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Scientists Turn Bad Memories to Happy Ones

Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders

(Newser) - Scared to death of spiders after you found one crawling in your bed? Scientists may have discovered a way for you to find them positively cuddly. After identifying the neurons powered by positive and negative memories in mice, MIT neuroscientists found a way to use light to essentially rewrite a...

Inside Facebook's Secret Mood Experiment

Critics say 2012 study was immoral and proves nothing

(Newser) - A study that altered News Feeds on Facebook claims to show that even online emotions are contagious, NPR reports—but the real story may be that Facebook manipulated News Feeds at all. In the study , researchers played with more than 600,000 users' feeds for a week in 2012, showing...

You Only Have 4 Emotions
 You Have Only 
 4 Emotions 


You Have Only 4 Emotions

Subtler distinctions more social than biological

(Newser) - Scientists have traditionally held that people have six basic emotions: happy, sad, angry, surprised, afraid, and disgusted. But a new study reduces that number to just four by combining "angry" with "disgusted" and "surprised" with "afraid." Those pairings share the same biological roots, the Glasgow...

Today&#39;s Legos Are Angrier
 Today's Legos 
 Are Angrier 

study says

Today's Legos Are Angrier

Happy plastic faces on the decline: study

(Newser) - Lego characters, it seems, are no longer living in a state of bliss. Once, the figures wore uniform smiles, whether they were gas station workers or hospital patients. Today, however, life has gotten more complicated: Since the 1990s, the number of angry Lego faces has climbed while the number of...

And the World&#39;s Least Emotional Country Is...
And the World's Least
Emotional Country Is...
gallup poll

And the World's Least Emotional Country Is...

...Singapore, according to Gallup

(Newser) - When it comes to "emotionless societies," Singapore takes the cake. This according to Gallup , which has polled residents in 150 countries since 2009 in a quest to gauge how emotional each country is. It went about doing so by asking a series of yes-and-no questions designed to suss...

See Something Traumatic? Don't Sleep Right Away

You might lock in those nasty memories: Study

(Newser) - Snoozing after experiencing a traumatic event might forge the negative memories and emotions in the brain, a new study suggests. UMass researchers exposed 100 adults to unsettling images and then allowed half to sleep and kept the other half awake. Twelve hours later, the subjects who stayed up displayed a...

Here&#39;s the Saddest Movie Scene Ever
 Here's the Saddest 
 Movie Scene Ever 

Here's the Saddest Movie Scene Ever

If you want to cry, just watch the ending of 'The Champ'

(Newser) - New York and Moviefone point to a fascinating 1995 study brought back into the spotlight by Smithsonian : The study found that the saddest movie clip of all time may very well be from a poorly-reviewed 1979 boxing movie. Two scientists set out to find the best film scenes to...

Botox Can Make It Harder to Empathize
 Botox Can Make It 
 Harder to Empathize 
study says

Botox Can Make It Harder to Empathize

Without the ability to mimic expressions, it's difficult to perceive emotions

(Newser) - Research has already shown that Botox can have an effect on your own emotions, but a new study shows it may also affect how you perceive the emotions of others, USA Today reports. Part of the way we read emotions involves mimicking the facial expressions of others, the lead researcher...

Botox Dulls Emotions
 Botox Dulls Emotions 

Botox Dulls Emotions

Limited facial expressions may stifle feelings

(Newser) - Some Botox patients have trouble looking happy or sad, and now research suggests they have trouble feeling happy or sad as a result. Facial expressions themselves are thought to produce sensory feedback that influences emotional states, so a group of Barnard researchers tested whether Botox users—who have literally paralyzed...

Guys, It's OK to Cry at Toy Story
 Guys, It's OK to 
 Cry at Toy Story 

Guys, It's OK to Cry at Toy Story

For those who grew up with cowboys and spacemen, bring a hanky

(Newser) - Owen Gleiberman would like to get something off his chest: He cried at Toy Story 3, and he doesn't mean a few sniffles. "I’m talking about that soppy, awkward thing where you make sounds," the Entertainment Weekly critic fesses up. He also suspects he's not alone among...

