Tagged With research

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One of the key facets of any scientific study is that no matter what, its results are questioned and tested again. A number of popular psychological studies, like the idea that smiling makes you happier or that willpower is a limited resource, haven't held up to that scrutiny. They're not totally bogus, but they're not definitive either. Here's what's really going on.

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Mice are commonly used in diet- and disease-related research because they share a majority of their genes with us and are small and inexpensive. But there are plenty of subtle confounding factors in the mice themselves that, if not accounted and properly controlled for, can really muddy experimental results.

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One of the best parts of any holiday is finding that unsung local landmark. Perhaps it's a neighbourhood bar that blew you away, a cultural monument rarely mentioned in travel guides or an amazing burrito from a street cart. Over on the New York Times, Jenna Wortham points out that Instagram is a great tool to find these types of places.

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Doubt is essential to your health goals, says Mark Sisson. If you're too sure and get stuck on your beliefs, you end up ignoring the other possibilities that can lead to the real ah-ha moments that help you break through plateaus and reach your goals. So, have a little doubt.

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You crave it in the morning, you wait in long lines for it and I'm drinking it while I write this: Coffee is everywhere. But that means misinformation about it is everywhere too. Coffee doesn't rob you of water, sober you up or keep your children short, so let's grind up these myths and brew a hot pot of truth.

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"Your review on Yelp is destroying my business," he says to me, clearly clenching his teeth, "How long do I have to suffer because of your negative review?" A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from a contractor because of a review I'd left. What ensued was a weirdly emotional conversation that ventured between harassment and a plea for empathy.

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There's a lot of philosophical debate over what it actually means to "be happy," but if you're looking for concrete answers, it can leave you wanting. Here's what scientific research says happiness is, and — perhaps more importantly — what it isn't.

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Plants are such a ubiquitous aspect of life — its very foundation, really — that you may rarely think about their scientific research. Botany has the potential to bear fruit in so many fields that affect our day to day lives, from medicine to agriculture to environmental sciences.

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Wikipedia is frequently considered an unacceptable and unreliable source of information. It's been criticised as "a mish-mash of truth, half truth, and some falsehoods". The same sentiment is expressed in many course documents at universities and schools. Here's a compelling argument why you might want to embrace wiki-style sites and leave your prejudice at the door.

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Have you ever tried to interpret some new research to work out what the study means in the grand scheme of things? Well maybe you're smart and didn't make any mistakes — but more likely you're like most humans and accidentally made one of these 10 stuff ups.