New Study Looks at Special Sub Set of Essential Workers

A new study has found that essential workers (people who work at retail stores, groceries and restaurants) who scored higher on narcissism measurements also shared more than others about their work.

This sharing, whether over social media, in person or otherwise, increased their feelings of narcissism in the moment.

Study authors said that the word “hero” is a trigger word for narcissists. Their study was not focused just front-line essential workers but anyone that works outside the home. Having their work described as heroic plays into narcissist behaviors and gives them an opportunity to shine, in their minds.

Study authors wanted to stress that the results don’t apply to all essential workers, just those who scored highly on narcissism measurements. The study is only about just that subset of workers who admitted to having narcissist behaviors—like the desire to show off to others or the different ways in which they use social media.

The work was published in a journal called “Personality and  Individual Differences.”


New Comprehensive Database Observes Long-Term Change in Arctic Animal Behavior

A database created by environmental engineers has analyzed thirty years of data on Artic animal migration and movements. The results show that animals in one of the planet’s coldest regions are changing their behavior because of climate change.

The database used to make this discovery has records from ecologists around the world. It house more than 200 research projects tracking the movements of more than eight thousand land and marine animals between 1991 and present.

Scientists have been watching the warming of the Artic since the 1970s. According to research, the Artic has warmed 2.3 degrees C since then.

Increasing human development, shrinking ice, warmer winters and earlier springs are all affecting how native animals are behaving, according to researchers. An additional three studies using the same data demonstrates long-term, large-scale behavioral changes in caribou, bears, golden eagles, moose and wolves.

While ecologists have been watching specific species and specific animals for years this database is the first comprehensive source in terms of breadth of subjects and time studied. The databases includes data from various academic researchers, private and government organizations.


Legitimate News or Not? Scientists Find Out Why People Can’t Tell the Difference Between Real News and Satire on Social Media

Researchers at the Ohio State University have found there may be clear downsides to getting news from social media. And not for the reasons you might think.

Researchers found that when people view a blend of news and entertainment through a single portal, through a single social media app they pay less attention to the source of content they consumed. Meaning there is a higher risk for mistaking satire for news or vice versa.

When consuming content that is separated into clearly defined categories (a news section, entertainment section, health and wellness etc.) they didn’t have the same problems deciding on the credibility of the content.

The scientists involved in this research believe they have found a legitimate danger when it comes to people blending news and entertainment viewing on apps like Facebook and Twitter. Researchers stated that while people like that one-stop-shop idea for media content, that jumbling of content makes everything seem the same or equal to us.

The issues is that there is no visual difference on Facebook, for example, between something like the New York Times and a random blog. Everything is the same, color scheme, font, frames etc. So one obvious solution would be for social media companies to develop ways to distinguish content.

Until something like this happens researchers believe that using social media as a one stop shop for content could be reducing positive media literacy behaviors.


New Research Reveals Moral Stances Make For Better Arguments

Simply telling people that their opinions are based on morality will make them stronger and more resistant to counterarguments, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that people were more likely to act on an opinion – what psychologists call an attitude – if it was labeled as moral and were more resistant to attempts to change their mind on that subject.

The results show why appeals to morality by politicians and advocacy groups can be so effective. Andrew Luttrell is the lead author of the study and a doctoral student in psychology at The Ohio State University.

In one experiment, 183 college students read an essay favoring the adoption of a senior comprehensive exam policy at their university. They were asked to provide their thoughts in response to the essay.

The students were then told by the researchers that the views they expressed seemed to be based on morality, tradition or equality.

Participants were then asked to rate how willing they would be to sign a petition in favor of the exam policy and to put their names on a list of students who favor the exam policy, and which way they would vote on the issue.

The results showed that the attitudes of students who were told that their views on the exam policy were based on morality were more likely to predict their behavior than the attitudes of students who were told their views were based on equality or tradition.

Challenging One’s Point of View the New Depression Cure?

Ohio State researchers have been examining the use of Socratic questioning as part of a cognitive therapy approach to help relieve patients of depression symptoms. Socratic questioning, as it is used in cognitive therapy, is a series of guided questions in which the therapist asks a patient to examine their old outlooks on themselves and their place on the world and to consider a new perspective.

“People with depression can get stuck in a negative way of thinking,” said Justin Braun, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in psychology at The Ohio State University.
This guided Socratic questioning allows patients to examine whether or not their negative thoughts are valid and gain a more realistic and expanded perspective of their life.

Cognitive therapy is an evidence-based treatment that helps patients to reduce their depression and protects against future depressive episodes.

The study appeared in a recent issue of the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy.

The study involved 55 patients who completed a questionnaire at the beginning of each session that measured their depressive symptoms. Researchers analyzed video recordings of the first three sessions and measured how often the therapist used Socratic questioning techniques during cognitive therapy

Sessions in which therapists used more Socratic questioning tended to be followed by greater improvements in patients’ depressive symptoms.