Find out what the situation is in continental tourism through the analysis of tourist traffic using eVisitor

first_imgThe unique Croatian tourist information system eVisitor, which came into full use on January 1 this year, opened new possibilities for analyzing the country’s tourist traffic, which provides a detailed insight into the traffic of the “continent” which in terms of tourism includes clusters Slavonia, Central Croatia. Liku-Karlovac and the city of Zagreb.Data for the current part of the year, which include the first three weeks of August, illustrate the differences in resources and tourism achievements of individual continental clusters (counties).Thus, the mentioned four clusters in the previous part of the year together in national traffic participated with 14,6 percent in arrivals and 7,1 percent in overnight stays. It should be emphasized that most of this traffic consists of the Lika-Karlovac cluster (with access to the sea in the part of Lika-Senj County, which also records the highest tourist figures) and the city of Zagreb, which is in second place. The Lika-Karlovac cluster records slightly less than 6 percent of total national arrivals and slightly more than 4 percent of total overnight stays. Zagreb records 5,7 percent of total arrivals and 1,84 percent of total national overnight stays, while the results of the remaining two clusters are significantly lower – Central Croatia currently participates in the total national result with approximately 2 percent of arrivals and 0,85 percent of overnight stays, while Slavonia participates with 1 percent of arrivals and 0,34 percent of overnight stays.”Green or continental Croatia covers the area of ​​regional self-government units without access to the Adriatic Sea and spatially includes 12 counties and the area of ​​Zagreb. In terms of tourism, the Strategic Marketing Plan of Croatian Tourism segments this area into marketing clusters in Slavonia, Central Croatia, Lika-Karlovac and the city of Zagreb. Certainly, these areas have great potential in the further development of tourism in Croatia, which is still predominantly recognized as a destination of sun and sea. The activities carried out by the Croatian National Tourist Board aim to change such a perception, ie our task is to present Croatia as a tourist destination with a rich tourist offer on the entire territory. “, Said the director of the CNTB Head Office Ratomir Ivicic and added that the results on the continent are getting better every year and that he is sure that the upward trend will continue and that more and more tourists will recognize the quality tourist offer offered by our continent.According to the realized turnover, the Lika-Karlovac cluster is in the lead, with more than 705.000 arrivals and more than 2,7 million overnight stays. The top 3 markets for the cluster at the moment are Njemacka (more than 456.000 overnight stays), Slovenia (more than 364.000 overnight stays) and Italija (more than 292.000 overnight stays). However, the tourist traffic of this cluster is strongly determined by the results of the area by the sea, so more than 50 percent of the total overnight stays of the two counties that make up the cluster were recorded in only one municipality – Novalja. That is why it is difficult to put the turnover of this cluster in the direct context of the turnover of other, strictly “continental” clusters.The second-ranked city of Zagreb records more than 670.000 arrivals and about 1,23 million overnight stays. The top 3 markets for the cluster at the moment are Slovenia (more than 44.000 overnight stays), Njemacka (about 30.000 nights) and Italija (more than 20.000 overnight stays).The Slavonia cluster achieved slightly more than 116.000 arrivals and 230.000 overnight stays, and of the above, slightly more than 44.000 arrivals and 90.000 overnight stays referred to foreigners. The top 3 markets for the cluster at the moment are Njemacka (about 12.000 nights), Italija (more than 8.500 overnight stays) and Serbia (more than 6.000 overnight stays).Overview of tourist traffic from the county level If we go a step further, to the level of exclusively continental counties, without Zagreb and Lika-Senj County, which has access to the sea, which puts it in a significantly different competitive position, the largest