psychology

Two Guys on Your Head
8:45 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Protecting Your Brain as You Age

You're only as old as you feel: Continued activity - both physical and mental - protects you as you age.
flickr.com/jvandoor

Whether we like it or not, time marches on. And as it does, we age. 

One of the most challenging realities for everyone to face in life is that we are all, inevitably, destined to grow old (if we’re lucky, that is).

Aging correlates to a steady decline of functional abilities, both physical and mental. Memory and cognition peak in our early twenties, and we begin a very slow, steady decline of those functions as we near our senior years.  

After age 80, many bodily functions – including brain function – seem to have reached the average limit of their operation. So what can we do to preserve our brains for as long as possible?

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Texas
3:09 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Extroverts, Come to Texas! New Study Maps Moods, State by State

Feeling moody lately? Depressed even?

Maybe it’s your job. Maybe it’s the weather. Or maybe it’s the state you live in.

Acting on over a decade’s worth of surveys, a team of researchers have charted relative moodiness state by state across America.

The study measured personality traits, including the so-called big five personality traits test: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism, or OCEAN. So how does Texas measure?

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Two Guys on Your Head
1:12 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Who Controls Your Destiny?

Should I stay or should I go? Recognizing our ability to get up and leave stressful situations represents an internal locus of control – a belief in our inherit ability to control situations.
flickr.com/asoundtrackforeveryone

So how do we define Locus of Control?  Essentially, it’s our positioning of ourselves within our perception of the world and the way that we perceive our power and influence. We can either feel in control of our lives – which is reassuring – or we can feel subjected to forces outside of our control – which we are then forced to endure. When that happens, we can feel stuck. 

Feeling stuck, with no other options, often leads to prolonged periods of stress. That in turn can depress our health – physically, mentally and emotionally. But since we construct our perceptions of reality, we have the option to shift our locus of power. That way we can then redefine the source of power in any circumstance – taking it when needed, or giving it up when needed. (In some stressful circumstances, having less control over the outcome of a situation can actually be preferred.)

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Two Guys on Your Head
2:33 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

This is Your Brain on Music

Learning an instrument, especially as adults, provides us with a type of "brain food" that can help to protect our brains against damage. Experiencing music together is also an important part of being human.

We like to be in sync. Experiencing live music with others, whether you're playing an instrument or not, provides a certain synchronized relationship that boosts our feelings of togetherness and enjoyment.

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Two Guys on your head
4:29 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

How Does Psychological Distance Affect Us?

 

The idea of distance conjures up many images in our minds. We might be thinking of how wonderful it will be when we are retired and have time to spend with our loved ones, do some traveling, or play 18 holes of golf on a weekday. Or perhaps when we think of distance, we think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how far away the conflicts are from us.

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Austin
4:06 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

What Could Home Decor Say About Couples' Relationships?

A UT study will examine the implications of home decor choices can mean for couples living together.
flickr.com/julishannon

Moving in is a big step in any relationship. But once you cross that threshold, what you do with your home — design, spacing, the abundance of personal items like photos — could have larger implications for partners. 

UT graduate student Lindsay Graham and psychology professor Sam Gosling have begun a study that collects data from couples' homes to discover how choices can effectively create a sense of "home" for both partners and express their senses of self individually.

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