February PsychNotes

February PsychNotesAs we wrap up the 2015 wrap-ups, here is the New Yorker’s list of the year’s most interesting psychology papers.

In other news, Valentine’s day approaches. Some people appreciate the holiday less than others (we call those people “men”), but I think it’s a great opportunity to think about our connections to others even in platonic or professional contexts. No matter how charismatic or empathetic we are, there’s always room to improve our connection to others.

1. What Attractive People Do
I’m generally not a fan of “listicles,” partly because “listicle” sounds like something that should dangle from the aft end of a marine reptile. But sometimes even listicles make a good point—like this one suggesting that physical appearance is the smaller part of attractiveness.

2. What Men Really Value in Women
Cambridge professor David Bainbridge asked men which is more important in a woman: a buxom figure or an intelligent mind. After many plaintive cries of “why not both?” men unequivocally reported that intelligence matters more.

3. The End of Small Talk
When Tim Boomer had his heart broken, he decided to re-enter dating with “a no-small-talk policy.” I’ve long employed this policy thanks to poor social skills. But it seems the sort of idea that, judiciously applied, could make all manner of personal and professional connections more meaningful.

4. Valentine’s Day Around the World
In South Korea, single people celebrate Valentine’s Day with black noodles. In Italy, you can visit St. Valentine’s skull. In Japan, women treat men to chocolates and gifts. (They do so many things right in Japan.) Here’s how people in different countries celebrate Valentine’s Day.

5. Is He Worth It? News
With the release of Is He Worth It?, a surprising number of people have been kind and interested enough to ask about my writing “process.” The answer to that question is mostly speculative since I have no discernible process, but I attempted to answer over at ironshrink.

Some of you have also kindly asked what you can do to help spread the word about the book. If you’re so inclined, an Amazon review is most helpful. The book is still in its infancy, so you could be among the first and most influential.

I hope all your relationships are smooth and productive this month. See you in March!