Dispatches

*Scientists inaugurate new mental health condition so vague it applies to everyone over the age of 12, Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder. The hallmarks of the condition include "worrying about life, feeling tense, restless, or fatigued, being concerned about their weight, noticing signs of aging, feeling stress at work, home, or finding activities they used to enjoy, like shopping, challenging."

*A Philadelphia-based technology company brings us one step closer to the Brave New World by marketing MRI-based lie detection testing to Corporate America as a staffing tool. And you thought peeing in a cup was bad.

*Scientific American Mind reports that money makes Americans nervous. According to writer Michael Wiederman:

The buying power of the average American has tripled since 1950 [but] young Americans are more anxious than in the past . . . In 2000, Jean Twenge, a psychologist now at San Diego State University, published a sweeping analysis of 269 studies conducted between 1952 and 1993 all of which had measured the anxiety levels of children or college students [and found that] the average American child in the 1980s reported more anxiety than child psychiatric patients of the 1950s.

*And SciAm contributor Robert Epstein tells us that the trick to catching a mate online is to be as vague as possible.

The more information you provide, the poorer the impression you will create, shows research by Psychologist Michael Norton of Harvard University . . . People mistake vagueness for attractiveness, filling in the missing details in ways that suit their own desires.

In short, we are just as optimistic about potential mates, given the opportunity, as we are about phantom spaghetti.

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So, the fact that I'm single is due to my detailed description of my phantom spaghetti dinner? OK...but could you please be in charge of explaining that to my mother?