Valentine's Day Gift Giving (Photo courtesy of Ambro via freedigitialphotos.net) Psychology 

Psychology of Valentine’s Day Gifts

We don’t have to buy our loved ones cars on Valentine’s Day to show them how we feel, although car dealerships would love for us to believe otherwise! Since the 19th century, when it was considered bad luck for senders to sign their name on the valentine cards, the occasion is now marked with mass-produced greeting cards and seasonal advertising campaigns for increasingly expensive gifts. However, recent consumer research on gift giving from the University of Cincinnati suggests that if you want to buy someone a Valentine’s Day gift this…

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University of Vermont scientists Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth led a new Big Data study confirming that humans use more happy words than sad words. Psychology 

Preference for Positive, Happy Words

In 1969, two psychologists at the University of Illinois proposed what they called the Pollyanna Hypothesis–the idea that there is a universal human tendency to use positive, happy words more frequently than negative ones. “Humans tend to look on (and talk about) the bright side of life,” they wrote. That speculation has provoked debate ever since. Now, scientists at the University of Vermont have gathered a data set of billions of words to support the 1960s theory. People Use More Happy Words Than Sad Words The researchers collected samples of ten…

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Education Psychology 

Family Support Needed for Future Scientists

Family support makes all the difference in bringing up the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, according to researchers at George Mason University. The researchers say that support from family is the primary factor in encouraging children to consider a future a science, with formal education playing a secondary role.  The findings could shape public policy and encourage community-centered activities designed to foster a love of science. “We were surprised to learn that the family is more important than we ever thought in terms of igniting the passion of…

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