Author Archives: Lauren Eve Ribeiro

How Helpful Are Expiration Dates

Im sure I’m not the only one who has gone to reach into the fridge only to find that my favorite snack is expired.



Expiration dates are found on basically anything. Dairy, canned goods, beverages, medications and even cosmetics. Personally I’ve been told that certain things are okay if used passed the expiration date. For example, using a mascara that expired last week is certainly not going to kill you.

The null hypothesis of this experiment is that items are not harmful if eaten past the expiration date. And the alternative hypothesis is that items are harmful if eaten past the expiration date.

After doing lots of research on the topic I found that in some cases expiration dates are not as useful as they may seem. Most expiration dates are just used as a timeline for the freshness of food. For example, if a loaf of bread expires on January 10th, on January 13th it will still be edible, it may just not be as fresh as it was prior to the expiration date.  A lot of stores also use “sell by” and “made on” dates to indicate freshness as well. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic claims that a majority of people, about 90%, dispose of food they believe is not edible because of the date on the package. With people being so uneducated about what expiration dates on food really mean, this leads to massive amounts of food being wasted every year, month and day.

Here are some helpful tips to help you decide whether something is fresh the next time you reach into the refrigerator:

Milk-Can usually last about two days longer than the use by date

Butter & Eggs-Can most times be used a few weeks after



Not only do we worry about who expired our food may be, but also other household items such as medications. The FDA did a study on expiration dates in relation to medications. Unlike food, expired prescriptions and over-the counter drugs seem to be more hazardous. As time passes these drugs can become weaker and maybe even grow bacteria. As a result they will not work or work as effectively to cure what you have. It is advised that no one use medications if they are past the expiration date.

In conclusion, it is hard to say how accurate expiration dates can be, and therefore neither the null nor alternative hypothesis can be accepted. It is also important to take into account confounding variables when it comes to both food and medication, for example proper storage. As a way to be safe when it comes to your food it would be smart to always carefully look at your food and smell it before you eat it to check if it is spoiled! And when it comes to medication, try to steer clear of expired ones!

The Truth About Cracking Knuckles

Personally, i’m addicted to cracking all the joints in my body. Fingers, spine, neck, wrists, ankles, I can even crack my elbows which people find completely disturbing but I just think the feeling of cracking feels so good.

I’m sure we have all heard that cracking the bones in your body will cause pain when you’re older or cause you to get arthritis. My mother is always yelling at me for this telling me it can’t be good for my body, but I started to think, what is so bad about it? What even is the noise that we hear when we “crack” the bones in our body.

I found that the cracking sound is not what most people would think it would be. I myself figured that the cracking noise was the sound of the joint popping out. But in my research I found that the sound was actually a cavity opening when you pull or bend the body part. For example, when you pull at one of your fingers, like your index finger, a space opens between the phalanges and the metacarpus which causes the sound.



Now what is up for debate is is this harmful for your body? In a study conducted of 215 people, it was found that cracking your knuckles did not lead to arthritis. The type of study that was conducted was a case control study. A case control study evaluates two groups and compares their results. In this study the null hypothesis was that cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis. And the alternative hypothesis was that there is a relationship between cracking knuckles and arthritis. 215 people participated in this study, 135 of them partook in the study and 80 were used as controls. A control is a group of experimental units that does not receive treatment in an experiment. In this experiment the control group were participants who did not crack their knuckles. The findings were that the both the experimental group and the control group had findings that were very similar. The experimental group had a 18.1% of having arthritis and the control group had a 21.5%. The study also revealed that the P-value was .548. Therefore, because alpha was greater than 5%, we accept the null hypothesis. Again, the null hypothesis was that there is no relationship between cracking knuckles and arthritis. 

The research I did on cracking knuckles was only in relationship to arthritis, but it would be interesting to see if cracking knuckles was hazardous in any other ways. As for now, I and all other rational people now have no reason to worry about cracking my knuckles.

Using Cell Phones Before Bed

Personally no matter how much I sleep, I always find myself super exhausted when I wake up in the morning. I tried to do some research to make sure I take full advantage of my sleep.

I’ve gotten into this bad habit of falling asleep while using my phone in bed and waking up with my phone right by my pillow. My mother always told me this was bad for me and I always acknowledged, but never really considered why. After lots of research I am very surprised with what I found.

In a study conducted it was found that people who use their phones after they turn the lights off, are significantly more tired and have side effects.

