On the Newsstand

Sadness Spurs Spending, Experiment Shows
NPR
April 21, 2008

“If you’re feeling blue, you might want to think twice before you head out for a little shopping. That’s because research shows sad people are willing to pay significantly more money for everyday items such as a water bottle. Cynthia Cryder, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, recently explored the issue of emotion and spending in a simple experiment.”

Coverage of “Misery Is Not Miserly: Sad and Self-Focused Individuals Spend More” in Psychological Science (Cynthia E. Cryder, Jennifer S. Lerner, James J. Gross, and Ronald E. Dahl, Volume 19(6), in press).

Inside a Deal
The Economist
May 1, 2008

“The main tip is to gain bargaining power by understanding the person on the other side of the table. But what exactly does a negotiator need to know about his antagonist? In a series of experiments a team of researchers have come up with some intriguing answers in a report just published in Psychological Science.”

Coverage of “Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent : The Differential Effects of Perspective Taking and Empathy in Strategic Interactions” in Psychological Science (Adam D. Galinsky, William W. Maddux, Debra Gilin, Judith B. White, Volume 19(4), 378-384).

Fleeting Facial Expressions Reveal Deep Secrets
MSN Health and Fitness
April 25, 2008

“They say the eyes are a window into the soul, but scientists have been reporting for some time now that “microexpressions” — lightning-fast, almost imperceptible facial expressions — tell the real story of what people are thinking. Now, new research suggests that people have a lot more trouble hiding their emotions than they think. Canadian researchers found that every one of 41 college students suffered from “emotional leakage,” the inability to hide their true feelings when asked to falsify their facial expressions.”

Coverage of “Reading Between the Lies: Identifying Concealed and Falsified Emotions in Universal Facial Expressions” in Psychological Science (Stephen Porter and Leanne ten Brinke, Volume 19(5), 508-514).

We Want a Fair Shake
The Los Angeles Times
May 12, 2008

“The researchers scanned several parts of the brains of the participants who were offered money while they were in the process of evaluating the offers. What they discovered was that parts of the brain that register negative emotions were stimulated by unfair offers, and reward-related regions of the brain were activated by fair ones. In other words, they found that the brain is sensitive to context and the way the deal is conducted. The further the split dropped below a 50-50 ratio, the more participants turned down the offer. They cared about fairness even to the detriment of some material gain.”

Coverage of “The Sunny Side of Fairness: Preference for Fairness Activates Reward Circuitry (and Disregarding Unfairness Activates Self-Control Circuitry)” in Psychological Science (Golnaz Tabibnia, Ajay B. Satpute, and Matthew D. Lieberman, Volume 19(4), 339-347).

Observer Vol.21, No.6 June/July, 2008

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