Emotions, Stress, and Health

Anxiety after the Tohoku Earthquake

Nakayachi, Yokoyama, and Oki (2014) investigated how risk perception and affect may change following a large-scale disaster; such changes could influence individuals’ willingness to take important safety measures. The authors compared data from two national surveys in Japan, one conducted before the 2011 Tohoku quake and associated Fukushima nuclear accident (during which nearly 20,000 people [...]

Brain Imaging and Lie Detection

Previous research has pointed to the inability of humans to reliably detect lies in others. Studies have demonstrated that polygraph data is also frequently inaccurate and unreliable, and it is generally prohibited as admissible evidence in courtrooms in the U.S. Thus, new forms of technology have been sought as an objective method of lie detection. [...]

Living with the Chronic Threat of Terrorism

With the goal of identifying the coping strategies used by individuals who face the chronic threat of terrorism, Dickstein and colleagues (2012) administered a structured telephone interview to Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border – a region that is frequently the target of rocket and mortar attacks. Seven coping factors were identified and the [...]

Violence Exposure and Sexual Risk

African American adolescents are at increased risk for violence exposure, which includes being the victim of violence as well as witnessing violence. Wilson and colleagues (2012) observed that few studies have addressed the impact of violence exposure on African American girls. They were particularly interested in the relationship between violence exposure and sexual health, since [...]

Message Framing and Visual Aids Increase Condom Use and STD Screening

Research has indicated that the way in which health messages are framed has a significant impact on the degree to which they influence attitudes and behavior. One important dimension of framing is gain vs. loss. Gain-framed messages focus on the benefits of adopting specific health practices, whereas loss-framed messages focus on the dangers of failing [...]

Resilient Afghan Women Coping with Violence and Immigration

Exposure to war-related violence is a common experience of Afghan women who immigrate to the United States. Although previous research has identified detrimental effects of war-related trauma and displacement on survivors’ mental health, other studies have demonstrated resilience and successful coping strategies.  Welsh and Brodsky (2010) used a mental health checklist and conducted qualitative individual [...]

Integrating Smartphone Technology in Behavioral Healthcare

With smartphone ownership quickly becoming commonplace in many countries, the number of available applications (apps) has continued to soar.  A growing number of these, according to Luxton, McCann, Bush, Mishkind, and Reger (2011), are designed to facilitate mental health education, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. Examples include apps that track symptoms and if indicated offer a [...]

Mindfulness Predicts Less Texting While Driving

Large numbers of young adults text while driving. Feldman, Greeson, Renna, and Robbins-Monteith conducted research aimed at identifying individual differences that might predict this dangerous, and often illegal, behavior. These authors hypothesized that texting-while-driving might be inversely correlated with mindfulness, a tendency to intentionally attend to present moment internal and external experiences. They reviewed previous [...]

Ironic Effects of Dietary Supplementation

One might expect that the increased availability of dietary supplements would result in improvements in public health. Chiou, Yang, and Wan (2011) suggested that the opposite might occur. They hypothesized that taking a dietary supplement might increase one’s sense of invulnerability and thus lead to taking greater health risks. Eighty-two Taiwanese participants were asked to [...]

Income Inequality and Happiness

Over the past few decades, the level of income inequality between social classes in the United States has grown significantly. Although previous psychological research has investigated the relationship between income and happiness, there has been little attention to the relationship between income inequality and happiness. Oishi, Kesebir, and Diener (2011) hypothesized that psychological factors (perceptions [...]