Wetenschap - 2 juni 2016

Biodiversity

Peace in Colombia is good for biodiversity on the planet. Scientists expect to discover countless new species. The jungle of Colombia is seen as one of the most species-rich places in the world, but because of the civil war, research has been at a standstill for half a century. Now there are already 22 government-run research expeditions in the pipeline. First get peace established though.

Multimediatasking

Watching TV and playing with your phone at the same time is bad for your grades, shows a study by the University of Toronto. Media multitaskers have a poorer working memory and are more impulsive. The researchers do make one caveat. The media behaviour could be an effect of a poorer working memory and impulsiveness. Chicken and egg, then.

Happiness (1)

Drinking makes us happier, suggests Mappiness, the English precursor to Alterra’s HappyHier app. People use the app to communicate how happy they feel, what they are doing and who they are doing it with, at various  times. When people are drinking their happiness score is 10 points higher on average on a scale from 1 to 100, discovered researchers at the London School of Economics. But isn’t that chicken and egg too?

Happiness (2)

In other words, might we start drinking when we feel happy? The researchers don’t think so. Corrected for the activities people engage in and the company they keep, alcohol still seems to make them significantly happier. The effect is bigger if we drink when doing something we dislike than when we are pleasantly engaged. So a warning from the researchers is in place: the effect is not linear. Or, in the word of the Dutch government warning: Enjoy, but drink in moderation.


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