB, says, "Family murder-suicide is still relatively uncommon, but I expect an increase in such incidents over the next few years because economic strain on families provokes depression and desperation."

He adds that family researchers have long pointed to how financial and occupational stressors can negatively impact the quality of family relationships.

Heart

Chemist Sheds Light on Health Benefits of Garlic

A Queen's-led team has discovered the reason why garlic is so good for us.

Researchers have widely believed that the organic compound, allicin - which gives garlic its aroma and flavour - acts as the world's most powerful antioxidant. But until now it hasn't been clear how allicin works, or how it stacks up compared to more common antioxidants such as Vitamin E and coenzyme Q10, which stop the damaging effects of radicals.

"We didn't understand how garlic could contain such an efficient antioxidant, since it didn't have a substantial amount of the types of compounds usually responsible for high antioxidant activity in plants, such as the flavanoids found in green tea or grapes," says Chemistry professor Derek Pratt, who led the study. "If allicin was indeed responsible for this activity in garlic, we wanted to find out how it worked."

Health

The pathologist challenging shaken baby syndrome

© TwentyTwenty
Irene Scheimberg says she is prepared to challenge injustice whenever it arises.

In 1976 Irene Scheimberg fled Argentina when the military regime began arresting and killing her friends, experiences that have made her extra sensitive to injustice. Today, as a paediatric pathologist in the UK, she is prepared to challenge it whenever it arises, whether it be shaken baby syndrome or the controversy over retained organs at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's hospital, she tells Sue Armstrong

What kind of family did you grow up in?

My grandfather was a civil rights lawyer and both my parents are doctors. It was a family in which you had to do something for society.

But you had to leave Argentina?

In 1976 there was a coup d'état and a military dictatorship took over. It was the most brutal in Argentina's long history of military dictatorships. Lots of my friends were "disappearing" and my ex-boyfriend Carlos - a very recent ex and somebody I really loved - disappeared. His body was found in the river with marks around the wrists and ankles. I went to bury him, and 10 days later I was on a plane to Spain. The police or army had been to check on his friends and so I had to leave.

Magnify

More evidence pre-term birth tied to autism

A U.S. study looking at children born more than three months prematurely provided fresh evidence on Thursday linking pre-term birth and autism.

These children were about two to three times as likely to show signs of autism at age 2 as measured in a standard screening tool compared to other children, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Sherlock

Too Much TV Linked to Future Fast-Food Intake

High-school kids who watch too much TV are likely to have bad eating habits five years in the future. Research published in BioMed Central's open access International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity followed almost 2000 high- and middle-school children and found that TV viewing times predict a poor diet in the future.

Dr Daheia Barr-Anderson worked with a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota to investigate the relationship between television and diet. She said, "To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between television viewing and diet over the transition from adolescence into young adulthood. We've shown that TV viewing during adolescence predicts poorer dietary intake patterns five years later".

Frog

Babies Know: A Little Dirt Is Good for You

Ask mothers why babies are constantly picking things up from the floor or ground and putting them in their mouths, and chances are they'll say that it's instinctive - that that's how babies explore the world. But why the mouth, when sight, hearing, touch and even scent are far better at identifying things?

When my young sons were exploring the streets of Brooklyn, I couldn't help but wonder how good crushed rock or dried dog droppings could taste when delicious mashed potatoes were routinely rejected.

Since all instinctive behaviors have an evolutionary advantage or they would not have been retained for millions of years, chances are that this one too has helped us survive as a species. And, indeed, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that eating dirt is good for you.