Even in Tough Times, Language Remains Positive [Study]

January 17, 2012 coms 0

In this age of natural disasters, chronic unemployment, terrorism, public protests and housing foreclosures, one might expect newspapers and social media sites to be flooded with a deluge of negative words. Surprisingly, however, that is not the case. Researchers at the University of Vermont have found that the English language contains a natural positivity, meaning that even in troubled times, people use more happy words than sad ones.

No Image

Ability to Gauge Emotion is Independent of Language, Study Says

December 28, 2011 coms 0

It has long been theorized that concepts could not be fully understood by a members of a culture unless that culture had a word for them. However, according to new research published in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion, it appears that people do not need to be able to name an emotion in order to understand it.

No Image

Sexist, Sexy Heroes Invade Comic Book Pages [Study]

December 22, 2011 coms 0

Many of the products aimed at holiday shoppers this year are inspired by popular comic books. Most of these items, including toys, games, accessories and clothing, feature superheroes with names that parents will recognize from their own childhoods. According to new research from the University of Cambridge, however, these familiar characters may bear little resemblance to the wholesome heroes whose adventures filled the comic books of a generation ago.

No Image

How Effective are Smear Campaigns?

December 6, 2011 Elaine Hirsch 1

In the center of the political limelight is 2012 Presidential Candidate Herman Cain as he fights off allegations of past sexual infidelity and sexual harassment. The story has leaked out bit by bit, with new accusers coming from different directions and casting even more of a negative shadow on Cain. In his defense, Cain has turned around and pointed a finger at Texan rival Governor Rick Perry claiming that he is conducting a smear campaign against him to try to whittle his chances of receiving the GOP nomination presidency.

No Image

In the Media, Protests More Influential than Presidents [Study]

November 17, 2011 coms 0

A new study out of Michigan State University shows that greater media coverage of Washington politicians does not translate into greater influence on the public. Americans are much more likely to respond to stories of political grassroots efforts led by average citizens, even though such stories are few compared to those chronicling congressional debates and speeches.

No Image

The History of Dating and Communication

November 1, 2011 Elaine Hirsch 0

In the internet-connected world of the 21st century, the courtship rituals of yore have been largely replaced by online dating, social networking, and “hooking up.” Lovers have always relied upon the latest advances in communications technology to facilitate their budding relationships. The perfumed, handwritten letter delivered by personal courier was replaced by the more efficient postal service.

No Image

The Effect of Sexualized Lyrics on Adolescents [Study]

September 17, 2011 coms 0

The effects certain aspects of culture on children has been a subject of study for a number of years, and the effects of sexualized musical lyrics on adolescents is of particular concern. Researchers from Brigham Young University are examining the growing trend of including distinct explicit sexual lyrics in popular music. The journal, Sexuality & Culture, has published the results online to help educators develop plans to promote appropriate sexual development in today’s youth.

No Image

Sexual Orientation and Race Affect Likability [Study]

September 13, 2011 coms 0

Psychological researchers at the University of Toronto have recently conducted a study about the effects of sexual orientation on impressions. The results of the study indicate that homosexual men may experience differences in likability based on race. Specifically, white heterosexual men are deemed to be more likable, but gay black men seem to have more likability.

No Image

Fame Emphasized in Popular TV Shows, Say Psychologists [Study]

September 2, 2011 coms 1

Every January, a highly advertised event occurs in the U.S.: a new season of the hit reality TV series “American Idol” begins. On the show, hundreds of teens and young adults compete for a chance to sing before a national audience and possibly earn a record deal. Since its inception, the show has become the highest rated in the history of television, with more votes cast for the performers per season than for the nation’s president. Cue the lights, camera and—psychologists say—the skewed lesson on human values.