Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Defying the winter blues: get ready to rock the springtime!

The British psychologist Cliff Arnall stated 11 years ago that ‘Blue Monday’ (the 3rd Monday of January) was the most depressing day of the year. The majority of people have broken their new-years resolutions six to seven days into the New Year, and whatever was left of that holiday happiness and family fun have kicked the bucket by then. Luckily, that day has passed, and we’re now well on our way to spring. Days are noticeably getting longer again (sunrise before 8am, yet sun down around 6pm, yay!), and slowly we’re all feeling better, right? Or are you, like many of us secretly do, still feeling that winter blues?  If you are, here are five scientifically proven ways that can help you lift your spirit, and help you get ready to rock the springtime.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

When thinking about sex helps statistical analysis

A few months ago, Philippe Bernard, a post-doc in our lab, conducted a study examining whether exposure to sexualized music videos (pretty much a norm in this artistic genre) influences attitudes towards sexual harassment (they do). One of the secondary points of the study concerned another variable: self-objectification, a term that captures people's tendency to consider their own body through the prism of a third person's eyes, to "see themselves as an object". We hypothesized that people who self-objectify may be more lenient towards sexual harassment (which in, a way, involves treating others like objects as well). We administered questionnaires evaluating self-objectification and tolerance towards sexual harassment on numeric scales (as is customary in social psychology) and analyzed the results in our paper, that we submitted to a scientific journal. A few months later, we received a feedback from this journal, including one from a reviewer, who wrote the following (don't worry if it seems a bit arcane):