diamond-mouth said: fun question (not). where are you from?
Born and raised in the US. Currently living in Seattle!
Anonymous said: what u think about the Ferguson mess?
To sum it up? Fuck the police.
My post-workout feast consisted of elk backstrap with wild muschrooms and greens, approx. 20 dumplings, and a couple of plumcots. I forgot my friend had offered to make me dinner tonight, but I think I’m still good for it. I’m not a very large person so I honestly don’t know where my body is putting all this, though I’m not complaining.
Reading on a tablet may impair memory, because memory relies part in location
A series of recent studies finds that students remember less when reading on a Kindle versus an old-school, hard-copy book. One study split up Italian students and asked them to read a 28-page short story on either an e-reader or in a paper book and found that the electronic group had a harder time remembering the plot.
“The Kindle readers performed significantly worse on the plot reconstruction measure, i.e., when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order,” said researcher Anne Mangen in the report. “The haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does”.
It turns out that an important aspect of memory is location. Both anecdotally and in published studies, people report that when trying to locate a particular piece of written information they often remember where in the text it appeared.” explains Scientific American. “We might recall that we passed the red farmhouse near the start of the trail before we started climbing uphill through the forest; in a similar way, we remember that we read about Mr. Darcy rebuffing Elizabeth Bennett on the bottom of the left-hand page in one of the earlier chapters.”
Indeed, psychological studies have found that readers do remember some facts based on location of a text within a book. While many different senses can trigger a memory, history shows that people with amazing memories rely on location.
The Method of loci, used by elite of the World Memory Championships, involves constructing imaginary locations and placing objects that represent facts in different areas of the made-up location. For instance, to remember the name Penn Teller, I might recall a street I frequently walk down, placing a pen near the sidewalk and a cash register next to the light poll.
The age old memory technique reportedly came from the ancient Greek, Simonidoes of Ceos, who remember the victims of a collapsed building by remembering where they were seated. “Just about anything that could be imagined, he reckoned, could be imprinted upon one’s memory, and kept in good order, simply by engaging one’s spatial memory in the act of remembering,” explained memory champion Joshua Foer.
URLs don’t occupy the same space as pages, so they might make it harder to recall some details. You can read more about the upcoming paper here.
From Venture Beat
Took a week off my bike and it’s clear I’ve already lost some of my flexibility and lactate threshold pace. Incredible how quickly your body changes/adapts to your lifestyle..
Cut Like A Diamond
Fien Cuypers by Charlie De Keersmaecker for Ones To Watch
For some time, scientists have known that strenuous exercise briefly and acutely dulls pain. As muscles begin to ache during a prolonged workout, scientists have found, the body typically releases natural opiates, such as endorphins, and other substances that can slightly dampen the discomfort. This effect, which scientists refer to as exercise-induced hypoalgesia, usually begins during the workout and lingers for perhaps 20 or 30 minutes afterward.
But whether exercise alters the body’s response to pain over the long term and, more pressing for most of us, whether such changes will develop if people engage in moderate, less draining workouts, have been unclear.
So for the new study, which was published this month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia, both in Sydney, recruited 12 young and healthy but inactive adults who expressed interest in exercising, and another 12 who were similar in age and activity levels but preferred not to exercise. They then brought all of them into the lab to determine how they reacted to pain.
Pain response is highly individual and depends on our pain threshold, which is the point at which we start to feel pain, and pain tolerance, or the amount of time that we can withstand the aching, before we cease doing whatever is causing it.
In the new study, the scientists measured pain thresholds by using a probe that, applied to a person’s arm, exerts increasing pressure against the skin. The volunteers were told to say “stop” when that pressure segued from being unpleasant to painful, breaching their pain threshold.
The researchers determined pain tolerance more elaborately, by strapping a blood pressure cuff to volunteers’ upper arms and progressively tightening it as the volunteers tightly gripped and squeezed a special testing device in their fists. This activity is not fun, as anyone who has worn a blood pressure cuff can imagine, but the volunteers were encouraged to continue squeezing the device for as long as possible, a period of time representing their baseline pain tolerance.
Then the volunteers who had said that they would like to begin exercising did so, undertaking a program of moderate stationary bicycling for 30 minutes, three times a week, for six weeks. In the process, the volunteers became more fit, with their aerobic capacity and cycling workloads increasing each week, although some improved more than others.
The other volunteers continued with their lives as they had before the study began.
After six weeks, all of the volunteers returned to the lab, and their pain thresholds and pain tolerances were retested. Unsurprisingly, the volunteers in the control group showed no changes in their responses to pain.
But the volunteers in the exercise group displayed substantially greater ability to withstand pain. Their pain thresholds had not changed; they began to feel pain at the same point they had before. But their tolerance had risen. They continued with the unpleasant gripping activity much longer than before. Those volunteers whose fitness had increased the most also showed the greatest increase in pain tolerance.
“To me,” said Matthew Jones, a researcher at the University of New South Wales who led the study, the results “suggest that the participants who exercised had become more stoical and perhaps did not find the pain as threatening after exercise training, even though it still hurt as much,” an idea that fits with entrenched, anecdotal beliefs about the physical fortitude of athletes.
Because it did not examine physiological effects apart from pain response, however, the study cannot explain just how exercise alters our experience of pain, although it contains hints. Pain thresholds and tolerances were tested using people’s arms, Mr. Jones pointed out, while the exercisers trained primarily their legs. Because the changes in pain response were evident in the exercisers’ upper bodies, the findings intimate that “something occurring in the brain was probably responsible for the change” in pain thresholds, Mr. Jones said.
The study’s implications are considerable, Mr. Jones says. Most obviously, he said, the results remind us that the longer we stick with an exercise program, the less physically discomfiting it will feel, even if we increase our efforts, as did the cyclists here. The brain begins to accept that we are tougher than it had thought, and it allows us to continue longer although the pain itself has not lessened.
The study also could be meaningful for people struggling with chronic pain, Mr. Jones said. Although anyone in this situation should consult a doctor before starting to exercise, he said, the experiment suggests that moderate amounts of exercise can change people’s perception of their pain and help them, he said “to be able to better perform activities of daily living.”
(Source: The New York Times)
Here’s the question in full:
To what extent do you agree with this statement: I am a narcissist? (Note: The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.) Answer on a scale from 1 (not very true of me) to 7 (very true of me).
According to psychologists Sara Konrath and colleagues, complex personality tests and lengthy questionnaires may not be necessary, because that single question does a pretty good job.
In several experiments, they report that endorsement of “I am a narcissist” – which they rather grandly call the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) – correlates pretty well with scores on the much longer Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) scale (with a correlation coefficient r=0.4-0.45) and has a good test-retest reliability (r=0.8), amongst other things.
This is neat. However… it’s not all that surprising. The fact that a single question can correlate pretty well with a much longer scale is not surprising. This is a general property of personality questionnaires, as explained in Tal Yarkoni’s paper The Abbreviation of Personality, or how to Measure 200 Personality Scales with 200 Items.
This undermines the idea that this new result is somehow special to narcissism – a claim that the authors don’t make, but that outlets like Time, in their coverage of this study, did
It’s not easy to diagnose most personality disorders. But narcissism is a snap – since the narcissists themselves know who they are.
Furthermore, can we be sure that a question like this is even measuring narcissism, given that it is entirely self-report? In their Discussion, Konrath et al say that
We recognize that some readers may be skeptical… are people really aware of their own levels of narcissism? We would argue that, based on the evidence from the current studies, people who are willing to admit that they are relatively more narcissistic than others, actually are.
However, the bulk of their data – 9 out of the 11 sub-studies – can say nothing about how people ‘actually are’ because it compares the self-report SINS to other self-report measures. While such studies are valuable, by their nature they can’t go beyond establishing that the SINS can measure how narcissistic people say they are.
Two of the sub-studies did however examine whether the SINS predicted performance on a behavioral measure. Study 5 examined the degree to which participants exhibited aggression after suffering a blow to their ego – being told that they had performed badly on an intelligence test. The idea is that narcissists would show more aggression. However, the SINS did not predict total aggression on this task (p=0.62). There was a marginal p=0.05 effect in a subgroup analysis, but the authors rightly say that “caution is warranted in interpreting these results.”
Study 11 provided more solid evidence that narcissism is associated with what might be described as spiteful responses to ego threat - giving a (fictional) student a low grade after being primed with negative words. However, this is only one aspect of narcissism.
In my view, while Konrath et al have created a single question that performs remarkably well within the sphere of self-report measures, I remain to be convinced that it is a good measure of whether someone ‘really’ is a narcissist (if indeed this is a meaningful concept). Then again, the same could be said of most self-report questionnaires.