1. Let’s say your friend is preparing for a trip to somewhere remote and asks your advice. Would she be more likely to enjoy her trip with a camera or without?

With. She could increase her enjoyment in two ways. People who treat events as photo opportunities tend to be more immersed in their experiences and the photos would help her savour the experiences when the trip is over. (Savouring is a proven way of enhancing happiness.)

Don’t believe taking photos would enhance your experience? Leave the camera at home. Researchers have shown that the increase in enjoyment doesn’t work for non-believers.

2. At what age do children know that others owe them a favour? A) Three  B) Five  C) Eight

A) Three. A recent study suggests that three-year-olds have a sense of fairness based on reciprocity. In adult language, it would be, ‘If I share my toys with you now, I’ll expect you to share when I want a turn with your toys’.

3. How true is the statement, ‘Human memory works like a video camera. If we’ve seen it with our own eyes, it’s reliable’?  A) True  B) Mostly true  C) Mostly untrue

C) Mostly untrue. A few years ago 63 per cent of people told researchers that the comparison with video was accurate. Many judges and police believe that the more confident a witness is, the more reliable the evidence. Research psychologists have found little relationship between confidence and accuracy. Our memories are often a distorted account of what we saw and those memories change over time.

4. You want to buy a wedding gift that shows how much you care. Which of these is the couple most likely to appreciate? A) A gift that shows how much you understand their interests and tastes  B) A gift they can use every day  C) Something from the couple’s wish list.

C) Something from the couple’s wish list. A recent study by psychologists at Stanford and Harvard Universities demonstrates the point. Receivers appreciated gifts they’d asked for more than those chosen in an attempt to show thoughtfulness.

5. Is it true that our personalities are fixed by the time we reach adulthood?

No. Research over many years shows that we can change our personalities throughout our lives.

6. Let’s say you are preparing for an exam and you’ve spent the last few hours studying. Which of these strategies would help you remember the key facts? A) Exercise B) Taking a nap C) Both D) Neither

C) Both The value of exercise is probably no surprise, but a recent study in the United States showed that napping works well too. Dutch researchers who investigated the exercise strategy found something odd. Exercising immediately doesn’t improve learning. Waiting four hours, then exercising does. Why the difference? They’re working on it.

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