Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | February 24, 2012

Friday Five – February 24, 2012

I had a lot more options to choose from this week, but I did finally manage to select five links that I most wanted to share with you.

Once again, I have to apologize for my delay in getting this posted. There’s the typical part-way-into-the-semester plague making its way across campus, and I found myself fighting it off. Most evenings this week were spent getting the minimum necessary work done for the next day and then heading off to bed early. My head was so fuzzy yesterday that I’m not sure if I gave the most brilliant lecture on z-scores to my Statistics class or babbled random nonsense at them. I’m going with the brilliant lecture; it’s easier on my ego.

Anyway, here are this week’s links.

PSYBlog (Jeremy Dean) – February 21, 2012

This article discusses how the common “tells” that are supposed to indicate when a person is lying and how these tells aren’t really all that accurate.

Psychology Today: Happiness in this World (Alex Lickerman, M.D.) – February 19, 2012

This particular link came across Twitter as a reality check. I had just spent all day Monday frustrated at lots of little things and even more frustrated that I was letting this stuff get to me.

In his Happiness in this World blog for Psychology Today, Alex Lickerman explains that the trick to managing frustration may be distraction. Specifically, Lickerman suggests distracting ourselves by using gratitude.

I did eventually use gratitude to get out of my funk. A day spent teaching research methods and statistics also helped with the distraction.

PSYPost (Wiley-Blackwell) – February 21, 2012

Back when I was an undergraduate, I was involved in peer education. One of the things I was involved in was teaching the “party class” that my campus required of age students to attend before they were allowed to host an on-campus party that served alcohol. In this class we taught that one drink equals 1 12-oz bottle of beer, 1 6-oz. glass of wine, or a 1 oz. shot of hard alcohol. These are the guidelines by which the government and the health field set the standards for reasonable alcohol consumption.

It’s no surprise to me, or to anyone else who spends much time hearing the drinking stories of college students, that a study by de Visser and Birch (2011) found that young adults typical drinking behavior involves consuming much more alcohol than is sensible. It also found that young adults frequently underestimate how many “drinks” (using the above definition of a drink) they consume at one time.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the full article (currently available from Wiley Online Library).

PSYPost (Ohio State University) – February 23, 2012

For someone who does not have a phobia it is often hard to understand the phobic behavior of a person with a phobia. Case in point, my husband has a mild (and improving) phobia of “bees” (defined as any bee, hornet, or wasp) that took me many years to understand. “Bees” don’t bother me. In fact, I’ll let yellow jackets land on me and walk around. They’re just small little insects, no big deal, right?

Wrong! According to this link, a phobia of an object affects a person’s perception of the object. The study reported found that people with arachnophobia ( a fear of spiders) perceive spiders as larger than they actually are. The authors of the research posit that this inaccurate perception works to maintain the person’s fear.

The New York Times: Well (Gretchen Reynolds) – February 22, 2012

This link describes a study, albeit with rats, that demonstrates that regular exercise is not only good for the body, but is also good for the brain.



  1. The article “Lies: Why They Are So Hard To Detect” brings up a great point about how hard it is to actually tell when someone is lying or not. I know for a fact that even though I make it a point to not lie, I am very good at it and few people actually know that I am telling a lie. I also know from personal experience that I don’t have the obvious tells that other people supposedly have. I have never noticed the overarching tells that everyone conforms to and this article dissuades the notion that there are such overarching tells. I think it’s interesting because it breaks down what is obviously a common misconception.

    “How Exercise Fuels the Brain” was interesting because I never really thought about how my brain was getting fuel was playing tennis. I knew about the glucose, but it was interesting to hear that carbohydrates also played a role in energizing the brain during exercise. It definitely makes me rethink about what is best to eat right after a work out when you are trying to replenish the stores that your brain just used up.

  2. “Phobia’s effect on perception of feared object allows fear to persist”
    This article talks about why people suffer from Phobias. They did a test in which they had volunteered a few spider phobic people and they studied their reactions when they were revealed to the spiders. The article states that People with phobias will go out of their ways to try and avoid the things they are most afraid of.I find that to be common sense. I think everyone avoids everything they are afraid of. At least I do.

    “Lies: Why They Are So Hard to Detect”
    One thing i learned from this article is that “The best advice is to rely on your instincts. Overall, in the studies, people do better at detecting lies if they rely on their instincts rather than specific tells.” I couldn’t agree more with statement because as the article says, we’re not good at trying to figure out if someone is lying or not. I’m one that never lies, but there are times where a little white lies slip, and people believe me. It’s amazing how people believe the lies more than the truth.

  3. “Many young people don’t know what constitutes sensible alcohol consumption,” is an article that is very important to bring up. The authors of the study were able to make an essential point in that many young people are unaware of what truly constitutes one drink, and therefore when reporting on their drinking habits, it is likely that other studies are receiving false information. This is most likely due to the fact that many students do not actually know what the correct measurements are for each type of drink. Young people are not measuring each drink they pour and checking the amount inside. I would assume that many young people would consider a cup of any beverage to be one serving when, in truth, it could be twice or three times what the government would consider one drink to be.

