Emotion

Want to love a robot? Let it nurture you, not the other way around

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 10, 2013   View Article

When human-like robots are standard home appliances, their owners will have increasingly warm, positive feelings for them if the robots take good care of their owners and require little maintenance, according to a new study.

In the study, participants could help Nao, a human-like robot, calibrate its eyes, or Nao could examine the human’s eye as if it was a concerned doctor and make suggestions to improve vision. After the task, the participants were asked how they felt about the robot.

The researchers found that participants trusted the robot more and were more satisfied with their relationship when they received eye care, for example, rather than gave it. In other words, when it comes to building a relationship with human-like robots, it is better to receive than to give.

Global warming to make work miserable, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 24, 2013   View Article

Hot and muggy weather over the past few decades has led to about a 10 percent drop in the physiological capacity of people to do their work safely and those drops will be even greater as the climate continues to warm, a new study finds.

People may continue to work in the hot and muggy conditions, “but their misery will increase while they are productive,” John Dunne, a research oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, N.J., told NBC News.

Why a red shirt helped Tiger Woods

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: June 8, 2011   View Article

Back in the noughties, Tiger Woods, dressed in a red shirt, hoisted a trophy on the 18th green on almost every Sunday that he started out with at least a share of the lead. Science is helping explain how the red shirt helped him — and why it won’t do much for the golfer now.

“It made him feel more confident and powerful and made others shrink in fear of this alpha male among us,” Andrew Elliot, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, told me Tuesday.

Touching Hard, Heavy Objects Makes Us More Serious

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 24, 2010   View Article

Job seekers take note: Resumes printed on heavy paper stock are likely considered more seriously than those on lightweight sheets.

That’s the finding of a new study that reveals our sense of touch unconsciously influences our thoughts and moods.

Good times of the animal kind

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: July 27, 2009   View Article

Few humans would disagree that a good chuckle every now and again feels good. Monkeys, dogs and fish get a kick out of life as well, says Jonathan Balcombe, a senior research scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. He has written several research papers and books on animal pleasure, including “Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasures,” due out next year. Check out an overview of good times in the animal kingdom.

Brains of Bullies Light Up With Pleasure as People Squirm

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 7, 2008   View Article

The brains of bullies—kids who start fights, tell lies, and break stuff with glee—may be wired to feel pleasure when watching others suffer pain, according to a new brain scanning study.

Tanning “Buzz” Could Lead to Addiction

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 19, 2005   View Article

Just like the physical rush experienced by endurance athletes, sunbathers often feel a “buzz” after a long day at the beach. But scientists say this natural high can be fatally addictive.

“We treat a lot of patients who have tans and get skin cancer. We tell them to cut back [on their tanning], but they just can’t seem to stop,” said Richard Wagner, a dermatologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach