Monday Miscellany: Power Poses, Participation, Pronouns

1. Weirdly, when you vaccinate children for measles, the rates of death from other childhood infectious diseases also drop. An interesting theory about immune memory.

2. Power poses are a neat idea, and they remind me about how faking a smile with a pencil in your teeth will make you happier. Unfortunately, unlike the pencil-teeth-happiness research, it doesn’t seem like power poses replicate, and that the replication suggests very little likelihood that the effect is real.

3. Ask tough questions about why you’re participating in altruism.

4. Lazy people vs. hardworking people.

5. I’ve always been impressed by Pennebaker’s pop science writing and research. (Let me take a moment to recommend The Secret Life of Pronouns), and in the psych world he’s quite well known for his writing exercises for mood. Fast Company reviews. If you’re already inclined towards journaling, I’d recommend them.

6. When you can’t find the edge of the frame. A great primer on mindfulness.

7. There’s been some noise made about taking acetaminophen to decrease psychological pain. Yeah, maybe. But only if you start with a better study design.

8. The man on the bridge: a documentary about one man’s search for the man who talked him down from suicide on Waterloo Bridge.


Things I read this week:

The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
Someday, I will remember that I dislike small-town fiction.

Cruel Beauty, Rosamund Hodge
Beauty & The Beast retold, with a bit of another story in there too. Particularly good (and to my taste) for not trying to set up an elaborate reason it wasn’t reeeeeally coercive/nonconsensual for a young woman to be traded off to a monster.

Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of The Pacific War, John D. Lukacs
Exactly what it says on the box! I enjoyed it for a daring true story, but it starts with the Bataan Death March and involves lots of torture. I had to keep putting it down and looking at cute puppies on the internet.

The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
The first thing I’ve read from Ronson. It’s a…storytelling romp. Don’t read for hard data on psychopathy, do read because it’s fun and interesting.

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