The hidden power of bilingualism

how bilingualism sharpens the mind. Among the many benefits of being bilingual, her research shows that the everyday use of a second language appears to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Bialystok, the more proficient you become in a second language the better, and every little bit helps. Just because you may not be profoundly bilingual, that doesn’t mean the learning is wasted. Read more

The Pursuit of Happiness

Perfect happiness may be an elusive state, but there are surprisingly simple things we can do to work towards it. Practising small acts of kindness is a start, suggests clinical psychologist and York Professor Myriam Mongrain, whose paper, “Practicing compassion increases happiness and self-esteem,” was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies in 2011. Read more

Three great ideas that could change your life

There’s nothing worse than receiving advice of the unwanted or unasked-for kind. But don’t worry; the three York researchers we feature here are neither offering it nor suggesting people adopt their ideas in the name of self improvement. Rather, they are presenting solid research based on rigorous academic inquiry that just might have a positive spillover effect on everyday life. Read more

Why reading fiction may just make you a better person

According to York University psychologist Raymond Mar, reading fiction may help people become more empathetic, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 12. In a recent presentation at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Washington, Mar suggested that our brains react to fictional tales much in the same way as they do to real-life social situations. Read full story