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Tom Jacobs

Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Ventura County Star.

Recent posts

Findings

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The Link Between Depression and Terrorism

A new study from the United Kingdom finds a connection between depression and radicalization.

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empathy

The Dark Side of Empathy

New research finds the much-lauded feeling of identification with another person’s emotions can lead to unwarranted aggressive behavior.

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ethnic-diversity

A Sense of Purpose Increases Comfort With Ethnic Diversity

White Americans who feel a sense of purpose in their lives are better able to accept coming demographic changes.

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Let’s Watch the Video—and Confirm Our Prejudices

New research finds viewing a video of an ambiguous incident does not necessarily lead to more objective assessments of guilt and innocence.

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fifty-shades

Fifty Shades of Meh

New research refutes the notion that reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy strongly impacts women’s sexual behavior.

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You’re Going to Die! So Buy Now!

New research finds inserting reminders of our mortality into advertisements is a surprisingly effective strategy to sell products.

Quick Studies

greenhouse-gas-emissions

Carbon Taxes Really Do Work

A new study shows that taxing carbon dioxide emissions could actually work to reduce greenhouse gases without any negative effects on employment and revenues.

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The Danger of Dining With an Overweight Companion

There’s a good chance you’ll eat more unhealthy food.

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guernica

Why Original Artworks Move Us More Than Reproductions

Researchers present evidence that hand-created artworks convey an almost magical sense of the artist’s essence.

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empty-pockets

The Strong Symbolic Power of Emptying Pockets

Researchers find the symbolic act of emptying a receptacle can impact our behavior, and not for the better.

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smell

The Scent of a Conservative

We are attracted to the body odor of others with similar political beliefs, according to new research.

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atheist-signs

Atheists Seen as a Threat to Moral Values

New research attempts to pinpoint why non-believers are widely disliked and distrusted.

Quick Studies

big-government

Big Government, Happy Citizens?

You may like to talk about how much happier you’d be if the government didn’t interfere with your life, but that’s not what the research shows.

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ice-cream

Comfort Food Is a Myth

New research finds that, contrary to our beliefs, such foods don’t have any special ability to improve our moods.

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morality-illo

Yes, I’m a Good Person. But Did You Hear About Her?

A new study tracks how people experience moral issues in everyday life.

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elizabeth-warren

The Motivating Power of Women Senators

New research finds female voters get more informed and engaged in politics if they’re represented by a woman in the U.S. Senate.

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shared-suffering

The Bonding Power of Shared Suffering

Australian researchers find sharing painful experiences creates feelings of solidarity.

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food-donations

Tax Subsidies Can Improve Health

New research finds a clear link between better health and tax subsidies for charitable giving.

Quick Studies

empty-classroom

The Downside of Giving Every Student a Laptop

A new study looks at the effects of access to a home computer on the test scores of middle school students.

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diet-soda

Put Down That Artificially Sweetened Soda

New psychological research provides clues as to why consuming such drinks can actually lead to weight gain.

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restaurant-tip

Black Restaurant Servers Get Smaller Tips

New research suggests implicit racism influences how much we choose to tip our waiter or waitress.

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Music Lessons Enhance Brain Function in Disadvantaged Kids

Children from poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles who took regular music lessons for two years were able to distinguish similar speech sounds faster than their peers.

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Television and Overeating: What We Watch Matters

New research finds fast-moving programming leads to mindless overeating.

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philandering

Forgive Your Philandering Partner—and Pay the Price

New research finds people who forgive an unfaithful romantic partner are considered weaker and less competent than those who ended the relationship.

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research-papers

Linguistic Analysis Reveals Research Fraud

An examination of papers by the discredited Diederik Stapel finds linguistic differences between his legitimate and fraudulent studies.

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Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

Would You Rather Go Blind or Lose Your Mind?

Americans consistently fear blindness, but how they compare it to other ailments varies across racial lines.

On the Hunt for Fake Facebook Likes

A new study finds ways to uncover Facebook Like farms.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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