Friday, January 22, 2010

Myth busting

Cait Willis is a myth buster. In Absolution, my adventurous protagonist seeks the truth behind Italy's ancient Nivola ceremony.

In her next adventure, she sets out to explore the fabled Devil's Triangle vortex - but uncovers something much more important.

I can thank Steve Berry for encouraging me to point Cait in the myth-busting direction. And over the course of my research I've discovered enough conspiracy theories and urban legends to keep Cait busy for a long time. Still, she'll never get to them all.

So, for fun, I present four myths busted by Psychology Today magazine - another of my guilty reading pleasures.

Myth: Venting reduces anger
It might be best to bite your tongue. Research shows that aggression begets aggression. Taking a deep breath and counting to 10 (or 100 if you need it) is healthier than "venting" your hostilities.

Myth: Liars avoid eye contact
Actually, habitual liars have been proven to make more eye contact. Why? Because that's the behaviour they expect us to look for.

Myth: Cell phones disrupt planes' navigational equipment
The truth is, there is no significant interference between planes and phone systems. I wonder if this also applies to doctor's offices?

Myth: Opposites attract
Actually, they don't. According to research, one of the most powerful predictors of liking is similarity, regardless of the type of trait - personality, values, interests, or physical characteristics.

How about you? Any myths you'd like Cait to bust?

The Book In My Bag Today: The Paris Vendetta, Steve Berry


  1. I'd heard that point - that practicing anger only perpetuates it - from Thich Nhat Hahn. It makes sense to me.

    And if required, yes, I could dig out the study that shows cell phones make no difference to hospital instruments. Good luck on changing anyone's mind, however.

    I do have one myth for you to bust, thanks: the notion that reading an educational magazine should be a source of guilt. Especially when it fuels you with material for neat blog posts. ;)

  2. I suppose reading of any genre should not be considered "guilt" pleasure :-)