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Daily Archives: May 3, 2014

New Study – Merely observing stressful situations can trigger a physical stress response

Engert, V., Plessow, F., Miller, R., Kirschbaum, C., & Singer, T. Cortisol increase in empathic stress is modulated by social closeness and observation modalityPsychoneuroendocrinology, 17 April 2014.

“Stress is contagious. Observing another person in a stressful situation can be enough to make our own bodies release the stress hormone cortisol. This is the conclusion reached by scientists involved in a large-scale cooperation project between the departments of Tania Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and Clemens Kirschbaum at the Technische Universität Dresden. Empathic stress arose primarily when the observer and stressed individual were partners in a couple relationship and the stressful situation could be directly observed through a one-way mirror. However, even the observation of stressed strangers via video transmission was enough to put some people on red alert. In our stress-ridden society, empathic stress is a phenomenon that should not be ignored by the health care system. Stress is a major health threat in today’s society. It causes a range of psychological problems like burnout, depression and anxiety. Even those who lead relatively relaxed lives constantly come into contact with stressed individuals. Whether at work or on television: someone is always experiencing stress, and this stress can affect the general environment in a physiologically quantifiable way through increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol. “The fact that we could actually measure this empathic stress in the form of a significant hormone release was astonishing,” says Veronika Engert, one of the study’s first authors. This is particularly true considering that many studies experience difficulties to induce firsthand stress to begin with. The authors found that empathic stress reactions could be independent of (“vicarious stress”) or proportional to (“stress resonance”) the stress reactions of the actively stressed individuals. “…Anyone who is confronted with the suffering and stress of another person, particularly when sustained, has a higher risk of being affected by it themselves. The results of the study also debunked a common prejudice: men and women actually experience empathic stress reactions with equal frequency…”

Smart phone thefts rose to 3.1 million last year, Consumer Reports finds

“About 3.1 million American consumers were victims of smart phone theft in 2013, Consumer Reports projects, based on our latest nationally representative survey of adult Internet users. That’s nearly double the number we previously projected had been stolen during 2012. The survey also projects that 1.4 million smart phones were lost and never recovered lastContinue Reading

OPENLEIs – A User Friendly View on the Legal Entity Identifier System

Search or browse 256,041 legal entities in 178 countries, registered by 13 LOUs “ABOUT THE LEI SYSTEM – The Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS) is designed to address the problems of corporate identity, particularly in the financial markets. Read on“

The Open Database Of The Corporate World Is Growing and has New API

Follow up to The Open Database Of The Corporate World (Beta), news that “version 0.3 of the OpenCorporates API is now live, with many, many new features, improvements (and even a few bug fixes). Along the way, we’ve also given it a visual refresh…Get access to over 60 million companies.

Annual FISA Report Shows Decrease in Surveillance Orders, Questions About Scope Remain

EPIC: “The Department of Justice has published the 2013 FISA Report. The brief report provides summary information about the government’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In 2012 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granted 1,789 FISA orders and 212 “Section 215″ orders. In 2013, there were 1,588 requests to conduct FISA surveillance, with 34 modifications.Continue Reading