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What politicians going positive teaches us about human motivation.

Remember back in 2008 when Obama said he disagreed with John McCain, but would always honor his military service?

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.


That feeling of niceness was great ... but it seems to be short-lived in political campaigns. The closer it gets to Election Day, the meaner the candidates seem to get, especially when it comes to each other.

We know that mean language weakens people's faith in the system, which isn't great.

Previous studies have shown that going negative can also be dangerous for the candidates themselves. When you start slinging mud at your opponents, you might get splashed yourself.

But what would happen if, instead of criticizing your opponent, you complimented them?

Professor Nicoletta Cavazza at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy wanted to find out. To do this, the researchers asked 90 students to sit down and read fake political speeches. Some of the speeches had the typical mostly-negative political cadence you'd expect.

But half were tweaked to include a compliment toward the opposition. For example: "I believe that my competitor, who is an upright and smart person, will agree with me about the need to change this situation."

What did Cavazza find? In the end, the students rated the complimentary politician as being more trustworthy overall.

Unfortunately, we're not likely to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump getting all buddy-buddy.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

But this research does show us something interesting about our brains.

Cavazza cautioned that the study did have limitations, such as the fact that the politicians were made up, which might limit how much we can apply this to real politics just yet. More research will need to be done to tease out more nuance in their findings as well.

But the study does teach us that we tend to trust people more if it looks like they're going against their own best interests and acting in someone else's best interest instead.

In the case of politics, this can look like being nice to your competition.

But in real life, it can also look like helping someone out randomly. Imagine going to a car mechanic for repair. Maybe there's been a weird thump when it turns on or a little jingle-jangle noise when you go over 40 miles an hour. You leave the car with them for a few hours and when you get back, they've not only fixed the problem but also changed your oil for free!

What a standup bloke. You'd trust him with your car next time, right?

One of the most interesting things about politics is how it lets us see human nature played out on a national stage.

Next time I watch politics, I'll keep an eye out for any flattery because it could be the trick to winning ... although this year, I may have to wait until after Nov. 8 for that.

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

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Community

Hotel is giving away 10 all-expense-paid trips to help rebuild Patagonia hiking trail

Post your video entry by March 15 for a chance to do some good while exploring one of the world's most stunning ecosystems.

Las Torres Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

In the far southern reaches of South America, Patagonia beckons adventurers with its striking landscape. Rugged mountain peaks, deep valley vistas, pristine lakes, virgin forests, coastal cliffs and more combine to make this semi-arid land a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike.

If you've ever seen a photo like this…

hiking trail next to a lake in patagoniaHiking trail at Torres del Paine National Park in PatagoniaLas Torres Patagonia

…and thought, "I have to go see that turquoise water for myself," now's your chance. Las Torres Patagonia is offering an all-expense-paid trip (including airfare) for 10 lucky winners to travel to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and stay at the all-inclusive Las Torres Patagonia hotel for five days.

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We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Lamb Chop and Mallory Lewis are creating nostalgia in Mellennials

"Lamb Chop's Play Along" taught a whole generation so many meaning for things. The little sock puppet taught kids things like manners, kindness and a really annoying song that doesn't have an ending. It'll probably be difficult to find a Millennial that doesn't know "The Song that Doesn't End" by Shari Lewis who voiced Lamb Chop.

The kids show aired from 1992 to 1997 on PBS, with Shari passing away just a year later. But turns out everyone's favorite squeaky voiced lamb wasn't done bringing people joy. Shari's daughter Mallory Lewis has taken up her mom's throne as Lamb Chops handler and the internet couldn't be more thrilled to see the duo.

Mallory has the same fiery red curly hair that her mom did and has brought Lamb Chop, Charley Horse and Hush Puppy back out to play. To the delight of Millennials, the sassy lamb is still just six years old and gets Mallory into some tricky situations when trying to explain things to the puppet.

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via Sitwithit / Instagram

Validation and Hope vs. Toxic Positivity

A Helpful Chart to Explain the Difference Between Support and 'Toxic Positivity" was originally published on The Mighty.

There's no denying that positivity can be powerful. I know when I'm struggling with anxiety and negative thoughts, if I can hold onto an ounce of hope — that I'll make it through, that I'm not defined by my thoughts, that I'm not as bad as my brain is making me out to be — I can cope a little better.

The positivity we hold within ourselves, when we can manage it, makes it a little easier to get by.

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Family

How 5 diabolical parents called their kids' bluff in hilarious ways

The next generation is in great, if diabolical, hands.

Photo by Phuong Tran on Unsplash



Recently, blogger Jen Hatmaker had a funny conversation with a friend about parenting:

"My girlfriend told me the greatest story. Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: 'I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!'


Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are 'such children') and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid.


Want to be an adult? Fine."

Photo via iStock.

Hatmaker's post went viral, with thousands of parents chiming in with their own stories of tough love, both giving and receiving.

The responses were hilarious, poignant, and a sign that the next generation is being parented by extremely capable, if not a little bit diabolical, hands.

Here are five of my favorite stories from the comments about parenting-gone-absolutely-right:

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