tourist traffic is recorded in Karlovac County (more than 357.000 overnight stays). Krapina-Zagorje County (more than 176.000 overnight stays). The third place belongs to Osijek-Baranja County (more than 103.000 overnight stays), while the lowest turnover (measured by overnight stays) in the previous part of the year was realized by Požega-Slavonia (approximately 18.000 overnight stays), Virovitica-Podravina (slightly more than 23.000 overnight stays) and Koprivnica-Križevci county (approximately 30.000 overnight stays). Other counties of “green Croatia” are classified in the range from 92.000 overnight stays (Međimurje County), to 32.000 overnight stays (Brod-Posavina County).As a result, as a destination of the continent, the city of Zagreb stands out positively with more than 1,2 million overnight stays. As expected, Zagreb is also a leader in terms of available accommodation capacity, with more than 17.000 beds, of which more than 7.000 in hotels. The city of Zagreb is characterized by a structure of key emitting markets that is significantly different from the national (but also from the rest of the “continent”), so that so far most overnight stays were realized by tourists from Korea, USA and Germany, while domestic guests achieved more than 186.000 overnight stays. Over 60 percent of Zagreb’s traffic is individual, while 40 percent falls on agency guests. In terms of the number of beds, the next in line is Karlovac County with a little more than 12.000 beds, but only about 700 in hotels. Krapina-Zagorje County has slightly more than 4.400 beds, of which approximately 1.700 hotels, while Osijek-Baranja County has slightly more than 3.500 beds, of which approximately 1.400 hotels.Overview of tourist traffic from the level of micro-regions Of course, the traffic of the Croatian “continent” can be observed in the context of micro-regions, or separate cultural-historical or natural-geographical units, which cover the area of ​​a number of local governments, and most often cross county borders. As an example we can point out Gorski kotar, Baranja, Hrvatsko zagorje, Dalmatinska zagora or Međimurje. Some of the micro-regions are trying to affirm their own tourist brands, ie through production and marketing associations they are working to promote their own specialties and comparative advantages.One of the good examples is certainly Baranja, which represents a separate geographical unit of eastern Croatia, ie northeastern Slavonia, and which in recent years has become an increasingly attractive tourist destination. According to the eVisitor system, since the beginning of the year in the Baranja municipalities there have been about 9.000 arrivals and about 17.000 overnight stays, with the largest number of domestic tourists, but more and more foreigners – guests from the US, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, BiH dr. There is also Gorski kotar as an integral part of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, in the area of ​​which, according to the eVisitor system, more than 22.000 arrivals and 65.000 overnight stays have been made so far this year. Domestic tourists dominate, and the most numerous foreign markets are guests from Germany, Italy, France and Korea.It is worth mentioning the Dalmatian hinterland, ie the “hinterland” of Dalmatia, which covers a wide area from the Krka all the way to the Neretva. According to the eVisitor system, about 16.000 arrivals and 50.000 overnight stays have been made in this area so far this year, with Croatians having the largest number of guests from Germany, France and Poland. Hrvatsko zagorje, on the other hand, is a cultural-historical and separate natural-geographical unit of northwestern Croatia, and according to eVisitor data, about 111.000 arrivals and more than 265.000 overnight stays were realized in that area, with Slovenes and Poles being the most numerous.Međimurje is a historical-geographical term that denotes the area in the extreme north of Croatia, and for the most part “administratively” coincides with the area of ​​Međimurje County. According to the eVisitor system, in the past part of the year in Međimurje there were about 31.000 arrivals and about 89.000 overnight stays, and among the most numerous foreign guests are Germans, Austrians, Slovenes and Poles.last_img read more

