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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

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.

Findings

king-lear

‘Relatable’ Indeed: Fictional Stories Are More Moving Than We Predict

New research finds people mistakenly believe real-life stories will be more emotionally gripping than those that are the products of an author’s imagination.

Findings

gta-iii

Violent Video Game Play Triggers Risky Real-World Behavior for Teens

A large new study links the playing of violent video games among teens with not only increased aggression, but also smoking and drinking.

Findings

segregation-beach

The Idea of Racial Hierarchy Remains Entrenched in Americans’ Psyches

New research finds white faces are most closely associated with positive thoughts and feelings.

Findings

er-show

Medical Dramas Produce Misinformed, Fatalistic Viewers

New research suggests TV doctor dramas leave viewers with skewed impressions of important health-related topics.

Findings

payroll-wages

The Declining Wage Gap for Gay Men

New research finds gay men in America are rapidly catching up with straight married men in terms of wages.

Findings

harry-potter-quidditch

Harry Potter and the Battle Against Bigotry

Kids who identify with the hero of J.K. Rowling’s popular fantasy novels hold more open-minded attitudes toward immigrants and gays.

Findings

pro-environment

A Belief in ‘Oneness’ Is Equated With Pro-Environment Behavior

New research finds a link between concern for the environment and belief in the concept of universal interconnectedness.

Findings

conversation-bubbles

Men Find Caring, Understanding Responses Sexy. Women, Not So Much

For women looking to attract a man, there are advantages to being a caring conversationalist. But new research finds it doesn’t work the other way around.

Findings

stereotypes

How Stereotypes Take Shape

New research from Scotland finds they’re an unfortunate product of the way we process and share information.

Findings

nike-airflex

The Surprising Appeal of Products That Require Effort to Use

New research finds they enable consumers to re-establish a feeling that they’re in control of their lives.

Findings

aging-vector

New Evidence That Blacks Are Aging Faster Than Whites

A large study finds American blacks are, biologically, three years older than their white chronological counterparts.

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.

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Politicians Really Aren’t Better Decision Makers

Politicians took part in a classic choice experiment but failed to do better than the rest of us.

Earliest High-Altitude Settlements Found in Peru

Discovery suggests humans adapted to high altitude faster than previously thought.

My Politicians Are Better Looking Than Yours

A new study finds we judge the cover by the book—or at least the party.

That Cigarette Would Make a Great Water Filter

Clean out the ashtray, add some aluminum oxide, and you've (almost) got yourself a low-cost way to remove arsenic from drinking water.

Love and Hate in Israel and Palestine

Psychologists find that parties to a conflict think they're motivated by love while their enemies are motivated by hate.

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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