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December 5, 2006, 9:16 PM CT

how caring sentiments can affect business sense

how caring sentiments can affect business sense
Imagine you are selling a used car on eBay. You will demand a higher price for the car if your toddler is sitting on your lap, says surprising new research from the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. Scientists from the University of Toronto observed that simply thinking about a personal relationship causes sellers to set a higher price, even if the relationship is not directly correlation to the transaction.

"Relationships are like the lenses that guide our view, not just in that particular relationship or with the relationship partner, but in other unrelated circumstances as well," says Pankaj Aggarwal, who authored the piece with doctoral student Meng Zhang.

The study is the first to examine how relationships affect our feelings of loss aversion. When selling an item we own, we tend to demand a price that is higher than what we are willing to pay for it. Personal interactions cause us to feel like parting with the item would be more of a loss by evoking sentiments about how the value of an item is more than just monetary and thus leading to a higher asking price.

"This research has some important implications, not just for marketing managers, but also for consumers," write the authors.

They explain, "The next time you are negotiating with a person when buying a used car, it might be worthwhile not to call him at home calling him at work may get you a better price!".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


December 1, 2006, 4:53 AM CT

Glucocorticoid, Skin Abnormalities And Stress

Glucocorticoid, Skin Abnormalities And Stress
Inhibiting glucocorticoid, a type of steroid, can prevent skin abnormalities induced by psychological stress, as per a new study from the recent issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. The new study also shows how psychological stress induces skin abnormalities that could initiate or worsen skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

The study, "Glucocorticoid blockade reverses psychological stress-induced abnormalities in epidermal structure and function," was carried out by Eung-Ho Choi, Marianne Demerjian, Debra Crumrine, Barbara E. Brown, Theodora Mauro, Peter M. Elias and Kenneth R. Feingold of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco and the University of California at San Francisco. Choi is also linked to Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea. The American Physiological Society published the study.

Prior research has shown that psychological stress increases glucocorticoid production. In addition, it is well recognized that psychological stress adversely affects a number of skin disorders, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

"In this study, we showed that the increase in glucocorticoids induced by psychological stress induces abnormalities in skin structure and function, which could exacerbate skin diseases," Feingold explained. This provides a link for understanding how psychological stress can adversely affect skin disorders. Blocking the production or action of glucocorticoids prevented the skin abnormalities induced by psychological stress.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


December 1, 2006, 4:36 AM CT

Treating The Bedwetters

Treating The Bedwetters
Children with a form of bedwetting that does not respond to a common medicine have more sodium and urea in their nighttime urine, possibly because of an imbalance of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance, a new study has observed.

The finding helps physiologists understand why about 30% of children who suffer from bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) do not respond to desmopressin, a drug that successfully treats the other 70%. The findings, made by Danish medical doctors who treat enuresis, could help lead to better therapy for these children.

The study Nocturnal polyuria in monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis refractory to desmopressin therapy, was carried out by Konstantinos Kamperis and Jens Christian Djurhuus of the University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark and Soren Rittig and Kaj Anker Jorgensen of the Aarhus University Hospital. The study appears in the recent issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.

Circadian rhythm important

Urine output is controlled, in part, by our own internal daily clocks, or circadian rhythm. With the transition from day to night, our bodies reduce the amount of excreted water, electrolytes and other metabolic end products in preparation for hours of sleep. We are not born with this circadian rhythm, but it commonly develops in early childhood.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 28, 2006, 5:08 AM CT

Boy Or Girl: How Brain Processes Words

Boy Or Girl: How Brain Processes Words
Boys and girls tend to use different parts of their brains to process some basic aspects of grammar, as per the first study of its kind, suggesting that sex is an important factor in the acquisition and use of language.

Two neuroresearchers from Georgetown University Medical Center discovered that boys and girls use different brain systems when they make mistakes like "Yesterday I holded the bunny". Girls mainly use a system that is for memorizing words and associations between them, whereas boys rely primarily on a system that governs the rules of language.

"Sex has been virtually ignored in studies of the learning, representation, processing and neural bases of language. This study shows that differences between males and females may be an important factor in these cognitive processes," said the lead author, Michael Ullman, PhD, professor of neuroscience, psychology, neurology and linguistics.

He added that since the brain systems tested in this study are responsible for more than just language use, the study supports the notion that "men and women may tend to process various skills differently from one another." One potential underlying reason, suggested by other research, is that the hormone estrogen, found primarily in females, affects brain processing, Ullman said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 27, 2006, 5:07 AM CT

Recovering alcoholics with poor sleep perceptions

Recovering alcoholics with poor sleep perceptions
Alcohol can initially have sleep-inducing effects among non-alcoholics, but once drinking becomes chronic, alcohol's effects on sleep become much more negative in nature. New findings indicate that individuals in early recovery from alcoholism who have inaccurate sleep perceptions are more likely to return to drinking.

Results are reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

"The usual perception of alcohol's effects on sleep in nonalcoholics is that it helps sleep," explained Deirdre A. Conroy, the corresponding author who conducted the research while a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. "In truth, alcohol may help people fall asleep but it commonly leads to poor quality sleep in the second half of the night and overall less deep sleep. As people drink more regularly across nights to fall asleep, they become tolerant to the sedating effects of alcohol and subsequently use more alcohol each night to help fall asleep. This escalation in drinking can lead to alcoholism."