The null hypothesis in this study is that there is no relationship between using your phone past the time you turn your lights our and how tired you are. The alternative hypothesis is that there is a relationship between how tired you are and if you used your phone after the lights are out.

young cell phone addict man awake at night in bed using smartphone for chatting flirting and sending text message in internet addiction and mobile abuse concept



This experiment consisted of 258 students to do a stratified random sample. The participants had a mix of males and females of different marital statuses, occupations and ages. The people were prompted to answers questions about who they slept and felt. The results were amazing!

The relationship between cell phone use after lights out and how tired a person was resulted in p-value of .04.

The relationship between cell phone use after lights out and stress, the quality of sleep resulted in a p-value of .001

In both of these cases, you would reject the null, and accept the alternative hypothesis which was that there is a relationship between how tired you are and if you used your phone after the lights were out.

It is important to note that the file drawer problem can be ruled out because there was a finding that resulted in a p-value of 0.23. This finding was the relationship between using cell phones after lights out and sleep quality. In this case you would accept the null hypothesis which goes against the other results, and rules out bias findings.

A logical person from these finding can take steps to better their sleep. One way you could better the way you sleep is by not going into your bedroom until you are completely done using your phone, or not turning off the lights until you are completely done using your device. Another way to help you sleep better is to turn your phone off completely when going to bed, put it on airplane mode, or consider charging it on the other side of the room.

The Dangers Of Energy Drinks

Finals week is approaching, which means for many increased levels in caffeine, but more specifically increases in energy drinks for those long nights in the library.

“The number of annual hospital visits involving energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011, including 18 deaths” according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the FDA. It is clear that illnesses and deaths from energy drinks are becoming more and more prominent, and it is a serious problem. All brands of energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Monster, All Star, Five Hour Energy, and more, are sold at grocery stores, gas stations, convenient stores, and vending machines. The more we learn about these deadly drinks the more worried we should be about the effects that they have on people’s health.

According to Medical Journal Pediatrics, energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults, and they contain high levels of ingredients that are dangerous to our health. Drinking too much of them can lead to kidney damage, seizure and stroke, high blood pressure, heart and brain malfunctions, and more.

Royal Adelaide University Cardiovascular Research Center in Australia performed a study involving 50 participants. The null hypothesis in this study would be that there is no relationship between energy drinks and blood clotting. The alternative hypothesis would be that energy drinks resulted in increased blood clotting. The study’s findings were that within sixty minutes of drinking an energy drink, there was an increase for the possibility of a blood clot. In this situation one would reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.

Also, According to Donald Hensrud, M.D, Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. of the Mayo Clinic staff, the average soft drink contains 70 mg of caffeine. It is recommended that teens should only have about 100 mg of caffeine per day, and most energy drinks have far more than 100 mg. One can of Monster contains 160 mg of caffeine, and one Five Hour Energy contains 200 mg of caffeine. Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, altered consciousness, hallucinations, seizures and even death.



It is easy to say energy drinks are a fast and convenient way to get energy, which in fact is somewhat true. However, most people choose to overlook or ignore the health facts and ingredients that are necessary to know. Energy drinks are becoming more popular, and therefore more of a problem, because we live in a fast-paced society where people are always out and about and trying to get things done. It is more convenient to drink an energy drink and get fast results than to have to drink multiple cups of coffee just to get a small splurge of energy. They may be a more convenient solution, but there are absolutely no health benefits from consuming these drinks.



If someone just wants an alternative solution to drinking energy drinks after they are informed of the risks, drinking orange juice, eating small snacks, eating more protein, getting more sleep, drinking more water, and exercising more are all ways to boost their energy. If you do drink energy drinks on a regular basis, try one of these alternatives. Put down the drink for a week or two, and try something new to boost your energy: instead of reaching for a Red Bull, have a banana with some nuts and water. These alternative solutions have been proven to boost energy. Energy drinks aren’t the answer. Why should we put ourselves in danger when there are other easy, accessible, and healthy ways to get through the day?




I don’t know about you, but personally my favorite part of Monday’s are being able to read my horoscope on the cosmopolitan snapchat. My friends think I am completely bizarre for believing what this author has to say. I am a total believer in horoscopes and base my weeks around what my horoscope says. But lately I have started to question how accurate these are.



