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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

seurat-painting

Be a Better Person: Take a Walk in the Park

New research from France finds strangers are more helpful if they’ve just strolled through a natural environment.

Quick Studies

childhood-health

The Upside of Economic Downturns: Better Childhood Health

For children, the benefits of being born in tough times can outweigh the costs.

Findings

copenhagen-denmark

‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ Comes Easier to the Danes

New research finds the closer a nation is to the genetic make-up of Denmark, the happier its citizens are.

Findings

dayz-game

Zombie-Infested Virtual World Reveals Our Ethical Blind Spots

Players of an online survival game expressed guilt for killing, but less so for non-lethal actions that would result in a character’s death.

Findings

facebook-likes

Buy? Sell? Let Me Check With My Financial Advisor: Facebook

New research finds a link between the emotions expressed in Facebook status updates and next-day stock market activity.

Findings

interracial-couple

Interracial Couples Are Big on Mutual Appreciation

In a new study of university students, those in interracial relationships were more likely than others to feel their partners possess important, positive qualities.

Findings

smartphone-presence

Even Just the Presence of a Smartphone Lowers the Quality of In-Person Conversations

New research finds having a mobile device within easy reach divides your attention, even if you’re not actively looking at it.

Quick Studies

stereotypes

When Stereotypes Cancel Each Other Out

In many situations, black men find themselves at a disadvantage. Gay men, too. But black gay men?

Findings

red-dress

The Woman in Red Is Seen as a Threat by Other Women

New research confirms that the color red sends a signal of sexual availability.

Findings

birth-control-packet

An Evolutionary Explanation for Fear of Female Promiscuity

Researchers in England find a link between sexual morality and women’s economic dependence on men.

Findings

marijuana-colorado

What Happens When Penalties for Pot Smoking Are Reduced? Hardly Anything

At least, that has been the experience in Great Britain, according to a new analysis.

Findings

green-church

The ‘Greening’ of Christianity Is Not Actually Happening

Despite two decades of preaching, self-identified Christians are hardly acting as stewards of the Earth.

Findings

senior-age-art

Making Art Boosts Seniors’ Psychological Resilience

German researchers report positive changes in the brains of recent retirees who learned how to create visual art.

Quick Studies

neighborhood-diversity

The Ongoing Mental Health Benefits of Neighborhood Diversity

Diverse neighborhoods, it turns out, aren’t just conducive to hipsters.

Findings

meditation

We Really Don’t Like Being Alone With Our Thoughts

New research finds having no distractions makes most of us uncomfortable.

Findings

pride-peacock

Pride Goeth Before Cooperation

Israeli researchers report thinking about one’s self-worth increases the likelihood you’ll engage in cooperative behavior.

Findings

west-point-cadets

Looking for a Promotion? Pure Motivations Produce the Best Results

A new study of West Point cadets finds those driven by purely internal motivations were the most likely to succeed.

Findings

music-training-guitar

More Evidence That Music Talent Is Largely Innate

New research on twins finds nature and nurture interact to produce accomplished musicians. A second study suggests chimps might be among their fans.

Findings

mitch-mcconnell

Accurately or Not, Conservatives Perceive Themselves as United

New research suggests this impression of consensus can cut two ways, inspiring both activism and a false sense of confidence.

Findings

woody-allen-effect

For Some, Worry Inspires Creativity

In a new study, neurotic people did better on a creativity task after thinking about a worrisome incident.

Findings

salvation-army-donations

How to Design an Effective Plea for Donations

Two new studies suggest an image of a single needy child is most effective, so long as you avoid the temptation to go with the most photogenic victims.

Findings

facebook-phone

The Comforting Presence of the Facebook Icon

The social network’s logo can serve as a symbol of emotional connection when it is most needed.

Findings

intelligence-dementia

A Lifetime of Intellectual Stimulation Staves Off Dementia

Turning to brainy pursuits in later years also helps delay the onset of the dreaded condition, according to a new study.

Findings

robot-doctor-fix

I’d Never Admit That to My Doctor. But to a Computer? Sure

New research finds patients are more likely to respond honestly to personal questions when talking to a virtual human.

Findings

old-plantation

Slavery’s Legacy: Race-Based Economic Inequality

Two European researchers find a link between county-level slavery in 1860 and economic inequality today.

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For Memory, Curiosity Is Its Own Reward

A new study suggests a neural link between curiosity, motivation, and memory.

Mysterious Resting State Networks Might Be What Allow Different Brain Therapies to Work

Deep brain stimulation and similar treatments target the hubs of larger resting-state networks in the brain, researchers find.

Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

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.

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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