Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | September 7, 2012

Friday Five – September 7, 2012

As I commented in my previous post, it’s the start of a new semester. This means the return of regular posts. What can I say, my students keep me motivated. If I’m just posting for myself, I don’t seem to follow through. Require my students to read my blog, and I’m motivated to keep them from yelling at me.

For those of you new to this blog, the point of Friday Five posts is to share with you some links I found of particular interest in the past week. Most of these links are items I retweeted during the week on Twitter (@ae_stuart).

Without further delay, here are this week’s links.

Psychology Today: You, Illuminated (Joshua Gowin) – August 8, 2011

Although this post was originally made over a year ago, it was recently retweeted by Psychology Today.

If you are new to psychology, you may think it’s all about “crazy” people. As the title of my blog states, psychology is about a lot more than “crazy”. In fact, if you’re out to make money in your career, you’ll have a lot more success taking the principles of psychology over to business than trying to go into private practice as a clinician. Marketing and management are really just applied psychology.

In his post, Joshua Gowin shares what McDonald’s (and others) know about human behavior and thought processes and how they use that knowledge to make money off of us.

Daily Mail Online (Fiona Macrae) – August 1, 2012

In her column, Fiona Macrae describes research demonstrating that the more people drink, the more they believe they are attractive. Kind of a self-focused beer-goggles effect.

Beyond the interesting research described, I selected this column for additional reasons. There is a wide variety of quality of reporting on scientific research, some is better than others. No where in her column does Ms. Macrae state who are the specific authors of the study. She does mention a study in the Journal of Individual Differences, so I went to the journal’s site and tried to find the original study. No luck. It took me a little additional web searching to figure out what study Ms. Macrae was specifically referring to. In my searching, I found a post on BPS Research Digest that describes similar findings and cites two studies. From this post, and the abstracts to the two studies referenced, it seems that Ms. Macrae is primarily describing the Begue et al. (2012) study from British Journal of Psychology, but is merging details with the Uusberg et al. (2012) study in the Journal of Individual Differences.

So, if you’re hearing about research through the popular media, don’t automatically accept it at face value. While it may be mostly accurate, it may be misleading due to lack of details. Put your critical thinking skills to work, sharpen those Google skills, and go find out more.

Psychology Today: Life Gets Better (Wendy Lustbater) – August 30, 2012

Students, don’t lose hope! While she states that our 20s are some of our hardest years, the point of Wendy Lustbater’s post is that things will get better. Yeah, right you may be thinking to yourselves. It’s true. Right now, you have your entire future ahead, and that future can seem daunting. You may be thinking that you have to decide NOW what you’ll do for the rest of your life, or you’ll have screwed up your future. Guess what? On average, you still have another three lifetimes (based on your current life experience of 20 years) or more left to live. What’s even better, you don’t need to waste the first 18 years of those lifetimes becoming an adult human being. So, don’t fret too much about things you do now wrecking your future. You have a lot of future. Also, you may decide in another 20 years (when you’re looking at 40 much like I currently am) that you’re ready to try out something new that you never imagined at 20.

Scientopia: Neurotic Physiology (Scicurious) – August 31, 2012

I love the stuff Scicurious shares on Twitter, and on Fridays she shares some weird studies in science. This link is actually to last week’s Weird Science post (which is actually a repost of a 2009 post about at 2001 study – follow that?). This week’s post is about the sun-blocking properties of beards.

Anyhow, Scicurious shares a study from the British Journal of Plastic Surgery about a 27-year-old male who seriously injured his finger while trying to remove a bra from his romantic partner. Read the post, the injury sounds ouchy.

So, not only is it likely this guy will never stop being the laughing stock of his friends, he also gets to live on in anonymous perpetuity in the archives of medical publications.

Psych Central: World of Psychology (John M. Grohol) – September 5, 2012

Starting a new semester, or at a new school, may mean new romantic relationships. John Grohol gives tips on things to do (or not do) in order to make these new relationships as successful as possible. They aren’t guarantees that the relationship will be successful – some people just aren’t meant to be together.



  1. The two articles i chose to read were, “Things McDonald’s knows about your brain” and “The bra strap injury”

    I found the McDonalds article very interesting because my major is business and what McDonalds is doing is using the functions of the brain to make extraordinary amounts of money. McDonalds executives use psychology to make people who eat there food addicted to it, and keep them coming back over and over again. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with doing this, if people truly have that little self control and can be that easily manipulated than so be it. McDonald’s has made a billion dollar corporation off of the way the brain works, and the only thing i can say is that i wish i had come up with this idea first.

