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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



Alcohol Increases Aggression Before You’ve Taken a Sip

New research confirms that exposure to the idea of alcohol heightens aggressive behavior.



Liberal Bloggers Are More Likely to Acknowledge Other Points of View

New scholarship finds major differences in the way liberal and conservative bloggers argue their positions.



First-Born Children Are More Likely to Grow Up Into Conservatives

New research from Italy suggests the effect is independent of the ideology of one’s parents.



Did Fate Bring Us Together? Or Was It Our DNA?

New research finds genetic similarity between spouses.



Even Young People Are Skeptical of Information They Learn on Twitter

New research suggests they react to “facts” learned from a Twitter feed with some skepticism.

Quick Studies


What Does the Type of Computer You Use Actually Say About Your Personality?

Macs might be cool and exciting, but PC users just don’t care.



Mindfulness Training Produces Less-Stressed Marines

Marines who took an eight-week course in the basics of mindfulness recovered from stress faster following an intense training session that replicated battlefield conditions.



Even Slight Gender Ambiguity Is Costly to Female Candidates

New research finds women politicians whose faces are instantly categorized as female are more likely to win elections.



Time Waits for No Man, but It Feels That Way to the Powerful

New research finds having power increases the perception one has plenty of time.



Sense of Purpose Lengthens Life

New research finds having a purpose in life appears to be an excellent buffer against mortality risk across one’s adult years.



That Vacant House Down the Block Is Harming Your Health

New research from Massachusetts shows people living close to a vacant, foreclosed home tend to have higher blood pressure.



When Bad Things Are Noticed by Good Babies

New research suggests six-month-old infants display signs of a specific bias: The belief that bad outcomes are caused by someone, or something, as opposed to chance.

Quick Studies


This Mall Is Your Mall, This Mall Is My Mall

The psychological difference between shopping with a friend and shopping with a family member.



The Value of Unstructured Play Time for Kids

German psychologists find people who were allowed to play freely as children have greater social success as adults.

The Rest of the World


The 2 Cultures of China

The U.S. has red states and blue states. China has rice provinces and wheat provinces, and the profound differences between them provide evidence of how cultural assumptions arise.



Flower Power: A Rose by Any Other Name Gets You Bus Fare

New research from France suggests women are more likely to get monetary help from strangers if they’re wearing a flower in their hair.



Why Asian Americans Excel at Academics

New research suggests hard-driving “tiger moms” are just one factor.



The Eco-Unfriendly Appeal of a Lush Green Lawn

New research from Arizona finds we associate traditional, water-intensive landscaping with high social status.



Facebook, Twitter Usage Linked to Higher Divorce Rates

New research finds a correlation between marital dissatisfaction and social media usage.



New Data Finds High Rate of Hearing Loss Among Musicians

In Germany, professional musicians are nearly four times as likely as non-musicians to suffer noise-induced hearing loss.



The Ugliest Game of Telephone: The Way I Hear It, Our Enemies Are to Blame

New research suggests bias accumulates as stories get passed down from one person to another.



Frequent Liars Club

New research finds Brits fib a bit more than Americans, but that a small subset of the population tells most of the untruths in both countries.



The Unfortunate Lesson of Kony 2012: Nuance Diminishes Outrage

Research undertaken as a video about an African warlord went viral suggests such a film can inspire moral anger—so long as it sticks to an oversimplified message.



Leisure-Time Creative Endeavors Make for Better Employees

New research finds a link between off-hours creative activity and several measures of job performance.



When Things Look Dark, Country Music Gets Sunnier

New research finds socioeconomic conditions impact the type of songs that become hits, but in opposite ways for pop and country music.

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America’s Streams Are Awash With Pesticides Banned in Europe

You may have never heard of clothianidin, but it's probably in your local river.

How Textbooks Have Changed the Face of War

War is more personal, less glorious, and more hellish in modern textbooks than in the past. But there’s still room for improvement.

NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3-D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3-D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.

The Most Popular Ways to Share Good and Bad Personal News

Researchers rank the popularity of all of the different methods we have for telling people about our lives, from Facebook to face-to-face.

Do Not Tell Your Kids That Eating Vegetables Will Make Them Stronger

Instead, hand them over in silence. Or, market them as the most delicious snack known to mankind.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014

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