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Fri, 28 Jul 2017
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A Perfect Apology: Acknowledgment of responsibility and fixing what is wrong

Although there are six components to a good apology, two are most effective.

There are six components to a really effective apology, according to new research.

Comment: "Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often." ~Mark Twain


Study finds just one question can illuminate many personality traits

© Atos
One type of question can indirectly reveal a lot about a person's personality.

Asking someone what they think about other people reveals much about their own personality. The reason is that people tend to see more of their own qualities in others. The generous person sees others as generous and the selfish person sees others as selfish.

Dr Dustin Wood, the study's first author, said:
"A huge suite of negative personality traits are associated with viewing others negatively.

The simple tendency to see people negatively indicates a greater likelihood of depression and various personality disorders."
The conclusions come from a series of three studies. In one people were asked to judge the positive and negative characteristics of three other people. The more positively they judged those people, the more happy, enthusiastic, capable and emotionally stable they turned out to be themselves.

Comment: Unfortunately, it's probably not as simple as the study predicts. Psychopaths are masters of deception who thrive in darkness. They might suss out the goal of the question and say what puts them in the best light. People with serious personality disorders cannot be counted on to have objective perceptions. There is also social programming to never say anything negative to contend with. Humans are much more complex than what can be revealed (or concealed) by a single question.


The magic of music is a balm for the body and soul

Music has proven time and again to be an important component of human culture. From its ceremonial origin to modern medical usage for personal motivation, concentration, and shifting mood, music is a powerful balm for the human soul. Though traditional "music therapy" encompasses a specific set of practices, the broader use of music as a therapeutic tool can be seen nowadays as doctors are found recommending music for a wide variety of conditions.

1. Music Helps Control Blood Pressure and Heart-Related Disorders

According to The Cardiovascular Society of Great Britain, listening to certain music with a repetitive rhythm for least ten seconds can lead to a decrease in blood pressure and a reduced heart rate. Certain classical compositions, if matched with human body's rhythm, can be therapeutically used to keep the heart under control. The Oxford University study states, "listening to music with a repeated 10-second rhythm coincided with a fall in blood pressure, reducing the heart rate" and thus can be used for overcoming hypertension.


Discussing death over dinner: The topic of death is the main course

© Wayne Price
Michael Hebb's 1st death dinner, held in San Francisco in Oct 2012.
Hebb estimates that since 2013, more than 100,000 death over dinners have been held in 30 countries. Last week in a lovely home, tucked into a Cambridge, Massachusetts courtyard, Hebb led a death over dinner discussion, hosted by the founder of a health care/tech lab, Christian Bailey. Nine of us, ranging from 33 to 64 years old—most who work in the health care space—sat around a long rectangular table, drinking wine and eating a sumptuous meal, while talking about death.

The day before the dinner, Hebb sent homework, including neurologist Oliver Sacks's farewell column in the New York Times, written a few months before his death. In the piece, Sacks quotes philosopher David Hume ("It is difficult to be more detached from life than I am at present.")

At the dinner, Hebb began by asking everyone around the table to "acknowledge a person who's no longer with us, somebody who had a positive impact on your life." After each name, we toasted the departed person and clinked glasses.

"When we go to a funeral today in the way the U.S. lets us die, everyone in that space has been through an extraordinary amount of hell."

Comment: See also: Life lessons learned from a near-death experience


Drama therapy: Unlocking the door to change

© unknown
Drama therapy can help people of all ages to express themselves.
What if one key could unlock expression in a child with autism, turn a young woman away from substance abuse, or stop a hardened criminal from reoffending? There is perhaps not one key, but there may be one set of keys: drama therapy.

In the 1920s, a Romanian psychologist, Jacob Moreno, observed how role play and experimental theatre freed people to reveal their thoughts and feelings. He began to incorporate drama into psychotherapy.

Psychodrama continues to be practised as a technique to help individuals achieve resolutions to specific issues by discovering how the past impacts the present.

In the 1960s, a radical Brazilian theatre director, Augusto Boal, was working on the concept of community theatre, from which would emerge "the theatre of the oppressed."

Boal envisaged a theatre where the audience could express themselves through becoming actors, presenting and solving the problems of their own lives. His work provided new direction for drama therapy.

Today drama therapy helps people in a wide range of contexts to achieve change, be it through shedding old habits, learning new skills or accepting a difficult past.

Comment: See:

People 2

People are naturally attracted to those whose emotions they understand

People rated someone's attractiveness after they demonstrated emotions including happiness and fear.

Almost everyone has experienced a near instant attraction to another person, whether just social or something more.

According to new research, neuroscientists now think this could be down to an instant ability to read facial emotions.

People who find each other's emotions easy to read are naturally drawn to each other.

Reading emotions successfully gives people the feeling of understanding and connectedness.


The reasons why some couples differ so much in their physical attractiveness

Are couples who are mismatched in physical attractiveness just as happy?

Partners who get to know each other over time tend to differ more in physical attractiveness, a recent study finds.

In contrast, couples who get involved with each other soon after meeting are often much close in physical attractiveness.

Professor Eli Finkel, who co-authored the study, explained:


Imagery effective way to enhance memory, reduce false memories, study finds

© Yellow Hat
Atlanta -- Using imagery is an effective way to improve memory and decrease certain types of false memories, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

Their study examined how creating images affected the ability to accurately recall conceptually related word lists as well as rhyming word lists. People who were instructed to create images of the list words in their head were able to recall more words than people who didn't create images, and they didn't recall false memories as often. False memories occur when a person recalls something that didn't happen or remembers something inaccurately.

The findings are published in the Journal of General Psychology.

"Creating images improved participants' memories and helped them commit fewer errors, regardless of what kind of list we gave them," said Merrin Oliver, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in the educational psychology program in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State.

Comment: The information in the article speaks to the benefits of a more active type of thinking and remembering. Modern life, technology, entertainment, etc., have gotten people out of the habit of using their brains actively in favour of a more passive mode. The brain is like a muscle: the more you use it, the more it can do.


Life lessons learned from a near-death experience

© unknown
Anita Moorjani
She was dying...

Anita Moorjani remembers feeling her spirit leave the bounds of her cancer-ridden body and drift into another dimension. All of her loved ones, including her husband, assumed she would take her last breath in moments.

As she drifted towards death, she experienced something magical: "I was engulfed in a total feeling of love," she explained. "I also experienced extreme clarity of why I had the cancer, why I had come into this life in the first place, what role everyone in my family played, and generally how life works."

"When I crossed over, I realized that I had been making decisions and living life from a place of fear rather than love. This approach to life had made me sick."

Comment: Who is making your decisions?

People 2

Caring too much about what others think of you could be holding you back

The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages. - Virginia Woolf
Your mother has always said you are smart, but lack ambition.

A former boss once praised you for your creativity, but said you were too unorganized.

One of your college professors complimented you on your research skills, but criticized your "scatterbrained" writing style.

Each of those sets of comments contains what could be perceived as positive and negative feedback, if you evaluate them objectively.