Psychology can reveal some crazy things that can surprise even the experts. In the last few years, a ton of insane psychological studies have been done by equally crazy researchers. But the craziest thing of all is that they’ve actually struck gold. These studies have revealed some of the most surprising facts in the world of psychology, and some of this new information is even disproving previously held beliefs. And the best part of all is that these facts, which will no doubt make you say “WTF…,” are about some of the things that everybody’s talking about right now. Things like love, sex, Facebook, the newest iPhone, and of course… Donald Trump.
12. Getting Old Isn’t So Bad
We all know that brainpower slowly diminishes as we age. This has been confirmed by many studies, including a recent one by Joshua K. Hartshorne and Laura T. Germine From The University of Harvard entitled “When Does Cognitive Functioning Peak? The Asynchronous Rise and Fall of Different Cognitive Abilities Across the Life Span.” But this study found out something new: that some of our thinking powers actually increase as we age.
While brain processing speed starts slowing down after we turn 18, and visual memory starts diminishing around 25, other abilities get better. Vocabulary skill and the ability to learn new words continues to increase past age 70. But one of the most interesting findings in this study was that our ability to read other people’s emotions isn’t even fully formed until we’re 40 years old! Not only that, but that ability continues to get better and better well into our 60’s. So that old notion of old people getting more and more stupid as they age isn’t entirely true, it’s more that young people and old people have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to brainpower.
11. Loneliness Hurts, Literally
Another amazing study has recently discovered that the emotion of loneliness does incredible harm on both our mind and body. The study, which was done in 2015 by Nancy J Donovan through the National Health Institute, sampled 8,300 adults over the age of 65. Every two years, they were surveyed, and at the beginning, 17% of them admitted they suffered from loneliness. Over the next 12 years, the researchers realized that the people who said they were suffering from loneliness were suffering from a 20% faster decrease in coginitive ability and brain function. A separate study showed that those who were suffering from loneliness had an almost 15% higher chance of dying prematurely. The lesson to be learned from all this? Have lots of friends, because if you don’t, you could get dumber, or even die! (At least that’s what the study suggests).
10. Facebook Will Make You Depressed
Everyone who is addicted to Facebook needs to listen up right now. A new study released in 2015 by the Palo Alto University and the University of Houston has discovered that increased Facebook usage is linked to depression. That’s right, the technology that is supposed to connect us with our friends is actually making us more lonely and depressed.
Why is this? According to the study, which was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, this is because people are comparing themselves to other people. In other words, Facebook turns our social life into a competition of who has the most friends and who is having the most fun. And apparently, that is making people depressed.
9. Your 14-Year-Old Self And 77-Year-Old Self Are Completely Different People
It turns out that your personality completely changes from age 14 to age 77. And by “completely,” I mean completely. Like 100% a totally different person. The study was released recently and was done by the University of Edinborough. Researchers found that the individuals who took a personality test at age 77 had nothing in common with their personalities from back when they were 14.
The study was one of the longest of its kind, ranging 63 years. Many people were alarmed when they heard about this, after all, losing your personality is like losing yourself, right? It may not be that big of a change. People have already been pointing out that personality is different from identity, and that measuring personality is actually pretty hard. The only way we know how to do it is by asking people how they would react in certain situations.
8. Having Sexual Fetishes Means You’re Healthy, Not “Sick-Minded”
People with weird sexual fetishes have long been considered mentally unstable or “weird.” But a new study that came out in 2013 suggests that those with sexual fetishes are actually mentally healthier than those who don’t. The study, which was released in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, has a lot of people rethinking sexual fetishes and kinks. 902 people who practiced BDSM were compared with 434 people who just had normal, vanilla sex. The results were surprising. Those who practiced BDSM were less neurotic, more open with their partners, and more sensitive and open to rejection. Not only that, but they seemed to be more secure in their relationships and were generally happier.
7. People Donate To Charity Because They Feel Guilty About Something
This one is hilarious. It turns out that one of the main reasons people do nice things for others is because they feel guilty about something. It’s surprising at first, but when you think about it, it totally makes sense. The results of this study were presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Alan Sanfey of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in the Netherlands.
