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May 12, 2017

Weekend reads: A 'Ghostbusters' monster used to live in Montana

Daily Briefing

The Daily Briefing editorial team highlights several interesting health care stories and studies that didn't quite make this week's Briefing. What are you reading this weekend? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Rachel Schulze's reads

Trusting the doctor might lessen the pain. How painful your next shot is may depend on how much you trust your doctor, according to a paper published in the Journal of Pain. For the study, researchers sorted patients and doctors into two groups based on their responses to a questionnaire about personal beliefs and values. Patients expressed "more similarity and trust toward their clinician when they were paired with clinicians from their own group," the researchers said. "In turn, patients' positive feelings of similarity and trust toward their clinicians—but not clinicians' feelings toward patients or whether the clinician and patient were from the same group—predicted lower pain ratings," the researchers wrote.

A 'Ghostbusters' monster used to roam Montana. It turns out Zuul—one of the demigods from the movie "Ghostbusters"—is real. Or, at least he used to be. Scientists recently discovered the remains of a 20-foot-long, horned plant eater in Montana. They named the newly discovered species Zuul crurivastator based on the creature's resemblance to the movie character.  

Marcelle Maginnis' reads

Here's how to work with a narcissist. Almost every workplace has one: A narcissist—someone who exaggerates his or her accomplishments, overestimates his or her abilities, and blames others for failures. It's never fun to try to work with a narcissist, but there are ways to minimize the difficulty, according to Jody Foster, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. Among other recommendations, Foster suggests prompting narcissists to consider another person's perspective, reflecting narcissists' underlying emotions back to them—quelling their insecurity, for example, by clarifying that no one expects them to perform perfectly—and, if you're in a management position, delivering clear, direct feedback to curtail  any extreme behaviors, such as dramatic displays of anger.

You think your dreams are fascinating—so why doesn't anyone else? Writing in the Scientific American blog, Jim Davies, associate professor at the Carlton University's Institute of Cognitive Science, explains that people find their dreams compelling because of negativity bias—dreams are often negative, such as anxiety dreams, and we're wired to pay attention to dangerous things—and because dreams are so emotional, which makes them feel important. But feeling important and sounding important are two different things, Davies writes. What might feel important to us—say, a feeling of terror at slipping down a staircase—doesn't sound important to anyone hearing about it the morning after, since they aren't emotionally primed to spot danger in an ordinary stairwell. But if you have to share a dream, Davies recommends picking "the ones in which you deal with a problem in some new way." If you learned something new, he writes, perhaps your audience will too.


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