The psychology of clutter, envy and spotting lies
9 new studies on health, parenting and work are freely available
By Elisa Nelissen Posted on 14 April 2016
This month, the Elsevier Newsroom is featuring research studies about psychology.
The listing is part of the Elsevier Research Selection (ERS), an email developed by the Elsevier Newsroom spotlighting interesting, topical research articles for health and science journalists. The research included is peer reviewed, has not been press-released or covered in the media, and is not embargoed.
Articles are available to credentialed journalists through free access to ScienceDirect, the world's largest repository of full-text scientific information.
In addition, Elsevier has made these articles freely available to the public until July 12, 2016.
Eight ways you may be at risk for social media addiction
The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey
Addictive Behaviors | doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.006
Social media is playing an increasing role in people’s social lives and social interactions and young people especially are accustomed to being constantly ‘online’. Recent research published in Addictive Behaviors has investigated whether demographics and dispositional traits are associated with addictive social media use. After controlling for all other variables in the equation, findings suggest that low self-esteem has the strongest effect on the likelihood of developing social media addiction, followed by being a woman, narcissism and lower age.
Over-confident parents can’t spot their own children’s lies
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology | doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2016.02.011
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology reveals that parents’ belief in their own children’s honesty may seriously hamper their ability to identify a lie. Researchers asked parents to watch videos of their own children and judge if their child was telling the truth. The videos were also shown to other parents, and to non-parents. All participants were highly confident in their truth-detection abilities, but no group performed better than chance. Parents watching videos of their own children were significantly worse than the other groups at detecting lies and significantly better than other groups at detecting the truth. The researchers suggest this is caused by a ‘truth bias’ – a parental assumption that their own children don’t tell lies.
For a happy home, less is more
Journal of Environmental Psychology | doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.03.003
Does the idea of home conjure up feelings of coziness and comfort? Self-identification of one’s home can contribute to people’s wellbeing. According to research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, chaotic and disorderly living spaces (often caused by the abundance of possessions, or clutter) have a negative impact on perception of what is ‘home’ and on psychological wellbeing. Moreover, findings suggest that people take for granted the comfortable everyday experience of ‘at-homeness’ until clutter and disorganization erode their ability to find things, move safely throughout their home, and use spaces as intended.
Drive safely: people on board
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour | doi:10.1016/j.trf.2016.02.008
Car sharing seems to have more benefits than helping to combat congestion and reducing CO2 emissions. Based on social facility theory (the idea that people change their behaviour in others’ presence), a study published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour suggests that having passengers in the car mitigates unsafe traffic behaviour. Findings show that for both men and women, old and young, drivers who were alone committed more traffic offences than those who were accompanied by passengers. Indeed, findings also demonstrated that when children were among the passengers, drivers at all ages were more cautious, suggesting that drivers feel a heightened sense of responsibility for them.
Impulsiveness does not make adolescents more likely to rush to the rescue
Learning and Individual Differences | doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2016.03.003
Cyberbullying is an aggressive intentional act by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend themselves. Researchers writing in Learning and Individual Differences have, for the first time, established a link between impulsiveness and adolescent responses to witnessing cyberbullying. A study of 2,309 pupils, aged 9-17, revealed that the more impulsive a ‘cyberbystander’, the less likely they would help victims of cyberbullying. The authors suggest that intervening to help a victim may require self-regulation and reflection, not impulsiveness. These findings could be used to develop more effective anti-cyberbullying programmes.
This counter-intuitive trick will help you love your job
Human Resource Management Review | doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2016.03.003
A paper in Human Resource Management Review is the first to examine the role of positive illusions in the workplace. A positive illusion is formed when a person is convinced, often unconsciously, that something is better than it objectively appears. Employees who hold this cognitive bias are better at withstanding organizational shocks, such as mass redundancies; often rationalizing such events as a ‘silver lining’ or blessing in disguise. The researchers propose that organizations seek to foster employees’ positive illusions as this benefits both the employee and employer. Counter-intuitively, attempts to be more open with employees might actually shatter their positive illusions.
Education envy and its impact on our happiness
Economics of Education Review | doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2016.02.005
A growing body of literature suggests that the extent to which people feel happy with their lives depends, at least partially, on how they compare to those around them. Much of this literature, however, has focused on the relative effect of income on happiness. Research published in Economics of Education Review suggests that education is also used as a benchmark for comparison. The study found that those who were less educated than others in the group experienced lower levels of happiness, although more educated people were less affected by the social comparison.
Laughter yoga improves wellbeing for Parkinson’s sufferers and their carers
Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing | doi:10.1016/j.explore.2016.02.005
Laughter yoga is a practice which includes self-induced laughter, relaxation techniques and yogic breathing. New research published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing investigated the impact of a 45 minute session on adults with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. Both parties experienced significant improvements in wellbeing, suggesting that the unique technique can provide support and help to address the low-mood conditions often experienced by those with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.
Online programs improve access to effective treatment for depression and anxiety
An Online Mental Health and Wellness Intervention Supplementing Standard Care of Depression and Anxiety
Archives of Psychiatric Nursing | doi:10.1016/j.apnu.2016.03.003
Depression and anxiety are highly prevalent conditions and are typically treated with a combination of medication, psychotherapy, or face-to-face healthcare appointments. There is often a shortage of available appointments and trained providers which can delay treatment. Now, research published in Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, and conducted within a large healthcare system, shows that online interventions can successfully reduce rates of depression and anxiety, expanding the availability of treatment options and, potentially, access to care.
Elsevier Connect Contributor
Elisa Nelissen recently graduated from a Master's degree in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, with a specialization in Publishing Studies. After an internship with Elsevier’s Corporate Responsibility program in 2014, she is now a Press Officer for the Elsevier Newsroom.