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For Some, Worry Inspires Creativity

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

Between the Sheets


Casual Sex Is Actually Excellent for You, If You Love Casual Sex

New research suggests that not all casual sex is bad. For those legitimately interested, it can boost life satisfaction and self-esteem and lessen anxiety.

Boom & Bust


Boom & Bust: Why Get a Degree in Mental-Health Counseling If Your Field Might Fail You?

Now that we’re finally starting to recognize mental health as a serious problem in America, we need to put in place the structures necessary to support those willing to study—and treat—it. As part of our week-long series on booms and busts, Jamie Wiebe asks: If MHC is a booming field, where’s the boomtown?

Quick Studies


What Makes You Neurotic?

A new study gets to the root of our anxieties.

The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30


The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: The Crafty Artist Who Wants to Understand Human Vulnerability

For the month of April we’re profiling the individuals who made our inaugural list of the 30 top thinkers under 30, the young men and women we predict will have a serious impact on the social, political, and economic issues we cover every day here at Pacific Standard.

Quick Studies


Anxiety? There’s an App for That

“Gamifying” stress therapy might make treatment a lot more fun.

True Crime


Joining a Gang Makes People Sick

Seattle’s version of the 7 Up series reveals the long-term damage to adults who were in gangs as kids.



A Rose Would Not Smell as Sweet If You Were Agitated

The circuitry that controls emotions and smell is all tangled up in the brain.



‘Unprecedented Levels’ of Mental Illness Among Gang Members

Young men in gangs are disproportionately prone to anxiety disorders, psychosis.



There’s Nothing Cathartic About Expressing Anger

A new study of thousands out of Harvard Medical School can’t prove that angry outbursts lead to heart attacks, but it does link the two.



The Power of the Creative Arts

A recent analysis of past studies highlights the health benefits of music, dance, and art therapy, which are now being used to ease cancer-related anxiety and pain.



Anxiety, Depression High Among Young Heavy Metal Fans

New research suggests fans of Rage Against the Machine aren’t so much full of rage as full of anxiety.



Placebo Effect Produces Higher Test Scores

A new study finds it’s possible to trick people into doing better on a general-knowledge exam.



The Benefits of Bonding with a Musical Instrument

Scandinavian researchers report musicians who feel united with their instrument feel less performance anxiety.


Performance Anxiety? Take a Deep Breath

Australian researchers report deep breathing—with or without the help of biofeedback equipment—reduces musicians’ performance anxiety.


Eastern Philosophy Eases Death Anxiety

New research finds East Asians are more likely than Westerners to react to reminders of their mortality with a renewed commitment to enjoy life.


Peter Whybrow

Manic Nation: Dr. Peter Whybrow Says We’re Addicted to Stress

“The computer is electronic cocaine for many people,” says UCLA’s Peter Whybrow. “Our brains are wired for finding immediate reward.” Which is why we can’t stop.


Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty

Angry citizens, new research confirms, are motivated citizens. But they are not motivated to seek out new information. But anxious citizens do.


Self-Doubt May Help Improve Performance

New research finds that, under certain conditions, a dip in self-confidence can increase one’s performance level.


The Poisonous Proceeds of Penny-Pinching

Researchers report the shame evoked by miserly behavior may have negative long-term health consequences.


The Duet of Brain and Music

Two new studies of music and the brain give us insights into the mind of the improvising musician, and the conformist leanings of teenagers.


This Is a Mouse’s Brain on Prozac

How, exactly, do antidepressant drugs like Prozac affect the brain?


The Anxiety of Test Taking

The Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice at Stanford University just released a study on the effects of the California High School Exit Exam on graduation rates. About half of 50 U.S. states require students to take a similar test at the end of high school in order to graduate.


Help for Confused Buyers of Self-Help Books

Study finds that not all self-help books are created equal — some are pretty good.

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Don’t Text and Drive—Especially If You’re Old

A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

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