They gave two people money, one more than the other. They lied and told both partners they had a certain amount of money, when in reality one partner had way more money than the researchers had revealed. Time and time again, the one with more money would give the other partner their fair share of the money, and MRI scans revealed that guilt played a major role in their decision to share the money. What this revealed is that people don’t donate money for “that warm fuzzy feeling,” they do it because they feel guilty about having more money than others.
8. Most People Wouldn’t Want To Know Their Future
A new study, published in 2017 through the well-known journal “Psychological Review” suggest that only 1% of people would actually want to know their future if given the chance. The study sampled over 2,000 people, and the resounding opinion was that they did not want to know what the future held for them. They were asked a series of questions, ranging from whether they wanted to know when or how they died, whether they were going to get divorced, or even the outcome of a sports match.
Almost everyone answered no, expect for one question: Whether they wanted to know if their child was going to be a boy or a girl. For that question, most people answered yes. This study confirmed the existence of “deliberate ignorance,” which is basically wishful thinking, or refusing to consider logic when faced with a decision.
5. Being Bullied Makes You Get Crappy Grades
A long-standing stereotype is that nerds get bullied, and even though they get teased, they get the last laugh by getting the best grades. But this just isn’t true. A new study published in 2017 through the Journal of Educational Psychology suggests that bullying results in declining grades. The study, which followed 383 Kindergarteners through their school years, found that the kids that were getting bullied were getting poorer grades. Not only that, but they were showing a disinterest in school, and decreased confidence levels. We’re just starting to understand the adverse effects of bullying, and much more needs to be done to stop it.
4. Liberals Are Breaking Record Stress Levels Because Of Trump
A new survey has shown that Americans are more stressed out than they’ve ever been before. And that’s no coincidence. It turns out that the most stressed out people in the US right now are liberals, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Every year, the American Psychological Association posts its annual Stress Survey of America. And 2017’s edition broke all existing record for stress levels.
They found out that liberals were the most stressed out people in America right now, and that “More than half of the more than 1,000 people surveyed (57%) said the current political climate was a very or somewhat significant source of stress.” In addition, “a full two-thirds of respondents to the survey said they are stressed out about the nation’s future.” The American Psychological Association has some hilarious advice for these people: “Limit time spent watching or listening to the news.”
3. Going For A Walk Could Be The Ultimate Way To Cure… Everything
Who would have thought that merely going for a walk could be so helpful to your mental health? A recent study released in 2016 by Iowa State University found that just 12 minutes of walking can increase one’s mood massively. Another study released by Stanford University in 2014 suggests that walking can increase creativity by up to 60%. Yet another study, released in 2010 by the University of Illinois suggests that walking can create more “sparks” and connection between neurons. A further study, released in 2009 in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology suggests that walking can actually improve memory.
2. iPhone Users Really Do Think They’re Better Than Everyone Else
In 2016, a psychological study was published by the University of Lincoln in cooperation with two other schools. What they were studying was something that’s become huge in recent years: the iPhone. The choice of whether a user chose Apple or Android revealed a lot about their personality. Dr. David Ellis of Lancaster University said,”In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that an individual’s choice of smartphone operating system can provide useful clues when it comes to predicting their personality and other individual characteristics.”
In other words, the smartphone has become an extension of ourselves, including our personality. The study found that iPhone users think that their phone represents their social and economic status, and are more self-conscious and extroverted. In addition, they also try to “look different.” On the positive side, they also tend to be more open and sensitive.
1. People Who Swear Are More Honest
People who swear all the time are not generally looked upon with much admiration, but it turns out they are actually some of the most honest people in existence. A new study done by the University of Cambridge, Maastricht University, Hong Kong university and Stanford suggests habitual swearing is linked with honesty. The study was massive, measuring 273 people in a lab, and a whopping 73,000 people on Facebook. The study will be published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, and its results are surprising. They found that people who swore were less likely to lie and deceive others.
They were also linked to higher integrity in larger groups such as their social network. According to one of the main researchers, David Stilwell of Cambridge, it all has to do with how we filter what we say: “The main thing we found is if you filter your language when speaking then you’re probably also filtering what you’re saying as well. You are less likely to be about what you think and more about what you think other people want to hear. Someone who does not filter their language, so swears, is more likely to be saying what they think to be true so are being more honest and genuine from their perspective.” The people who were tested said that they chose to swear because it “exposed their true self.”
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