Emotion

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Emotion

Emotion, risk, evolution, and gender

You’re given $15. Which of these bets would you gamble your $15 on? An 80 percent chance of winning $18.75 A 40 percent chance of winning $37.50 A 20 percent chance of winning $75 A 5 percent chance of $300 Or would you just keep the original $15? The answer, it turns out, depends on…

Ben and Bernice Finn have been married for 60 years. And they still remember their first date. “I was very nervous,” Ben said. “She was so pretty.” “I remember that day very well,” Bernice said. “And no, you weren’t pretty.” But when the couples all went out that night, there was a chill in the…

Science is hard

Yesterday we tried to replicate the effect that John Eastwood, Daniel Smilek, and Philip Merikle observed — that negative facial expressions distract us from even the simplest tasks more than positive facial expressions. Hundreds of our readers watched one of two videos and were charged with counting the number of “upturned arcs” or “downturned arcs.”…

You’re at a bar, club, or church social and you’ve just met an absolutely stunning member of the opposite sex. You’re single and available, and you detect no signs of romantic commitment in your new conversation-partner. Could he/she be interested in you too? Or you’re walking down a poorly-lit street in an unfamiliar city. It’s…

John McCain, risk, and anger

Thomas Levenson has written an interesting post about John McCain and his fascination with high-stakes gambling. While it’s clear that his gambling habit isn’t going to put McCain in any serious financial danger, it does raise questions about his personality. One of the most difficult things voters try to do in an election is to…

It’s now taken as a given that the musical score of a movie can have huge influence on our perception of the movie. From the pulsating terror achieved in films like Psycho and Jaws, to the triumphant victories in Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s hard to think about a great film without…

[This article was originally published in December, 2006] As parents of a 1516-year-old, Greta and I are very interested in what causes people to behave aggressively. We know a lot about specific causes of aggression — violent media, testosterone, guns, and personal insults can all lead to aggressive behavior in certain circumstances. But kids and…

[This article was originally published in April, 2007] There is a considerable body of research showing that eye contact is a key component of social interaction. Not only are people more aroused when they are looked at directly, but if you consistently look at the person you speak to, you will have much more social…

Flowers really do make you happy

If you saw a headline like this one in your local newspaper, you might first think it’s some type of info-tisement sponsored by the floral industry. You’d probably be right, too. So what is this headline doing in Cognitive Daily? We’ve found a study to support the notion that flowers actually induce real positive emotions.…

How often do you take time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for? Once a month? Once a week, at church, perhaps? Maybe you say “grace” at mealtime every day. But even prayers that do express gratefulness, such as a traditional mealtime prayer, are often expressed by rote. Growing up, my family wasn’t very…