to Spot a Psycho
Beware of your colleagues. If they are manipulative, arrogant,
heartless, impatient, impulsive, unreliable and superficially
charming, they can be psychos, scientists warn. Psychologists
say that psychopaths come in all shapes and sizes and there
are far more out there than we think. In fact, there could
be one sitting next to you or in an office as a manager.
According to New Scientist, they share the same character
traits as sadistic killers and this helps them to prosper
in high-powered professions like politics, the media, law
and business where they can dominate others as part of 'getting
the job done'. Such so-called "corporate psychopaths"
commit crimes and end up in prison. They never keep their
promise and take credit for others' work. Professor Robert
Hare, a leading expert on psychopaths, has devised a test
called 'Business Scan 360' to find out psychopaths before
they do any harm to anybody around them. "Wherever
you get power, prestige and money you will find them. The
most important thing is to be aware, if you suspect you
are working with a psychopath. Once you take that position
you are in a better position to deal with them," the
report quoted professor Hare as saying.
Side of a Negative Mood
at the University of New South Wales have found that people
in a negative mood prove to be more accurate eyewitnesses
than their positive mood counterparts. The finding is the
first to assess the effect of mood on memory and human thinking.
During the course of study, researchers put different subjects
in a positive or negative mood state and tested their recall
accuracy of a staged eyewitness event such as a bag snatch.
They found that people in a positive mood such as happiness
were shown to have relatively unreliable memories, poorer
judgement and critical thinking skills, whereas those in
a negative mood such as sadness provided more reliable eyewitness
accounts and superior thinking and communication skills.
"It shows that our recollection of past events are
more likely to be contaminated by irrelevant information
when we are in a positive mood. A positive mood is likely
to trigger less careful thinking strategies," said
Professor Forgas. In another experiment, researchers asked
people to write down an argument in favour of a particular
proposition, by putting them in positive or negative mood
state. When their arguments were analysed for their quality
and persuasiveness, subjects in a negative mood were shown
to be far more effective in their critical thinking and
communication skills. "This supports the idea that
mood states are evolutionary signals about how to deal with
threatening situations. That is, a negative mood state triggers
more systematic, more attentive, more vigilant information
processing. By contrast, good moods signal a benign, non-threatening
environment where we don't need to be so vigilant,"
said Professor Forgas.
Between Food and Emotions
it seems provides consolation to people suffering from depression
and boredom, with almost half of adults in Britain eating
to combat the blues or get over failed romances and in the
process ending up being overweight. Specialists at the Priory
Hospital in south-west London, who published the study,
said the figures highlight an unhealthy relationship between
food and emotions. "Our acceptance of distorted body
images in the media and the relentless pressure on women
and men to conform to a certain body type means that increasing
numbers of people will be affected by potentially life-threatening
mental health issues related to food, weight and body image,"
Peter Smith, hospital director at The Priory in Roehampton
quoted. The survey, of 2,000 people, showed 47 per cent
of adolescents aged 16-24 and 40 per cent of those aged
between 35-44 ate because they were bored while a third
of the women feel guilty after eating and say they would
be happier if they were thinner. "These patients are
slightly underweight, binge and vomit, then don't eat -
their symptoms oscillate, reflecting a ceaseless struggle
with their weight, eating and emotions," Smith added.
According to the study, an increasing number of women patients
in their 30s and 40s are battling with obesity after linking
weight gain with their motions.
Extracts as Preservative
scientists have claimed that extracts from grape pomace
can be effectively used as an anti-microbial agent to destroy
pathogens thereby helping in preserving food. Experiments
conducted by Dr. Osman Sagdic and his team at Erciyes University
and Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey, the findings of
which appear in the Journal of the Science of Food and
Agriculture, has revealed that grape pomace extracts
when tested on bacteria species at a concentration of five
percent gave positive anti-bacterial results. Scientists
are also optimistic about their discovery, as they believe
that people prefer natural preservatives compared to artificial
ones. "The extracts can be used in food formulations
to protect food against spoilage bacteria. People prefer
natural preservatives in the place of synthetic counterparts
in food," the journal quoted Dr Sagdic as saying.
to be a Cartoon?
the kids and adults, who have been drooling over those oh-
so- cute Shrek- like characters, finally have a chance to
see what they would look like if they were cartoon characters,
as computer scientists in Washington have now made a software
that can turn digital videos into cartoon films.
to Nature, the software, which was presented at the SIGGRAPH
computer graphics meeting in Los Angeles last week, scans
the user's film for prominent objects and then turns that
movement into a cartoon. The scientists solved the problems
of getting shaky and blurred pictures, which were often
faced by people using earlier softwares, by tracking 2-dimensional
objects over time. They are however, looking for ways to
make the pictures more flexible, allowing them to move and
bend. Scientists also aver that the software cannot be used
by amateurs yet and can be used as an aid by professional
filmmakers only. "We are now working on some new tools
to bend or move those objects. At the moment it's not a
consumer level product, more of a professional one,"
the report quoted the lead scientist, Michael Cohen as saying.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004