Listening to sad music can make you feel pleasant emotions.
January 25, 2014 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Science is useful in everyday life.

Evidence-based life tips meant to be read in five seconds or less.
posted by k8lin (17 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hurrah! Citations!

That said: Most Published research findings are false.
posted by Omission at 10:07 AM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


The hands can shield attention from distraction: participants that held their hands around a target were markedly less affected by distractors that remained in view.
Attention, Perception, Psychophysics


OMG! This is the first time I've ever seen the word "psychophysics" used outside of academia! I approve of the site based on this alone.
posted by tickingclock at 10:08 AM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


(No intention to rain on parades, by the way. Those were literally my first two thoughts on arriving at the site.)
posted by Omission at 10:17 AM on January 25, 2014


Students who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to those who did not multitask, and students who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared to those who were not.

Every semester I take my composition students through a process where they learn to read and understand a peer-reviewed journal article. Guess which one it'll be this semester?
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:25 AM on January 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


Keeping indoor temperatures at 2 or 3°C below room temperature increases body energy expenditure without shivering and without compromising comfort, which can help decrease body fat content.

Cell

One study in press is not science (yet).
posted by bukvich at 10:41 AM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


bukvich: "One study in press is not science (yet)."

Yeah, I'm with you there. I get that this site is well-intentioned, and I really appreciate the fact that it links to the papers that it's drawing its conclusions from. However, taking a single research paper and boiling it down into a glib, unequivocal, single-sentence Truth is sort of not-great. I would almost go so far as to say that it's an abuse of science. "Irresponsible" might be a good way to characterize it, though again I don't intend to imply malice on the part of the site authors.

A research paper's conclusions can almost never be summarized in that way without dangerously distorting the findings; the conclusions of a good paper are usually complex and equivocal, and responsible authors are careful to include appropriate qualifications and to describe the limits of their findings. Additionally, almost no papers can, in isolation, be considered definitive proof of anything; generally a substantial body of research has to be built around a hypothesis, supporting it repeatedly and from multiple angles, before a hypothesis can be accepted as theory – that is to say, as being considered provisionally true pending evidence to the contrary.

When we strip down all of that qualification and hesitancy and reduce scientific truth to the simple formula of "any conclusions drawn by a peer-reviewed research article are true" what we are really doing is stripping out all the actual science. You can't take the complexity and ambiguity out of the scientific process and still have anything resembling good science. What you're left with is a sort of scientism, a religion that turns researchers into priests, handing down unimpeachable and unquestionable dogmas from on high. That's not a great thing – it's bad for science, and it's bad for society.
posted by Scientist at 10:57 AM on January 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


Suddenly felt a need to listen to some Eric Carmen.
posted by telstar at 11:33 AM on January 25, 2014


TAJ: "You wanna, wanna come in and sing some blues?"
NAVIN: "No thanks Taj. There's something about those songs. They depress me."
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:35 AM on January 25, 2014


So, turn 'em on (turn 'em on),
Oh, turn 'em on (turn 'em on)
Turn on those sad songs,
When all hope is gone, (oooh lala lala)
Sad songs say so much.

posted by tilde at 12:19 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Joy Division can be quite uplifting. Things aren't so bleak after listening to The Eternal... at least in comparison.
posted by sukeban at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2014


Keeping indoor temperatures at 2 or 3°C below room temperature increases body energy expenditure without shivering and without compromising comfort, which can help decrease body fat content.

Cell

One study in press is not science (yet).


Very true in general, but this particular study only serves to confirm what was almost obvious after it was discovered that many adults retain significant amounts of brown fat.
posted by jamjam at 12:57 PM on January 25, 2014


An RSS feed would be fab. Otherwise, cool!
posted by alasdair at 2:54 PM on January 25, 2014


Productivity can be improved by viewing images of cute animals prior to beginning your task.

. . . I don't even know what to say about this except AWESOME
posted by GastrocNemesis at 3:07 PM on January 25, 2014


So we still don't know how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, but at least we know why: Productivity.
posted by tilde at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2014


Saying "I am excited" reduces performance anxiety: Telling yourself that you are excited transforms feelings of nervousness and anxiety into positive feelings of excitement, and is more effective than trying to calm down.

This has, anecdotally, worked very well for me in the past for everything from presentations to intimidating rollercoasters.
posted by Gymnopedist at 9:12 PM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


The rss feed.
posted by artof.mulata at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Keeping indoor temperatures at 2 or 3°C below room temperature increases body energy expenditure without shivering and without compromising comfort, which can help decrease body fat content.

1) I'd like to know how they propose to keep the room temperature at 2-3 degrees below room temperature.

2) I'm glad to know that lowering my thermostat 2-3 degrees from its current setting, the lowest temperature I find comfortable, won't compromise my comfort.

Overall an interesting site, though.
posted by randomnity at 11:30 AM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


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