British anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, came up with Dunbar's number in the 1990s after finding a correlation between the average size of a social group and the brain size of primates. 150 is the suggested cognitive limit to the number of persons that someone can maintain a stable social relationship with. Exceeding this number is very rare, since becoming close to new people will make the quality of some older relationships deteriorate over time.
If you're trying to do something creative, like writing a short story or designing a dress, you'd be better off doing it after a long and stressful day. This is because researchers have found that people actually become more creative when their brains aren't functioning as efficiently. This is one of the main reasons why people often get great ideas while taking a shower after a hard day's work.
Everyone has felt the great pain of rejection at some point in their lives, but did you know that rejection does not merely cause emotional pain, but actual physical harm too? Even if you can't feel any physical pain, scientists have found that the reactions and cascading events that take place in the brain after being rejected or experiencing physical pain are almost identical. What's more, the same natural chemical is released in both instances, too.
Often dismissed by people as mere tittle-tattle, research actually shows that the urge to gossip lies at the very core of a human being. According to Prof. Nick Emler, a professor of social psychology from the University of Surrey, "it is gossip that sets us apart from other animals. It is fundamental to being human. It allows us to know about people that we have never met," and "is absolutely fundamental to human society." He says that "you can only see and observe a certain amount. With gossip, you can know about 100,000 people without knowing them."
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently found that the quality and size of a person's social ties directly affect certain kinds of health measures, such as hypertension and abdominal obesity at different points in their lives. Similarly, there are also studies which show that being considerably lonely can significantly decrease your life expectancy.
This is because we are social creatures, and depend on our ability to work as a team with other people to survive. That's why our brain has an in-built reward system that sends out oxytocin to make us feel better when we do positive things for others, including spending money on them.
A phenomenon known as the Dunning Kruger Effect shows that not only do intelligent people tend to underestimate themselves a lot more than the average person, but that ignorant people have the opposite tendency to overestimate themselves instead.
This might sound weird, but a series of experiments led by Boaz Keysar from the University of Chicago found that thinking in a foreign language actually reduced the interference of misleading and deep-seated biases that are known to influence the perception of advantages and disadvantages.
If a person makes eye contact with you for 100% of a conversation, then they are probably trying to threaten you. If they do this for 80% of the conversation then they may be attracted to you, and if they do it for 60% of the conversation that it's a good indicator that you are boring them.
While many people think that by telling others about their goals, they will find a solid support network to help them succeed, multiple studies show that the reality of this is quite the opposite. This is because announcing your plans actually satisfies your self-identity enough to give you a premature sense of completeness.
Known as 'placebo sleep', believing that you have slept enough will actually make you feel more refreshed and ready to take on the day's challenges, even if you actually slept too few or too many hours. On the other hand, constantly talking about how exhausted you are will actually make you feel tired and can be detrimental to your performance.
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