Blue Spaces And Whale Wisdom: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

Thinking of your sadness as a person — à la the Pixar movie Inside Out — can make you feel less sad. That’s according to a recent study which highlights the benefits of putting some distance between yourself and your emotions, reports Elle Hunt at The Guardian — though the strategy can backfire when it comes to positive emotions like happiness.

We’ve previously written about the psychological benefits of spending time in green spaces — but what about “blue” spaces? At Undark, Jenny Roe looks at the — admittedly limited — research into the potential for water bodies to also boost our well-being.

“Many researchers say they now see social priming not so much as a way to sway people’s unconscious behaviour, but as an object lesson in how shaky statistical methods fooled scientists into publishing irreproducible results.” At Nature, Tom Chivers takes stock of the embattled field of social priming, and asks where it can go from here.

Our grandparents pass on all kinds of wisdom and knowledge to us — and in that respect, killer whales may not be that different.  Researchers have found that killer whales have better survival rates when their grandmas are around, reports Eva Frederick at Science, probably because the older whales have superior knowledge about where to forage for food.

As the days get colder and darker, many of us long for a lie-in. So why don’t we just change our working hours? Research suggests that our sleep needs change in winter, writes Laurie Clarke at Wired, leaving our body clocks out of sync with the demands of school and work.

The run-up to Christmas is apparently also peak break-up season — but how do you know whether it’s time to call it quits on your relationship? Veronica Lamarche explores the psychology of breaking up at The Conversation.

The way that psychologists choose to test hypotheses and analyse data can profoundly affect their findings, a fact that can go some way to explaining the field’s reproducibility crisis. This has been clearly shown in a new study, in which 13 different research teams were given the same five hypotheses to test in whatever way they wanted. The results were equivocal, with evidence both for and against the hypotheses, reports Christie Aschwanden at Wired, demonstrating the pitfalls of relying on just a single study for evidence. 

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattbWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest

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