World Cup soccer fans in Russia have been laughing, crying, and screaming as their favorite teams win or lose. But Russians themselves aren’t known for their emotional displays. In fact, in the lead up to the World Cup, Russian workers actually got training on how to smile at visiting fans. Which raises a question: Why?
Why do some cultures smile more than others? Masha Gartstein is a professor of psychology and director of advanced programs at Washington State University and she’s written about what she calls, “the smile gap.”
“Russians are suspicious of people who appear to be smiling for no reason, and at worst are probably thinking that perhaps there is some intellectual deficits, or maybe even mental illness behind this seemingly unnecessary expression of positive emotionality,” Gartstein said.
There are a variety of reasons for this cultural difference. One of them is the fact that historically, there used to be vast differences in commerce.
“Back in the days of USSR there was of course no pressure to provide any kind of customer service because nothing was consumer driven.”
That’s part of the backdrop. Another part, Garstein noted, is that there really isn’t a smiling deficit in Russia. It’s a smiling gap.
A new, interdisciplinary senior-living degree at WSU is in the works, with not only hospitality business operations but also nursing, technology, and psychology, to reflect how many communities serve a broad range of seniors’ needs.
After business professor Nancy Swanger developed a senior living-specific course in the business college, she began talking with other faculty around WSU who had interest in the field of aging and senior living, including Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe in psychology and colleagues in human development, electrical engineering, and nursing, to name a few. The discussions led to the idea of a holistic degree and a research institute.
The Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living will focus on three dimensions: workforce development, collaborative management and sponsored research, and undergraduate education. Some of that research includes smart home technology.
WSU has also started a noncredit online certificate program that will allow people to train in senior living management over the course of a year. The industry isn’t meeting current demand for people to run senior-living communities, Swanger said, and this certificate can help get people up to speed.
Results from a new study conducted by researchers at Washington State University and Central Queensland University suggest that complaints against U.S. police officers increase when they work consecutive night shifts. The odds of citizen complaints increase even more when night shift officers are required to make daytime court appearances in-between night shifts when they would otherwise be resting up for their next shift.
Results from the study indicate that citizen complaints were most prevalent on night shifts. The researchers also found that going to court during the day between night shifts further increased the odds of citizen complaints. This supports the idea that sleep restriction and fatigue, which increase when night shift officers must attend court, contribute to the likelihood that they will receive complaints from the public.
“Our results suggest that consecutive night shifts, particularly when worked with daytime court hours, increase fatigue, limit sleep, and increase the odds of citizen complaints against police officers,” said lead author Samantha Riedy, MS, RPSGT, a doctoral student in the Experimental Psychology Graduate Program and the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University. “Citizen complaints are an important indicator of citizen dissatisfaction with how they are treated by officers, their perceptions about justice, and their willingness to cooperate with the police and help maintain public order. Our findings indicate that duty schedules and sleep opportunities need to be considered when scheduling officers in court.”
The study included data from 379 officers and 32,712 work shifts from a seminal study led by Bryan Vila, former professor of criminal justice and criminology, that examined whether fatigue was prevalent in policing (Vila et al., 2000).
How does cannabis stack up against anxiety treatments that we know are safe and effective (like yoga and meditation)? Let’s take a look at some of the most compelling evidence:
A study by scientists at the Washington State University found that just a couple of puffs of marijuana is enough to lower anxiety and depression for most users. This was one of the first studies to examine the strain-specific effects of cannabis on mood. The researchers concluded that herbal strains high in CBD (a natural anti-inflammatory compound with no psychoactive properties) but low in THC (the compound responsible for marijuana mind-altering effects) had the most beneficial impact on mood. Summarizing the results, assistant professor of psychology, Carrie Cutler, explained that “one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression, two puffs of any type of cannabis was sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety, while ten or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.”