IMPACT: From the Basics of Matter to Our Everyday Lives

Capturing real-time images of atoms vibrating in a molecule

Using a new ultra-fast camera, Louis DiMauro (physics) recorded the first real-time image of two atoms vibrating in a molecule. This discovery has the potential to steer chemical reactions toward a desired path. It also offers a new way to study the structure and dynamics of matter, eventually leading to applications that can help to address our planet’s energy challenges.

Praising children too much can lead to narcissism

In a study that aimed to find the origins of narcissism, researchers found that when parents “overvalued” their children—describing them in surveys as more special than other children and deserving something extra in life—their children scored higher on tests of narcissism later on. The researchers surveyed parents and their children four times over one-and-a-half years to identify which factors led children to have inflated views of themselves. The study is led by Brad Bushman (communication and psychology).

Fighting back against hostile bosses

Research led by Bennett Tepper (management and human resources) found that employees who had hostile bosses were better off on several measures if they returned the hostility. The researchers found that employees felt less like victims when they retaliated against bad bosses. Two studies were conducted, one of which featured 169 participants who filled out two surveys, and the other involved 371 participants who completed three online surveys. Results showed that when bosses were hostile—but employees didn’t retaliate—the workers had higher levels of psychological distress, less satisfaction with their jobs and less commitment to their employer.