Learning! Roundup: Hiding From Your Feelings Works, But Not the Way You Might Hope (and more!)

A photo of a woman standing alone in a forest wearing a floral dress with a blindfold over her eyes.
Photo by Moshen Shenavari.

The Feels

One thing my counsellor tells me is that I can't pick and choose my feelings: if I want to turn off the negative ones, I'll have to turn off the positive ones as well. A new study sort of confirms her claim. Turns out that people who turn off emotional responses to negative stimuli have a more notable reduction in positive emotions than negative ones. Plus, while they think they are experiencing less negative emotion, their bodies are actually still having the same response as ever. So basically, by trying to turn off the negative, you turn off your positive and mask the negative!

Suppressed Stress

Here's another one on suppressed feelings, this one for parents to add to the list of things they shouldn't be doing: suppressing stress! A new study has shown that when parents try to hide their stress, their children not only pick up on it, but they take that stress on physiologically. The parents who were trying to suppress their stress also engaged less with their child and vice versa.

Cheer Yourself Up

For most people, their current mood will influence the activity they choose to do next: if they are feeling down, they are more likely to choose an activity that cheers them up and if they are feeling overly positive, they will choose something to bring them down to a more balanced place. However, people with depression and chronic low mood have a reduced or even absent ability to regulate mood in this way. Honestly, this explains why I have such a hard time making myself get up and DO something when I am feeling in a funk.

Zoom Eye Contact

Making eye contact in real life is a nice part of human interaction (at least until it becomes a creepy part of human interaction). Now that we're only looking at faces over Zoom calls, it turns out that our bodies react similarly to eye contact over video chat as it does in person! One effect: the smile muscles in our faces are activated while the frown muscles relax a bit. That's nice.

Eye Tracking Secrets

It's pretty common these days for researchers to use eye-tracking for studies. Where once it took a pretty large and awkward device, eye movements can now easily be tracked using the cameras built into all our devices. Well, it turns out that a person's eye movements and what they spend more time looking at (something that is generally considered to be subconscious) can reveal a lot about you: gender, age, race, personality traits, drug consumption habits, skills, fears, sexual preferences, and more. MORE! Wild.

Diversity and Innovation

An analysis of American PhD recipients shows that those from under-represented groups, such as people of colour, are more likely to have innovative research discoveries. However, their innovations are less likely to be accepted by the "establishment" and lead to fewer job opportunities in academia.

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