Author University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

Brain scan predicts if a smoker will quit successfully

Brain scans showing neural reactions to pro-health messages can predict if you’ll keep that resolution to quit smoking more accurately than you yourself can. That’s according to a new study forthcoming in Health Psychology, a peer-reviewed journal.

Sick at work and surfing the net? You’re not alone – or are you?

Some scholars estimate that presenteeism, a relatively recent buzzword that applies to people who are less productive at work because of health issues, costs employers as much as three times the dollar amount as absenteeism in terms of lost productivity. A new opinion paper suggests that the tools for measuring and quantifying hours of lost productivity and translating those hours to dollars are unreliable and don’t capture the entire presenteeism picture, said Susan Hagen, an analyst from the U-M School of Kinesiology Health Management Research Center (HMRC).

Core values unite Americans, despite divisions

Americans are united when it comes to many core values, according to a University of Michigan survey. But the nation is deeply divided about certain issues, including gay marriage, immigration, and universal healthcare.

Homework wars: How can parents improve the odds of winning?

Children are more likely to do their homework if they see it as an investment, not a chore, according to new research at the University of Michigan. Most children in the United States say they expect to go to college, but there is frequently a gap between students’ goals and their current behavior.

Former Bush Voters Could Determine Outcome of 2012 Presidential Elections

President Obama’s campaign brought millions of new voters to polls during the 2008 elections, but the decisions of former Bush voters had a substantial effect on the outcome. A new University of Michigan analysis indicates that several million formerly Republican voters chose not to support party nominee John McCain, either staying home during the elections or opting for Barack Obama.

Brooding Russians: Less distressed than Americans

Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy portrayed Russians as a brooding, complicated people, and ethnographers have confirmed that Russians tend to focus on dark feelings and memories more than Westerners do. But a new University of Michigan study finds that even though Russians tend to brood, they are less likely than Americans to feel as depressed as a result.

Ethnic Differences in Grieving Among Alzheimer’s Caregivers

New research from the University of Michigan reveals racial and ethnic differences in the emotional attitudes of caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients. James McNally of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, part of the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), found significant variations in the emotional reactions of blacks, whites, and Hispanics to both caring for and grieving for Alzheimer’s patients.

College Students Less Empathetic than They Used to Be

Today’s college students are not as empathetic as college students of the 1980s and ’90s, a University of Michigan study shows. The study, presented in Boston at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, analyzes data on empathy among almost 14,000 college students over the last 30 years.

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