1. How to have a happy Christmas
We all need a happy Christmas (or cultural equivalent), but how can we get it? This research into happiness and yuletide suggests that attention on spending and consumption is related to less happiness while family and non secular experiences are related to more happiness. Not exactly earth-shattering, but satisfying to quote to little Billy when he complains about his presents.
2. What’s the best type of chocolate?
Should we discover ourselves unhappy at Christmas (shock! horror!), perhaps a touch chocolate will help rectify the situation? But what to settle on for max pleasure: normal chocolate, chocolate or dark chocolate? For the solution we address the Chocolate Happiness Undergoing More Pleasantness study. That’s right, the CHUMP study. It’s a true thing, and it’s a randomised controlled trial. Unfortunately the results were inconclusive so you’ll be forced to conduct your own research.
✔ Self-Controlled People Are Raised By Fathers Who do that (M)
✔ the two most engaging Personality Traits during a Romantic Partner (M)
✔ How Long Sadness Lasts After a serious Life Event (M)
3. When gifts go wrong
Giving and receiving gifts are often a situation . We assume people on the brink of us know us tolerably to urge us good gifts. So when a nasty gift comes it tends to reflect poorly on the connection . However men and ladies seem to possess different psychological defence mechanisms for handling poor gifts: women pretend the gift is simply what they’ve always wanted whereas men are more likely to mention what they think. then the arguments start.
4. Don’t give money!
And talking of poor gifts, this study finds money is perhaps a nasty gift perhaps because it can’t send a meaningful message about intimacy and tends to send the incorrect message about status differences. Perhaps that’s why it seems to be okay to give money to children, but not adults.
5. It’s all about the giving
As you recognize , Christmas isn’t about the getting, it’s all about the giving. This neat research found that pocket money on others promotes our own happiness better than pocket money on ourselves.
6. What do your decorations say about you?
Research suggests that decorations on a home’s exterior make people think you’re more sociable and maybe more integrated with the community and with its social activities. But confirm you don’t tip over into ‘Christmas lighting addiction‘.
7. The smell of Christmas
It’s the season of rampant commercialism and therefore the shops have gone into overdrive. Christmas music has been playing everywhere for months, but have you ever encountered any Christmas smells? consistent with this study Christmas music interacts with Christmas scents to spice up our attitudes to stores and increase our likelihood of visiting them. I can’t help wondering what a ‘Christmas smell’ is though…
8. Good food is usually within the mind
We all do tons of eating at Christmas but does the chef get enough credit? Brian Wansink, a food psychologist, describes all kinds of cool tricks for enhancing people’s perceptions of the food they’re eating. It’s all about harnessing the ‘halo effect‘. Leave parsley and chervil lying around, mention the organic turkey farmer you recognize , use evocative labels for the food you’re serving, tell them the wine is first rate, albeit it’s all just talk.
This isn’t alcohol related but a neat little study where participants were asked to concentrate to noise and press a button once they heard Crosby singing ‘White Christmas’. Almost one-third of the participants pressed the button a minimum of once despite the noise being white-only with not a touch of Christmas. To the researchers this suggested a link between auditory hallucinations and being susceptible to fantasy. To me it suggests an excessive amount of time spent in department shops .
10. checking out the Christmas spirit
Again, not alcohol related but a asking the question: what exactly is that the ‘Christmas spirit’? consistent with this survey of 450 people, the Christmas spirit has five components: bonhomie, gay abandon, ritual, shopping and tiny little bit of dejection. Yup, sounds about right to me.
11. Bad jokes
The unholy union of Christmas and bad jokes are often blamed on Londoner Thomas J. Smith who in 1847 invented the Christmas cracker. Almost none folks find the jokes inside funny as a web survey of two ,000 people has confirmed. the highest rated joke raised a reluctant smile in only 12% of individuals . For posterity here it is: “What does one call a penguin within the Sahara desert? Lost.” GROAN
12. Santa Claus
This study asks why we continue promoting the parable of Santa Claus to children. From the 318 parents surveyed, they found that it’s the parable and magic within the story that we like. I don’t understand all this talk about myth and magic though, Santa Claus is clearly real.