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SOCIAL STUDIES

How to (literally) trash those negative thoughts Add to ...

Throw away negative thoughts?

“In a new study, researchers found that when people wrote down their unwanted negative thoughts on a piece of paper and then threw the paper away, they mentally discarded the thoughts as well,” reports Psych Central. “The new study also found that people were more likely to use their thoughts when making judgments if they first wrote them down on a piece of paper and put the paper in a pocket

to protect it. ‘However you tag your thoughts – as trash or as worthy of protection – seems to make a difference in how you use those thoughts,’ said Richard Petty, PhD, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University. ‘At some level, it can sound silly. But we found that it really works: By physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts, you influence how you end up using those thoughts. Merely imagining engaging in those actions has no effect.’ ”

How to punish undergrads

“Community service tasks such as cleaning toilets and digging trenches are the fairest way to punish misbehaving students, says a Cambridge University college,” reports The Guardian. “St. John’s college has defended its decision to make students carry out manual labour for bad behaviour – as reported by the Cambridge Student – saying such tasks are more even-handed than the financial penalties imposed by other Cambridge colleges and U.K. universities. ‘The dean’s policy is to make such an order in preference to imposing a fine. The college recognizes that the effect of a fine varies according to students’ ability to pay it,’ St. John’s says.”

Rogue cleaner sentenced

“An Ohio woman dubbed the ‘cleaning fairy’ after she broke into a home, cleaned it and left a bill for $75 (U.S.) has been put on probation for one year,” Associated Press reports. “A judge sentenced 53-year-old Susan Warren on Monday in Cleveland on her guilty plea to attempted burglary. She must also do 20 hours of community service. The woman told authorities she was driving by the Westlake house and ‘wanted something to do.’ She broke in, washed some coffee cups, took out the trash, vacuumed and dusted inside the house. Then she left a bill written on a napkin and included her phone number.”

Insuring a marriage

Slowing growth has prompted insurance companies in China

to introduce new products to appeal to people with various needs – especially newlyweds – The China Daily reports. “With the number of failed marriages increasing and the spotlight

on recent divorces of Chinese celebrities, insurers have sensed new business opportunities to meet the desire of rich people for a sense of security in wedlock. Various kinds of insurance policies have been introduced that gen-erate the maximum payoff only if a couple stay together. … ‘Buying a marriage policy will help insure your marriage lasts and, at the worst, it will secure some compensation in the event it fails,’ said Zheng Donghai, an insurance consultant.” He adds that: “I have not met a single male client inquiring about this insurance,” which has been nicknamed “concubine-proof insurance.”

Work gives life meaning

“An 80-year-old Michigan

mailman says he won’t give

up his job with the U.S. Postal Service because without it,

life ‘gets boring,’” says United Press International. “Richard Dawson has been delivering

mail in Lansing for 56 years

and has been on the same

route for the past 30 years …

‘I have to have something to do,’ Dawson said. ‘There’s times I would like to quit. But, when I have a week off and don’t have anything else planned, it gets boring.’”

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