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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Research Rocks!

Sometimes the pressures of academia lead researchers to publish stuff that's just plain old common sense. They twist and spin it into some amazing discovery...but it's stuff we've been doing since we mated with those crazy neanderthals! So CNN and Health.com reported on a study done by Seth D. Pollak, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So Dr. Pollak asked 61 girls ages 7 to 12 to do something stressful. He then put them into 3 groups, one group hugged their mom after the stress, one group spoke with their mom on the phone after the stress, and one group watched a "neutral" movie. Then he checked their cortisol and oxytocin levels before and after all this stuff. And the conclusion...our ability to cope with stress may be shaped by our interactions with our mothers. Why didn't he test boys too? Dr. Pollak is a boy, you would think he would want to know about boy stuff. Is he implying something about girls, women, and stress? What does a PhD in psychiatry know about cortisol and oxytocin? Of course a nurturing relationship with your mama is good for you! I think researchers come up with research studies the same way rock stars come up with song lyrics. No really...sitting in a bar, drinking their fourth drink...martinis if you are an ivory tower academic and jagermeister shots if you are a rocker...writing their thoughts on a cocktail napkin and taking the little napkin...to the research lab if you are an ivory tower academic and to the recording studio if you are a rocker...and in the end, they both make up a song and dance to entertain us. Laura NP