Monitor on Psychology - March 2012 - (Page 15)
n What people say they want in a mate doesn’t always match up with what they actually look for, according to a study by researchers at Northwestern University and Texas A&M University. Undergraduates completed a computerbased, word-association task assessing how much they associate physical attractiveness with their ideal partners. The researchers then compared these results with participants’ responses to questions about important characteristics in a partner. They found that even if students said they didn’t care about a mate’s physical attractiveness, the computer task indicated otherwise. In addition, the results of the word test matched what the students were actually interested in when they met real potential mates in a speed-dating experiment. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, November) n Blogging may help teens who suffer from social anxiety, find researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel. Maintaining a blog had a stronger positive effect on troubled students’ well-being — significantly improving their self-esteem and lessening their social anxiety and emotional distress — than recording their thoughts in private diaries, the study found. Opening the blog up to public comment intensified these effects. (Psychological Services, Dec. 21) n Memory loss and a decrease in other brain functions can start as early as age 45, according to findings from a study of more than 7,000 British government workers. Researchers from the Center for Research in Epidemiology
teens who blogged showed improvements in self-esteem, a study found.
and Population Health in France and University College London assessed participants’ memories, vocabularies and comprehension skills three times over the course of 10 years. They found a 3.6 percent decline in mental abilities in both men and women ages 45 to 49 at the start of the study. Comparatively, men ages 65 to 70 at the study’s start showed a 9.6 percent decline in mental abilities; women a 7.4 percent decline. (British Medical Journal, Jan. 5)
n Nicotine patches may improve memory loss in older adults, according to a study of 74 non-smoking older adults with mild cognitive impairment. In the double-blind study led by Vanderbilt University researchers, half of the patients wore a 15-mg nicotine patch each day For direct links to these articles, click on the journal names.
M a rc h 2 0 1 2 • M o n i to r o n p s yc h o l o g y
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