Facebook And Binging (but not binging ON Facebook)

There are a thousand good reasons to avoid over-using Facebook and other online social media sites and here is one more dreamstimefree_3158825important reason to be cautious – you may overeat or overspend !!!

This is what happens; Keith Wilcox (Columbia University) and Andrew T. Stephen (University of Pittsburgh) found that when you browse your close social networks online, your feelings of self worth and self-esteem rise. People in your close social network tend to praise and support you very freely in social media and much of the response is immediate. Good, no? No. The momentary increase in self esteem lowers your discipline and self-control, leading you to engage in spending and binging behaviors.

(So, do you LIKE this post? – if so, I’m going to get a donut.)

Get off the computer and read.

OO v3


Bad News: Greed Beats Generosity

In 5 experiments that involved dividing up money and work, people who were the recipients of acts of generosity did not pay it forward any more than people who had not received a generous act. Meaning – receiving generosity did not result in being generous to others. That’s bad enough. However, people who were treated badly – who were victims of a greedy act – did pay it forward and behaved

in a greedy manner toward someone else.steps and feet on ice

Aww, this is certainly not the type of results we hope for.  Whether we are teachers, supervisors, or parents, we hope that we can role model good values – this finding is depressing.  I wonder if the negative spiral is encouraged by the terrible feeling of being victimized so that frustration lends itself to beating up someone else – the old pecking order theory.  But why doesn”t generosity encourage strong enough feelings in the recipient to push good works along? Any thoughts?  Maybe it was just the folks in North Carolina, where the study took place – just kidding.  I wonder if the subjects were students; perhaps the results would be different is people were a bit older and feeling less oppressed generally.

J.  Experimental Psychology, online Dec. 17

Want to be generous? Buy my book, Object of Obsession

OO v3

Post-Menopause and Memory Impairment?

Relax, I have some good news for you.  I have heard many women complain
that memories problems skyrocketed while they were going through dreamstimefree_9548323menopause.  This certainly seems to happen to plenty of women but the question of whether your memory improves again (and when) has not been discussed – until now.  We have some information.  This is the first study that I”ve read that addresses the issue of memory impairment and menopause directly.  U. of Rochester neuropsychologists studied 117 women and found that yes, memory problems, especially verbal learning and verbal memory worsened right after menopause, BUT that was the worst point in time.  So, get through menopause and life, or at

least memory, improves.

Menopause, online Jan.2

If you have forgotten to buy my book, you can correct that problem right now and purchase Object of Obsession.

OO v3

Spend Money For Maximum Enjoyment

Want more bang for your buck?  People who spent their discretionary income photoon social

activities enjoyed it more than those people who spend the money on objects or things.  This was true regardless of the individual”s age, education or income. The study sampled 1900 adults.  I think I ought to  check Expedia immediately for that little pied a terre in Paris;  how about you?

Source: J. Personality and Social Psych online December, 2012.

However, if you want to spend money on things, buy my novel,

Object of  ObsessionOO v3

I Don’t Care How You Feel

This isn’t completely true, of course, but it is a fun, radical thing for a psychologist like me to say. Feelings are my business and emotions

have an important place in each of our lives. Let me explain what I mean in today”s post.

Emotions are emotions; they may reflect reality and they may not have anything to do with reality. Just like the kid who wails, “Everybody hates me!!!” our feelings can be incorrect and lead us astray if we decide to act on them.

Let’s be constructive with feelings. Here are some ideas……….

1. Feelings provide information. First,

ask: “What do I feel?”

2. Next, ask: “What circumstance/person/event precipitated this feeling?”

3. With that information, ask: “Is this reasonable, important, or am I being a bit wacky?”

4. If I am wacky, it is best that I find something else to do with my mind. If my feelings are evoked by a reasonable event/person/circumstance, than I can decide whether or not to act on the information provided by my feelings.

Want a good read with obsession thrown in?

5 Absolutely Important Influences To Know About Eating

What motivates us to eat this food and not that one?  Or, to not eat?  With all
the available knowledge, we are still having problems with consumption and
obesity.  It is worse than ever before.Chips and beer

What motivates you? Let”s look at 5 important influences of which you may be unaware.

1. Smaller plates make portions seem larger.  Large plates make portions look small and we all seem to like LARGE-appearing portions better. Hint: use smaller plates and fill them.
2. Dieters rely on labeling heuristics (mental short-cuts like common sense or guessing) more than non-dieters do  (study by Irmak, Vallen, Robinson). Hmm… looking for advice?
3. Perception matters.  When healthy eating is imposed on you (diabetes management, dieting, illness), you perceive yourself as hungrier than you probably are (study by Finklestein and Fishbach). This one is me!
4. Dieters rely more on cues from labels (healthy, low fat) than non-dieters and feel the greater influence (McFerran et al).
5. Social influence is so huge that you will select a larger quantity of
something simply because you saw a previous consumer make that selection. Scary to think that they influence your decision but I”ve done exactly this is restaurants or buying something at a counter.

source: Journal of Consumer Research, 2013.

Reading isn”t fattening. Try Object of Obsession,

low in carbs, whole grain, great nutrition.

