Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fwd: 10 Ways That Running Changes Your Mind and Brain

What about those who can't run?  First, this blogger says be sure you really can't.  I know that some really definitely cannot.  But some, like me, can run in a fashion but it is slow enough to be hard to tell it is running. Still, it is an appropriate stress on the body and good for all systems in the body.  Second, if you can't run but you want to, IMAGINE running.  My "Outsmart Yourself" guy and many other sources, observers and scientists advise deliberately imagining as much of the running experience (or anything else you want to work on or do).  Many parts of your brain and body work in much the same way with imagining as with the "real" thing.
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From: BPS Research Digest <>
Date: Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 3:16 AM
Subject: 10 Ways That Running Changes Your Mind and Brain

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10 Ways That Running Changes Your Mind and Brain

"One 60-minute run can add 7 hours to your life" claimed The Times last week. The story was based on a new review in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases that concluded that runners live, on average, three years longer than non-runners and that running will do more for your longevity than any other form of exercise. But there's more to running than its health-enhancing effects. Research published in recent years has shown that donning your trainers and pounding the hills or pavements changes your brain and mind in some intriguing ways, from increasing connectivity between key functional hubs, to helping you regulate your emotions. The precise effects sometimes vary according to whether you engage in intense sprints or long-distance running. Here we provide a handy digest of the ways that running changes your mind and brain. Continue reading →

Introducing the Invisibility Cloak Illusion: We think we're more observant (and less observed) than everyone else

Most of us tend to think we're better than average: more competent, honest, talented and compassionate. The latest example of this kind of optimistic self-perception is the "invisibility cloak illusion". In research published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Erica Boothby and her colleagues show how we have a tendency to believe that we are incredibly socially observant ourselves, while those around us are less so. These assumptions combine to create the illusion that we observe others more than they observe us. Continue reading →

New meta-analysis undermines the myth that negative emotions can cause cancer

At least one in four readers of this post will die of cancer. This is a simple statistic that leads rationally thinking people to treat the possibility as very likely. And this is what many do: they try to adopt a lifestyle that minimises the risk to some degree. But how do we know what minimises and what increases this risk? Of course, by listening to experts, the best of whom are scientists who research these things. However, whenever there is disquiet brought about by uncertainty, self-titled experts come out of the woodwork. Discussion of factors increasing the risk of cancer is today not only the domain of medical doctors and psycho-oncologists, but is also engaged in by some alternative medicine proponents, pseudopsychologists, and fringe psychotherapists, whose opinions are disseminated by journalists, some more thorough than others. Continue reading →

How much are readers misled by headlines that imply correlational findings are causal?

What do you take from this hypothetical headline: "Reading the Research Digest blog is associated with higher intelligence"? How about this one: "Reading this blog might increase your intelligence"? According to science writing guides like, taking the first correlational finding from a peer-reviewed article and reporting it for the public using the second wording, implying causation, is a sin of exaggeration, making a relationship appear more causal than the evidence suggests. However, the authors of a new a paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology wondered whether readers interpret these kind of headlines literally, or whether they draw their own conclusions. Their findings suggest that while science writers need to pick up their game, science-writing guides also have some catching up to do.  Continue reading →

It can backfire when doctors make a show of their own healthy living

Doctors who want to avoid accusations of hypocrisy should keep themselves in reasonable shape if they intend to advise their patients to do the same. Indeed, some medical organisations explicitly encourage their physicians not only to stay fit, but to make sure that their patients know it, thereby role-modelling the recommended behaviours. However, new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that doctors who promote their own fitness may actually scare away overweight patients who are most in need of help. Continue reading →

The Psychologist

The Psychologist is the monthly magazine of the British Psychological Society. Visit our website for the May issue, including our cover feature Minds Run Free: Psychologists, like much of the population, have been bitten by the running bug. Christian Jarrett and Ella Rhodes ask what do they get out of it, and does their experience chime with the science? Also check out all our latest reports and reviews and much more.
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