January 5, 2018

Weekend reads: Do you curse a lot? Research suggests you may be more honest.

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    People who swear more tend to be more honest, study finds. People who swear more often may be more trustworthy, according to a three-part study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. For the first study, researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands asked 276 people to list their favorite swear words, disclose how much they swear every day, share the emotions they feel when they use those swear words, and complete a psychological survey to assess their honesty. The researchers found that the participants who lied less also reported swearing more frequently. In the next two studies, the same researchers analyzed around 70,000 interactions between participants on social media, assessing the level of profanity versus honesty in Facebook status updates, and then compared the Facebook data against U.S. states' integrity scores. Overall, based on all three studies, the researchers found that "at both the individual and society level, … a higher rate of profanity use was associated with more honesty."

    The 'sugar coma' just might be real. Ingesting glucose can lead to impaired cognitive performance, such as reduced attention and response times, according to a study published in Physiology & Behavior, Eric Dolan writes for PsyPost. For the study, researchers had 49 participants consume drinks sweetened with glucose, sucrose, fructose, or sucralose and then complete three cognitive tests while their glucose levels were monitored. The researchers found that the participants who had consumed either glucose or sucrose performed worse on the cognitive tests than those who had consumed fructose or sucralose. According to Mei Peng, a lecturer at the University of Otago and study author, the results of the study suggest "that the 'sugar coma'—with regards to glucose—is indeed a real phenomenon, where levels of attention seem to decline after consumption of glucose-containing sugar."

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Avocado toast is out, WSJ reports. The Wall Street Journal has put together a list of foods that will be in and foods that will be out in 2018. According to the Journal, 2018's hottest foods will include brisket, crudo (thinly sliced raw fish), South Asian-style fritters called pakora, and duck. Meanwhile, kale, veal, tuna tartare, and avocado toast will be out, the Journal reports.

    The cases for and against the night shower. Writing for the New York Times' "Well," Maya Salam looks into the pros and cons of night and morning showers. Not surprisingly, the morning shower can increase alertness, according to Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert. That said, Kennedy advised a slightly cooler—though not cold—shower to keep from increasingly body temperature dramatically, Salam reports. On the flipside, a shower 90 minutes before bed might help with insomnia, Salam writes. "The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm," Kennedy said. "Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep."
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