81% of people believed comfort foods improve a low mood, but are they correct?

Contrary to what most people believe, comfort food does not improve a low mood, a new study finds.

The research, published in the journal Health Psychology, found that people who ate nothing recovered from a bad mood just as quickly as those who ate their preferred comfort food.

The results come from a study in which people were asked to list the type of foods they ate to recover from a bad mood — chocolate was the most popular.



Of course, having children is a source of joy, but like most things, it seems that might be true only in moderation.


First and second children provide parents a boost in happiness up to a year before they are born but the third does not, new research finds.

The increase in happiness lasts around one year from birth, after which some parents’ happiness returns to its usual pre-baby levels.

The research, published in the journal Demography, found that it’s the first child that provides the greatest boost in happiness, while the increase from the second is about half the size.


Men and women, on average, saw similar increases in happiness, although women gained more just before the birth and their happiness dropped more quickly in the year after birth.


The market for art is worth US$65B worldwide but there has been little research conducted on how consumers actually determine the worth of artwork. Now, a new study has found that the sexes show stark differences in how they evaluate art.

The study, which appears in Psychology & Marketing, involved 518 subjects who looked at two unfamiliar paintings with made-up biographies of the artist. Some participants read a bio that characterized the artist as authentic - in other words, a lifelong painter who creates unique work. Others read a bio that characterized the artist as an ordinary painter who took up the craft only recently.


When the artist was characterized as authentic, participants had a much more favorable impression of both the artist and the artwork. Participants indicated they were more willing to buy that artist's painting and to pay a higher price for it.

Men were much more likely to use the artist's "brand" as a deciding factor when evaluating art. Women also took the artist's authenticity into account, but a bigger factor for them was the artwork itself. "Women are more willing to go through a complicated process of actually evaluating the artwork," Mangus said, "whereas men may say, 'This guy's a great artist, so I'll buy his art.'"

Three experimental studies have shown that hunger improves strategic decision making; scientists argue that hungry people are significantly better at making decisions involving uncertain outcomes.

We take decisions involving unknown outcomes every day. In real life, rationality often times means giving up a smaller, immediate reward, for a more consistent reward in the long run. However, many people engage in detrimental actions, just for the sake of the immediate reward. For example, many people would just have that hamburger or chocolate bar over a healthier meal. It’s this type of decision which puts our general well-being at risk.

The fact that humans tend to make irrational decisions, especially under physical and emotional stress is well documented – and we’ve likely all experienced it at one point or another. The clearest example is sexually aroused people, who engage in more impulsive decision making about sexual encounters, even when they are aware of the potential negative outcomes. Also, when we get really hungry, we tend to forget about our weight loss objectives.

There are few physical differences among a group of first graders. But if you check out the same group 65 years later, their physical differences outnumber their similarities. Some will be the epitome of health, while others will be managing one or more chronic conditions. Some will be vigorous, while others will be lethargic.

As we get older, we become physically less like our peers. 


Most organisms, including humans, have parasitic DNA fragments called ‘jumping genes’ that insert themselves into DNA molecules, disrupting genetic instructions in the process. This phenomenon can interfere with the good health of the individual, causing numerous conditions, including cancer.

Now, a new study has documented how a protein called Sirt6 keeps these fragments (technically called retrotransposons) at bay. Better understanding this mechanism could be very important in fighting ageing.