Terme Olimia celebrated 50 years of successful business

first_imgAt the ceremony marking half a century of successful business of Terme Olimia, Dr. Miro Cerar, Prime Minister of Slovenia, pointed out that tourism is the most important industry, as evidenced by the positive story of Terme Olimia that resonates outside Slovenia.Since Atomske Toplice was opened in 1966, the small Slovenian town of Podčetrtek has been attracting tourists from all over the world. By changing its name 16 years ago, Terme Olimia turned a new, modern page of Slovenian thermal tourism. Today, Terme Olimia realizes an average of more than 310 thousand overnight stays, with the share of commercial overnight stays growing, and last year 205 thousand such overnight stays were realized. With the growth of commercial overnight stays, the structure of guests also changed. Fifteen years ago, Terme Olimia was mostly visited by local guests. There were almost 15 percent of them then, while today there are only 75 percent. Most guests come from Italy, followed by Austrians and guests from Croatia, Serbia and Germany.”They say that we belong to the very top of thermal health tourism and we are proud to easily claim that in the jubilee year when we celebrate 50 years of thermal tourism. We are well positioned precisely because of the excellent infrastructure and high quality of services that are recognized by our guests. In general, the perception of tourist services is largely related to categorization, but regardless of that, more and more guests know how to recognize a good 4 * from the weaker ones and are willing to pay more for it. We have set high standards in the field of wellness, thermal and medical services, but this is still not recognized enough in international areas. That is why we are aware that as a company, as well as the whole of Slovenia, we still have a lot of work to do on branding and promotion in foreign destinations, but also in the field of guest satisfaction, which are actually the best measure of the quality of destination services. stand out from Terme OlimiaBusiness results for the first eight monthsIn the first eight months of this year, Terme Olimia was visited by 61.300 guests who realized 226.700 overnight stays, and 12.322.000 euros of operating income was realized. Compared to the same period last year, it is an increase of 3,7 percent in arrivals and 6,4 percent in revenues. Terme Tuhelj in Hrvatsko Zagorje also recorded an increase in arrivals of 17,8 percent and revenues of 0,4 percent from January to August. In that period, Terme Tuhelj was visited by 29.500 guests who realized 73.400 overnight stays, and EUR 4.550.000 in revenue was realized.Continuous investmentIn the last 15 years, investments have been made in the reconstruction, but also in the construction of new infrastructure. A new Aqualuna Thermal Park has been built, which has become even more attractive with smaller investments in the last two years. The Wellness Center Termalija was renovated and expanded, the Wellness Hotel Sotelia **** was built and awarded the Plečnik Award for the best architecture, which was completely renovated and refreshed this year. Wellness center Orhidelija was built, according to the guests, the best wellness in Slovenia for the seventh year in a row. Hotel Breza **** has been renovated, a garage has been built, and Terme Tuhelj in Hrvatsko Zagorje has also been continuously investing in facilities and services for the last ten years, so today it is a recognizable spa in Croatia and neighboring countries.In 2017 and 2018, the Wellness Center Termalija, which was built in the XNUMXs, will be renovated, and with its construction, a complete offer in the field of relaxation for couples will be completed.last_img read more

No evidence that depressive symptoms vary from season to season

first_imgShare on Facebook Share Share on Twitter But more recent studies have challenged the validity of earlier SAD research, including the fact that SAD is typically identified by asking patients to recall past depressive episodes over the course of the previous year or more. Furthermore, the criteria used to identify SAD do not align with the established criteria for major depression.LoBello and lead study author Megan Traffanstedt decided to investigate whether they could find evidence for seasonal variation in depressive symptoms using data from a large-scale survey of U.S. adults.In collaboration with Sheila Mehta, also of Auburn University at Montgomery, the researchers examined data collected in 2006 as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a phone-based health survey conducted annually.The researchers examined data from a total of 34,294 participants ranging in age from 18 to 99. Depressive symptoms were measured using the PHQ-8, which asked participants how many days in the previous two weeks they had experienced given symptoms of depression. The PHQ-8 has been validated in previous research as a reliable measure of depression in line with DSM diagnostic criteria.Using geographic location for each participant, the researchers also obtained season-related measures including the actual day of the year, the latitude, and the amount of sunlight exposure.The results showed no evidence that symptoms of depression were associated with any of the season-related measures. That is, people who responded to the survey in the winter months, or at times of lower sunlight exposure, did not have noticeably higher levels of depressive symptoms than those who responded to the survey at other times.And the researchers did not find any evidence for seasonal differences in symptoms when they specifically looked at the subsample of 1,754 participants who scored within the range for clinical depression.“The findings cast doubt on major depression with seasonal variation as a legitimate psychiatric disorder,” the researchers conclude.Depression is by definition an episodic disorder and people may well experience depressive episodes in the fall and winter months. But, the researchers argue, “being depressed during winter is not evidence that one is depressed because of winter.”LoBello and colleagues note that conditions with so-called “low base rates” are difficult to detect in large-scale studies. As such, it’s possible that major depression with seasonal variation does exist but only for a very small proportion of the population.Taken together, the findings suggest that seasonal depression is not the prevalent disorder that it’s commonly thought to be:“Mental health professionals who treat people with depression should be concerned about their own and their patients’ accurate conceptions about the possible causes of depression,” LoBello says. “Pursuit of treatments based on false causes is unlikely to lead to rapid and durable recoveries.” Emailcenter_img A large-scale survey of U.S. adults provides no evidence that levels of depressive symptoms vary from season to season, according to new research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings are inconsistent with the notion of seasonal depression as a commonly occurring disorder.“In conversations with colleagues, the belief in the association of seasonal changes with depression is more-or-less taken as a given and the same belief is widespread in our culture,” says Steven LoBello, a professor of psychology at Auburn University at Montgomery and senior author on the new study.”We analyzed the data from many angles and found that the prevalence of depression is very stable across different latitudes, seasons of the year, and sunlight exposures.”Based on emerging research investigating seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a “seasonal pattern” modifier for depression diagnoses was officially added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1987. To receive a diagnosis of depression with seasonal variation, patients must meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression and also experience recurring depressive episodes that coincide with specific seasons – in most cases, patients report an increase of symptoms in the fall and winter and a decrease in symptoms in spring and summer. LinkedIn Pinterestlast_img read more