    “How to Manage Frustration,” is a very enlightening article and uses many methods that I use in my life to deal with frustrating situations and/or people. It is true that those who we are around the most are the ones who will eventually get under our skin. However, it is a great point, that many people may not have thought of, that these people are in our lives because of the qualities that they have that we truly do like. In my personal life frustration with those who I am closest to is inevitable, though being a generally relaxed person, I prefer not to carry this stress and anger. By letting frustrations go and recalling why I am so close to the person who I am frustrated with, I am able to release this frustration and move on with life. I firmly believe that spending time being angry and frustrated is not the way to live life and therefore holding grudges against loved ones is very unhealthy for all caught up in the drama.

  4. •How to Manage Frustration
    I find it funny how this was posted this week because I have been frustrated beyond belief latley because of injuries that are causing me not to perform as well in lacrosse. Even though this article focuses on frustration in relationships, I still should take the advice given about graitude. Even though I am in pain while playing lacrosse, I should be grateful that I don’t have an injury that is preventing me from playing all together. This article was very helpful.

    •Many young people don’t know what constitutes sensible alcohol consumption
    There is no doubt a need for more and/or different alcohol education in schools and the media. However, in my opinion, it is not going to make a big difference. High school and college students plain and simple want to get “hammered.” A huge reason for this is because of the media and even family memebers. For example, there are numerous movies and tv shows about kids getting extremely drunk and nothing bad happening to them. Excessive drinking is glorified in movies and tv shows. Also, kids may have cousins for example that are out of college and turned out all right. They have nice jobs and are doing well for themselves even though they drank way too much in college. This will influence somebody to follow in their foot steps.

  5. “Why They Are So Hard To Detect”
    After reading this article I learned how difficult it can be to tell when an individual is lying. I thought we had nailed it with lie detector test. How accurate can those test detect a lie then? Over time we have gotten better to avoid the cues. I found very interesting how our state of being can affect our ability. When we are too tired, our posture and body language can give an impression of a possible lie.

    “Phobia’s effect on perception of feared object allows fear to persist”
    I really liked this article the best. Phobia is very interesting thing to investigate. The neat part of it is that it makes us see our fear much bigger than what they really are. It even makes us think that is much dangerous. This article really applies to me. I’m very afraid of butterflies. Yes the most beautiful, harmless creature. I see them as very annoying and disgusting. I do look very forward to overcome this fear at some point in life, just like I got over the fear of dogs.

  6. Many young people don’t know what constitutes sensible alcohol consumption

    This headline caught my attention immediately. I read the article and enjoyed ever word. It was something almost every college student can relate to. The survey was to see if students knew how much tolerable or sensible alcohol consumption was. The results did not surprise me. The results came back as many students, actually the majority of students believed that the sensible alcohol consumption was much larger than it originally is. I agree that more initiative needs to take place for further knowledge in the study of dangers of alcohol to college students.

    How to Manage Frustration

    This caught my eye. I think that every person deals with some kind of frustration, and quiet frankly, well its frustrating. It ruins my day. It is hard to deal with such a thing so i enjoyed reading this article. Frustration can cause problems in family and relationships. It stated the best way to deal with frustration is to look at all the positives in the person who is frustrating you. That is very helpful and i am glad i read this one.

  7. “Many Young People Don’t Know What Constitutes Sensible Alcohol Consumption”
    This article caught my eye because most of all college students do consume alcohol and don’t know the actual facts about it. The article didn’t have much to say about site effects and what can happen if you drink too much. But you should already know those effects if you are drinking in general. I think the study that this article is talking about does reach the point that, college students know more, but not a significant amount. If you abuse alcohol it can become an addiction and you will be harming your body which will soon cause damage later on in life. I believe that there should be more media in secondary schools about consuming alcohol. They young adults will see what can happen to you if you do get addicted and drink a large amount of alcohol.

    “Lies: Why They Are So Hard to Detect”
    As I read the title to this article it intrigued me greatly. I am a believer that if you lie not matter if it your first time or 100th time, you will get caught. It is hard to keep track of your lies if you keep lying to the one closes to you. Hartwig and Bond say that some clues to lying is fidgeting, postural shifts, head movement, gaze aversion and speech rate. But people who tend to lie a lot will make sure they master these techniques so when they do lie, they will not be caught. I think that some lies are okay as long as they are protecting someone for their own good, and if it is a little white lie in which it stops after it is told and won’t harm anyone. This article states that there is no real way to become a better lie detector, only for you to put the pieces together and go with your gut feeling. It is also based on trust, how well you trust the person and the situation. I liked reading this article because I was interested in seeing if there was a way you could become a better lie detector. Unfortunately there is not. Lying will always come back around to bite you in the butt.

