Are your eyes the window to your soul or to your mind? We take a look at the latest in health and wellness
What’s in a gaze?
Are your eyes really the window to your soul? Researchers from Yale and Harvard Universities have shed some light on this by studying a particular type of gaze. We know that people will often turn to follow the direction of someone else’s gaze because that person may be looking at something threatening, something interesting or something socially significant. However, the researchers studied the particular instance of the instinctive averting of the gaze that occurs when you are caught looking at someone else. In this instance the researchers found that a third-party observer does not reflexively follow the averted gaze of the person who has been caught. They conclude that the brain of the observer knows that the direction of an embarrassed gaze is not important. That means the brain is reading the mind behind the eyes. The eyes are windows to the mind behind.
Source: Yale University
A cup of microwaved tea is just not the same as a cup of tea made with stove- or kettle-heated water, and here’s why. When a liquid is being heated in a saucepan or a kettle, it is being heated from below. As the water at the bottom of the container heats up it becomes less dense and moves to the top, allowing a cooler part of the water to contact the heat source. This results in the water being evenly heated. In a microwave the electric field that acts as the heat source is everywhere within the oven and heats the vessel containing the water too, resulting in much hotter water at the top than the bottom. With a microwave what you are getting is water that is not uniformly heated, and the result is an inferior cup of tea.
Source: AIP Advances
The worst gifts
Any gift should be pleasing to the recipient, but research shows that the reason behind the giving determines how the gift is received. Researchers asked people to recall a recent gift they had received and how they felt about it. Those who received a gift intended to save them money were less pleased about the gift than those who had ben given a gift that would save them time. In a second, real-world study the researchers found that people given gift cards because they would save them time valued them more than people who were given the same cards but who were told it would save them money. It’s because money-saving gifts imply the giver is of higher status than the receiver, whereas time-saving gifts suggest that the receiver is busy, in high demand and of high status. It’s not just about the gift, it’s about how you present it.
Source: Journal of the Association for Consumer Research
The colour of feelings
A survey of more than 4500 people from 30 countries over six continents has shown that people universally associate colours with emotions. While there are some globally common associations there are also some differences. Throughout the world red is the only colour that is associated with both a positive and a negative feeling: the positive love and the negative anger. Brown triggers the fewest emotions globally. Then there are associations that are peculiar to certain nationalities. The colour white is closely associated with sadness in China, probably because white clothing is worn at funerals in that culture. Similarly, purple is more associated with sadness in Greece. There are also geographic influences on colour perception. For example, yellow tends to be more closely associated with joy in countries that have less sunshine, while the association is weaker in areas that have greater sun exposure.
Source: Psychological Science
Did you know?
The age of FoMO
Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is not just the province of teens glued to social media. Researchers found that anxiety around people having fun without you occurred at any age from 14 to 47. Rather than age, what predicted FoMO was aspects of self-perception. Those who experience FoMO are likely to score high on loneliness and low on self-esteem and self-compassion.
Source: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships