Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes October-November 2010
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Clinical and Sport Psychologist

Index        Previous        Next

NOVEMBER 16, 2010

NOVEMBER 9, 2010

How Both Overly Positive and Negative Misperceptions of Performance Can Affect You

When individuals have an overly positive view of their performance, they are likely to engage in future "self-handicapping" which involves strategies to protect the self-esteem. For example, not studying enough for a test so as to blame future poor performance on the lack of preparation rather than the lack of ability. However, an overly negative view of performance also affects future performance by causing self-doubt. Such individuals are also likely to engage in "self-handicapping." In addition, both types of misperceptions are associated with increased anxiety and lower levels of life satisfaction (Kim, et.al, 2010).

Individuals who have accurate perceptions of their performance are likely to be more motivated, less likely to engage in "self-handicapping," and are more satisfied in general (Kim, et.al, 2010).

Kim, Y., Chiu, C., and Zou, Z. (2010). Know thyself: Misperceptions of actual performance undermine achievement motivation, future performance, and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 395-409.

NOVEMBER 7, 2010

Being Mindful of Emotions Decreases Intensity

Researchers Kron et.al. (2010) found through a series of studies that the more an individual's mind is occupied with mental activities, the less intense the emotional experience. Interestingly, even if the assigned task is to focus on the emotions themselves, the individual still experiences a reduction in the emotional intensity.

This may suggest a mechanism by which mindfulness impacts the emotional experience. During a mindful state, an individual focuses completely on the emotions and often experiences a greater tolerance of the emotional state and a decrease in intensity of the emotions. Therefore, when faced with difficult emotions, a focus on emotions may be more effective than an avoidance of emotions.

Kron, A., Schul, Y., Cohen, A. and Hassin, R. (2010). Feelings don't come easy: Studies on the effortful nature of feelings. Journal of Experimental Psychology:General, 139, 520-534.

ALSO READ: Why Are Meditative Relaxation and Mindfulness Important?

OCTOBER 17, 2010

Superman Effect? Wear Red to Attract Women

Much research has been conducted regarding what characteristics attract the opposite sex. Researcher Andrew Elliott and colleagues (2010) examined the effect of men wearing red on women's perceptions of attraction. They found that women tended to be more attracted to men wearing red or even standing in front of a red background. In addition, this effect was consistent in three different countries.

They suggest this effect may be due to the perception of dominance that the color red portrays. In addition, a man who wears red (such as a red tie) may also perceive himself with greater status which may increase his self-confidence and assertiveness, and thus, women.

Elliot, A.J., Kayser, D.N., Greitemeyer, T., Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R.H., and Maier, M.A. (2010). Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 139, 399-417.

OCTOBER 8, 2010

Grief is Not Depression

Often, grief during bereavement may appear similar to depression and sometimes individuals who are grieving may be treated for depression. However, in spite of the similarities, grief and depression are not the same.

A significant difference between the two found by researchers Coifman and Bonanno (2010) is that individuals who are grieving have more variability in emotional responses, particularly the ability to experience positive emotions depending upon the circumstances. For example, while grieving they may be able to share a funny story about their loved one. Those with depression were less able to do engage in this type of positive emotional response.

Coifman,K.G. and Bonanno,G.A. (2010). When distress does not become depression: Emotion context sensitivity and adjustment to bereavement. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 479-490.

OCTOBER 7, 2010

Massage: Effects on Anxiety, Depression, and Pain

Massage therapy has generally been overlooked in psychological research as a tool to assist with managing conditions, both physical and mental, that are effected by stress. However, Grant Rich (2010) reviewed the studies that have been conducted and has drawn conclusions about the usefulness of massage therapy.

He indicates that research suggests that even a single session of massage therapy can reduce the immediate symptoms of anxiety such as heart rate and blood pressure and that multiple sessions can impact depression and anxiety on a long-term basis. Although a single session of massage therapy does not impact pain, multiple sessions have shown a reduction in pain including fibromyalgia, PMS, arthritis, back conditions, and migraine headaches.

Rich, G.J. (2010). Massage therapy: Significance and relevance to professional practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41, 325-332.

OCTOBER 3, 2010

Laugh in the Face of Adversity: Reducing Stress During Marital Conflict

Conflict usually causes physical effects of stress such as increased heart rate, breathing, and muscle tension. These effects often lead to greater negative perception and feelings of dissatisfaction in the marriage. However, researcher Joyce Yuan and colleages (2010) found that positive emotion during the course of a tense situation leads to a reduction in these physical effects.

Thus, couples who are able to laugh or respond positively to one another even when discussing a difficult topic are able to reduce the stress of a tense situation. As a result, they are likely to experience more satisfaction, in general, regarding their marriage.

Yuan,J.W., McCarthy,M., Holley,S.R. and Levenson,R.W. (2010). Physiological down-regulation and positive emotion in marital interaction. Emotion, 10, 467-474.

OCTOBER 1, 2010

Don't Be Too Unselfish in a Group--You Might Be Removed

Why would group members get rid of a member who contributes significantly to the group goal without asking much in return? It seems silly to sacrifice the group goals to remove a contributing member.

Researchers Craig Parks and Asako Stone (2010) examined this common phenomena and suggest that people don't want group members who exceed the norm and make the others look bad if they don't meet the standard that is set. In addition, some group members may perceive the unselfish member as a rule-breaker, and thus, a threat to the cohesiveness of the group.

The problem with this attitude is that the group may lose a productive member either through removal, the member quitting, or the member reducing productivity in order to meet the group norm.

Parks,C.D. and Stone,A.B. (2010). The desire to expel unselfish members from the group. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 303-310.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training