Fascinating research findings: 6 facts that will surprise you

I come across a lot of fascinating research findings but here are a few tidbits I couldn’t help but post.


1) On a first date, ladies? Measure his elbows.

Via Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation:

The idea that symmetry equals beauty has been rattling around pop culture for a few years, based on research from evolutionary biologists Steven Gangestad and Randy Thornhill. Their study began by measuring seven body points, such as elbows, and ended with the theory that symmetry translates not only to better DNA, and better treatment from parents, but also better sex. Men with symmetrical elbow bones are simply more fascinating: they have more fun in the bedroom, more frequently, with more beautiful partners. Not only have evolutionary biologists predicted sexual prowess on the basis of body symmetry measurements, but also the level of physical dominance, emotional stability, day-to-day health, even likelihood of fidelity.


2) Want to improve your vision? Get scared.

Via Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: How to Retrain Your Brain to Overcome Pessimism and Achieve a More Positive Outlook:

For those with normal vision it has also been found that fear can improve our ability to see… Adam Anderson, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, has given us a rather different take on the evolutionary significance of a fearful facial expression. Along with his colleague Joshua Susskind, they discovered that the typical contortions of the fearful face allow for an increased flow of air through the nostrils as well as increasing the range of vision. The volunteers’ peripheral vision improved when they pulled a fearful face but got worse with they pulled a disgusted expression. Fear, it seems, might help us to see danger coming.


3) Charisma is “A City Upon A Hill”

Via The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism:

Presidents rated as charismatic, such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, used twice as many visual metaphors in their inaugural addresses as did those rated as noncharismatic. 


4) No tingles? Might want to give him a second chance.

Via Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work:

One research team, interested in why some people find someone to marry and others don’t, interviewed women who were exiting the office where they’d just received their marriage license. To their surprise, 20% of the women reported not liking their spouse-to-be when they first met. (This also implies that there are millions of other people who met their future spouse and then walked away because their gut instinct led them to abandon the interaction too early.)


5) What makes you a better lie detector? Brain damage.

Via 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior:

Patients who’ve experienced strokes in their brain’s left frontal lobes, which result in severe language loss, are better at detecting lies than are people without brain damage (Etcoff, Ekman, Magee, & Frank, 2000). This may be because people who’ve lost language develop compensatory nonverbal skills that help them to spot deception in others.


6) Maybe Freud was right… about porn.

Via A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us About Sexual Relationships:

So what is the single most popular search term users enter into the PornHub search engine?


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