Learning! Roundup: Hugs Matter, Brand New Life, Lying to Yourself, and More!

Learning! Roundup: The power of hugs, brand new forms of life (hemimastigote), lying to yourself, changing other people's minds, and more!
Photo by Shalom Mwenesi.

Four Hugs a Day

Charlotte Diamon was right! We need hugs! A new study shows that, out of a group of people who have experienced stressful events in a day, those who were hugged were not as affected by it as their counterparts. I wonder if the effect is the same for people who don't really like hugs.

A Brand New Thing

A whole new type of living thing has been discovered! It's not a plant or an animal or fungi or anything other kingdom of life we have identified! It's called a hemimastigote, and it was discovered when some Canadian (yessss!) scientists collected dirt on a whim while hiking. A whole new branch of life we didn't even know about! The universe is so vast and mysterious!!!

Lie to Yourself

Turns out it's even easier to lie to ourselves than you think - just the attempt to tell a convincing lie about yourself makes you feel less certain of the actual facts. It goes to reason (although is not yet proven) that the more often we tell a lie about ourselves, the more we will believe it.

How to Change Someone's Mind

A common thing people say these days is to not even bother trying to change someone else's mind on political issues. While this is definitely true for Facebook comment threads, it's apparently not true in real life. Thanks to our brain's incredible ability to retcon itself, all you have to do is trick someone into thinking they chose your political view instead, through false feedback, and then their brains will do the rest. Okay, this sounds difficult to do in real conversations, but hey, it's fun to think about!

Video OCD Treatment

A new study had people with OCD symptoms related to contamination watch a video of themselves repeatedly touching a filthy bedpan. The result? Their symptoms reduced!

Expect Pain

The expectation of pain makes us feel pain more acutely, even after we have experienced the pain and should know better.


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