For starters, I am a leo, which means I was born between July 22nd and August 22nd. According to my research, leos are pretty dominant, but also care a lot about other people. I was able to find one of my horoscopes from the week of October 23rd, It stated:

“Your creativity and your love life are on fire right now! You are getting in touch with your emotions, thanks to verbal Mercury’s movement into your zone of home and family. But the trick is to be clear and consistent with your vision and leadership. You dislike letting people down, but with harmony-seeking Venus making a slew of strong aspects this week, you will have to toe a hard line in terms of managing expectations and being clear about what you want. That goes for your romance as well, so speak up. If you are still single, Saturday is a dream date night to meet someone who satisfies both your fun- loving and practical side. But don’t be too reckless since tensions are running high.”

It seemed to share a lot of the same characteristics from my research such as being warm-hearted and not wanting to let people down and also being passionate and emotional.

But how could the stars really be able to tell that much about me? Isn’t your personality more dictated by how you are raised and what you end up enjoying in life?

My null hypothesis in my research is that there is no relationship between how you are and your zodiac sign. And the alternative hypothesis is that there is indeed a relationship between how you are and your zodiac sign.

In my studies, I found that horoscopes seem to have a lot of general ideas that could apply to basically anyone. For example, my friend who is a virgo could read the sentence “Your creativity and your love life are on fire right now!” from my horoscope as a leo, and shape it around her daily life because it is so vague.

I was also able to find a summary, of Dr. Geoffery Dean’s research that evaluated people who were twins and born closely within each other. According to astrology, these two people would have the same zodiac sign, so technically their traits and characteristics should be very similar. However, the study showed that these people were not very similar. They tested for traits and variables such as jobs and social skills. On page 187-188 of Dean’s study it says that he did an experiment consisting of 128 people who were born closely in time. The chart (see below) on page 188 shows that less between 1.4% and 4.1% of the twins resembled similar traits.   It is very important to note that Dean’s studies could suffer from the file drawer problem and be bias to what his beliefs were. However, the results support the null hypothesis that there is no relationship between your zodiac sign and your personality.


After reading about astrology and the accuracy of zodiac signs I will be more cautious and not trust what I read so easily.





Dreaming in Black and White

Personally I have a really hard time remembering my dreams when I wake up in the morning. Many of my friends however can wake up in the morning and recall their dream so vividly. They know every color, and every detail that happened throughout the scene. Although most of us have the ability to dream so vividly and in color, there is a percentage of people who do not.  Black and white dreams are not a common thing, but they are definitely out there. Black and white dreams have two main explanations. The first is that people who dream in black and white either just don’t dream as vividly, or the colors of objects aren’t specified so they are just assumed to be black and white. The second explanation is that as people get older they lose the ability to dream in color.

In a recent study, the sample group was prompted to write in a diary as soon as they woke up and recall what they could about their dreams the previous night. From the study, it claims that it is also very possible that you can dream in a mixture of color and black and white, or perhaps in neither. I find this very hard to believe. Everyone must dream, whether you remember them or not. For someone to not dream in neither color nor black and white, would mean, well than what are they dreaming in? It is also brought up in the study that perhaps the people who dream in black and white just put less effort into details. For example, these people may not be as detail and color oriented in general in all aspects of life. I also disagree with this idea because I find it hard to believe that people can put effort into their dreams. I personally, do not think I have any control over my dreams and sometimes end up dreaming about the most bizarre things. How could someone shape their dreams to be less vivid or colorful?

As we get older in general, many of our senses “start to go”. Our vision becomes more blurry, our hearing becomes less sharp, and maybe even our dreams become less vivid. The study showed that it was usually people aged around 50 and older were the ones who would dream in black and white. I think that this makes sense in a lot of ways. Generally when we get older, our sense that goes most often is usually vision. People start to have trouble seeing both up close and distant. And perhaps their sight even becomes less vivid. If this could happen while we are awake, I believe that it could also happen while dreaming.

My last point, is that I think researchers have to be cautious when performing studies on dreams. Like I said, personally I have a really hard time remembering my dreams. If I were to be part of a random study and was asked to describe what my dreams looked like, I would most likely not remember them or they would be very vague. So in that case I would probably just assume my dreams to be in color because why not? But what if actually my dreams were in black and white? I think that studying dreams is something very difficult to do, almost like studying happiness.




