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Mon, 27 Sep 2021
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Why don't we all just trust one another? And would it work as long as we live in pathological environment?

Image
© Wayne Leidenfrost, PNG, Vancouver Sun
Strong market economies help create more trusting societies, a University of B.C. psychologist-anthropologist says.
"Trust me."

Have you heard that one before? Have you said it yourself?

It's an expression sometimes heard in the workplace, in the marketplace, and in personal relationships, even in the bedroom.

We often greet requests to "trust me" with suspicion, however, as if the phrase is the last resort of shifty usedcar salespeople or dictators secretly stealing the people's money.

Without thinking about it, most Canadians assume a degree of trust in any relationship: intimate, mercantile or social. We tend to go around assuming other people are reasonably honest and reliable.

Trust is necessary to cut through suspicion to accomplish goals, and to make a personal connection. Without trust, we wither. As individuals. And as cultures. For these reasons, trust is becoming a big topic in Canada and around the globe.

Trust is being studied by psychologists, anthropologists, business leaders and governments.

Comment: World religion based on values of truth and conscience, that cultivates healthy and non-pathological way of living in flourishing and nurturing communities may seem as a dream long gone in our infested by psychopathy world. And, yet, there is hope amidst the chaos, that urges us to wake up and see that we are one step from extinction.


Bulb

University of Alberta researcher questions whether genius might be a result of hormonal influences

A longstanding debate as to whether genius is a byproduct of good genes or good environment has an upstart challenger that may take the discussion in an entirely new direction. University of Alberta researcher Marty Mrazik says being bright may be due to an excess level of a natural hormone.

Mrazik, a professor in the Faculty of Education's educational psychology department, and a colleague from Rider University in the U.S., have published a paper in Roeper Review linking giftedness (having an IQ score of 130 or higher) to prenatal exposure of higher levels of testosterone. Mrazik hypothesizes that, in the same way that physical and cognitive deficiencies can be developed in utero, so, too, could similar exposure to this naturally occurring chemical result in giftedness.

"There seems to be some evidence that excessive prenatal exposure to testosterone facilitates increased connections in the brain, especially in the right prefrontal cortex," said Mrazik. "That's why we see some intellectually gifted people with distinct personality characteristics that you don't see in the normal population."

Bulb

Giftedness Linked to Prenatal Exposure of Higher Levels of Testosterone

Head Brain
© iStockphoto/Vasiliy Yakobchuk
A longstanding debate as to whether genius is a byproduct of good genes or good environment has an upstart challenger that may take the discussion in an entirely new direction. University of Alberta researcher Marty Mrazik says being bright may be due to an excess level of a natural hormone.

A longstanding debate as to whether genius is a byproduct of good genes or good environment has an upstart challenger that may take the discussion in an entirely new direction. University of Alberta researcher Marty Mrazik says being bright may be due to an excess level of a natural hormone.

Mrazik, a professor in the Faculty of Education's educational psychology department, and a colleague from Rider University in the U.S., have published a paper in Roeper Review linking giftedness (having an IQ score of 130 or higher) to prenatal exposure of higher levels of testosterone. Mrazik hypothesizes that, in the same way that physical and cognitive deficiencies can be developed in utero, so, too, could similar exposure to this naturally occurring chemical result in giftedness.

"There seems to be some evidence that excessive prenatal exposure to testosterone facilitates increased connections in the brain, especially in the right prefrontal cortex," said Mrazik. "That's why we see some intellectually gifted people with distinct personality characteristics that you don't see in the normal population."

People

More Reasons to Be Nice: It's Less Work for Everyone

holding door
© Unknown
A polite act shows respect. But a new study of a common etiquette - holding a door for someone - suggests that courtesy may have a more practical, though unconscious, shared motivation: to reduce the work for those involved. The research, by Joseph P. Santamaria and David A. Rosenbaum of Pennsylvania State University, is the first to combine two fields of study ordinarily considered unrelated: altruism and motor control. It is to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"The way etiquette has been viewed by Emily Post - that you're being proper by following social codes - is undoubtedly part of it," said psychology professor Rosenbaum. "Our insight is there is another contributor: the mental representation of other people's physical effort. Substantial research in the field of motor control shows that people are good at estimating how much effort they and others expend," Rosenbaum continued. "We realized that this concept could be extended to a shared-effort model of politeness."

Family

Boy toddlers need extra help dealing with negative emotions

Image
© Unknown
The way you react to your two-year-old's temper tantrums or clinginess may lead to anxiety, withdrawal and behavior problems down the road, and the effect is more pronounced if the child is a boy who often displays such negative emotions as anger and social fearfulness, reports a new University of Illinois study.