    The bra injury i found slightly odd because i have never in my life heard of someone injuring themselves removing a harmless bra. Even after reading i don’t quite understand how this injury occurs, but i have personally never experienced this phenomonon but i guess it must be a real injury. The author of the article seems like a real bra releasing pro, and for someone who has suffered from this injury, they would find it very helpful.

    I have never previously taken a psychology class but i can already tell i am going to find the study of the brain very interesting and i am looking forward to learning more.

  2. The two articles I chose to read were, “Seven Things McDonald’s Knows About Your Brain” and “Drinking Makes You Think You’re Sexy”.

    Upon reading the article regarding McDonald’s, I was shocked, disturbed and impressed. The fact that McDonald’s and other large businesses are using psychology as a manipulative tool to “brainwash” or control customers decisions is both immoral and brilliant. While the plot of using a customers own brain to make a profit is a scary concept, it also opens a gateway of marketing opportunity. However this idea is almost crossing the line in to stealing. Even though most customers argue that they have self-control over their health and eating decisions, in reality they have lost it. When a company takes away personal decisions and profits from those decisions, true psychology is at work.

    The second article I read was “Drinking Makes You Think You’re Sexy”. This article was both humorous and informative. I found it funny that even the slightest intake of alcohol can alter ones perception of self-image. Along with being comical this article was also very informative. Even though the article was based on a topic that was unimportant, it opened up the doors to the troubles of alcohol. If after only a small amount of alcohol one distorts self-image, there is no telling what could happen when unsafe amounts of alcohol are consumed

    • The two articles I found most interesting were “Seven Things McDonald’s Knows About Your Brain” and “Drinking Makes You Think You’re Sexy”.

      These articles fit in with the life that students are living here at AIC. I was very impressed with McDonalds after reading all about their use of psychology and how they use psychology to their advantage and use it to make a huge profit. I find myself thinking about how brilliant it is that they trick people into eating things. “Drinking Makes you think You’re sexy” was quite humorous to me, have you ever heard the expression ” Johnnies got his beer goggles on? ” This article reminded me of that expression however it was backwards. That expression meeans that someone finds someone else attractive who isnt. Alcohol does make you think that you are more attractive than you actually are. Through your bloodshot eyes anything looks attractive. This article however goes to show us how people often drink way too much and it is unhealthy really.

  3. The articles i read were “5 things not to do in your new relationship” and “Why the drink(or even the thought of one) makes us feel more attracive then we really are.”

    Reading “5 things not to do in your new relationship” was actually informative. When starting a new relationship people tend to rush everything and want that five year love in a week. Also I honestly think it was funny when i saw number 3 it talked about communication. Everytime someone says something the other person doesnt like they stop talking about it.

    “Why the drink (or even the thought of one) makes us feel more attractive then we really are was a really good read. The fact that they lied to half the people with non-alcoholic drinks they thought they were feeling alcohol was funny personally because this happened to my older sister. When drinks are involved people tend to think less and act all sorts of ways.

    These articles were really interesting to read and I enjoyed them.

  4. The two articles I read were, “Seven Things McDonald’s Knows About Your Brain” and “The 20s: Our Hardest Years”.

    When I read the article pertaining to McDonald’s, I was amazed by two things: how little self-discipline people have and how McDonald’s has perfected it’s craft over the years. McDonald’s has been able to improve their business by using the weaknesses and addictions of people, which is masterful. Some people argue that it might be morally wrong to control people’s actions like McDonald’s does, but aren’t we just as wrong for feeding their business with every Big Mac or McNugget we eat. Controlling how millions of people eat shows that the fast food business requires a lot of psychological studies to be successful.

    The second article I dealt with was about living through all the problems that go along with being in your 20’s. The whole article was a crude reminder of all the issues we will face as we get older. The first sentence sums up the whole article; “No one beyond their youth wants to be in their twenties again.” As a teenager, there is no day you look forward to more than the day you become 21. You are able to do whatever you want. The reality of the situation isn’t as bright as it seems. All the problems you face and how you deal with them are more vital than ever before because there’s no one to hold your hand if you screw up. Complete freedom = complete responsibility. On the bright side, people in their 20’s will learn a lot from their mistakes and use it to enjoy the rest of their lives.