Study: Compound suggests pain treatment without opioid or marijuana side effects

first_imgShare Indiana University neuroscientist Andrea Hohmann took the stage at a press conference Nov. 14 in San Diego to discuss research conducted at IU that has found evidence that the brain’s cannabis receptors may be used to treat chronic pain without the side effects associated with opioid-based pain relievers or medical marijuana.The study was discussed during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. Hohmann was joined by three other international researchers whose work focuses on similar topics.“The most exciting aspect of this research is the potential to produce the same therapeutic benefits as opioid-based pain relievers without side effects like addiction risk or increased tolerance over time,” said Hohmann, a Linda and Jack Gill Chair of Neuroscience and professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Chronic pain is estimated to affect nearly 50 million adults in the United States. The rise in opioid-based pain relievers to treat chronic pain has also contributed to an opioid addiction epidemic in the United States, with 19,000 deaths linked to prescription opioid abuse in 2014. In Indiana, the use of needles associated with prescription opioid abuse led to a major HIV outbreak in the state’s southeastern region, prompting the governor to declare a public health emergency in 2015.“The fact that deaths associated with prescription opioid abuse have surpassed cocaine and heroin overdose deaths combined is a significant factor in exploring cannabinoids as an alternative treatment for pain,” said Richard Slivicki, a graduate student in Hohmann’s lab who led the study. “It’s a major epidemiological crisis, and one that helps motivate our work.”The IU study found that a compound that modulates the activity of the brain’s receptors for THC and endocannabinoids reduced chronic pain in mice. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana; endocannabinoids are natural pain-relieving compounds released by the brain.These modulating compounds, called positive allosteric modulators, or PAMs, work by binding to a recently discovered site on a cannabinoid receptor in the brain called CB1, which is different from the site that binds THC. The PAMs were synthesized by Ganesh A. Thakur at Northeastern University, who is a collaborator on the study.The IU scientists specifically tested the effects of CB1 PAM on neuropathic pain, a type of chronic pain caused by nerve damage, which is estimated to affect as many as 40 percent of cancer patients as a side effect of chemotherapy. The scientists gave mice paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug known to damage nerves and cause pain, and then treated them with CB1 PAM.After receiving paclitaxel, mice became hypersensitive to both mechanical and cold stimulations to the paw, indicating increased pain. After treatment with the CB1 PAM, the mice behaved like normal mice that did not experience pain.The study also found evidence that the use of CB1 PAM amplified the therapeutic effect of endocannabinoids without the negative side effects of a “marijuana high,” such as impaired motor function. The PAMs were administered in combination with a compound to increase endocannabinoid levels in the brain by preventing their breakdown in the body.Moreover, the team found that the use of the CB1 PAM remained effective over time to prevent pain in mice, as opposed to THC and endocannabinoid breakdown inhibitors, both of which stopped working with repeated dosing.“We found that the compound did not produce reward on its own, so it’s unlikely that a CB1 PAM would be abused as a recreational drug,” Hohmann added. “Our studies show that we can maintain or preserve therapeutic efficacy in ways that we haven’t seen with some of the other classes of analgesics that are used in the clinic.”The other scientists at the press conference, who were not involved in the study, were Sabrina Lisboa of the University of São Paolo, Brazil; Jason Clapper of Abide Therapeutics, San Diego; and Maria S. García-Gutiérrez of Miguel Hernandez University, Spain. The event was titled “Targeting the Brain’s Cannabinoid System.” Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Share on Facebook LinkedIn Emaillast_img read more

