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The Psychological Effects of Texting

I recently read a fascinating article published in "Psychological Science," about how the act of texting, even codes of numbers can affect one's psychological mood.

In the article, people texted numbers on a phone for what they thought was a study on ergonomic design when in fact the researchers used the numbers that corresponded to letter that spelled out either positive words like "love" or negative words like "slime." Amazingly, even though the people didn't know the word they were spelling and the letters under the numbers on the keypad had been covered, people rated their experience as more pleasant after positive words than negative ones.

The researcher linked this result to a concept known as "embodiement" in which activation of certain muscles can activate related feelings or thoughts. Although the concept has been around for a while, the discovery that it applies to texting is new.

It amazes me that something as simple and commonplace as texting could affect my brain and mood. I also wonder how it might be a tool in psychological therapy. I wonder if I was already in a poor mood, if I could switch out of it by activating some muscles, even the little ones in my fingers. I am shocked to think about how much I type and text in a day and how much that could affect my mood. I don't know about you, but I think I'll try and be as positive as possible in my messages in the future!

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