Health & WellnessS


Bulb

Boosting self-esteem can backfire in decision-making

Smart business leaders understand that confidence affects decision-making and ultimately a company's earnings.

But giving employees positive feedback in the hopes of promoting better decisions sometimes can backfire, suggests new research from the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the London Business School.

Some types of positive feedback actually can escalate perceived threats to the ego and increase the need to prove that a questionable decision was the right one.

Across several studies, the research examines how boosting self-esteem - whether contemplating one's own accomplishments or receiving positive feedback from others -- affects the face-saving impulse to justify and recommit to decisions whose outcomes seem dubious at best.

The specifics of the positive feedback or self-affirmation that occurs at a critical juncture of decision-making are key to whether a person recommits or walks away from a questionable decision, the studies suggest.

People

Are you my mother? Transference more pronounced when we are tired.

Sigmund Freud hailed the phenomenon of transference as fundamental to the process of dynamic psychotherapy. Freud depicted transference as a false connection between patient's memories of a past relationship and the therapeutic context. He noted it as an integral part in the psychoanalytic cure.

New theories present a very different interpretation of transference. In that, it transcends the therapeutic context and constitutes part and parcel of everyday social perception. Much like stereotypes, mental representations of significant others may be activated from memory and applied to new people that you meet who resemble someone you know.

Butterfly

Why the female flirt is wasting her time

Some girls merely flutter their eyelashes.

Others snuggle up close and play footsie, while the really forward type might venture a touch on the thigh.

But whatever the method of flirting it just doesn't work with most men, claim researchers.

The male brain, it seems, is hopeless at picking up "come-on" signals, according to a report to be published next month. This leaves men impervious to the seduction techniques of the opposite sex.

Syringe

Indonesian child tests positive for bird flu



chicken
©REUTERS/Crack Palinggi
A chicken to be transported to a local market is seen in Jakarta March 24, 2008. Major efforts have done little to control H5N1 avian influenza in Indonesia and the country needs more help in controlling the virus, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

An Indonesian child has tested positive for bird flu, pushing the country's total confirmed human cases to 130, a health ministry official said on Monday.

Lily Sulistyowati, the ministry's spokeswoman, said the 22-month-old girl from Sumatra's Bukit Tinggi fell sick on March 19 and the ministry is checking her neighborhood for possible backyard farming.

"Her condition is improving, and she is being treated at a Padang hospital," Sulistyowati told Reuters by telephone.

Health

Sore Wrists And Hands Can Result From Our Work: But Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Do you feel numbness, burning pain or a tingling sensation in your hand or wrist that seems to increase at night; have difficulty holding objects without dropping them; or find it increasingly difficult to perform repetitive movements such as using your computer mouse or keyboard without pain? If so, then you may be one of the estimated 2 million people in the United States affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. About half of all cases are work-related, and in fact, carpal tunnel syndrome accounts for the highest average number of days missed at work, when compared to all other work-related injuries or illnesses.

Hand X-Ray
©American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Hand X-Ray.

People

Preschool kids do better on tasks when they talk to themselves, research shows

Parents should not worry when their pre-schoolers talk to themselves; in fact, they should encourage it, says Adam Winsler, an associate professor of psychology at George Mason University. His recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent.

"Young children often talk to themselves as they go about their daily activities, and parents and teachers shouldn't think of this as weird or bad," says Winsler. "On the contrary, they should listen to the private speech of kids. It's a fantastic window into the minds of children."

Health

Mysterious fevers of unknown origin: could surgery be a cure?

A child spikes a high fever, sometimes as high as 104 or 105 degrees, and sometimes causing seizures. She's rushed to the emergency room, the hospital runs test after test, specialists are brought in, but no explanation is found.

Many families - though no one knows how many - go through this cyclical nightmare. The fevers seem to come like clockwork, aren't accompanied by any obvious symptoms and don't respond to antibiotics or fever reducers like Motrin or Tylenol. Instead, they vanish on their own after four to five days, only to return four to six weeks later.

Butterfly

Flashback Happiness: Enough Already

The plural of anecdote is not data, as scientists will tell you, but consider these snapshots of the emerging happiness debate anyway: Lately, Jerome Wakefield's students have been coming up to him after they break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and not because they want him to recommend a therapist. Wakefield, a professor at New York University, coauthored the 2007 book The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder, which argues that feeling down after your heart is broken - even so down that you meet the criteria for clinical depression - is normal and even salutary. But students tell him that their parents are pressuring them to seek counseling and other medical intervention - "some Zoloft, dear?" - for their sadness, and the kids want no part of it. "Can you talk to them for me?" they ask Wakefield. Rather than "listening to Prozac," they want to listen to their hearts, not have them chemically silenced.

Pills

Ketek: One Drug, Many Tragedies

The well-dressed woman in the waiting room was yellow, recalls John Hanson, MD -- a clear sign of jaundice. That was puzzling: One month earlier, in March 2005, Vivienne Wardley (not her real name), 51, had been in excellent shape except for a cold. A health-conscious woman, Wardley avoided prescription drugs and drank moderately. But tests showed that she needed an emergency liver transplant. And when Dr. Hanson, a gastroenterologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, examined her liver, he was startled. It was only a third of its normal size and showed massive tissue death.

Info

'George Bush is like crusty potato'

James Wannerton, president of the UK Synaesthesia Association, explains how the condition which "mixes the senses" affects his life.

He is speaking at a conference in Edinburgh where scientists and others with the condition are discussing the phenomenon.

Brown and Marmite
©BBC
James gets a taste of dirt and Marmite when he sees Gordon Brown