  5. The first article that I read was “The Bra strap injury” article. After reading that article I found it funny how the male got injured just by trying to remove the bra off a women. I also found it funny how the author of the article was making jokes about the injured male by giving steps on how to properly undo a women’s bra strap. I still find it very weird on how he hurt his middle finger in that section showed in the picture circled in the article. Anything is really possible after reading this odd article.

    The second article that I chose was “5 things not to Do in your New Relationship.” This article caught my attention when i scrolled down the links and i already knew I was going to be interested. After reading the article I can honestly say that I totally agree with the author. This article should be suggested to many people so they can be aware of what not to do in a relationship because its very helpful. I already knew these steps but I don’t think I could summarize like the author summarized it.

  6. The two articles that caught my eye and was very interesting were “Friday Weird Science: The Bra Strap Injury” and “Five Things Not to Do in Your New Relationship.”

    Just the title alone for the bra strap injury is Hilarious. I don’t understand how someone can become seriously injured from trying to undo a bra. The crazy part about it is that the 27 year old male tore his whole ligament off his finger and had to get plastic surgery done to repair it. On top of that go to therapy, and yet he didn’t regain function for 6 weeks. All because of a harmful little bra strap funny but sad. To make things worst the author gave readers steps on how to undo a bra properly. If I was the 27 year old male I would have felt embarrassed to tell a doctor what happen and made up a lie and say I injured it playing football and save the embarrassment.

    The relationship article was very helpful interesting and very true. who ever wrote this article I give them two thumbs up because this article makes so much since. My favorite step was step four “Don’t just become what the other person wants” I agree with this step 100 % why change yourself for someone when being yourself help get the relationship started. If that’s the case then there shouldn’t have been a relationship in the first place. All around a great article I would recommend this article to whoever is starting a new relationship.

  7. The two articles that i read were “Drinking makes you think your sexy” and “5 things not to do in your new relationship”

    The first article was something different for me because i dont drink but i have experienced this situation.I really dont understand why people act different when they drink its not like its a some type of drug. I think its just that some people dont have enough self respect. Some people have to do this type of thing so they can seem cool in front of their friends.

    The second article was a good one for mr because i have recently gotten into a relationship and this type of thing mat help me make it a long lasting relationship. Some of the relationships i see now a days they are always doing the samething and its always the girl who breaks up with the guy after a few months because they are bored and thats what causes them to end the relationship.

    Both of these articles were very good I enjoyed reading them.

  8. The two articles I chose to read were, “Drinking Makes You Think You’re Sexy”, and “The 20s: The Hardest Years”

    After reading the drinking article, I found this article to be very informative to the general public. This article I believe is directed straight to teens today. Some teens believe if they drink alcohol it makes them cool. It’s really humorous how the slightest dose of alcohol can change a person’s perspective of them selves. If someone had a high dose of alcohol, the person probably couldn’t even identify themselves.

    The age article really defines Americans today. You are said to make the most mistakes during your 20s. During your early 20s, you are just barely figuring out who you are. You are making the biggest mistakes in your life and you’re learning from them. In the article, many would agree that the mistakes we make creates the paths we walk on.

  9. The Drinking Makes You Think You’re Sexy article is very interesting and I believe it to be completely true. I agree that when alcohol is consumed you think of yourself to be more attractive. My own opinion is because I think when you drink, you become more confident and just let loose. When people are sober, thoughts of themselves are more clear and we think more about what people think of us and our flaws. Drinking I think makes you forget about all of that and actually feel good about yourself. Its kind of just like why alcoholics drink. They are usually not happy with themselves or something in their life so they drink to not feel the insecurities. Also we all know that drinking alters our perception too, so that is also why. This article is very intriguing and makes complete sense.

    I really enjoyed reading the article about the 5 things not to so in a new relationship. Towards the middle of my senior year i got into a relationship and i can completely relate to this article. I was naive and gave up everything for my boyfriend.I never hung out with my friends and I only wanted to be with him. I also changed who I was completely to make him happy. I wasn’t being myself and it changed me. I always seemed happy to everyone else but i wasn’t inside. I didn’t want to end things because I was in love with the thought of being “in love.” This article definitely related to me and I really enjoyed reading it. I agree with this article and its because I went through it. I now know to be myself and if the guy I’m with doesn’t like me then he obviously isn’t the right guy for me. People should always stay true to themselves.