"Young children, especially boys, may need their parents' help working through angry or fearful emotions. If you punish toddlers for their anger and frustration or act as if their fears are silly or shameful, they may internalize those negative emotions, and that may lead to behavior problems as they get older," said Nancy McElwain, a U of I associate professor of human development.

McElwain and lead author Jennifer Engle examined data gleaned from observations of 107 children who were part of a larger study of children's social and emotional development and parent-child relationships.

When the children were 33 months old, mothers and fathers were asked how often their child had displayed anger or social fearfulness in the last month. The parents were also asked how they would respond to the child's negative emotions in several hypothetical situations.

Bulb

The cerebellum provides clues to the nature of human intelligence

cerebellum
© Unknown
New study suggests link between cerebellar volume and cognitive ability in older adults.

Research suggests that intelligence in humans is controlled by the part of the brain known as the 'cortex', and most theories of age-related cognitive decline focus on cortical dysfunction. However, a new study of Scottish older adults, reported in the April 2011 issue of Elsevier's Cortex, suggests that grey matter volume in the 'cerebellum' at the back of the brain predicts cognitive ability, and keeping those cerebellar networks active may be the key to keeping cognitive decline at bay.

The study looked at 228 older adults living independently in the Aberdeen area, who had been part of the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947. This survey had tested Scottish children born in 1936 and at school on 4th June 1947 using the Moray House intelligence test. The cognitive abilities of the participants were tested again, now at age 63-65 years, and their brains were also scanned, using a neuroimaging technique called voxel-based morphometry (VBM), to determine the volumes of grey and white matter in frontal areas and the cerebellum.

Smiley

You can't help but smile

Smile. And the world smiles with you. Frown and your face drops and frightens children.

smile
© JoshMak
According to body-language experts, if you don't smile much, over time, it will come out in your face. Without practice, smiling muscles weaken and wither. Bitterness, sadness and anger repositions the muscles and tissue into a "downturned smile" - this is where instead of smiling, a pouching at the corner of the mouth pulls your smile downward. This effect can be permanent and some people go scowling into oblivion.

Like everyone else who comes across this theory, I checked the sides of my mouth to see where my face stood. Obviously faces are made up in diverse ways, and smiling up or down doesn't necessarily mean anything. Then again maybe it does. Studies have shown that small children are instinctively afraid of the downturned smile and even adults exert caution around it.

Although it doesn't seem like psychologists recognize the phenomenon, plastic surgeons certainly have. You can now have your choice of Snap On Smiles, Botox Smiles and Smile Replacement surgeries where tendons are ripped and reattached, flesh is re-sculpted and various congealing substances are injected around the mouth. The specialists claim to be able to literally turn a frown upside down. So be as miserable as you want to be. For a bunch of cash, you can always get a reconstructed smile pasted back on your face.

Comment: To experience for yourself the healing benefits of vagus nerve activation, you can try out the Éiriú Eolas stress control and rejuvenation program.


Alarm Clock

US: New generation infected by narcissism, says psychologist

narcicissm
© Harry Afentoglou
Narcissists had an inflated sense of self, lacked empathy, were vain and materialistic and had an overblown sense of entitlement.

An ''Epidemic of narcissism'' has swept across the student population in the past 30 years, a US expert will tell a conference on personality disorders in Melbourne today.

Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said a study she conducted of 16,000 university students across the US showed 30 per cent were narcissistic in psychological tests, compared with 15 per cent in 1982. ''They are all 18 and 19-year-olds, so this is clearly a generational shift,'' she said.

Family

Better brain wiring linked to family genes

How well our brain functions is largely based on our family's genetic makeup, according to a University of Melbourne led study.

The study published in the international publication The Journal of Neuroscience provides the first evidence of a genetic effect on how 'cost-efficient' our brain network wiring is, shedding light on some of the brain's make up.

Lead author Dr Alex Fornito from the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne said the findings have important implications for understanding why some people are better able to perform certain tasks than others and the genetic basis of mental illnesses and some neurological diseases.

He said how the brain's network is organized has been a mystery to scientists for years. "The brain is an extraordinarily complex network of billions of nerve cells interconnected by trillions of fibres," he said.

Magic Wand

The more secure you feel, the less you value your stuff, UNH research shows

People who feel more secure in receiving love and acceptance from others place less monetary value on their possessions, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

The research was conducted by Edward Lemay, assistant professor of psychology at UNH, and colleagues at Yale University. The research is presented in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in the article "Heightened interpersonal security diminishes the monetary value of possessions."

Lemay and his colleagues found that people who had heightened feelings of interpersonal security - a sense of being loved and accepted by others - placed a lower monetary value on their possession than people who did not.