Scientists uncover possible therapeutic targets for rare autism spectrum disorder

first_imgShare on Twitter Researchers have uncovered 30 genes that could, one day, serve as therapeutic targets to reverse Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects only girls and is a severe form of an autism spectrum disorder.The study, led by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, will be published January 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.There are currently no treatments specific to Rett syndrome, which affects approximately 15,000 girls and women in the U.S. and 350,000 around the world. Girls with Rett syndrome are born healthy and seem like any other baby up to one or two years of age. But then they start missing milestones and backslide in development. Pinterest Share on Facebook Sharecenter_img Email LinkedIn “They have this period of normal development, and then it’s taken away from them,” said Dr. Antonio Bedalov, who led the study and is a clinical researcher at Fred Hutch. “It’s devastating for the families.”The disorder is tied to a genetic defect in the MeCP2 gene, which is carried on the X chromosome. Girls, of course, have two copies of this chromosome but one X is silenced in every cell. Even though, on average, half of a girl’s cells will produce the healthy version of this X-linked gene, the mutation in the other half of cells is enough to trigger the symptoms of the disorder.Using adult mouse cells in the lab, Bedalov and his colleagues identified a way to partially reawaken the “inactive X,” the X chromosome that is silenced in every cell. The researchers were also able to reactivate the normal copy of the MeCP2 gene.Bedalov emphasized that the findings are still in the preclinical stage and that therapeutics are a long ways off.But it’s a start, Bedalov said. Because their approach leads to the reactivation of the entire chromosome, it could also apply to other, similar disorders that involve the X chromosome.last_img read more

Optimized sensors to study learning and memory in neurons

first_img Pinterest Learning and memory are crucial aspects of everyday life. When we learn, our neurons use chemical and molecular signals to change their shapes and strengthen connections between neurons, a process known as synaptic plasticity. In Ryohei Yasuda’s lab at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), scientists are working to understand how these molecules send messages throughout the neuron. To achieve this, his team is constantly working to develop high-resolution imaging techniques to visualize the activity and location of the molecules involved in the process.Ada Tang, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in Yasuda’s lab, developed new molecular biosensors, which helped her visualize the activity of two signaling proteins crucial to synaptic plasticity, ERK and PKA. These proteins send messages to other proteins by adding a phosphate group to the target proteins. The team found that these proteins, which were already known to play a role in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory, have surprising properties in their activity.The work was published in March 2017 in Neuron. Email Share on Twitter Share LinkedIn Share on Facebook Dendrites are thin extensions that come out of a neuron’s cell body and receive messages from other neurons. They branch out to form a tree-like structure, each branch typically extending tens of micrometers. They are covered by spines: tiny protrusions that receive inputs from other neurons and initiate molecular signals inside the cell. When a spine is strongly stimulated, it grows and strengthens to encode memories. Scientists have previously used traditional pharmacological methods such as western blotting to determine the activity of ERK and PKA averaged over many cells, but they haven’t been able to visualize the molecules directly in dendritic spines because of their small size.To design sensors sensitive enough to visualize these molecules, Tang created a new dye molecule, sREAChet, a modified dark but light-absorbing molecule. When she linked sREAChet with both green fluorescent protein (GFP) and a target peptide of the protein, she found that it could readout the activity of the protein with 2-3 times higher sensitivity compared to previous sensors. This made the sensitivity sufficient for imaging activity in single dendritic spines. “These sensors will be useful for researchers in a broad field of cell biology since ERK and PKA are involved in a variety of phenomena in cells and their abnormal activity is related to many diseases including cancer and mental diseases,” explained Yasuda.To demonstrate the usefulness of the new sensors, Yasuda’s team first stimulated individual dendritic spines, then used a special microscope called a 2-photon fluorescence lifetime microscope to visualize how ERK and PKA activity moves from a single spine. To their surprise, the team found the proteins’ activity did not stay within the individual spine, but spread much more than 10 micrometers, along the dendrite, influencing nearby spines. The spreading is estimated to be about several tens of micrometers and potentially extends throughout a branch of dendrites. The Yasuda Lab had previously shown that stimulating just a few spines could lead to ERK activation in the nucleus, but they didn’t know how this was achieved. This experiment showed that after these proteins are activated in a spine, the message spreads strongly over a long distance and potentially reaches the nucleus. “To find that PKA and ERK activation in spines is spreading for several tens of micrometers is certainly a surprising discovery for the field,” said Tang.The team has visualized an important step in the process, but there is still a long way to go to understanding the biochemical underpinnings of learning and memory.last_img read more

