AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

Side Effects

The New Physician January-February 2015 Volume 64, Number 1

THAT TICKLES

Not exactly the hippest new wearable, but seniors may be getting a new technological advancement to reduce falls: a vibrating insole for their shoes. A recent test of the device showed that a slight, even imperceptible, vibration in the insoles helped steady the gait of test subjects, who were between the ages of 65 and 90. The latest version of the insole requires much less power than previous models. Sure, it’s still one more thing to charge. Or, since they come in pairs, two more things to charge. But even the classic bladed razor vibrates now, so why not our Dr. Scholl’s?

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE NET

To truly know a man, count his selfies. Collective oversharing aside, you may find a few unintentional clues about men’s personalities in their use of social networking sites. After surveying men aged 18–40 in the United States, communications researchers at Ohio State University evaluated responses to score for the “Dark Triad”: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Their survey also included questions about respondents’ behaviors on social media sites. The researchers found that the men who scored highly for narcissism and psychopathy also posted greater numbers of selfies on social networking sites. Publishing in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the authors also noted an association between men’s time on social networking sites and self-objectification. The study did not take the use of selfie sticks into account. One sec, let me just get a pic of myself writing this.

THOSE LONG-LASTING WINTER BLUES

Sadness may be bleak, but at least it’s persistent. Often caused by major life events, sadness can apparently last 240 times longer than other common emotions, at least according to researchers publishing in the journal Motivation and Emotion. They also found that guilt lasts much longer than shame, a surprising finding since the researchers based their study on a survey of high school students. For so many of those, shame in high school lasts as long as—high school.