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Want to achieve your goals? Get angry

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Anger can be useful when facing a challenge, study says

Newswise — WASHINGTON — While often perceived as a negative emotion, anger can also be a powerful motivator for people to achieve challenging goals in their lives, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“People often believe that a state of happiness is ideal, and the majority of people consider the pursuit of happiness a major life goal,” said lead author Heather Lench, PhD, a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Texas A&M University. “The view that positive emotion is ideal for mental health and well-being has been prominent in lay and psychological accounts of emotion, but previous research suggests that a mix of emotions, including negative emotions like anger, result in the best outcomes.”

The functionalist theory of emotion, which has been studied for decades, suggests that all emotions, good or bad, are reactions to events within a person’s environment and serve the purpose of alerting that person to important situations that require actions, according to Lench. Each emotion may call for a different response. For example, sadness may indicate that a person needs to seek help or emotional support, while anger may suggest they need to take action to overcome an obstacle.

To better understand the role of anger in achieving goals, researchers conducted a series of experiments involving more than 1,000 participants and analyzed survey data from more than 1,400 respondents. In each experiment, researchers elicited either an emotional response (such as anger, amusement, desire or sadness) or a neutral emotional state, and then presented participants with a challenging goal.

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

In one experiment, participants were shown visuals designed to elicit specific emotional or neutral responses and then asked to solve a series of word puzzles. In another, the goal was to attain high scores on a skiing video game, with one game that involved challenging play (avoiding flags on a slalom course) and one easier game that involved only a jump. 

Across all the experiments, anger improved people’s ability to reach their goals compared with a neutral condition in a variety of challenging situations. In some cases, it was associated with increased scores or shorter response times. In one experiment, it also increased cheating to achieve a better outcome.

The researchers also analyzed data from a series of surveys collected during the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections. Before the elections, people were asked to rate how angry they would be if their favorite candidate did not win. After the elections, they reported whether they voted and whom they voted for. Survey participants who indicated they would be angry if their candidate did not win were more likely to vote in the election, but anger had no effect on which candidate they voted for.

“These findings demonstrate that anger increases effort toward attaining a desired goal, frequently resulting in greater success,” said Lench. 

The effects of anger in spurring people to reach for and frequently achieve their goals were specific to situations where the goals were more challenging, according to Lench. Anger did not appear to be associated with reaching goals when the goals were easier, such as in the ski-jump video game.

Lench also noted that while anger was associated with increased success across the board, in some cases, amusement or desire were also associated with increased goal attainment.

The results suggest that emotions that are often considered negative – such as anger, boredom or sadness – can be useful, according to Lench.  

“People often prefer to use positive emotions as tools more than negative and tend to see negative emotions as undesirable and maladaptive,” she said. “Our research adds to the growing evidence that a mix of positive and negative emotions promotes well-being, and that using negative emotions as tools can be particularly effective in some situations.”

Article: “Anger has Benefits for Attaining Goals,” by Heather Lench, PhD, Noah Reed, BA, Tiffany George, PhD, Kaitlyn Kaiser, BA, and Sophie North, BS, Texas A&M University. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online Oct. 30, 2023.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes over 146,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives

Source: American Psychological Association (APA)

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Turn Your Tax Refund Into a New Ride

As tax refunds are beginning to come in, it’s an excellent opportunity for people to explore different investment avenues and make the most of their money.

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Make a major purchase more manageable

(Family Features) With tax refunds starting to flow in, many people are considering ways to invest their money.

If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle, putting your tax refund toward a down payment on a used car can be a smart financial decision for several reasons – from reduced interest rates on your loan and shortened loan terms to lower monthly payments – and the timing is right to take advantage of improving market conditions. Consider this information to help make an informed buying decision.

Lower Your Monthly Payment
The more you can invest in the down payment of a vehicle, the lower your monthly cost will typically be and the less interest you will typically pay over the length of the loan. This can lead to smaller, more manageable monthly payments.

A significant down payment can also help offset higher-than-average interest payments and could lead to a shorter term, meaning less total accrued interest. An auto loan calculator can show you how a down payment can affect interest charges.

More Affordable Vehicle Options
Used car prices have been trending downward month-over-month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index. These decreases in used car prices are helping offset higher than normal interest rates. The average sales price for a pre-owned vehicle through Enterprise Car Sales, for example, is approximately $21,000 right now, compared to average new car prices, which are hovering around $44,000.

Vehicle inventory is improving along with an increase in consumer demand for cars, which makes now an attractive time to buy. Many used car sellers feature inventory that is readily available so you can select from options you know are in stock, including different makes and models with a wide range of different features that can offer more affordable options.

“We have a large inventory of vehicles across the country currently priced under $20,000,” said Mike Bystrom, vice president of Enterprise Car Sales. “There are several considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a vehicle, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Consumers should weigh their options, but the one thing they shouldn’t compromise on is receiving great customer service.”

Protect Your Purchase
Ensuring your purchase is protected is also a smart financial decision. Take advantage of dealers that offer additional benefits to help protect your purchase and provide peace of mind that your tax refund has been well spent.

Look for a used vehicle that has passed an inspection by an ASE-certified technician and comes with a limited powertrain warranty, as well as extra coverage options such as roadside assistance and a return policy up to a certain amount of days or mileage.

With a little research and careful planning, you can find a reliable used car that meets your needs and puts your tax refund to good use. Visit enterprisecarsales.com for more information.


SOURCE:
Enterprise Car Sales

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Spotify Price Increase: What to Know About Higher Music Download Service Fees

“Spotify raises prices for music download services, introducing new features and tiers. The music keeps playing, with an enhanced listening experience!”