How the god you worship influences the ghosts you see

first_imgWhat might explain such discrepancies? And are some people more likely to see ghosts than others? It turns out that our religious background could play a role.Religion might ease one fearSome argue that religion evolved as a terror management device, a handy way to remove the uncertainty surrounding one of the scariest things we can imagine: death.Almost every religion offers an explanation for what happens to us after we die, with the assurance that death isn’t the end. And there is, in fact, evidence that very religious people don’t fear death as much as others.Protestants, Catholics and Muslims all believe in a day of resurrection and judgment, in which our souls are directed to heaven (“Jannah” in the case of Muslims) or hell based upon our good deeds (or misdeeds) during our time spent on Earth. Catholics also believe in a halfway house called purgatory, in which people who aren’t quite worthy of heaven but are too good for hell can pay their dues before getting a ticket to paradise.Buddhists and Hindus believe in a cycle of death and reincarnation that can eventually result in a permanent spiritual state, provided you play your cards right over each successive lifetime. Even the Jewish faith, which doesn’t really focus on the afterlife, assumes that an afterlife does exist.By following a clear set of rules, worshipers can assert control: They know what they have to do to make good things, rather than bad things, happen to them after they take the big dirt nap.Tormented souls and sinister demonsBut there’s a catch.Religion’s talent for easing our anxiety about death may have had the perverse effect of increasing the likelihood that we’ll be on edge about ghosts, spirits and other supernatural beings. This, however, may depend upon how religious you actually are.All of the available evidence suggests that those who describe themselves as believers – but who don’t attend church regularly – are twice as likely to believe in ghosts than those at the two extremes of religious belief: nonbelievers and the deeply devout.With most religions populated by an impressive cadre of prophets, gods, spirits, angels and miracles, the tenets of religious faith might shape what you see. They could determine whether a visitor from the spirit world is a welcome or unwelcome guest, while also influencing whom you think you’re meeting.For example, in Medieval Catholic Europe, ghosts were assumed to be the tormented souls of people suffering for their sins in purgatory. But during the Protestant Reformation, since most Protestants believed that souls went immediately to heaven or hell, paranormal activity was thought to be the work of angels, demons or other decidedly nonhuman supernatural beings.While most Protestant sects today are largely silent about the existence of ghosts, Catholic theology remains amenable to the existence of ghosts. Catholics typically believe that God may permit dead individuals to visit their counterparts on Earth, but the church has traditionally condemned occult activities such as seances and Ouija boards.In some religions, such as Voodoo, spirits and ghosts play a central role. Religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism support a belief in ghosts, but ghosts play only a minor role in the religion itself. For Hindus, ghosts are the souls of individuals who suffered a violent death or of people who were not accorded the appropriate and required death rituals. Buddhist ghosts are reincarnated individuals who may be sorting out bad karma.Muslims don’t believe that dead people can return as ghosts, so if a Muslim thinks he’s encountered a ghost, it’s thought to be the work of Jinn – beings that contain a mix of spiritual and physical properties, whose intentions can be malevolent or benevolent depending upon the situation. There are several other religions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, that also believe ghostly apparitions are demons in disguise rather than the souls of deceased people.Jews typically discourage occult activities designed to contact the dead, and there seems to be less consensus within Judaism as to the status of ghosts. However, Jewish oral traditions include stories of evil ghosts (Dybbuks) and kindly, helpful ghosts (Ibburs) who try to insert themselves in human affairs.It appears people across eras, religions and cultures have always been curious about a spiritual world that exists behind the curtain of death.Together, it speaks to how thoughts, fears and visions of death are integral to human life.By Frank T. McAndrew, Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology, Knox CollegeThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Share Share on Twitter Email Pinterestcenter_img Share on Facebook LinkedIn If you’ve ever seen a ghost, you have something in common with 18 percent of Americans.But while there’s evidence that our brains are hardwired to see ghosts, the apparitions we see tend to vary.Historians who study and catalogue ghostly encounters across time will tell you that ghosts come in a range of shapes and forms. Some haunt individuals, appearing in dreams or popping up at unexpected times. Others haunt a specific location and are prepared to spook any passersby. Some are the spitting images of what were once real humans. And then there are the noisy and troublesome poltergeists, which appear as uncontrollable supernatural forces instead of people.last_img read more

