What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Express your emotions to make more friends

Poker-faced people who stay emotionally guarded no matter what situation they face have trouble making friends, say experts.

Psychologists found that students who were best at suppressing their emotions also were the ones who had the most difficult time making friends.

“An individual who responds to the college transition by being emotionally guarded in the first few days” would probably miss chances for friendship, wrote the authors of that study, published last year.

“If staying calm and patient and confident is what has worked for you in crisis situations in the past then subconsciously, it may become automatic. And the more automatic it becomes, the less of the actual anger, or panic, you feel,” said Hebrew University psychologist Maya Tamir.

George Mason University’s Todd Kashdan suggested that researchers measure three components of emotion: concealing it, adjusting it (as in rapidly tamping down anger) and tolerating it (openly showing emotion rather than holding it back).
“These are each valuable strategies, in different situations,” Boston University psychology professor Stefan G Hofmann said.

“The people who get into trouble socially, I believe, are the ones who are inflexible - who stick to just one.”

Study shows crocs dive less in warmer waters
A study on the diving behaviour of freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) has shown that they dive less in warmer waters.A team led by Dr Hamish Campbell, from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, said that warmer temperatures make it harder for crocodiles to spend time diving under the water, foraging, and resting.

They explained that since crocodiles are cold-blooded animals, the temperature of the environment affects their body temperature and metabolic rate.The warmer it is, the higher their metabolism and oxygen use, which could affect how much time they spend under water.

Campbell and colleagues studied the crocodiles in a national park in Queensland to see if this was the case.

Research team member Dr Matthew Gordos, a conservation manager with the NSW government, said devices were attached to the crocodiles to measure how deep they dove and for how long.

The crocodiles were also fitted with sensors to measure the temperature of their body and of the surrounding water, and the team then compared thousands of measurements taken during summer and winter.

They found that in summer the water temperature rose by a few degrees and the crocodiles’ body temperature was higher than in winter.

Why kids confuse letters ‘b’ and ‘d’ while learning to write
A new study shows why kids confuse letters such as ‘b’ with ‘d’ — mirror images — while learning how to write.

Stanislas Dehaene of INSERM, the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Saclay, France, says that the phenomenon occurs because of children ‘recycling’ an area of the brain that recognises shapes and patterns.

Dehaene suggests that at birth, the VWFA (visual word form area) responds to all visual information in both the normal and the mirror orientation.

But as we learn to read and write, it is ‘recycled’ — it ‘unlearns’ the mirror form of words and letters, so that by adulthood it no longer responds to them.
“It’s no wonder that children have so many difficulties with mirror reading and writing,” says Dehaene.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox