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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.


Computers See Human Pain Better Than You

A new study reveals that expression recognition software performs way better than humans at discriminating between real and fake emotion.

robo eyes

A History of Humans Loving Inanimate Objects

While the idea of a person falling in love with the Eiffel Tower might seem like a relatively new one, it’s a kind of affection that’s been around forever.


For Some, Sad Music Can Bring Happiness

New research suggests that music can lift you out of a funk—if you can truly immerse yourself in its beauty.


Dim the Lights, Dampen Your Emotions

New research suggests bright lighting intensifies both positive and negative feelings.


The Emotional Outsourcing of the Greeting Card

Is it a kind of cheating to give someone a pre-made greeting card?


Literary Fiction Helps Us Read People

New research suggests reading literature increases our ability to pick up on the subjective states of others.


The Heightened Sensitivity of Romance Readers

New research finds people who read romantic fiction are good at picking up subtle facial clues revealing a person’s emotional state.


Brain Activity Provides Window to the Emotions

Carnegie Mellon researchers have identified distinct patterns of brain activity linked to specific emotions.


What’s That Thing Where You Feel That Thing and It Makes That Other Thing Happen?

The Emotionary is trying to answer that question.


How Positive Emotions Lead to Better Health

New research suggests that meditation or any other mood-enhancing activity can serve as a nutrient for the human body.

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Quick Studies

When a Romance Is Threatened, People Rebound With God

And when they feel God might reject them, they buddy up to their partner.

How Can We Protect Open Ocean That Does Not Yet Exist?

As global warming melts ice and ushers in a wave of commercial activity in the Arctic, scientists are thinking about how to protect environments of the future.

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

Pollution’s Racial Divides

When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hunger and Low Blood Sugar Can Spur Domestic Quarrels

In an experiment, scientists found a correlation between low blood glucose and higher levels of spousal frustration.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014