Seeing colors differently

Have you ever had an argument with a friend because they thought their shirt was green but you thought it was teal. I find that this actually happens to me a lot, and I always find myself blaming the other person for being so silly, like how could they actually think that their shirt was a different color than it was to me. Some studies suggest that people see colors differently, for example different shades of blue. And other studies take it a step further to say that people can see different colors completely, for example when I see green, you see purple. I find this very hard to believe because there are just some objects that are made to have certain colors. For example, an orange. An orange is a fruit that is literally named after the color that it is. How could someone claim that while looking at an orange, that they see it as blue? Also, there are certain things that are known to look the way they are. One example that came to me was the fake blood that they use in movies and TV shows. If a scientist can claim that some see blood as red and others as blue, then how would the company that creates fake blood to be used as a prop know to make it red and not blue? If everyone has a preconceived judgement of something to be red, why would you see it as blue, and know that it should be red?

Some explain that the reason that we see certain things the way they are is because of the emotional and mental effect that they have on us. Have you ever thought about how at night you get really sleepy, or how when the sky is dark and blue on a rain day you may want to take a nap. Studies show that this is because of the effect that colors have on our emotions. Normally, the blue colors make some relaxed and maybe more likely to sleep. On the other hand colors of yellow and red tend to ignite someone.



Another huge case of this that I’m sure we all know about is the blue and black or white and gold dress. This controversy was one of the biggest things to happen to social media. A picture of a dress was posted and many saw it as blue and black and many saw it as white and gold. People argued about this all over Twitter and other social media platforms and it became such a big deal throughout the year. The idea of the different color dress was even part of the 2016 THON line dance! Personally I saw the dress as blue and black and was so astonished that people could see it as white and gold. I vividly remember sitting in class arguing with a friend and calling her foolish for being able to see it as something different. To bring this back up, and add to my findings, I decided to perform a study on what they saw. I showed this photograph to 50 people and asked them to tell me if they saw black and blue or white and gold.  In this study, the independent variable was the picture of the dress and the dependent variable was either the answer blue and black or white and gold. Here is what I found:

26 People answered that they saw white and gold (52%)

22 People answered that they saw black and blue (44%)

And 2 people said that they saw neither (4%)

It was interesting because one girl in the study said that last year she always used to see it as white and gold but after not looking at it for a while and seeing it again just now during the study she saw blue and black. I now know that people see things differently and it is just part of how our brains are wired and our perception.

Comment what color you think the dress is!!


How Much Sleep Is Too Much?

Do you ever have those mornings where you feel like you could click the snooze button hundreds of times. Sleep is great. It re-energizes us for the next day, has many health benefits, and is just kind of fun to do. But how much sleep is too much sleep?

Sleep is different for everyone.Young adults around our age are usually recommended to sleep about 9 hours a day in order to keep our bodies healthy and running. But when we were younger we used to sleep the whole night, plus a couple naps here and there throughout the day, how come that was ok? Although the right amount of sleep can have good health benefits, too much sleep can be very risky for your health. Oversleeping could lead to obesity, depression and heart complications.

We all have to admit we have those lazy days in bed where we sleep all day, watch netflix and constantly snack. It is no shock that a large portion of people of all ages in the United States suffer from obesity. One can only imagine that with obesity comes, lack of exercise, lots of eating, and probably endless hours in bed. In a study,  it showed that people who slept more than the usual amount, around nine or more hours, were more likely to become obese by 21% than the people who slept the normal, healthy, recommended amount.

Depressions is something that effects a lot of people our age, especially in college. Usually one of the key signs to assuming if your friend is depressed or not is if instead of hanging out with your group of friends and being social, they spend nights in, and miss out on gatherings, and probably just end up staying in bed. In another study, it was shown that about 15% of people who sleep more than the recommended amount of about seven to eight hours are depressed.



Lack of sleep can also lead to heart problems like high blood pressure and rate, but also sleeping too much can lead to heart complications. In a study, it was shown that of the 72,000 women involved, about 38% were likely to get heart disease if they overslept.

