Source of article The Jury Room - Keene Trial Consulting.

Here’s another combination post to make sure you stay informed about the many things we come across as we seek out interesting blog posts. And we will get to it, but no. Gelotophobia is not a fear of gelatin.

Aha! Sudden insights or “epiphany learning”

You’ve probably had those rare moments of insight when you are suddenly able to see a solution to a vexing problem. Scientists call them moments of epiphany and they only recently discovered a way to study them. As it happens, the way to study this sort of learning requires eye tracking and pupil dilation software. Apparently, when scientists observe that participant’s pupils are dilating, they know the participant is both paying close attention and learning. What they found was that once the learning had ended (i.e., the ‘Eureka!’ moment had passed), pupil dilation decreased. They concluded that epiphany learning only occurs when you are thinking and focusing on the feedback you are given about your performance rather than looking to see what others are doing.

Secrets you keep and the development of the Common Secrets Questionnaire

If you’ve ever wondered what sorts of secrets people keep, wonder no more! Columbia university researchers have done this snooping for you and the ever-helpful Neuroskeptic blog has listed them in order of frequency. Sex plays a big role in secrets as do many other common issues like theft, ambition, money, trauma, mental health, and concerns about relationships.

Here, courtesy of those researchers, is a secret to well-being: Do not be preoccupied with your secret concerns—the more your mind wanders to them, the lower your overall well-being. Here’s a link to the Common Secrets Questionnaire if you would like to take it yourself.

Incivility in academia, and in medical offices

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently had an article on incivility at work that tells us this sort of behavior remains quite common is the US, Canada and Britain according to a 30-page survey completed by more than 830 people across the three countries. More than 64% of the respondents said they had been the target of faculty incivility and 77% had seen others targeted. Unfortunately, reporting the behavior didn’t always get results. Of the 71% who reported it, half said the behavior continued. In short, academics don’t just think and teach in universities—some of them use their power to bully and intimidate others.

Unfortunately, incivility is not just rife in academia but also in medical office — not just doctors, but by nursing staff and patients as well. The New York Times recently documented this and ended their article with a clear statement about the importance of civility for healing:

“Rudeness affects your spirit, your morale, your connection to your job, and your effectiveness in that job. It gets in the way of health, and it gets in the way of healing.”

Gelotophobia makes you think all laughter is bad laughter

We’ve heard a lot about laughter being the best medicine and its role in extending our lives and boosting the immune system. But not for the gelotophobic among us according to this article from Scientific American. Gelotophobes (as the article refers to people with this phobia) are phobic about being laughed at and are prone to think any sort of laughter is directed (maliciously) at them. The good news is that gelotophobia should respond to the same kind of therapies as do other phobias (if the person will actually pursue treatment).

Slepian, M., Chun, J., & Mason, M. (2017). The Experience of Secrecy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology DOI: 10.1037/pspa0000085