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Our Better Health

Feeling stressed, ladies? It could be due to your mass-media diet

By ALEXANDRA SIFFERLIN October 11, 2012

It’s hard to avoid the news, thanks to Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and the ubiquity of newsfeeds eager to flood your screen with both calamity and celebration. But how are all these current events affecting our psyche?

To figure out whether our increasing exposure to 24-hour news coverage — especially negative news — has an impact on our stress levels, researchers from University of Montreal recruited 60 men and women to read news stories and submit to certain stressful situations. Turns out, women are more sensitive to negative news stories than men are, and they remember the details of such events better.

For the study, the researchers divided the participants, aged 18 to 35, into four groups to read news stories. One group of men and one group of women read “neutral” news…

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