If you’re feeling stressed right now, you’re not alone. One-quarter of Canadians report experiencing high levels of stress on most days and almost half of Canadians say their stress levels have increased since the pandemic began. And unfortunately stress affects how we treat the people around us — sadly, its often not in a good way. 

Today in The Conversation Canada, Anita Tusche from Queen’s University talks about recent research she undertook with colleagues to examine how stress affects generosity and who is particularly vulnerable to changes in social behaviours when under pressure.

Surprisingly, they found that higher bodily stress responses diminished altruism and that participants responses to stress depended on their ability to understand others’ inner mental states. She writes, “Participants with high mentalizing skills were the ones who were particularly vulnerable to becoming more selfish under stress.

Also today:

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Nyà:wen (thanks),

Haley Lewis

Culture + Society Editor

Targeted interventions that reduce stress levels may improve altruism among Canadians. (Christian Erfurt/Unsplash)

Stress can make you more selfish if you’re good at understanding others’ points of view

Anita Tusche, Queen's University, Ontario

While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, new and effective ways to reduce stress in vulnerable members of our communities could be key to ensure supportive social environments.

Damaged wood houses after the San Francisco Earthquake, April 18, 1906. (Shutterstock)

A new earthquake warning system will prepare Canada for dangerous shaking

Shona L.van Zijll de Jong, Queen's University, Ontario

About 10 million people live in Canada’s earthquake-prone zones. Yet few have practical knowledge of what to do with new early warning system alerts which aims to save lives and protect livelihoods.

The U.S. military released a defoliant called Agent Orange over the South Vietnam countryside to weaponize the forest during the Vietnam War as part of the Operation Ranch Hand project. (Shutterstock)

Landscapes can be weaponized to influence public opinion and perception during war

Fionn Byrne, University of British Columbia

Green spaces can be used as non-coercive modes of warfare to further social cohesion and diminish the likelihood of insurgency.

Common approaches used to encourage internationally educated health-care professionals to work in smaller communities often focus primarily on attraction, but do not address the reasons why they tend to leave. (Shutterstock)

How rural Canada can attract and retain international health-care providers: Address discrimination, provide support

Natalya Brown, Nipissing University; Melissa Kelly, Toronto Metropolitan University; Victoria Esses, Western University

Small communities struggle to retain needed internationally educated health-care professionals. Challenges will persist until the compounding effects of social and professional isolation are addressed.

Google’s search results often misidentify controversial characters, potentially contributing to the spread of misinformation. (Nathana Rebouças/Unsplash)

Language matters when Googling controversial people

Ahmed Al-Rawi, Simon Fraser University

Google search algorithms ofte pull up misleading descriptors for controversial people, and results can differ across languages. Understanding how these algorithms function can address misinformation.

La Conversation Canada

Sur cette photo prise le 9 août 2020, cinq jours après l'explosion meurtrière dans le port de Beyrouth, on peut voir un graffiti où il est écrit: « Mon gouvernement a fait ça ». La corruption et l'incompétence de l'élite dirigeante libanaise a fait sombré le pays dans une crise sans précédent. (AP/Hussein Malla)

Élections au Liban : est-ce la fin pour les dirigeants kleptocrates qui ont mis le pays en faillite ?

Paul Makdissi, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa; Ali Fakih, Lebanese American University; Myra Yazbeck, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa; Rami Tabri, University of Sydney; Walid Marrouch, Lebanese American University

Des chefs de milices et leurs alliés politiques ont établi un système économique et politique de kleptocratie redistributive. Ils extraient et se partagent le maximum possible de l’État libanais.

Ukraine Invasion


Environment + Energy