  8. Many students really don’t take into account how much alcohol they consume. This mainly is just due to not caring at the time. Also many people always feel they can handle way more than suggested. This can also be a social thing in which students are subliminally peer pressured into drinking more than another person.

    Exercise can definitely give your brain a workout. Your increasing your blood flow which should make you think more and more efficiently. Many people while working out, listen to music which is stimulating the brain, and you can probably remember words to a song easier while working out than when you are not.

  9. -How Exercise Fuels the brain. This article strengthened my belief that exercising strengthens your brain as well as your body. In an experiment with adult male rats, scientists showed exactly how exercise enhances both thinking abilities and memory. The study was focused mainly on how astrocytes in the brain refueled neurons and where responsible for nourishing them during a workout with whatever amount of glycogen was available.
    – Lies:Why They Are So Hard To Detect. This article shows that the best way to lie detect is to go with your instincts. There are many cues that expose a person who is lying including thinking hard about a question, being uncooperative, and indifference. These aren’t always surefire ways of detecting a lie but certainly make the process a lot easier. I believe that everyone has their own way of detecting lies which are based upon how we lie ourselves, but obviously some people are extremely good at lying and those people probably don’t have a soul.

  10. In the article about “how to manage your frustration”it addresses some of the dangers of frustration. If frustration continued to build up, it could become overwhelming. It can be toxic in relationships which makes it uncomfortable to live in a life of annoyance or anger. We must feel good about ourself to overcome the feelings of frustration. This helps to better ourselves and our relationships.
    In the article “How exercise fuels the brain” the brain is responsible for a lot of things. The brain helps us think, move, and do anything it is we need to get done. Since the brain is like the power house of our bodies it has its own energy source as well. Researcher in the article has found that glycogen helps us maintain energy levels in our body. They state that if we continue to stay active from strenuous workouts or practices , a bottle of water might be the nourishment you need to increase glycogen levels to reserve back up energy and nutrients for the body.

  11. Lies, why are they so hard to detect?
    This was a great article! i find a lot of interest in this article being in that i am a criminal justice major and an avid poker player. Your always seeing on t.v and movies the secret way to tell if someone is lying. It is nice to see an actual study done to see how easy it really is to tell. I have heard countless times that when someone looks to the left they are accessing the creative side of the brain, opposed to when someone looks right and is using the memory side. after trying this countless times in poker games and loosing i had started to think i was just a bad lie detector. Its good to know that it is much harder then that, and that numerous unconsidered variables could be to blame. From now on i will be going with my gut! Not that i think that will help me win anymore 🙂

    How to manage frustration:
    This is the best article i have read yet this semester! I feel as though this article can help everyone in one way or another. Frustration is a natural feeling that everyone feels at times and it is a feeling that can lead to two people who really care for each other, slowly pushing each other away. I personally have lived with quite a few friends and girlfriends in my past. No matter how close of friends or how much in love , being around any one person for extended periods of time especially in close quarters leads to frustration with that person. At the time the frustration seems legitimate and nothing else matters, but after the situation has fizzled out both parties are left resenting one another. Even if its the smallest petty thing it can build up to a point in which you forget about all the good the person does. Leading to a boiling point in which it is all thrown away, and both parties soon realize after how petty it was and how much good the person truly did bring. Great article i feel as though this could be very beneficial to erveyone.

  12. “Many young people don’t know what constitutes sensible alcohol consumption”
    This article is so true, because as a young person myself, and in college, I am surrounded by alcohol and people getting drunk all the time. But most people drink with the intentions of getting wasted, and consuming more then what the government limits. I think this article should have provided more information on the effects of alcohol.

    Lies: Why They Are So Hard to Detect
    I think the article is very interesting, although I think its kind of contradictory how they say that someone may be lying if they look like they aren’t thinking too hard, but they may be lying if they look like they are thinking too hard. I think characteristics of lying depend on the individual person.

  13. Lies: Why They Are So Hard to Detect
    One thing i learned from this article is that “The best advice is to rely on your instincts. Overall, in the studies, people do better at detecting lies if they rely on their instincts rather than specific tells.” I couldn’t agree more with statement because as the article says, we’re not good at trying to figure out if someone is lying or not. I’m one that never lies, but there are times where a little white lies slip, and people believe me. It’s amazing how people believe the lies more than the truth.

    In the article “How exercise fuels the brain” the brain is responsible for a lot of things. The brain helps us think, move, and do anything it is we need to get done. Since the brain is like the power house of our bodies it has its own energy source as well. Researcher in the article has found that glycogen helps us maintain energy levels in our body.

  14. […] (or their friends’) drinking behavior in terms of this post (and in light of the link from February 24th about sensible alcohol consumption among college students). The post discusses the grey area […]


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