Are You Likely to Have an Affair? Reply

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Risk Factors for Cheating Are Age, Gender and Relationship Satisfaction

By Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal

I was struck by a recent study showing that people might be more likely to cheat on a partner in the year before a milestone birthday. This suggests that if you’re in a committed relationship, you’re at roughly a 10-year cycle for heightened risk of infidelity.

Researchers said they worked with Ashley Madison, a dating website for people seeking extramarital affairs, to analyze data on more than 8 million men who had registered with the site. The study was one of six published together in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in 2014 that examined when people make big life changes. It found 950,000 men were ages 29, 39, 49 or 59, or “9-enders,” and their numbers on the dating site were 18% higher than what would be expected by chance, according to the researchers from New York University’s Stern School of Business and the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also looked at data for women and found a similar, though less pronounced, pattern.

Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Everyone, even the experts, has a different definition of “infidelity.” Some define it narrowly as sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t your spouse or committed partner. Others define it more broadly to encompass a range of sexual activities, or even emotional infidelity such as flirting or sharing secrets.

To be clear: If you break the rules of sexual or emotional commitment in your relationship, whatever they may be, it is infidelity. Different relationships have different rules. You know when you’ve breached them.

The more broadly infidelity is defined, the more common it is. The number people seem most interested in is how often married people have sex with someone other than their spouse. Most studies show that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 married people will admit to having engaged in sexual infidelity, says Justin Lehmiller, a Purdue University psychologist who studies sex and relationships and is the author of “The Psychology of Human Sexuality.”

Yet experts say almost everyone has thought about cheating on a spouse at one time or another, whether it’s fantasizing about a date with Bradley Cooper or flirting with a colleague over lunch.

Have you ever wondered if you’re in danger of being unfaithful? The experts advise you to look at these risk categories. People who engage in infidelity typically fall into more than one.

Article continues at “Gender”






30 Days to Better Mental Health Reply

Dr Eric Maisel

Dr Eric Maisel

New strategies for emotional well-being in 2015

by Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D. in Rethinking Psychology

I’d like to invite to join me over the next thirty days. Each day I’ll present a simple daily lesson and a simple daily strategy designed to improve your mental health.

If you’ve made some resolutions for the coming year, for example to loss weight or to stop smoking cigarettes, these 30 days of useful strategies and important lessons will support your efforts. Whether or not you’ve made any resolutions, why not join me and improve your emotional and mental health over the coming month? Wouldn’t that be an excellent way to start 2015?

You may want to subscribe to this blog to make sure that you get each day’s post. I am not a technological wizard but I believe that if you look to the right of this post you will see a way to subscribe. Or just put it on your to-do list to visit here daily <smile>. Either way, I hope to see you tomorrow when we begin!

I also hope that you’ll join me for a free virtual conference I’m hosting in February called The Future of Mental Health. I think you’ll find the conference really eye-opening. In it I interview 15 experts from around the world about what’s working in the way we conceptualize mental health and the way we deliver mental health services—and what isn’t working.

An array of experts of this caliber—Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America, Joanna Moncrieff, author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure, Gary Greenberg, author of Manufacturing Depression, and a dozen others—has never been gathered before. Don’t miss this free opportunity. You can register here:

We will begin in earnest tomorrow. This is nothing to do to prepare <smile>. But you might want to do the following. I recommend to my coaching clients that if they have a problem they are trying to solve—a personal problem, a professional problem, a creative problem—they go to sleep with a “sleep thinking prompt” that orients their brain toward solutions. This sleep thinking prompt might sound like “I wonder what Mary wants to say to John in chapter three of my novel?” or “I wonder how I can invest some new meaning in my work life?”

In our context, tonight you might want to ask yourself some version of the following sleep thinking prompt: “I wonder what I might try this month to improve my mental health?” In the morning, take a moment to ask yourself the prompt again and see if your sleeping brain has provided you with any useful information. Make sure to write down what your brain is offering up. You may find yourself learning something important! (If the art of solving creative, personal and career problems through sleep thinking interests you, I recommend you take a peek at my book The Power of Sleep Thinking.)

I look forward to us beginning tomorrow. I hope to see you then!


Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of 40+ books including Life Purpose Boot Camp, Rethinking Depression, and Coaching the Artist Within. In 2015 he will be launching a Future of Mental Health initiative. You can learn more about Dr. Maisel’s books, services, trainings and workshops at Contact Dr. Maisel at

Why Everything You Think About Aging May Be Wrong Reply

AgingAs We Get Older, Friendships, Creativity and Satisfaction With Life Can Flourish

By Anne Tergesen, Wall Street Journal

Everyone knows that as we age, our minds and bodies decline—and life inevitably becomes less satisfying and enjoyable.

Everyone knows that cognitive decline is inevitable.

Everyone knows that as we get older, we become less productive at work.

Everyone, it seems, is wrong.

Contrary to the stereotype of later life as a time of loneliness, depression and decline, a growing body of scientific research shows that, in many ways, life gets better as we get older.

“The story used to be that satisfaction with life went downhill, but the remarkable thing that researchers are finding is that doesn’t seem to be the case,” says Timothy Salthouse, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.

In fact, a growing body of evidence indicates that our moods and overall sense of well-being improve with age. Friendships tend to grow more intimate, too, as older adults prioritize what matters most to them, says Karen Fingerman, a professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

Other academics have found that knowledge and certain types of intelligence continue to develop in ways that can even offset age-related declines in the brain’s ability to process new information and reason abstractly. Expertise deepens, which can enhance productivity and creativity. Some go so far as to say that wisdom—defined, in part, as the ability to resolve conflicts by seeing problems from multiple perspectives—flourishes.

To be sure, growing older has its share of challenges. Some people don’t age as well as others. And especially at advanced ages, chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and dementia become increasingly common and can take a toll on mental, as well as physical, health.

Still, those who fall into the “stereotype of being depressed, cranky, irritable and obsessed with their alimentary canal” constitute “no more than 10% of the older population,” says Paul Costa, a scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, who for more than three decades directed the personality program of the long-running Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. “The other 90% of the population isn’t like that at all,” Dr. Costa says.

Here are six prevalent myths about aging—along with recent research that dispels common misconceptions.

Feature continues here:  Aging Myths



Automation Makes Us Dumb Reply

Computers are taking over the kinds of knowledge work long considered the preserve of well-educated, well-trained professionals. Luci Gutiérrez

Computers are taking over the kinds of knowledge work long considered the preserve of well-educated, well-trained professionals. Luci Gutiérrez

Human intelligence is withering as computers do more, but there’s a solution.

By Nicholas Carr , Wall Street Journal

Artificial intelligence has arrived. Today’s computers are discerning and sharp. They can sense the environment, untangle knotty problems, make subtle judgments and learn from experience. They don’t think the way we think—they’re still as mindless as toothpicks—but they can replicate many of our most prized intellectual talents. Dazzled by our brilliant new machines, we’ve been rushing to hand them all sorts of sophisticated jobs that we used to do ourselves.

But our growing reliance on computer automation may be exacting a high price. Worrisome evidence suggests that our own intelligence is withering as we become more dependent on the artificial variety. Rather than lifting us up, smart software seems to be dumbing us down.

It has been a slow process. The first wave of automation rolled through U.S. industry after World War II, when manufacturers began installing electronically controlled equipment in their plants. The new machines made factories more efficient and companies more profitable. They were also heralded as emancipators. By relieving factory hands of routine chores, they would do more than boost productivity. They would elevate laborers, giving them more invigorating jobs and more valuable talents. The new technology would be ennobling.

Then, in the 1950s, a Harvard Business School professor named James Bright went into the field to study automation’s actual effects on a variety of industries, from heavy manufacturing to oil refining to bread baking. Factory conditions, he discovered, were anything but uplifting. More often than not, the new machines were leaving workers with drabber, less demanding jobs. An automated milling machine, for example, didn’t transform the metalworker into a more creative artisan; it turned him into a pusher of buttons.

Bright concluded that the overriding effect of automation was (in the jargon of labor economists) to “de-skill” workers rather than to “up-skill” them. “The lesson should be increasingly clear,” he wrote in 1966. “Highly complex equipment” did not require “skilled operators. The ‘skill’ can be built into the machine.”

We are learning that lesson again today on a much broader scale. As software has become capable of analysis and decision-making, automation has leapt out of the factory and into the white-collar world. Computers are taking over the kinds of knowledge work long considered the preserve of well-educated, well-trained professionals: Pilots rely on computers to fly planes; doctors consult them in diagnosing ailments; architects use them to design buildings. Automation’s new wave is hitting just about everyone.

Essay continues here:  Automation Makes Us Dumb





Walk This Way: Acting Happy Can Make It So Reply

Uplifting Actions: Short bursts of exercise, putting a bounce in your step and talking to strangers can brighten your outlook. LINZIE HUNTER

Uplifting Actions: Short bursts of exercise, putting a bounce in your step and talking to strangers can brighten your outlook. LINZIE HUNTER

Research Shows People Can Improve Their Mood With Small Changes in Behavior

By Sumathi Reddy, Wall Street Journal

Happy people walk differently than others, and scientists are finding that putting on a happy walk may give your mood a boost.

Research shows people’s mood affects how they walk. When people are happy, they tend to walk faster and more upright, swing their arms and move up and down more, and sway less side to side than sad or depressed people.

A recent study found that deliberately walking like a happy person can lift one’s spirits. And adopting the gait of a depressed person can bring on sadness. Scientists behind the study, which was published online in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in September, hope to determine if a small change in outward behavior like how we walk could work in a clinical setting to help treat depression.

“There is a mutual influence between mood and body and movement,” said Johannes Michalak, a professor in the department of psychology and psychotherapy at Germany’s Witten Herdecke University and first author of the study. “There might be specific types of movements that are specific characteristics of depression and this feeds the lower mood. So it’s a vicious cycle,” he said.

A range of studies have found many little ways we can improve our mood, from talking to strangers to arranging a match between friends. Even abstaining from temptations such as chocolate can help boost our state of relative happiness by helping us appreciate experiences that are repeated in everyday life.

“There are these little doses of social interactions that are available in our day” that can brighten our mood and create a sense of belonging. “I don’t think people recognize this,” said Elizabeth Dunn, an associate psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, who co-authored a study last year of customers’ interactions with Starbucks baristas.

In the walking study, researchers at Queen’s University in Canada, working with the research team in Germany, had 39 undergraduate students walk on a treadmill at a steady pace while watching an interactive gauge displayed on a monitor in front of them.

The students were told to attempt different ways of walking until through trial and error they were able to move the gauge to the right. Moving the gauge to the right meant walking in a depressed manner for half the participants, and in a happy manner for the other half. They weren’t told what the gauge was measuring.

Article continues here:  Behavior Modification Made Easy




Why Men Are Quicker to Date Again After a Spouse’s Death Reply

Crying manBy Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal

It was the most difficult thing Jeff Crispell had ever been through—the loss of his wife of 25 years, Rosanne, to a rare form of cancer.

Four years ago, doctors found a large tumor in her sinus cavity, and Mr. Crispell will never forget what they said after the biopsy: “Prepare for the worst.”

He took the next two years to be her full-time caretaker. When she died, at age 61, Mr. Crispell commemorated her life with a 20-minute video about her childhood and adolescence, her first marriage, the birth of her daughter, her marriage to Mr. Crispell, and the beautiful art and jewelry she created. He played the video at her memorial service and gave copies of it, with a booklet about her, to their friends and family.

Three months later, he signed up on two online dating sites.

“I knew that because of the time frame some people might take a dim view of it,” says Mr. Crispell, a 69-year-old retired manager of a computer graphics department who lives in San Diego. “But I think from the distribution of the book and the video, it was evident how much I loved and respected my wife during her lifetime.”

The decision to move on and find a new partner after the death of a beloved spouse is emotionally wrenching and deeply personal. It’s a choice many of us will face. Some people, even after a happy marriage, start looking for a new mate fairly soon. Others choose to remain single. There is no right or wrong decision.

The idea of becoming attached and losing someone again terrifies some. Others are so spent from caring for a dying spouse that they have no energy or desire to get to know someone new. And when you’re grieving, you don’t exactly feel adventurous, outgoing, charming—in other words, like dating.

Loved ones who would never think of criticizing your appearance or your financial decisions have no problem weighing in on whether you are dating too soon—or not soon enough. At first, they pressure you not to move on too soon. But stay single for a while and they’ll nag you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with your life.