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photo of woman wearing white headphones. "Image: Spotify logo with a price tag overlay, representing the price increase for their music download services."
Photo by Sound On on Pexels.com


Music streaming giant Spotify has shaken up the industry once again with its recent announcement of raising prices for its music download services. In this blog post, we will explore the details of the price increase, its potential impact, and the new features Spotify plans to introduce. Let’s dive in!

The Price Changes:
According to a Bloomberg report, Spotify will be increasing prices in the United States, as well as in various international markets. Individual plans are anticipated to rise by approximately $1 per month, while family plans will see a $2 increase. These changes come as Spotify aims to better serve its diverse user base.

New Pricing Tiers and Features:
In addition to the price hike, Spotify plans to introduce new pricing tiers and services. One exciting possibility is the inclusion of a higher audio quality option. Audiophiles and music enthusiasts will likely appreciate the enhanced listening experience this feature brings forth.

The Reason Behind the Price Increase:
As technology and licensing costs continue to rise, it’s no surprise that Spotify must adjust its pricing to ensure sustainability and continue offering a top-notch music streaming experience. The company consistently seeks to strike a delicate balance between providing affordable access to music and fair compensation for artists.

Impact on Users:
While any price increase can be an unwelcome change, it is crucial to consider the value Spotify brings to the table. With millions of songs at your fingertips, personalized playlists, and groundbreaking algorithms that recommend music you’ll love, the platform remains an extraordinary resource for music lovers.

Alternatives to Consider:
If the price increase has you rethinking your music streaming subscription, it’s important to remember that there are several other streaming services available in the market. Platforms like Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music all offer unique features and vary in pricing. It’s worth exploring these alternatives to determine which one aligns best with your needs and budget.

The Bigger Picture:
As digital music consumption continues to evolve, it’s essential to recognize the efforts Spotify makes to support artists and drive the music industry forward. Despite the increase in pricing, Spotify remains committed to nurturing talented musicians, ensuring a platform for creativity, and connecting artists with their fans.

Ultimately, Spotify’s pricing adjustment reflects the constant evolution of the music streaming landscape. While price increases are never easy to digest, it is vital to appreciate the immense value Spotify provides to millions of users worldwide. As Spotify rolls out these changes and introduces new features, we can look forward to an even better music streaming experience. So, open your playlist, turn up the volume, and let the music continue to inspire and uplift you on Spotify!

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Easy Ideas to Stretch Your Retirement Budget: Ways seniors can save on enjoyable activities

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(Family Features) Retirement may mean you have unlimited time to enjoy each day, but it doesn’t mean you have a budget to match.

You probably already know staying active is essential for aging with grace, so instead of letting limited funds keep you at home, explore some ways you can enjoy your leisure time without breaking the bank.

Hit the Gym
Many fitness centers offer special rates and programs for older adults. Hitting the track or joining a group fitness class are easy ways to socialize while getting some exercise. The discounted membership is also an investment since staying fit is important for physical and mental health.

Enjoy Early Dinner Deals
You can still enjoy dining out occasionally, especially if you take advantage of lower-cost meals designed with older adults in mind. Many specials are for meals earlier in the day, which is consistent with a growing trend toward earlier dining. According to Yelp, the number of people eating from 4-6 p.m. has grown 9% (up to 26% from 17% in 2019). Eating earlier promotes better digestion, and earlier meals are often lighter portions for smaller appetites. For example, Cracker Barrel’s Early Dinner Deals feature smaller portions served from 4-6 p.m. on weekdays. Menu items include a variety of homestyle favorites like chicken n’ dumplins, meatloaf, catfish and more.

Check Out the Library
Your local library is filled with hours of free entertainment, but it’s not just the kind you’ll find from getting a library card. You can undoubtedly find a book that covers any genre or interest you can name, but most local libraries also offer programming tailored to special interests and the sessions are typically offered for free or at a low cost. It’s an easy, affordable way to pick up a new skill, meet a favorite author, learn about a topic that intrigues you and more. Other resources to explore include your library’s DVD collection and internet access if you don’t have a computer at home.

Nurture a Garden
Tending a garden may seem like a seasonal activity, but you can make it a year-round hobby. Researching and planning is a good way to carry your gardening enthusiasm into the cooler months and you can start seedlings indoors to extend your growing season. While you’re digging into this low-cost pastime, remember the results of your efforts, such as fresh fruits and veggies, can help cut your grocery costs, too.

Mind Your Money with DIY
Saving money at the grocery store is just one way you can make DIY projects work for you. There are dozens of other examples of ways you can put your skills and interests to use by passing time doing something you enjoy while benefiting your bank account. If you like to tinker with cars, figure out what repairs you can handle yourself and avoid hefty service fees. Crafting and sewing might mean you have ready-made gifts for special occasions and a way to repair or repurpose damaged clothing instead of discarding it.

Ask About Discounts
You may be surprised by how many places offer discounts for older adults that they don’t readily advertise. In some cases, you’ll find the information on their website or signage, but other times, you may find it easier to just ask. When you’re booking an appointment or checking out, inquire about discounts for older adults, including any restrictions, age requirements, the amount of the discount and other pertinent details. Sometimes the discounts are offered on certain days or for specific services, or they may require you to join a loyalty club to access the discounts. When dining out, many restaurants offer a variety of loyalty perks. Rewards members at Cracker Barrel can earn points, or “Pegs,” on qualifying restaurant and retail purchases. Members can also take advantage of bonus birthday, anniversary and surprise rewards throughout the year.

To find a location near you, visit crackerbarrel.com/locations.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock (Couple gardening)


SOURCE:
Cracker Barrel

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