Entries in embodiment (7)


Why Do We Watch Romantic Movies During Winter Storms?

If you are currently in the Northeast United States, you are probably still dealing with the aftereffects of Jonas, our most recent (and for many of us) first snowstorm of the winter. While some of us braved the weather to walk our dogs, dig out our cars, or make an emergency trip to the store to pick up the milk we forgot to buy in the days leading up to the storm, the rest of us probably stayed warm indoors and watched TV. After texting my friends to discuss their snowpocalypse plans, I found out that many, like me, were watching movies. Specifically romantic movies. Was this all just a pre-Valentine’s Day coincidence? The answer to this question may be found by considering research on embodied cognition.

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Infographic: Your Body, Your Relationship


The Perfect Valentine’s Day Date: Keep it Warm and Heavy

There is a lot of pressure to impress your romantic partner with a fabulous Valentine’s Day date (I should know – Valentine’s Day is also my wife’s birthday!). If you decide to go to a fancy restaurant, how do you know which cuisine to choose? Should you go with spicy Thai or cold sushi? If you’re going to buy your partner a gift, do you choose something practical and imminently useful but unromantic (the Science of Relationships book?) or should you instead go with something useless but romantic (a stuffed teddy bear holding a satin pillow shaped like a heart with “Valentine’s Without You Would be Un-Bear-able” written on it?). Or, if you’re going to get your sweetie something, well, sweet, should you choose the heart-shaped box of chocolates that is the candy equivalent of Russian Roulette or should you buy some specialty hot cocoa?

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Apologies, High-Heels, and Humor: Tales from the SPSP Poster Session Trenches

Each year at SPSP, (mostly) students and faculty line up to present over 1000 posters, which are descriptions of research studies presented on a 3-foot by 4-foot bulletin board. It’s quite a sight.  With approximately 300+ presenters telling their scientific stories at any given poster session; these sessions can be a bit overwhelming and hectic to navigate. I slogged through such a poster session last night, and have returned with findings from three posters that I thought were particularly interesting.

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Body and Mind: How Seemingly Unrelated Physical Experiences Affect Our Relationships

What if I told you that simply holding a cup of hot coffee leads you to perceive others more positively?  Seems like crazy talk, right? Well, it may not be so crazy after all.

Embodied cognition (also called embodiment) is an emerging research area in psychology. Embodiment is the theory that there is a strong association between physical experiences and psychological states.

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Will You Be My “Rock”? (Because My Chair is Wobbly)

We regularly hear people refer to their romantic partners as their “rock.” (My wife always says that she wishes I was The Rock, but that’s a different story altogether). What is it about large, dirty moss-covered stones that people love so much? Just joking, of course – the metaphor really centers on the idea that people want their partners to be there, through thick and thin, and to provide a sense of stability to their lives.

Generally, embodied cognition (also called embodiment) is the theory that individuals’ physical experiences subtly and unconsciously affect their psychological states. Recently, researchers used an embodied cognition approach to examine whether seemingly unrelated experiences affect individuals’ preferences for stability.

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Are You Gonna Go My Way?

Have you ever found yourself walking in the same direction as a stranger (e.g., down the hall at work/school; through the shopping mall) and found yourself oddly attracted to that person? No? Yeah, me neither. But, and hear me out, even though we don’t consciously feel an immense desire for this person, we may be more attracted to the stranger than if her or she had been walking the other direction.

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