Thursday, August 9, 2012

Items from ScienceDaily:
Innovative problem solving requires trying many different solutions. That's true for humans, and now Michigan State University researchers show that it's true for hyenas, too.
The study . . . presented steel puzzle boxes with raw meat inside to wild spotted hyenas in Kenya. To get the meat, the hyenas had to slide open a bolt latch. Even though most of the animals had many opportunities to open the box, only nine out of 62 hyenas succeeded. The successful hyenas tried more solutions, including biting, flipping or pushing the box, than the ones that failed. . . .

Research has shown that older adults display more positive emotions and are quicker to regulate out of negative emotional states than younger adults. Given the declines in cognitive functioning and physical health that tend to come with age, we might expect that age would be associated with worse moods, not better ones.
So what explains older adults' positive mood regulation?
. . . [R]esearcher Derek Isaacowitz of Northeastern University explores positive looking as one possible explanation: older adults may be better at regulating emotion because they tend to direct their eyes away from negative material or toward positive material.
Isaacowitz presents evidence indicating that, compared to younger adults, older adults prefer positive looking patterns and they show the most positive looking when they are in bad moods, even though this is when younger adults show the most negative looking.

Contrary to popular belief, purified drinking water from home faucets contains millions to hundreds of millions of widely differing bacteria per gallon[.]
[The article’s about something different, but that detail interested me.]

In four different experiments [scientists in New Zealand and Canada] discovered that people believe claims are true, regardless of whether they actually are true, when a decorative photograph appears alongside the claim.