October 27, 2017

Weekend reads: The most popular candy in every state, mapped

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Nope, anxious people shouldn't just 'trust their gut,' study finds. Dealing another blow to the already-anxious, a new study finds that people who identify as anxious have a reduced ability to make intuitive decisions. For the study, researchers primed different groups of people to feel anxious, neutral, or optimistic, and then asked them to complete a survey assessing their tendency to make intuitive decisions and their efficacy in doing so. The researchers found that while the moods of people primed to feel optimistic or neutral did not seem to affect their decision-making abilities, the mood of anxiety-primed respondents significantly undercut their ability to make intuitive decisions. The researchers hypothesized that anxiety limits people's ability to make gut-level decisions because they may lack the necessary confidence and self-trust needed to acknowledge and act on subtle emotional or physical cues that comprise a "hunch."

    That stich in your side when you run—what is it? While plenty of runners eventually get a side stitch while they run—officially termed "exercise-related transient abdominal pain" (ETAP)—the actual cause of the condition is "still up in the air," according to Brad Muir, a sports chiropractor. That lack of knowledge largely stems from a lack of research, but Muir pointed out that it's also difficult to pinpoint a cause for a condition that has so many potential components—such as poor posture, limited oxygen flow, and abdominal ligament stress—that do not always apply to every case. And while doctors don't have any standard advice on how to prevent a side stich, the discomfort tends to stop when you stop doing whatever activity brought it on. If it doesn't, Muir recommends people seek out a doctor in case it might be some other gastrointestinal or abdominal issue.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Kit-Kats and Snickers and Twix—oh my! What kind of Halloween candy do people like best in your state? Business Insider took data from a survey by Influencer—a site that hosts product reviews—to map it out, based not on the most common answer for each state, but on the most distinct answer. Otherwise, the answer "would've overwhelmingly been Reese's Peanut Butter Cups nationwide," according to Business Insider. Some leading options? 3 Musketeers in Texas, Kit Kats in New York, and Almond Joy in California.

    Doing good makes you feel good. There are a few reasons why doing good benefits not only the recipient but the do-gooder, too, Nicole Karlis reports for the New York Times' "Well." When it comes to donating or volunteering after a disaster, for instance, Christine Carter, a fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, explained that since humans evolved in groups, coming together helps us feel less alone. In addition, Karlis reports that helping others affords a sense of purpose. In fact, the benefits of volunteering are so powerful that some doctors haven't ruled out prescribing generosity, Karlis writes, citing John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

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