Sleep is all about finding the right amount. Don’t get me wrong, we all need those days once in a while to click the snooze button until almost 3 p.m., but that can’t be happening all the time. There are also downfalls to too much sleep that I didn’t mention in this blog post. For example, sleeping too much can lead to a reduced productivity rate. If you get up at 9 a.m. as opposed to 12 p.m. that is an extra three hours when you are more likely to get things done. For this reason, I personally set my alarm clock for 9 a.m. every morning. Before coming to college my mother told me to do this in order to get the most out of my days. I guess it has even more benefits that I thought originally! sleeping-man



The Science Behind Waist Trainers

I’m sure we have all seen the current crazy trend of waist trainers. The corset looking belts that button up very tightly beginning around your upper hip and up to around your rib cage. After watching this video with Doctor Oz I was honestly amazed. I always thought that these things kind of just pushed in all the extra skin you had on the side of your body to give it a smaller look. In no way did I think that wearing one of these would effect the internal parts of the body and vital organs. In the video there were three parts that stuck out to me most; the effect on appetite, the impacts on the diaphragm and the damage to the liver. To get the full effect and test this hypothesis of if I wore it then my waist would be smaller, I borrowed my friend’s waist trainer and wore it around for a whole day before finishing up this blog.



Dr. Oz explains that because the waist trainer is squeezing your mid section in by about 2 inches, it is very likely that this could cause a decrease in appetite. So, after latching the waist trainer on my body, I sat down for a meal. Normally I have no problem finishing chipotle, but this came as a really big struggle for once. After taking a couple bites with it on, I felt as if I had just finished a Thanksgiving feast. Very full, very fast, and almost a little bit sick.

In the before and after picture, Dr. Oz points out that the diaphragm is squished and pushed up. The diaphragm is the part of the body that is responsible for breathing and inflating the lungs. They relate the waist trainers to the corsets that women used to wear back in the old days, which had the reputation of making them faint at any given moment. Putting on the waist trainer itself was a struggle. You had to suck in deeply in order to be able to clasp the hooks. Once it was on you could exhale a little bit, but not much, breathing was definitely restricted. I know that some people like to wear waist trainers while exercising as a way to work their core more, but personally I could not see how one could run, or lift, or do crunches wearing one of these. It was enough of a struggle to just wear one of these around the apartment for a couple of hours.

The part that may have scared me most was when Dr. Oz points out the liver. He shows that the rib cage is literally pushing into the liver. The liver is the part of the body that has many responsibilities and is vital for human life. To think that this belt could be molding one of the organs that helps us live is very scary. When wearing the waist trainer I did not really feel a direct impact on my liver specifically, but it did feel quiet uncomfortable and I knew that in no way could this be good for my body.

Waist trainers are proven to work  and have significant results if worn for hours throughout the day and for long periods of time. Although you may be getting 2 inches of your waist and a nice hourglass shape, there are many health hazards. Not only are there the three harms that I listed above, but also many outside problems that could effect development and health. One example is that it could lead to self consciousness or even eating disorders. It is scary to think that this belt could not only be harming your physical health but also your emotional and mental health. So instead of strapping a waist trainer around your body, hit the gym and pick up a healthy snack instead! waist-training-before-after


Waist Training – Before & After Results

What is synesthesia?

I was having trouble trying to think of a blog topic when actually the inspiration for my topic was right next to me. I always thought my roommate was a freak because she related the month of October to a dark blue/grey, or the day Sunday to the color Red. Why would she do this? And what was the explanation for it? Apparently it is actually a real thing and she isn’t just a freak. It’s called Synesthesia. Synesthesia is when your senses form together to collect thoughts and make them into one. For example when you think of a day of the week, number or month your sight senses start to work and your mind thinks of a color immediately.



I couldn’t really find a study that I liked enough to incorporate it into my blog, so I decided to create my own using my roommate! The hypothesis was that if I named a random month, day or number, then she would be able to associate any color with it. In the study the independent variable was the number, month or day I chose, and the dependent variable was the color that she responded with. In the study, you always have to think that she could just be making up answers and playing along, but she claims that she has had this since she was young and that her mother also has had it since she was a child. Here is what I found:

Me: What color do you associate with December?

Roommate: Black

Me: What color do you associate with the number 18?

Roommate: Dark orange

Me: What color do you associate with the month April?

Roommate: Red

Me: What color do you associate with the number 20?

Roommate: Pink/Red

Me: What color do you associate with the month August?

Roommate: Yellow/Orange

Me: What do you associate with today, Thursday, October 20th, 2016?

Roommate: When I read that date it just looks like October, the numbers don’t matter so see a blue/grey

Me: When is it most strong for you?

Roommate: I see the colors most when I think of days of the week. So for example, when I think of everything that I have to do on Sunday everything in my head is red.