Conroy and her colleagues examined 18 individuals with insomnia (9 males, 9 females) who were also in early recovery from alcohol dependence. Each participant underwent polysomnography (PSG) for two nights, three weeks apart. Participants also provided morning estimates of sleep onset latency (SOL) or the time it takes to fall asleep, wake time after sleep onset (WASO), total sleep time (TST), and sleep efficiency (SE), a measure of sleep continuity. After complete PSG results were recorded, participants were asked to give information about their drinking habits during two consecutive six-week follow-up periods.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 21, 2006, 8:46 PM CT

Watching TV can improve parenting and child behavior

Watching TV can improve parenting and child behavior
Watching television parenting programmes like ITV's Driving Mum and Dad Mad really can help improve parenting skills and modify children's behavioural problems, as per a research studyat The University of Manchester.

The six-part series followed the progress of five families whose children showed clear behavioural problems through Professor Matt Sanders' 'Triple P-Positive Parenting Programme,' which provides guidance on parenting skills which promote good behavioural and emotional adjustment.

In 'The Great Parenting Experiment: The role of the mass media in preventing anti-social behaviour in children,' clinical psychology experts Dr Rachel Calam and Professor Sanders himself studied a sample of the 4.2 million parents tuning into the first series in Spring 2005. Funded by the Home Office's Respect Task Force, the team assessed how much watching the programmes actually helped parents at home.

Dr Calam said: "This is the first national experiment to monitor parents working alongside a 'TV info-tainment' series and trying out the techniques shown. We wanted to assess whether, by adopting the ideas suggested, mums and dads were able to improve their children's behaviour and reduce their own stress levels.

"465 parents completed an assessment of their children's behaviour, parenting practices, confidence as a parent, stress levels and family circumstances before the series, which was repeated 12 weeks after the series started and again six months later. Parents who just watched the series and those given additional 'enhanced support' reported significantly fewer problems with both their children's conduct and their parenting practices after 12 weeks.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 20, 2006, 5:05 AM CT

Adolescent Girls More Active if Neighborhoods Have Parks

Adolescent Girls More Active if Neighborhoods Have Parks
Adolescent girls who live within half a mile of a public park are significantly more physically active than other girls, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists have found.

The study observed that physical activity was higher for girls who lived within a mile of parks and showed highest levels among girls who lived less than one-half mile from a park, said Dr. Diane Catellier, a study investigator and research associate professor of biostatistics in the UNC School of Public Health. The scientists observed that girls only got about 114 minutes a week of intense physical activity outside of school hours, or about 16 minutes a day.

Dr. Deborah Cohen, a senior natural scientist at RAND Corporation and lead author of the study, said the U.S. surgeon general recommends that all children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. "We still have a long way to go in encouraging girls to be active".

The results appear in the November 2006 issue of Pediatrics. The study was led by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. Scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Arizona, the University of South Carolina and San Diego State University participated. Funding was provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 19, 2006, 9:22 PM CT

Women At Higher Risk Of PTSD

Women At Higher Risk Of PTSD
Males experience more traumatic events on average than do females, yet females are more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as per a review of 25 years of research published in the recent issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The authors evaluated 290 studies conducted between 1980 and 2005 to determine who is more at risk for potentially traumatic events (PTE) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) males or females? The results of the meta-analysis observed that while males have a higher risk for traumatic events, women suffer from higher PTSD rates. PTSD is defined as an anxiety disorder precipitated by a traumatic event and characterized by symptoms of re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance and numbing and hyperarousal.

From the review, scientists David F. Tolin, PhD of the Institute of Living and Edna B. Foa, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine observed that female study participants were more likely than male study participants to have experienced sexual assault and child sexual abuse, but less likely to have experienced accidents, nonsexual assaults, witness death or injury, disaster or fire and combat or war. Sexual trauma, the authors conclude, may cause more emotional suffering and are more likely to contribute to a PTSD diagnosis than other types of trauma.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 16, 2006, 9:17 PM CT

Personality Traits And Heart Disease

Personality Traits And Heart Disease
Frequent bouts of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger are known to increase a person's risk for developing coronary heart disease, but a combination of these "negative" personality traits may put people at particularly serious risk, as per a research studyby scientists at Duke University Medical Center.

"The risk of developing coronary heart disease due to a combination of negative personality traits in people has never before been explored," said the study's senior investigator, Edward C. Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry. "Eventhough each of the negative traits significantly predicted heart disease, having the combination of these traits was the most powerful predictor of heart disease."

Similar patterns have been reported with three traditional risk factors of heart disease -- high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and excessive weight -- where each factor independently increases risk but their presence together predicts a greater risk of future heart disease, Suarez said.

The findings are published in an early online edition of the November/December 2006 issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The team analyzed data on 2,105 military veterans who served in the Vietnam War and took part in the U.S. Air Force Health Study, in which scientists tracked the health of participants for 20 years. None of the men enrolled had heart disease when the study began.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


November 15, 2006, 9:39 PM CT

ADHD And Smoking

ADHD And Smoking
Are you easily forgetful, distracted, impulsive or fidgety? Do you find that smoking helps you alleviate these symptoms?.

Columbia University Medical Center scientists are investigating whether these most common symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) could be causing people to smoke. If that is the case, will therapy for ADHD combined with the standard therapy to help people quit smoking - the patch with counseling - increase the quit rates for smokers trying to quit?.

Lirio S. Covey, Ph.D., director of the Smoking Cessation Program at Columbia University Medical Center, is trying to find out.

Covey and her colleagues are recruiting smokers who have been diagnosed with ADHD or who may have symptoms of ADHD but have still not been diagnosed, to be part of a study that will help them quit smoking. Approximately 7-8 million adults in the U.S. have ADHD. Smoking is twice as common in this population as in the general population.

Research has shown that most smoking in the U.S. occurs among people who have psychiatric conditions, such as alcohol or drug abuse, major depression, anxiety and ADHD. One line of research has shown that smokers with these conditions "self-medicate" their symptoms with nicotine, the primary addictive substance in tobacco.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

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