If children are small, you want to protect them. If they are grown, they want to protect you, as well as the memory of their deceased parent and their inheritance.

Children, regardless of age, may worry that if you find a new partner, you won’t have time for them. They have already lost one parent and don’t want to lose another.

Story continues here:  Why Men Rebound After Spouse’s Death 


Feeling Younger May Help Memory as We Age Reply

Don't act your age....

Don’t act your age….

Younger Self-Image May Help Preserve Cognitive Function as People Get Older

By Ann Lukts, Wall Street Journal

Feeling younger than one’s real age could help to preserve memory and cognitive function as people get older, says a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

The study comes as recent research suggests aging is both a subjective and biological experience. A younger self-image was more common in physically active people with a lower body-mass index, the latest study found.

The study, conducted by researchers in France, analyzed data from 1,352 men and women, age 50 to 75 years old, who were enrolled in a larger U.S. study in the mid-1990s. Participants were asked how old they felt most of the time and how often they participated in moderate or vigorous exercise. Other information, such as the presence of chronic diseases, was recorded.

After about 10 years, cognitive function was assessed with tests of memory and executive function, the capacity to plan and carry out complex tasks. The study found that, on average, the participants felt 19% younger than their chronological age. Of the subjects, 89% felt younger and 11% felt older than their actual age. Those who felt older than their age scored 25% lower on memory and cognitive tests than those who felt younger.

The association between a younger subjective age and better memory and executive functioning was independent of gender, educational achievement, marital status and chronic diseases, the adjusted results showed. People who feel older than their age might require closer monitoring, as this may be an early marker of impaired cognition leading to dementia, the researchers said.

Caveat: The subjects’ social networks, history of depression, medication use and cognitive-related leisure activities weren’t considered.

Randy Pausch Lecture: Time Management Reply

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch gave a lecture on Time Management at the University of Virginia in November 2007. Randy Pausch — — is a virtual reality pioneer, human-computer interaction researcher, co-founder of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center — — and creator of the Alice — — software project. The slides for this lecture and high-res downloadable versions of this and other lectures can be found at:

Create A “Go To Hell” Plan to Help Survive Your Next Crisis Reply

PlanningBy Chris Simmons

From my earliest days in the military, I was taught to always have a plan. It made sense. After all, if something is worth the investment of your precious resources (i.e., time, talents, and treasures), it merits a well thought-out roadmap to success.

But it didn’t stop there. “Your adversary has a vote” we were told, or more emphatically – “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” To offset our foe’s “vote,” we needed to create a “Plan B” (also known as a “back-up” or “alternative plan”). The purpose of Plan B was to have a viable option when the unexpected occurred.

Then they forced us to develop a contingency for when the seemingly unimaginable occurred. This contingency, known throughout the military as a “Go To Hell” plan, forced us to consider and plan for nightmare scenarios. Saddam Hussein got schooled in this concept a week into the 2003 invasion of Iraq when, with all his military forces fighting in the south, a brigade of US paratroopers unexpectedly jumped into northern Iraq. He lost control of the entire northern third of the nation immediately.

Note to self — luck and hope are not planning factors.

We enhanced the value of our plans by role playing through all three scenarios: the most likely, the supposedly less likely, and then the improbable. The mere act of visualizing the “what ifs” better prepared us for a range of situations, not just the ideal one. This de facto rehearsal also had a calming effect. When we needed to jump from Plan “A” to Plan “B” (or worse), we already knew the key planning issues: who, what, when, where, why, and how. This familiarity bred confidence and reduced stress.

That said, we always kept in mind that our personal experiences and biases skewed what we considered to be possible and probable. We knew we could still misread our adversary. This awareness helped reduce the impact of the shock anytime we were surprised.

Finally, a plan need not be perfect. A good plan well executed now is infinitely better than the perfect plan too late.

I quickly grasped that this planning methodology wasn’t just for the military. It is applicable and relevant to everyone’s personal and professional lives as well. Job relocations, births, deaths, accidents, illnesses, promotions, marriages, divorces, financial ups & downs….the list is endless. Life is unpredictable and demanding. Planning adds clarity and reduces anxiety. Life happens, be ready for it.