Saturday, May 26

5 Simple Ways to Be More Likeable

 First and foremost, you have to know that people are most interested in themselves. So in order to get people to like you, you have to be interested in them. Talk to ohter people about themselves. Ask questions. Show them that you are genuinely interested in every little detail about their lives. Do that and people will turn to you if they need someobody to talk to.

Smile. Simple as that. Just smile. Show people that you are truly happy to see them and to be able to speak to them. Besides, smiling is contagious. It will make everyone's day better.

Avoid negative topics and complaining. Do you like to listen to people complainig about how bad the traffic was? No? Well, nobody does. So you should not complain! Unless you wanna become the person who makes everybody leave the room you enter.

Don't be afraid to make eye contact. Making eye contact while speaking makes you appear more condifent and caring. Even more truthful.

Last but not least, look clean. We can't really change our physical appearance to look more attractive overnight. But what we can do is look clean and wellgroomed. Take good care of your personal hygen. Wear only clean clothes. For one, this makes you more confident, therefore you'll be more social. And secondly, they way you look is the first thing people notice about you. The first judgement. The first vibe you sent out to other people. And you want this vibe to be positive.

Friday, May 18

A Proposal to Classify Happiness as a Psychiatric Disorder

Is he suffering from a psychiatric disorder?
Happiness is an emotional state of well-being characterized by pleasant emotions. Something we all strive for. There even is an entire branch of psychology, positive psychology, that is dedicated to increasing human happiness.

One psychologist, Richard Bentall, however, proposed in 1992 that happiness, or, as he proposed it to be called, "major affective disorder, pleasant type", should be classified as a psychiatric disorder.

"Happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains--that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant."

You can read more about why Richard Bentall thought that happiness should be classified as a psychiatric disorder here.

Image from

Tuesday, May 15

Do We Believe Everything We Read?

What is our first reaction to new information? Do we doubt its veracity or do we automatically believe it?

Well, a Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza believed that the very act of understanding information was believing it. We may be able to change our minds about believing the information later, but at first, we believe everything.

A French philosopher, mathematician and physicist René Descartes, however, did not agree with Spinoza on this. He argued that understanding and believing are two separate processes. He thought that people take in the information by paying attention to it and then decide whether they believe it or not.

Who Was Right?

Daniel Gilbert and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments to test whether understanding and belief operate together or whether belief of disbelief comes later.

71 participants had to read statements about two robberies and then give the robbers a jail sentence. Some of the statements were made to make the crime seem less malicious, for example the robber's kids were starving, and the others made to make it look worse, for example the robber had a gun.

Only some of the statements were true, others were false. Participants were told that true statements were displayed in green type and false in red type. Half of the participants were deliberately distracted while they were reading the false statements. The other half were allowed to read the statements undisturbed.

If Spinoza was right and Descartes wrong, then those who were distracted while reading the false statements wouldn't have time to process the fact that the statement was written in red and is therefore false, and ergo the jail time they give to the criminal would be influenced by the false statements as well.

Well, the results showed that when the false statements made the crime seem worse, the participants who were disturbed gave the criminals almost twice as long prison sentences.

However, the group in which participants were allowed to read undisturbed managed to ignore the false statements and there was no remarkable difference between prison sentences.

These results obviously mean that only when given time to process the information did people behave as the false statements were actually false and that without the time to process the information, people believed what they read.

Gilbert and his colleagues have also conducted further experiments on this subject which have all confirmed that Spinoza was right and we really are designed to believe everything we read.

Tuesday, May 8

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

 We like to believe that we are rational, logical beings who make decisions based on objective facts and see the world as it really is. But we are not. According to David McRaney, we are all deluded.

 Our most vivid memories are mostly made up, we are easy targets to manipulation, most of our Facebook friends are not real friends, we reach for the same brand not because it's good and we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart decision the last time we bought it... David McRaney's blog-turned-book is all about the many ways our minds plays tricks on us.

 Let me tell you up front, this book can be somewhat terrifying. You might find out too much about yourself and about human beings in general. Nevertheless, I would still recommend it to everyone. It's just so fascinating and liberating. The Stanford Prison Experiment shows that anyone, given enough power, could become brutal. Yes, it's not ideal. But it's the truth. It's the way we have born to be.
Well, I'm going stop writing now... because as we live in the second decade of the 21st century, we can simply watch the trailer.

Click here to watch the video.

 I mentioned earlier that You Are Not So Smart is a blog-turned-book, so for those of you who don't want to spend money and buy the book, here is a link to the blog. Have a good read!

Friday, May 4

Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form

Geriatric Depression Scale short form (GDS-SF) is an adequate substitute for the original 30-item scale (GDS) that is commonly used to identify depression in the elderly.

Instructions: Choose the best answer for how you have felt over the past week.

  1. Are you basically satisfied with your life? YES / NO
  2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests? YES / NO
  3. Do you feel that your life is empty? YES / NO
  4. Do you often get bored? YES / NO
  5. Are you in good spirits most of the time? YES / NO
  6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? YES / NO
  7. Do you feel happy most of the time? YES / NO
  8. Do you often feel helpless? YES / NO
  9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things? YES / NO
  10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most? YES / NO
  11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now? YES / NO
  12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now? YES / NO
  13. Do you feel full of energy? YES / NO
  14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? YES / NO 
  15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are? YES / NO

Scoring Instructions: Score 1 point for each bolded answer. 
  1. YES  /  NO
  2. YES  /  NO
  3. YES  /  NO
  4. YES  /  NO
  5. YES  /  NO
  6. YES  /  NO
  7. YES  /  NO
  8. YES  /  NO
  9. YES  /  NO
  10. YES  /  NO
  11. YES  /  NO
  12. YES  /  NO
  13. YES  /  NO
  14. YES  /  NO
  15. YES  /  NO

    A score greater than or equal to 5 suggests depression. Scores greater than or equal to 10 are almost always depression.

Wednesday, May 2

Too Much Junk Food Can Lead to Depression

A lot of people in today's world love to eat junk food. Is it because our lives are so fast-paced we don't have the time to cook healthy dinners or do we simply love the taste of hamburgers and hot dogs. Who knows! All we know is that junk food is unhealthy and expands our waistline. But could the consumption of junk food also be linked to depression? A study suggests exactly that. The study indicates people who regularly eat commercial baked goods like doughnuts and croissants, or fast foods such as pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs, are at greater risk for depression.

In the study, done by researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, researchers looked at nearly 9,000 people for six years. Participants were asked to report how frequently they ate certain foods - especially fast foods such as burgers, fries and baked goods.

At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had been diagnosed with clinical depression, but by the end of the study, almost 500 had depression. Participants who ate the most fast food were 51 percent more likely to develop clinical depression than those who ate the least.

Contributor Dr. Holly Phillips said on an interview given to CBS that the findings of the study are really, really shocking.

I don't really find it that shocking. The fact that omega-3 fatty acids are essential building materials for the brain during development and crucial to proper brain function and maintenance, has been proven years ago. Joseph R. Hibbeln even linked the deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to violent behaviour.

Anyways, eat fish and stay away from those burgers!