The Loh Down On Science

Sweets and Sweeties

Could the key to a happy marriage be more sugar?  Literally?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Meet Brad Bushman from Ohio State University.  He evaluated the relationships of a hundred married couples.  Then he gave each husband and each wife their own, bizarre take-home kit:  It had a blood-sugar tester, fifty-one pins, and … a voodoo doll! 

Each night for three weeks, the volunteers measured their blood sugar.  In private, they also stuck their stuffed spouses with as many pins as they wanted.  This gauged spouse-directed anger.  The idea?  The more peeved, the more pins. 

And?  When blood sugar was low, dolls received more abuse!  They were stabbed twiceas many times on average.  One subject used all fifty-one pins – on two different nights! 

What’s going on?  Well, self-control takes a lot of brain power.  Bushman theorizes that by the end of the day, when blood sugar gets low, our brains have less energy to control angry impulses.

Like dropping our partner's toothbrush in the toilet.  Whoops!  That’s why I need that bedtime muffin!  And thank you!

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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