    Email: Name:Brittney G

  10. I read “7 Things McDonald’s Knows About Your Brain” and “5 Things Not to Do in Your New Relationship”.

    The first one about McDonald’s was very interesting and true. They said one of the reasons why we go to McDonalds is because of the speed of the process of the food. People do no like wasting time so fast food makes it a much more appealing process. I also agreed with the idea that our brain likes the brands. It is true because if someone has the option to choose a small, local fast food place and mcdonalds, people will choose mcdonalds just because of the name. I thought it was interesting that sugar is addictive so mcdonalds puts it in pretty much everything just to have people come back, because they are risking health for money.

    The second article about relationships was actually pretty funny. It was sort of hypocritical because it said “don’t rush things” then followed up by saying “don’t hold back”. I just thought that was funny because they are complete opposites. I also thought it was funny how it said “don’t be lazy”. Laziness effects relationships a lot according to this article. The most important tip I saw was “don’t become what the other person wants”. This is the mistake most people make because they end up lying and doing things just because the other person wanted to, even though they have no desire. All these tips were pretty useful and they all are common mistakes made by men and women.

    Both articles were very interesting and I actually found them quite informative and funny.

  11. The two articles that I read were why drinking makes people feel more attractive and “Friday Weird Sciene: The Bra Strap Injury”.

    The first article about drinking made a lot of sense to me. People feel more attractive when drinking because they want others to see them more attractive and fitting in. It seems logical because drinking is seen more as a trend now. So people think they look better when consuming or even just holding a beer or some type of alcohol.

    The second article made me laugh and it was very interesting. I found it funny that a twenty seven year old man injured himself while trying to remove a bra. You would think someone of his age would have more experience taking off bras. I really enjoyed that the author gave tips on how to remove a bra. It was humerous and scientific because he did damage to his finger by doing something so simple and minor, such as removing a woman’s bra.

    I enjoyed reading both the articles. They were interesting.

  12. The two articles I read were ” Why the drink(or even the thought of one) makes us feel more attractive than we really are” and “7 Things Mcdonald’s knows about your brain”.

    The article ” why the drink(or even the thought of one) makes us feel more attractive than we really are” was extremely interesting and ironic. Its more ironic than anything because it was so pain stakingly true, but the reason for this in my opinion is the fact that when people consume alcohol it releases the stress of being nervous/ shy and really helps build up your confidence. Compared to when people are sober, they are bothered by insecuritys, self seen flaws, etc, and the alcohol helps the person who consumes the alcohol relax and merely overlook those insecuritys and flaws.

    The second article I read was ” 7 things Mcdonald’s knows about your brain”. This article accually surprised me, I never put into prospective what big time chain resturaunts do to reel in there customers. It became apparent to me that they basically manipulate the consumers, by making all of there foods containing high counts of addictive sugar, and using attractive sway us into purchasing there food. I thought those two detail were very interesting.

    The two articles I read were both very eye opening and interesting. I enjoyed reading both!

  13. The articles I read were “7 things Mcdonald’s knows about your brain” and the article that talks about how people find themselves more attractive after drinking. I find the article about Mcdonalds to be informative and disturbing at the same time. Its amazing how surgar can act as a drug to your body. Its interesting how articles like this are published and McDonald’s continues to make millions of dollars on a daily basis. McDonalds advertising team is very sucessful, at the same time they have used psychology and manipulative tactics to get their customers to believe they are getting a good deal. In all realilty they are just speading their money on unhealty food. The other article about drinking is a lilttle surprising but at the same time I could understand why someone might find themselves more attractive after they have been drinking. It was a little surprising to me because most people usually have an idea of how drunk people act and look after they have been drinking. They are not usually well put together and sometimes they may smell like liquor. Im not sure why that thought would leave someone mind after they have been drinking. On the other hand I believe that it could be true because liquor is like a drug to your body, it can make you see and feel things that may not be true or correct.

  14. The article I read was the “5 things not to do in your new relationship”. I believe this article goes in dept on how to start a new relationship. For them to be the top 5, I would have to disagree some how. But I would recommend a person to follow these tips.

  15. The article i read was “Drinking makes you feel sexy” When I saw the title of the article I said this is definitely true, but after reading the article I know that this is not true.. I think people act stupid when they have had too much to drink but i dont think they think that they are sexy. From my own experience I think guys look much more attractive when I have had something to drink than when I have had nothing to drink.


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