When people gain weight, it is not uncommon for feelings of frustration to follow. Based on study findings that appear in the Association for Psychological Science journal "Psychological Science," impulsivity is a trait that individuals can develop after gaining weight.
The researchers behind the study already knew that changes in people's personality can affect their weight, but they wanted to know if the opposite was true. To find out more, they looked at data on 1,900 Baltimore residents' weight changes and personality traits to see if there was a connection.
Researchers found that individuals who experienced a 10 percent increase in their body weight also showed a greater tendency to give into their temptations. Greater impulsivity was not present in those whose weight remained stable.
"If mind and body are intertwined, then if one changes the other should change too," said Angelina Sutin, a psychological scientist who worked on the study. "That's what our findings suggest."
Based on this research, individuals who have experienced significant weight gain may want to take a personality test to see if they have become more impulsive.
If adults go through their days feeling overly anxious, they may want to take a personality test to gain more insight into their behavior. Sometimes, small behavioral signs can also help identify people who are likely to develop anxiety. This is the case with individuals between the ages of 7 and 18, according to new research from the Mayo Clinic.
After conducting a study of more than 800 individuals, researchers found that kids' avoidance of situations they find scary may predict whether or not they will have anxiety. Participants who were open about avoiding certain situations at the beginning of the study tended to be more anxious just one year later.
"Even after controlling for their baseline anxiety, those who avoided had more anxiety than kids who didn't avoid," said Stephen Whiteside, a pediatric psychologist with the Mayo Clinic Children's Center, as well as the study's lead author. "That was consistent with the model of how anxiety disorders develop. Kids who avoid fearful situations don't have the opportunity to face their fears and don't learn that their fears are manageable."
While anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the U.S., the good news is they are highly treatable, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Although watching television is a simple activity, it can have a wide range of effects on viewers, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's National Institutes of Health. For children, television watching has been linked to problems paying attention and poor reading skills. Now, there is new evidence that reveals a connection between the types of programs kids watch and their behavior.
Based on research that appears in "Pediatrics," choosing which television programs preschoolers watch can help parents improve their children's behavior, USA Today reported. In a study that involved 565 families, researchers found that it was possible to decrease kids' aggression and increase the level of their helpfulness, empathy and other positive social behaviors.
According to the news source, children who watched fewer violent shows and more educational programming ended up showing improved behavior, as opposed to kids whose television diet did not change at all. What made this study unique is that researchers did not reduce the amount of time children spend in front of the television - only the types of shows they watch. However, there are those who believe parents need to go beyond choosing the programs their children watch.
"Although this innovative study shows changing content without changing viewing time helps lower aggression, other health issues may need to be approached in different ways," Jennifer Manganello, an associate professor at the University of Albany School of Public Health who was not involved with the research, told the news source. "For instance, studies have shown that reducing screen time can be helpful when trying to reduce the risk for obesity."
With this knowledge, parents may want to have their children complete a personality test to see if they possess any traits that may be tied to the types of television programs they watch.
If someone took a personality test when he or she was a teenager, and then again later in life, the results from both assessments may not be exactly the same. While teenagers often think they know everything there is to know about themselves, new research reveals that many adults are no different, and do not realize how much they can change over time, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science''s journal, "Science."
In a recent study, Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist at Harvard University, and fellow researchers set out to see what type of people individuals believe they will become in the future. Based on responses from more than 19,000 participants, on average, they do not see themselves changing that much in the future.
The researchers had individuals between the ages of 18 and 68 fill out questionnaires on their current personality traits, and then again, as if they were answering questions 10 years in the past and 10 years in the future. Overall, they believed that most personality changes occurred in the past, and would not be happening in the future.
"Even at 68, people think, ''Ugh, I''m not the person I was at 58, but I''m sure I''ll be this way at 78,''" said Gilbert, as quoted by Time magazine.
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