Pregnancy Boosts Awareness of Bad Vibes
 Pregnancy Boosts 
 Awareness of Bad Vibes 
study says

Pregnancy Boosts Awareness of Bad Vibes

Researchers say finding fits with protective evolutionary adaptation

(Newser) - Women get wiser to the emotional states of upset and angry people around them as their pregnancies progress, perhaps as a way for mothers-to-be to recognize threats. A study asked women to identify the emotions of people in a set of photographs in their first trimester and again near the...

Web Apps Keep Tabs on National Mood
Web Apps
Keep Tabs on National Mood

Web Apps Keep Tabs on National Mood

They troll mountains of online data seeking economic indicators

(Newser) - Web-based tools have become increasingly adept at measuring a critical economic indicator: the nation’s mood. Whereas old indicators were based on surveys, these applications sift through mountains of online data, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. TweetFeel, for example, looks for select words and emoticons on Twitter. Other systems do...

Studies Agree: Happiness Comes With Age

Mental health keeps improving even into one's '90s

(Newser) - Greater happiness and better mental health may be the big payoff for aging. Exceptions abound, of course, but people generally get happier as they get older because they've learned how to tune out all the negative stuff, say researchers. A spate of new studies suggests that older people have better...

Shrinks Single Out Next PTSD: Bitterness

Over-the-top reactions to being thwarted may signal mental illness

(Newser) - Some psychiatrists believe embitterment is so common and so destructive that it should be classed as a mental illness, the Los Angeles Times reports. Sufferers are described as people who have worked hard at something like a job or relationship, only to be transformed into angry, pessimistic, brooding individuals consumed...

They Don't Call Him Fido for Nothing

Dogs are ethical, full of natural goodness, scientist says

(Newser) - Science is finally catching up to what dog owners have known all along: Canines are ethical. After thousands of hours studying dogs—once dismissed as "furry automatons," an author said—animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff concluded that they possess the capacity for empathy and compassion, the hallmarks of morality....

If You Can't Control Your Emotions, Your Computer Will

Software can analyze the feelings in words

(Newser) - All you naughty Newser commenters, take note: Software developers are readying an algorithm to glean the human emotions in text and possibly censor inappropriate online discussions, New Scientist reports. So far, the biggest users of such pricey “sentiment analysis” tools are companies looking to gauge consumer reaction to brand-name...

Tears Lone Signal of Sadness: Study

(Newser) - Tears are more than just an indicator of sadness, Wired reports—they may be the indicator, as far as other people are concerned. People categorize identical images of a face totally differently if tears are present in one photo and digitally removed from the other, a new study found. “...

Study: Rage Can Be Fatal
 Study: Rage Can Be Fatal  

Study: Rage Can Be Fatal

Anger shown to cause irregular heartbeats with the potential for cardiac arrest

(Newser) - Anger really can kill you, a new study suggests. Researchers monitored the heart patterns of patients suffering from heart conditions and discovered that electrical instability in the heart increased when the patients were asked to relive angry episodes. Those who had the strongest reactions were 10 times more likely to...

Livid Softball Dad Jailed for Tirade

Ill. man also spat at deputy, earning battery charge

(Newser) - Parents, take note: An Illinois man who exploded at an umpire during his daughter's softball game was sentenced to five days in jail and anger-management classes for battery and assault, the Chicago Tribune reports. Michael Beck, 47, also spat sunflower seeds on the deputy who responded to a worried...

Nov. 5 Will Feel Like Dec. 26
 Nov. 5 Will Feel Like Dec. 26 

Nov. 5 Will Feel Like Dec. 26

Uncertainty ahead for pros and amateurs, participants and observers.

(Newser) - After two years of high drama, the curtain is about to fall. Letdown, writes Steven Winn in the San Francisco Chronicle, may be inevitable. Tomorrow will usher in a lull like those that sandwiched between seasons of the Sopranos, says one professor: “This has been the greatest series on...

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