Music for memory, laws of attraction and more interesting slices of life
Music for memory
Songs that get stuck in your head can be annoying, and we call them earworms, but they can be useful. In a new study, subjects first listened to unfamiliar music and then a week later listened to the same music again, but this time while watching unfamiliar movie clips. In one instance movies were watched without music. Subsequently, subjects were asked to remember as many details as they could from each movie while listening to the original music. Subjects were surveyed as to their memory of the music and whether they had experienced any of it as an earworm during the weeks of the study. It emerged that the more strongly a person experienced a tune as an earworm, the better they remembered details of the movie scenes that had accompanied it. In fact, earworms led to near-perfect movie recall. It seems earworms help consolidate experiences into long-term memory.
Source: Journal of Experimental Psychology
People can use emojis when sending text messages without thinking too deeply, but new research shows that those emojis can have a strong effect. For the study, subjects’ eye movements were tracked while they were shown sentences that could be positive, negative or neutral. The sentences were either accompanied by a positive, negative, neutral or no emoji. The subjects were asked to rate the emotional state of the sender and how warm they found them to be. The results showed that even a positive or neutral message paired with a negative emoji will be regarded as negative and the sender will be judged as cold. Any negative element in a message is the one that determines how it will be perceived. Choose your emojis carefully and check them before you hit send. 😊
Source: Computers in Human Behavior
For this new research, four studies were conducted with a view to establishing how displays of moral outrage affect choice of a romantic partner. Subjects were asked to rate the fictional dating profiles of people of the opposite and same sex. The results showed that both sexes viewed moral outrage as desirable for a long-term partner, but women rated it much more highly than men. According to the researchers, the appeal of moral outrage might be that it indicates prosocial attitudes that could indicate trustworthiness and benevolence. Interestingly, they found that moral outrage alone did not increase attractiveness. It was people who were described as acting on their convictions who rated most highly. This might be the crucial point because moral outrage or whatever quality you can name, if you don’t walk the walk, the talk doesn’t matter.
Play is a thing that is well studied, but mainly in children. In adults the structure and function of play is not so well understood. In a new paper researchers examined how play may impact romantic choices. They looked at playful behaviours such as surprising your partner, retelling and re-enacting joint experiences with your partner or simply embracing new experiences. They conclude that playfulness encourages the experience of positive emotions and can help deal with stress. Additionally, playfulness in females signals youth, health and therefore reproductive capacity. In males playfulness signals non-aggressiveness, and from an evolutionary perspective that is good for both a prospective mother and any children. The authors also point out that being able to play influences how partners interact with each other and helps dissolve interpersonal tension. It’s true, love is a game we all want to play.
Source: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Did you know?
You would hope it would be otherwise, but powerful people tend to be critical of those with less power. People in positions of power are more likely to adopt a “choice mindset”, which means that although they have lots of choice, they still see others with less power as having lots of choice. Unfortunately, this means high-power people are more likely to blame others if they perform poorly.
Source: Social Psychological and Personality Science