The phone is better at reducing stress, too

A woman laughing while talking on phone.

When it comes to technology, many of us reflexively assume newer is better. So when Covid-19 forced us into isolation a year ago, we turned to our digital devices to stay in touch with family and friends.

New research suggests our instinct to communicate via video chats and social media…

Experts say trying new things can go a long way for the brain

Memory slips loom larger as people grow older. Forgetting why you walked into a room, or what you were supposed to pick up at the store can provoke nagging anxiety — not to mention dark humor about impending decrepitude.

If your next search for the car keys sets off such…

For young people whose developmental task is to connect with other people, the pandemic can feel like life is on pause

The silhouette of a young man looking outside a window alone.

During the pandemic there’s been plenty of public service announcements to check in on your elderly neighbors. Especially now, in an era of coronavirus-driven quarantines, they may be feeling isolated and alone.

However, you might want to redirect some empathy to those quiet young adults living in their studio apartments…

Fear of the virus may be more infectious than the virus itself

Follow Elemental’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here.

It can harm people’s health and weaken entire societies. Thanks to modern technology, it can spread rapidly around the world. And there is no effective vaccine.

I’m not referring to Covid-19, although the coronavirus can serve as its catalyst. Rather, an…

Research is revealing a link between musicians and memory skills. What does that mean for the rest of us?

It’s a familiar story to fans of classical music: You take a novice to a piano concert, where you revel in the majesty of the music and the virtuosity of the performer. Afterwards, you discover your friend has also been awed — but for an entirely different reason. “Wow!” they…

Keep this in mind over the holiday season: A new study reveals family tension takes a toll on health over time

Thanksgiving dinners are frequently fraught affairs. The yearly family gatherings start out politely enough, but a few glasses of wine later, exchanges can turn nasty as buried resentments rise to the surface or conversation turns to politics.

New research suggests those dustups over dessert can take a toll. A study…

Research explains why that isn’t necessarily a bad thing

Activist Greta Thunberg speaking into a microphone as she leads the Youth Climate Strike.

Some of the biggest social movements today — including protests for climate change and gun regulation — were sparked by teenagers. And while teens are often belittled as vaping TikTok fanatics, recent research suggests the passion and commitment of adolescent activists such as climate activist Greta Thunberg, Nobel Peace Prize…

A new report highlights how physician’s assumptions can impede care

Is being single hazardous to your health? When it comes to having cancer, it certainly seems to be: Unmarried people are more likely to die of the disease than their married counterparts, for reasons that have never been clearly understood.

For decades, medical researchers attempting to account for this phenomenon…

Tom Jacobs

Tom Jacobs is a California-based journalist who focuses on psychology, behavior, creativity, and the arts. He was the senior staff writer of Pacific Standard.

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