Cannabis for construction workers, Romance research noir-noir-noir

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: Cannabis for construction workers — A Nigerian study from 2015 hints at a cannabis boost to efficiency. Manasseh Iroegbu at the University of Uyo, Nigeria, is lead author of “Exploring the performance of mason workers in the […]

Machiavellian romance shrouded in the Veil of Darkness

You suspect you’re in for a jolly read —a jolly ride, really, through the realm of romantic evil! — when a scholarly report begins with the words: When are women drawn to shady, self-centered, sly, cunning, and manipulative men? … In this work, we postulate in our novel Veil of Darkness hypothesis that men with “dark” personality […]

Miss Conduct’s psych-based theory of romance (with added Star Trek)

Miss Conduct outlines her psychology-based theory of romance, illustrated with examples from Star Trek: So here’s my Theory of Romance, based on work by David McClelland, a great man with whom I had the tremendous privilege to work early in my grad-school career, and Dan McAdams, author of one of the best non-academic books on psychology I have […]

Romantic language of and about science

Savor the romance, if you will (or don’t, if you won’t) in the wording of this press release from Patricia Donovan of the University of Buffalo (UB): Lead author Lora E. Park [pictured here], PhD, UB associate professor of psychology and her co-authors, found converging support for the idea that when romantic goals are activated, […]

Flowers: But are they worth it?

“For millennia flowers have been used to convey romance, yet their effect on human romantic behavior has not been explicitly tested.” This lacuna in the literature has recently been filled, or, at the very least substantially occluded, by Professor Nicolas Guéguen of the Université de Bretagne-Sud, France (see: Improbable Research, passim [1] [2] [3] &etc) […]

Kissing and the Common Cold?

Valentine’s Day always brings the question “Can you catch a cold by kissing?” A 1984 experiment gave this answer: “Casual social encounters or kisses between infected and susceptible individuals are probably unlikely to result in the transmission of rhinoviruses.” Here’s kissing data from the experiment. The citation and further quotations appear below it.