Study finds narcissists like fellow narcissists on Instagram

first_imgNarcissistic individuals use social media to promote themselves. But how do they feel about fellow narcissists who do the same? A new study published in the scientific journal Computers in Human Behavior used Instagram to examine whether narcissists are more tolerant of the narcissistic behavior of others.“Posting selfies is a popular activity that exemplifies narcissistic self-promotion on Instagram,” explained study author Seunga Venus Jin of Sejong University. “Narcissism is a positive indicator of willingness to take selfies and frequency of posting selfies. Why do people not only post selfies but also ‘like’ and ‘follow’ others who post selfies?” The two-part study of 276 adults recruited from Amazon’s MTurk found that Instagram users who post selfies and groupies were perceived as more narcissistic.But narcissistic participants showed a more favorable attitude toward selfies posted by other people. They also showed a greater intention to follow fellow narcissists on Instagram and a higher intention to post their own selfies.“Selfies and groupies are interpreted as more negatively narcissistic than photos taken by others and neutral photos,” Venus told PsyPost. “However, narcissistic personality similarity between the selfie poster and viewer mediates this effect. Furthermore, post source’s popularity and viewers’ need for popularity interact to moderate the causal effect of post types on perceived narcissism.”“This study only focused on ‘grandiose narcissism’ while not examining ‘vulnerable narcissism’,” Venus said.Vulnerable narcissism is associated with insecurity and social withdrawal, while grandiose narcissism is linked to extraversion and an excessive admiration of one’s own physical attractiveness.“In addition, replicating grandiose/vulnerable narcissism experiments with a variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat will increase generalizability,” Venus added.“This study discovered the effects of narcissism and popularity on a wide range of psychological and behavioral outcomes. This study offers the basis for future explanations of selfies and narcissism, by adding empirical evidence to the narcissism tolerance hypothesis.”The study, “Narcissism 2.0! Would Narcissists Follow Fellow Narcissists on Instagram?“, was co-authored by Aziz Muqaddam. LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Share on Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Women feel more comfortable interacting with gay men than straight men, study finds

first_imgWomen tend to have friendlier and more intimate interactions with gay men than straight men after learning of their sexual orientation, according to research published in the journal Psychological Science.The study indicates that women are less comfortable interacting with straight men because they worry that their friendliness could be misinterpreted as a sign of sexual interest.“This topic has been a long-standing interest of mine for many years,” said study author Eric M. Russell, a research associate at the University of Texas at Arlington. “I have always been interested in the unique bond that straight women and gay men share, and I have greatly enjoyed conducting research that explores why and when (i.e., in what contexts) these friendships are most likely to form and flourish.” Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img Share on Twitter Share “In this study, we hypothesized that women would have more comfortable and intimate initial encounters with gay men once they discover their sexual orientation. Because straight men typically overperceive women’s sexual interest, women often try to keep their ‘friendlier’ interaction behaviors in check when they are meeting men for the first time.”“This is especially true of physically attractive women who are often wary of straight men wanting more than a platonic relationship with them,” Russell explained to PsyPost. “However, when these women discover that they are interacting with gay men, this anxiety is greatly reduced in that the women no longer feel pressured to suppress their more open and involving interaction behaviors. With gay men, women can engage more openly and intimately with them because they do not have to worry about the men having an ulterior sexual motive.”An initials survey of 153 heterosexual female college confirmed that women perceived themselves to be more comfortable interacting with a gay man than a straight man.The researchers then conducted a study in which 66 heterosexual women had face-to-face interactions with homosexual and heterosexual men.During the interactions, which were recorded on video, the participants were prompted to describe their ideal romantic partner. The researchers found that after learning of a gay man’s sexual orientation, the female participants were willing to engage with him on a more intimate level. This openness was also reflected in their body language.“This suggests that straight women approach friendships with gay men in a very open and relaxed fashion, which we do not usually see in interactions between opposite-sex individuals,” Russell explained. “Straight women and gay men likely see their friendships as safe spaces where they can have fun, be themselves, and engage in intimate conversations without fear of judgement, expectations, or one-sided sexual interest.”“This also implies that straight female-gay male friends can spend time together in ways that straight female-straight male friends may find awkward, such as going out to dance or watching a romantic comedy at home together.”The study, like all research, has some limitations.“These findings raise many new and exciting questions in terms of future research,” Russell remarked. “I will touch on three.”“First, although we found that initial interactions between straight women and gay men are more intimate, we did not explore whether they led to subsequent interactions or close friendships outside of our lab. Thus, future research could explore how often (or in what circumstances) these interactions lead to more lasting friendships that also evidence higher levels of intimacy, trust, and mutual respect.”“Second, given that women feel more comfortable with gay men due to their lack of sexual intentions, could increased comfort serve as a prejudice-reduction mechanism for women who have less positive attitudes towards homosexual individuals?” Russell said. “And might physically attractive women be the most likely to exhibit less prejudiced attitudes toward gay men, given that they receive a greater comfort-related benefit in their initial interactions?”“Third, given that we sampled our participants from the U.S., where gay marriage is legalized and homosexual attitudes are relatively more positive, it would be interesting and informative to know whether straight women and gay men in other countries also have comfortable and intimate initial interactions with one another. Answering such a question could yield novel insight into whether similar effects and psychological processes are evident in other cultures.”“The psychology of gay-straight friendships is not only a new and exciting area of exploration for not just researchers but also for pro-LGBT organizations and businesses,” Russell added. “A great example of this is the new and up-and-coming website ( that connects gay men and straight women for friendship, meet-ups, advice sharing, and volunteering at LGBT events.”The study, “Women Interact More Comfortably and Intimately With Gay Men—But Not Straight Men—After Learning Their Sexual Orientation“, was co-authored by William Ickes and Vivian P. Ta.last_img read more

