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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

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.

Findings

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.

Findings

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.

Findings

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.

Findings

shared-suffering

The Bonding Power of Shared Suffering

Australian researchers find sharing painful experiences creates feelings of solidarity.

Findings

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.

Findings

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.

Findings

restaurant-tip

Black Restaurant Servers Get Smaller Tips

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

Findings

music-lessons-kid

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.

Findings

tv

Television and Overeating: What We Watch Matters

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

Findings

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.

Findings

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.

Findings

marching-step

Marching in Sync May Increase Aggression

Another danger of militarizing the police: Marching in lock step doesn’t just intimidate opponents. It impacts the mindset of the marchers.

Findings

jersey-shore-cast

Of Course I Behaved Like a Jerk, I Was Just Watching ‘Jersey Shore’

Researchers find watching certain types of reality TV can make viewers more aggressive.

Findings

madden-nfl-15

The Positive Effects of Sports-Themed Video Games

New research finds sports-themed video games actually encourage some kids to get onto the field.

Findings

aerial-suburb

Mister Rogers’ Heart-Healthy Neighborhood

Researchers find living in a friendly, cohesive neighborhood lowers seniors’ chances of having a heart attack.

Findings

dating-partners

Poached Partners Make Unreliable Mates

New research finds relationships that begin when one person coaxes another to leave his or her partner aren’t very stable or satisfactory.

Findings

vegetables-tom-yum

Broccoli Eaters Get More Out of Life

New research finds a link between eating fruits and vegetables and experiencing a greater sense of meaning.

Findings

sexual-paradox

The Painful Paradox of Coercive Sexuality

A new study of sexually active British teens reveals disturbing narratives about anal sex.

Findings

twist-and-shout

Bouncing to the Beatles Breeds Benevolent Babies

Canadian researchers find synchronized movement to music can inspire altruism in 14-month-old infants.

Findings

sugar-cubes

The Persuasive Power of the Sugar Cube Pyramid

New research finds a simple visual aid depicting the amount of sugar in a soft drink can prompt people to make smarter beverage choices.

Findings

im-conversation

Stop Making Sense? Many of Us Wouldn’t Even Notice

Researchers find many people fail to pick up on the fact an instant-messaging chat they are engaged in has turned incoherent.

Findings

scientific-progress

Faith in Scientific Progress Decreases Eco-Friendly Behavior

A new study finds affirming belief in scientific progress appears to reduce the likelihood of acting in environmentally responsible ways.

Findings

bass-guitar

Want to Feel Powerful? Pump Up the Bass

New research finds listening to certain types of music can increase one’s feelings of power, which can in turn influence thinking and behavior.

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Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder, Your Friends Like You

The first study of friends' perceptions suggest they know something's off with their pals but like them just the same.

Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.

How Old Brains Learn New Tricks

A new study shows that the neural plasticity needed for learning doesn't vanish as we age—it just moves.

Ethnic Diversity Deflates Market Bubbles

But it's not in the rainbow and sing-along way you'd hope for. We just don't trust outsiders' judgments.

Online Brain Exercises Are Probably Useless

Even under the guidance of a specialist trainer, computer-based brain exercises have only modest benefits, a new analysis shows.

The Big One

One company, Comcast, will control up to 40 percent of Internet service coverage in the U.S., and 19 of the top 20 cable markets, if a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is approved by regulators. November/December 2014

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