Excuses – part 2

My post from October 22, entitled,  “Excuses” received a lot of attention so I thought it deserved a follow up; maybe I ought to title it, “More Excuses”.  Fitting, no?   The definition of an excuse is “to try to remove blame”.   Blame again – we will come back to blame.   I found a website that publishes excuses, sort of the amazon.com of excuses, with excuses for all occasions, including, “calling in to work excuses”, “excuses for the police”, “getting out of family events”, “debt”, “not paying rent”, “no sex” and many more.   If you want to locate an excuse for your next misstep, look at www.madtbone.tripod.com.

In psychology, we often talk about rationalization which is a concept similar to making excuses and sounds better, certainly sounds classier.  When you rationalize, you  justify your behavior in ways that makes your action more tolerable.  For example, here”s one rationalization that I”m sure you never heard: “I cheated on my wife/husband/partner/pet” because “he/she wasn”t really there for me/didn”t understand me/ wouldn”t have sex with me/doesn”t like mint chip ice cream.”

One difference

between excuses and rationalization is that excuses seem to be primarily conscious whereas rationalization can be conscious or unconscious.  One goal of rationalization is to block blame (I told you we would return to blame).

Blame is being held responsible for wrongdoing.  I”ve been wondering why blame is such an anathema and here is my idea.  When we blame others, we judge them harshly and often devalue them.  We find it hard to accept blame without leveling the same judgment and devaluation on ourselves.  So, the more that we worry about being judged, how we look to

others, whether we are good enough, the more difficult it will be to accept blame.   People feel that accepting blame ruins their carefully cultivated image of goodness, perfection, intelligence, or kindness.

Object of Obsession is a good read for those of you interested in psychology, obsession, excuses, self-deception AND self-examination.  

Don't Check Out Your Ex on Facebook !

Brunel Unversity in England completed a study using more than 400 undergrads and concluded that people who spent the most time on Facebook checking out their ex- boyfriends and ex-girlfriends had more distress, more negative feelings that lasted longer, and less personal growth than people who did not check out (cyber-stalk? obsess? not let go?) their exes.

Checking out your ex keeps the feelings going longer

than is good for you.

The motto: Let the exes go! Do not internet obsess!

If you want to obsess, read my mystery

novel, Object of Obsession, available on Amazon.com.

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. Online 9/4/2012

Get off  Facebook and read my book ……………..


Sugar Problem? Re-define “Treats”

Sister to sister (an organization for women”s heart health) is encouraging people to eat better during this holiday season AND maybe even shed a few pounds. Check out their website and join the challenge.

Today”s post………………..

When my doctor informed me that my body and white sugar were enemies, I had to choose sides – my body won.  However, I love sweets; almost any sweet will do but, donuts remain at the top of the list.  I had a promiscuous sweet tooth so, I was in trouble.  Ice cream, cake and candy were my friends and I am a loyal friend.  These delights were my rewards for hard work; they were my 3 PM pick-me-up; they were the goodies that signaled vacation or relaxation. I was not prepared to give up “treats” so my solution had to be: re-define treats.

I’ll share my thinking with you; perhaps it will help you to come up with solutions of your own so that you can cut down on sugar in the new year.  I went through all my ideas about what could be my new treats.  Shopping is too expensive, I don’t like crowds, and I can’t nibble on a new blouse.  I wanted substitute foods that would please me – I didn’t want to feel deprived all the time and I didn’t want to become that crabby person who is always complaining about the foods not eaten.  I realized that I love fruits and decided that I would treat myself to whatever ones I wanted, even if they were out of season.  I even paid more attention to different types of apples – embarrassingly foodie.  I toyed with the idea of upping fatty foods and pizza but more carbohydrates

just add to the problem and not

experian credit score

to my solution for food.

Here are my decisions about cutting back on carbs and white sugar and this plan has worked successfully for nine months:

1. Eat fresh fruit.

2. Enjoy high quality foods, whether it is fish or fruit, or anything else (still cheaper than eating out or getting sick).

3. Never get hungry –  I will gravitate towards sugar like the lemmings to a cliff.

4. Always carry a snack; I take apples (the banana odor emanating from my bag  is a no- no).

5. Plan, plan, plan.  Think ahead, shop ahead, have food in the fridge, have food ready.

Good luck.

There are other obsessions besides food……….


Vulnerability and Narcissism

We all freely use the term ‘narcissist,’ especially when we don’t like someone, but are you aware that the term comes from the myth of Narcissus? I promise not to launch into a Greek mythology monologue but this story has a point about vulnerabili


Narcissus was a beautiful lad (When was the last time you called anyone a lad? Try it, it”s fun) who did not love any of the maidens (another term to toss into today’s conversations) who loved him. One of the scorned maidens prayed that the lad who did not love others, would love himself. And he did. Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection as it appeared in a pool and, enthralled with this vision, he pined away gazing at himself in the water.

I know; it


essay service

hard to be sympathetic to this lad who ought to have amused himself by helping his mother haul water but that’s another post. This is also why we have little sympathy for narcissists – they seem filled with self love and oblivious to the rest of us.

Back to vulnerability. In this narcissistic lad and in others, there are vulnerabilities:

1. They are only able to relate to themselves. “It’s all about me” could be emblazoned on their coat of arms.

2. They have difficulty with relationships because they cannot see others as separate from themselves. Others become objects to be used in order to feel better.

3. They are almost incapable of empathy because that requires walking in someone else’s shoes (and there is only one pair of shoes – theirs).

These are all vulnerabilities. You still may want to kick a narcissist in the teeth for being self- absorbed and making you feel invisible but it helps to understand the weaknesses that are inherent in these personalities.