Women are rated as less attractive by men when wearing business clothes compared to casual clothing

first_imgEmail New research published in Frontiers in Psychology suggests that men and women’s judgments of physical attractiveness and economic status are greatly influenced by how the other person is dressed. Moreover, men and women are judged differently for their attire.Evolutionary theories suggest that men and women have evolved to prefer certain characteristics in opposite-sex partners. One of the ways that men and women may differently perceive attractiveness is when it comes to economic status. Studies have suggested that high-status cues enhance a man’s perceived attractiveness. Conversely, symbols of success tend to undermine a woman’s appeal.Study authors Amany Gouda-Vossos and colleagues set out to explore the relations between sex, physical attractiveness, and economic status in two studies designed to mimic a real-world scenario — by using clothing as a cue for economic status. Pinterest Previous studies have suggested that people are perceived differently when presented within a group of opposite-sex others. For this reason, the first study involved images of men and women pictured either alone or among one, two, or four opposite-sex others. Participants were assigned to see either male or female targets and to rate either the targets’ attractiveness or economic status. Roughly half the male targets and half the female targets were dressed in business clothes, while the other half were dressed in casual clothing.Results showed that neither ratings of men’s attractiveness nor economic status were affected by the presence of women in the photo. However, women were rated as earning more money when pictured alongside men than when pictured alone. Interestingly, these results were only found for women wearing business attire.While some studies have suggested that “the mere presence of a man can lower perception of women’s status within an economic hierarchy” the authors suggest that being dressed in more masculine attire, such as business clothing, may defeat this effect.Next, the second study found that men rated women in business attire as less attractive than the same women in casual clothing. Conversely, men rated other males as more attractive in business clothing than casual. “It was also unsurprising,” the authors say, “that female attractiveness was rated lower when presented in business attire . . . By presenting target females as high status individuals, it may communicate economic independence and decrease the attractiveness of female targets to men.”Additionally, when subjects were shown composite images of the target women pictured alongside the target men, women were perceived as having a lower economic status than the men they were pictured next to. However, this was only the case when targets were wearing business clothing, suggesting that more masculine clothing may have a greater influence on judgments of economic status.The authors conclude that “men and women both benefit from being highly attractive or high status, however, this benefit is not distributed equally . . . the results of the current studies reflect how this may lead to unfair judgments and, possibly, unfair treatment of both men and women.”The study, “The Interplay Between Economic Status and Attractiveness, and the Importance of Attire in Mate Choice Judgments”, was authored by Amany Gouda-Vossos, Robert C. Brooks, and Barnaby J. W. Dixson. LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Sharelast_img read more