Me: Because your mom has this, do you and her associate the same colors with the same things? For example, does she also see red on Sunday?

Roommate: No, me and my mom only see Monday and Tuesday the same

From my study, I concluded that my hypothesis was statistically significant because every question I asked, she was able to come up with a valid answer and color. Although my study was related to months, days and numbers in relation to colors, people who have this can associate with many other things. For example, some people have specific reactions when they hear music or taste something. I found an article that shows how this may have an effect on other people. You can see that Sean Day, PhD, feels things on her body each time she hears a certain instrument. I think it would be interesting to do study on color blind people who have synesthesia. Would they also relate colors to days of the week? Or would they not have that ability?



Synesthesia: When Ordinary Activities Trigger Extraordinary Sensations

Rainy days and motivation

A rainy day can mean many different things to different people. For some we can curl up in a nice big sweatshirt, with our favorite movie, a snack, and warm drink. But why is it that when the weather is bad out, we dread getting out of bed and getting to work? I myself have problems with this. Even the rainy days that I am able to get myself out of bed, I often find myself having trouble giving my work my all and getting done what I need to. I decided to research this problems, cause I am 100% sure I will be having plenty of these this semester. I did some research from Rainy Days  , and found many interesting points that can lead to a lack of motivation. 


For some it can cause a decline in mood due to the decrease in sunlight the body absorbs as a result of the cloud cover. I came across an interesting article that said that we associate darkness with sleep. It is no surprise that the rain causes darkness and as a result we become unmotivated. This also somewhat ties into my next idea of seasonal depression. These people suffer due to the darkness outside. Not only can darkness be harmful to these people, but in general it can be spooky and unpleasant to everyone which is what causes the lack of motivation. It is interesting how our are brains are wired to think this way psychologically when the weather is bad.


Like I said, many people suffer from seasonal depression. I found from Seasonal Affective Disorder  that t

Heavy Downpour --- Image by © Anthony Redpath/Corbis


Photo from, Interpretation of Dreams

his means that around certain seasons they can become depressed for many reasons one being the lack of sunlight during the winter, or colder months. Many people would just think they are feeling gloomy on a rainy day, but seasonal depression is an actual psychological disorder that effects many. It is important to take note of this because it not only effects your motivation but also everyday aspects of your life.


When trying to get a baby to fall asleep we usually sing them a lullaby. People are soothed by certain sounds. For many, they are calmed by the sounds of rain. This results in spending lots of time relaxing, sleeping in bed and watching movies. For example, many people use sound machines or sound apps to help them fall asleep. It is almost guaranteed that on one of these machines or apps people can find a sound called something along the lines of “rain falling” or “thunderstorms”. It is proven that rain will make someone sleepy and decrease their willingness to do something.


Picture from, Laying in Bed .

This semester when I am faced with many rainy days I will be sure to push myself to get out of bed and be productive because I know that the rain can lead to lack of motivation. This can include heading to the gym, going to the library and not deciding to sleep through class. It is very important that college students especially keep track of how they are feeling during these upcoming months in the fall and winter to realize if they are suffering from seasonal depression.

You Yawn, I Yawn?

Caution: You may yawn many times while reading this blog post.

You’re sitting in a crowded room, you lock eyes with a random person and they yawn. Seconds later, you try to control yourself, but you cant hold it back and a yawn emerges from your mouth.

The other day I was sitting in class and saw one of my peers let out a big yawn. I immediately tried to resist, but couldn’t and had to yawn myself. I have heard and experienced the idea that when someone else yawns and you see it, that it is nearly impossible for you not to yawn. But why? After doing some research from mental_floss, Why Are Yawns Contagious yawning has been found to be contagious in not only humans but also many animals such as chimps and many other mammals. Not only can seeing someone make you yawn, but reading about or hearing about someone yawning can also make you yawn!


Yawning can be linked back to emotions. Have you ever been super bored by what someone was saying to you, so you purposely yawn in their face, as a nice way to tell them to shut up? Or vice-versa, you are listening to one of your teachers talk during office hours, and you hold back that yawn that is trying to sneak out of your mouth, in order to be respectful. Yawning can say a lot about how you are feeling, for example, tired or bored.


Did you know that the older you get, the less likely you are to be affected by contagious yawning? I believe that this is because as we get older, our senses become less sharp. Our hearing starts to go, our eye sight becomes worst and perhaps our ability to perceive if someone is yawning and for our brain to process that the yawning is contagious, also starts to worsen. 

