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Counseling psychologists pay attention to how problems and people differ across the lifespan, and they have great respect for the influence of different human traits, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability status, on psychological well-being. They conduct counseling/psychotherapy, teach and perform scientific research with individuals of all ages, families and organizations (e.g., schools, hospitals and businesses). They believe that behavior is affected by many things, including qualities of the individual (e.g., psychological, physical or spiritual factors) and factors in the person’s environment (e.g., family, society and cultural groups).

Americans share fake news to fit in with social circles

  • Journalism and Facts
  • Social Media and Internet
  • Politics

Fear of exclusion contributes to spread of fake news, research finds

Read the journal article

  • Tribalism and Tribulations (PDF, 495KB)

WASHINGTON — Both conservative and liberal Americans share fake news because they don’t want to be ostracized from their social circles, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Conformity and social pressure are key motivators of the spread of fake news,” said lead researcher Matthew Asher Lawson, PhD, an assistant professor of decision sciences at INSEAD, a business school in France. “If someone in your online tribe is sharing fake news, then you feel pressure to share it as well, even if you don’t know whether it’s false or true.”

The research was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

The proliferation of fake news contributes to increasing political polarization and distrust of democratic institutions, according to the Brookings Institution. But fake news doesn’t always proliferate due to dark motives or a call for action. The researchers began studying the issue after noticing people in their own social networks sharing fake news seemingly without malicious intent or ideological purpose.

“Political ideology alone doesn’t explain people’s tendency to share fake news within their social groups,” Lawson said. “There are many factors at play, including the very basic desire to fit in and not to be excluded.”

One experiment analyzed the tweets and political ideology of more than 50,000 pairs of Twitter users in the U.S., including tweets sharing fake or hyper-partisan news between August and December 2020. (Political ideology was determined through a network-based algorithm that imputes ideology by looking at the types of accounts Twitter users follow.) The number of tweets between pairs of Twitter users in the same social circles were measured. Twitter users were less likely to interact with each other over time if one of them shared a fake news story and the other did not share that same story. The same effect was found regardless of political ideology but was stronger for more right-leaning participants.

A second experiment analyzed 10,000 Twitter users who had shared fake news in the prior test, along with another group that was representative of Twitter users in general. Twitter users who had shared fake news were more likely to exclude other users who didn’t share the same content, suggesting that social pressures may be particularly acute in the fake news ecosystem.

Across several additional online experiments, participants indicated a reduced desire to interact with social connections who failed to share the same fake news. Participants who were more concerned about the social costs of not fitting in were also more likely to share fake news.

While fake news may seem prolific, prior research has found that fake news only accounts for 0.15% of Americans’ daily media consumption, and 1% of individuals are responsible for 80% of fake news sharing. Other research found that election-related misinformation on Twitter decreased by 73% after Donald Trump was banned from the platform.

Many complex factors contribute to people’s decisions to share fake news so reducing its spread is difficult, and the role of social media companies isn’t always clear, Lawson said.

“Pre-bunking” methods that inform people about the ways that misinformation spreads and highlighting the importance of the accuracy of news can help reduce the spread of fake news. However, finding ways to ease the social pressure to conform in online spaces may be needed to start winning the war on misinformation, Lawson said.

Article: “Tribalism and Tribulations: The Social Costs of Not Sharing Fake News,” Matthew Asher Lawson, PhD, INSEAD, Shikhar Anand, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and Hemant Kakkar, PhD, Duke University, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published online March 9, 2023.

The Top 7 Insider Tips For Menstrual Pain

Published on 10/27/2022
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Your period is approaching and you are getting more and more weak. Discomfort, circulatory problems, abdominal cramps and even chills – many women suffer from sometimes very severe menstrual cramps once a month. We present you our 7 insider tips against menstrual pain.

The Top 7 Insider Tips For Menstrual Pain

Sport, Exercise

Many women find the contraction of muscles to be uncomfortable or even painful. The muscle contraction reduces the blood supply to the uterus or abdomen, which causes additional pain. Studies have shown that exercise can help reduce both the intensity and duration of period pain. This applies both to light physical activity during menstruation and to regular training. Those who exercise more often can reduce their menstrual cramps. Even light physical activity during the period can help against pain. For example, try yoga, cycling, or a walk.

Change Your Diet

A study by BMC Women’s Health looked at how diet affects menstrual pain. Researchers found that eating lots of sweet and salty snacks, desserts, as well as coffee, salt, fruit juices and added fat increased your chances of moderate to severe menstrual cramps 3 to 4 times. In general, eat a healthy, balanced diet to prevent cramps. You should avoid alcohol and nicotine.

Saying No

Two weeks ago (when you were fit as a fiddle, just before you ovulated) you arranged the mega meeting with all your friends and now you are absolutely not in the mood for it? You have tickets for the super concert but the thought of it just stresses you out? Then just say no. Stress pushes menstrual problems so stay cool and say no! That’s a promise: the world keeps turning, even if you log out of everyday life during your period. By the way: In the weeks after the period, women are then three times as productive as before!

Magnesium

The muscle contractions to break down the mucous membrane consume a lot of magnesium, which we feel when our inner pig bitch always asks us the same question: “Where can I get something sweet asap?”. This is a misunderstanding: by craving something sweet, our body is simply telling us that it wants to replenish its magnesium stores. And he does this best with bananas, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, linseed or raspberries.

Good News For Chocoholics

Chocolate is not bad per se – you should only avoid the sugar in chocolate. Cocoa itself, on the other hand, has many antioxidants and therefore has an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effect due to the magnesium it contains. A piece of dark chocolate is therefore highly recommended, but the cocoa content should be at least 70%.

Tea

Many herbs have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. Prepared as a tea, they can help against menstrual pain. These include, for example, teas with yarrow, cinquefoil, lady’s mantle, verbena, nettle and chaste tree (see above).

Movement and Correct Breathing

Yes, exercising during menstruation is not as impossible as it sometimes feels. Sometimes cramps and tension are caused by a lack of physical activity, which causes tension to build up. Incomplete breathing and lack of exercise prevent the body from “adjusting” itself. The resulting tension is absorbed by the ovaries, making them immobile and rigid. If the tension is too great, the body tries to compensate with unsuitable muscles and nerves. This leads to pain and cycle disorders.