The landscape of psychology has seen a transformation in the last decade. The researchers are now reshaping the ways to investigate the subject, which has resulted in many interesting findings. Here we give you the top 5 latest revolutionary research in the field of psychology.
Health and happiness depend on each other
This new research done by Georgetown University adds to the growing body of evidence that happiness makes you feel good, but it is for your good health too.
Having a happy outlook and good health may seem equally worthy yet interdependent goals. The research reinforces the case that a happy outlook can significantly impact the physical well-being of an individual. The study shows that both in-person and online psychological intervention tactics specially designed to boost subjective well-being have positive effects on physical health.
The participants in this research who were given positive psychology intervention reported an increasing level of subjective well-being over the twelve-week long program. There were fewer sick days reported for these participants than those who did not receive positive psychology intervention. This shows that positive psychology can help increase happiness and promote better mental health among people.
Physical stress on the job linked with brain and memory decline in old age
This new research by Colorado State University has found that physical stress in one’s job may be associated with faster aging of the brain and poor memory. According to this study, people who reported a high level of physical stress in their job had lesser volumes in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is vital for memory and is affected by both dementia and normal aging. Such people performed poorly on memory tasks.
It has been a known fact that stress can accelerate the physical aging process and is also a significant risk factor for a chronic illness. However, this revolutionary research is the first such study that proves that occupational stress can also accelerate brain and cognitive aging.
An average person spends more than eight hours at work per weekday, and most people remain in the workforce for over 40 years. So by sheer volume, the occupational exposure outweighs the time we spend on social, leisure, physical, and cognitive activities, which help in protecting our aging brain and mind.
The brain builds and uses maps of physical space and social networks, in the same way
This research study by the University of California shows that we keep our social map in the same way that we assemble a physical map of places and things.
In today’s world, when social-distancing has become a norm, we still keep in our heads a map of relationships with people: family, friends, and coworkers and how they relate to each other. According to this research, if a person knows how two social networks are related to each other, he/she can make a good inference about the relationship between individuals in different social networks even without direct experience.
Whether it is remembering a route in the physical world or learn about a set of friends or acquaintances, people often start with a template i.e., a few landmarks and then fit data around it.
This study revealed that the brain organizes knowledge learned in different experiences in a structural form like a map. This allows us to use past experiences to make a new decision and also help in adapting to a new situation.
When it comes to happiness, love has nothing to do with it
This research conducted by Michigan University quantifies the happiness of formerly married, married, and single people at the end of their lives to discover how much marriage and love played into overall well-being.
According to this study, when it comes to happiness, whether someone is in a relationship or not is rarely important. People can certainly be in unhappy relationships, and single people may derive enjoyment from other parts of life like their hobbies, friendships, and work. Getting married doesn’t mean that a person will become happier. It is all about mindset, and if one can find fulfillment and happiness as a single person, it is likely that that person will hold onto that happiness irrespective of the fact that there is a ring on the finger or not.
Habitual behavior is goal-driven
According to this research, habitual behaviors may originate from goals. However, they may become disconnected and automatic. The habitual behaviors are sensitive to changes in how an individual values a goal and believes in achieving it. The persistence to habitual behaviors despite being detached from the original goal is likely to affect an individual’s attachment to different targets. According to this view, all behaviors might have a purpose.