1. Is it possible to create your own dreams?
Yes. Just choose your sound and you'll increase your chances of a dream-to-order. Professor Richard Wiseman of University of Hertfordshire invited people to download an app for their iPhones that played 'soundscapes' designed to suggest scenes such as a forest or a beach. 500,000 people downloaded the app and Wiseman's team collected millions of dream reports. Sure enough, the dreams matched the sound more often than you'd expect from chance alone.
2. Let's say you've decided to cut back on sugary drinks. Should you choose a tall, thin glass or a short, wide one?
A tall thin one. You're likely to drink less because we tend to take more notice of height than width. It's no minor difference. An American study showed that adults add 30 to 35 per cent more orange juice into chubby containers than tall, thin ones.
3. Which is the best sign of a strong, enduring relationship? A) Partners who offer support when one misses out on promotion at work B) Partners who celebrate the other's success C) Partners who listen carefully after asking, 'How was your day?'
B) Partners who celebrate the other's success
They are all signs of a good relationship, but Shelly Gable of the University of California and colleagues report that when partners celebrate each other's accomplishments, they're significantly more likely to experience happiness and stronger relationships.
Would the same apply at work? Why not?
4. You are taking a difficult multi-choice test. Should you avoid changing the answer that seemed right at first reading?
No. The idea that your first impression is more likely to be reliable in a multi-choice test is a myth. Researchers who've checked it out it say that changes from right to wrong answers are more memorable. Those 'If only I'd left it' moments have built up a belief that the first instinctive answer is more likely to be correct. It's not true. Tell the kids.
5. True or false? 'Being in a positive mood has a down-side: It makes us less careful when we made decisions'.
False. Three decades of evidence shows that being in a positive mood helps us be more careful, systematic and efficient when we make decisions. There's not even much evidence to suggest that we ignore negative information, or risks, when we are feeling chirpy.
Being in a positive moood doesn't stop us applying some realistic skepticism when we are making a big decision. Positive mood and skepticism make a powerful combination.
6. Which is most likely to make you happy? A) Being curious B) Doing things you enjoy C) Exercise D) Achieving a big goal
A) Being curious. (Though all work.) Even if you are anxious about trying something new, being curious works as a source of happiness and leads to other ways to be happy, such as new experiences and relationships. Being curious usually results in more satisfaction with life overall.
A bonus: Harvard Medical School sees curiosity as a life–extender.
7. Which Star Wars character gave the advice, 'Your focus determines your reality'?
Yoda Grand Master of the Jedi Order who first appeared in 'The Empire Strikes Back'.
Was he right, or is reality just reality?
He's right for humans. Our brains select what fits our existing view of the world. Brains are also easily distracted. The ability to determine our own reality by activley focusing on a goal while ignoring distractions is an essential life skill, but a major challenge for most of us. For example, researchers report that our minds typically wander 20-40 percent of the time we are reading text. Did you get that? Did you notice the typo in the fourth sentence of this longer paragraph? (activley)