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Psychology

This category contains 88 posts

Let the music play: Music and anxiety

We are living in interesting times. With the threat of getting sick from Covid-19, which is enough to cause anxiety, we are also isolating and restricting our movements. I’ve noticed an upsurge on views on my post on exercise and mental health so I thought I would look into a related topic: music and anxiety. … Continue reading

Why are we all sharing pet photos right now?

I’m not willing to jump on some bandwagons. You won’t find me stockpiling toilet paper. I definitely won’t be buying a mask to wear which probably wouldn’t fit properly, would make me touch my face more, might give me a false sense of security as I rub my eyes after touching a door handle, and … Continue reading

How persuasive is your technology?

In the final week of Black History Month, I went looking for a Black researcher to profile and, thanks to Twitter and the hashtag BlackSTEM, I found Rita Orji, a Computer Science professor at Dalhousie University. So, today’s post is all about a review of the literature on persuasive technology for health and wellness by … Continue reading

(Not so) Mini post: Do you exercise to get positive outcomes or avoid negative ones?

Admittedly, this topic is big, multifaceted, and developing, so today’s post isn’t going to look at the entire field. I’m focusing on one paper by Hannan, Moffitt, Neumann, and Kemps (2018). I was inspired to investigate this because I kept coming up with reasons that I didn’t need to go do the run I planned … Continue reading

Bonus post: Mental health and exercise

This is an extra post this week in recognition of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day in Canada. I’m pretty diligent with my exercise and have been for most of my life. There have been times though when I’ve been criticized for this commitment. I distinctly remember one of my office mates during my PhD questioning me … Continue reading

Mini post: Keep a plant at your desk to reduce stress

There’s a lot of research about the benefits of being able to see trees outside of your window while you work (e.g., Kaplan, 1993) or while you recover from surgery (e.g., Ulrich, 1984) but what about having a small plant on your desk? Toyoda, Yokota, Barnes, and Kaneko (2019) conduced a research study in an … Continue reading

Pets and poinsettias

I was all prepped to update this post, but it turns out nothing has really changed. People still think that poinsettias are poisonous and sources that are seen as authorities in social media continue to propulgate the myth. But poinsettias are not poisonous. I added one additional reference at the start and left the original … Continue reading

Do you know what your dog is thinking?

I have cats and I often regret that I don’t know what they’re thinking. A cat’s face is more often than not completely inscrutable. Dogs, on the other hand, seem only too willing to share their emotions. Its hard not to think that we know what a dog’s expression means. But, some recent research indicates … Continue reading

The best of the available

I’ve taught evolution repeatedly. I talk about natural selection and how it doesn’t select for the best, it selects the best of what’s available. This isn’t a foreign concept to people. We do this consciously all the time. And yet, most of us still have trouble commiting to this piece of information. When we are … Continue reading

Living sustainably and well being

I have been using the SuperBetter app for the last few weeks. In it, you earn points (which you can do nothing with) by activating power ups (things like getting tasks done early or reaching out to a friend or family member). There are also quests to o and enemies to face. I won’t go … Continue reading

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