In a classic SNL sketch, women of the future have evolved so that their eyes are on their breasts—the only way to make eye contact with men. But as it turns out, it’s not just guys who gawk. Researchers found that, when shown pics of women, both sexes eyed her breasts, hips, and waist. “We constantly see women objectified,” says the study’s Sarah Gervais, Ph.D. “So, when we turn our own lens on women, we focus on those parts, too.” We’re not condoning brazen rubbernecking—but next time your girl pops you for taking a peek, chances are she just took one, too. The 50 Fittest Breakthroughs of 2013>>>
Demand A Recount! (Just Don't Do It Yourself)
Political passion can erode your objectivity, says a new study out of Yale University. Subjects were quite good at solving a math problem when it was presented as part of a neutral topic, says Ellen Peters, Ph.D., “but, when the identical data were put into a politicized domain—gun control, in this case—they made sense of the evidence in ways that helped them maintain their political beliefs.” Next time you’re debating politics, remember that even your own reasoning may be on the blink—and focus on listening as much as talking.
Men and women coached on motivational self-talk do better on endurance exercises than those who just slog along, new research says. “The systematic use of positive, self-directed statements like, ‘Come on, get up for it!’ led to an 18% improvement in ‘time to exhaustion,’ ” study author Samuele Marcora, Ph.D., explains. Just do it! Oh, you know what we mean.
From a separate study by the same researchers, bad news for bookworms: Studying before an endurance workout could so exhaust your mind that your body tires more quickly. “If the goal of a training session is to maximize muscle or cardio-respiratory fitness, avoid mental fatigue before training,” Marcora says. For example, run your 10K after a light day at work, not a mentally taxing one.