Category Archives: Everyday Psychology

The Perfect Day! Part 12

8 pm: Party – collect smiles

Even if you only want to impress that one person in the room, it’ worth being nice to everyone and having a few jokes ready. British psychologists found that if you want to impress someone of the opposite sex, you’ll do better if you get smiled at more often.

In experiments of the Aberdeen University, women were asked to judge the attractiveness of men, by photos. Men who laughed with others on the photos, were perceived as more attractive than others. The Researchers believe that men perceive the attractiveness of women in the same way. So laugh as much as you can!


The Perfect Day! Part 11

7 pm: Dinner – the decoration is most important

Looks are more important than taste, is what US-psychologists found in their test results. According to their research the taste of food has more to do with how it looks rather than than how it actually tastes.

A psychologist of the University of Illinois served students at the cafeteria with chocolate chip cookies, that didn’t look tasty at all. Afterwards they were asked how much they would be willing to pay for them. Students that were given the cookies on paper plates said they would be willing to pay around 57 Cents. Others were given the same stale cookies on a glass plate. The latter were willing pay up to 1,50 Dollar.

The Perfect Day! Part 10

6 pm: Guest arrive – spice up cheap wine

You want to offer great tasting wine but don’t want to empty your wallet? Invest in a coloured light bulb. German researchers say that in red and blue lighting wine tastes better.

Psychologists of the university in Mainz served 500 test subjects with wine in red, blue white and green lighting. In red lighting the beverage tasted up to 1.5 times sweeter and fruitier than in other light settings. They were also more willing to pay more for a wine when under red lighting compared to green lighting. Green and white lighting had a rather negative effect on the taste.

The Perfect Day! Part 9

5 pm: Headache? Try swearing

Had a stressful day and your head hurts? According to a British study heavy swearing helps.

67 people volunteered for the Keele University in Newcastle-under-Lyme to be tested on their degree of pain sensation. They had to hold their in ice cold water as long as possible. During the test they repeated a swear word of their choice. In a second test they had to repeat a neutral word over and over again.

Comparing the results showed that when swearing participants could keep their hand in the ice cold water longer. How this mechanism exactly works, they couldn’t say but they monitored a higher pulse with the subjects that were swearing.

The Perfect Day! Part 8

4 pm: Clients wait – don’t say sorry

Israeli scientists suggest a strategy for when clients, colleagues or your boss are impatient. You should tell the waiting person how long they will have to wait. Saying sorry does hardly have any effect.

Researches had participants call a hotline where they were put on hold. One third of the participants had to listen to music. The second third listened to music as well, but it was interrupted three times by an apology. The last third listened to music too and additionally they were told how many people are waiting in front of them. The results show that people who were confronted with apologies lost their patience the quickest – even before the ones just listening to music. The ones that were told how long they still had to wait, endured the longest. The scientist reason it with the fact that the latter had some sense of control over the situation.

The Perfect Day! Part 7

3 pm: In need of some cheering up? Simple tricks that really work

Smiling and thinking of something nice: it can be as ridiculous as that, a British mass experiments shows. The psychologist Richard Wiseman tested 26,000 people.

Wiseman separated the the participants into five groups and had them do simple tasks to tighten their mood for a few minutes over the course of five days. The results show:

  1. The ones who thought about a positive experience of the day before improved their mood by 15 percent.
  2. The ones who thought about things they were thankful for improved their mood by 7 percent.
  3. The ones who just simply smiled for a litte bit improved by 6 percent.
  4. There was less improvement in mood with the ones who thought about the day before in a neutral manner.
  5. The ones that performed random friendly gestures almost didn’t improve at all.

The Perfect Day! Part 6

2 pm: The boss screams – so what?

If you see the boss rumbling through the office, you can calm yourself by knowing what you always thought was true: the ones who scream are hiding a broken ego.

Psychologists of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles asked 90 participants to remember either huge disasters in their career or highly successful situation. Afterwards they were asked to judge mistakes by students with the sound of a horn.

The participants who remembered disastrous situations sounded the horn way louder than the others. In average 71 decibel, compared to 55.