Mental Problems

I think that one of the most interesting things that I found during my research of yawning was that people with developmental disorders such as autism are less likely to be affected by the fact that yawning is contagious. I found it intriguing how their brain works in a different way than most during the day to day life, but something as unconscious as yawning after someone else yawns, is not part of their routine.

Grandfather, father and son at home together


Picture from, Why Are Yawns Contagious .

Nervous Tics

When reading up on this, I found that one of the most interesting explanation for this, was that it was a nervous tic for many people. When people are nervous they tend to gravitate to do certain things that will calm their nerves. For me, I tend to play with my hair and twirl it around, for others it can include biting the inside or cheeks or biting nails. For many a nervous habit can be yawning.

I challenge you to watch someone yawn, and not yawn back. Also, if you yawned at least once when reading this post, let me know! Im eager to see the results of this phenomenon.


Could the outfit you’re wearing, or the way your hair is done, or how much eyeliner you have on really effect your test score? Some people believe the saying “dress well, test well”.  This is the notion that if you look presentable when taking an exam, you will end up doing better on it.

At first, I personally used to dress down for my tests, wearing leggings and a t-shirt, and maybe a sweatshirt if it was chilly outside. It was not until my junior year of high school that I saw a girl wear a dress and some fancy pearls to the SAT that I started to believe the “dress well, test well” idea. After putting some thought into it, I began to realize how great of an idea this was. Dressing well had so many benefits. According to College Magazine, here are some reasons to test well Dress Well, Test Well .For example it was a morale booster, it makes you feel awake, and it shows your interested.

Morale Booster

I think its very hard for someone to argue that they feel their best when they are dressed in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Most people are more confident and themselves when they are in their favorite outfit, perhaps a dress or some nice pants and a button up. Or when their hair is brushed rather than just pushed to the side after rolling out of bed.

Wake Up!

It’s 8:00 on a rainy Monday morning, would you rather be wearing your favorite over sized sweatshirt or some fitted jeans and a cute shirt? Im guessing you’re thinking an oversized sweatshirt, I am too. The problem with this is, that the sweatshirt and other lounge clothes make you feel very tired and lazy. They remind you of bed and do not allow you to focus to the best of your ability. When taking an exam the last thing that you want is for your mind to be wandering off and daydreaming.


Picture from, Take Care of Yourself

100% Interested

If you were to give a large presentation, and you knew that the whole class would be starring at you, would you rather be dressed in a baggy, unflattering, but comfy outfit, or your favorite dress that was flattering and always got you showers of compliments. I personally believe that when you feel your best, you become more confident which then activates your brain and comes across in your speech and body language. Not only will you be more interested in what you have to say to the people, but the people will be more interested in what you have to say. I have confidence in the fact that what you are wearing could change the attention level thats someone gives you. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who believes in this, so check out this guys story of how he started to believe it, The Psychology of Dressing Well .


Picture from, Wise Geek .

For me I think it is all about finding a balance between comfortable and presentable. Still to this day I practice “dress well, test well” when I am taking finals, giving presentations or even taking an at home quiz.


Hi guys! My name is Lauren Ribeiro and I am a sophomore from Long Valley, NJ. I am in the Smeal College of Business and I plan to study accounting and maybe minor in Spanish, but still not too sure about that.  

I have never really been a science person. I always found biology, chemistry and physics difficult in high school. Labs, classes and exams always just seemed like a hassle and i never did well on them. I also never really thought they were useful because they don’t have anything to do with my major, for example, most accountants don’t need to know that the nucleus is the powerhouse of cell. I was really only planning on taking this class as part of the science gen-ed requirement, but after sitting through the first week of this class, I am really looking forward to hearing the lectures that Andrew has planned and getting to do some deep thinking. His topics like deep time and is flossing good for you seem really interesting. I also like how he allows us to learn what we want, that way we will be more interested in what he is talking about, and actually enjoy the lessons. 

Besides being obsessed with the office, I am also a total coffee fanatic. Dunkin Donuts and starbucks keep me going and you can probably always find me in class drinking a cup. Nowadays doctors are aways debating whether coffee is good for you or not, so below I attached an article that I thought was really interesting! Is coffee good or bad for you Im sure even if doctors come to the conclusion that coffee is bad for you, I will continue to drink massive amounts of it.