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USF Department of Psychology

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year in 2019 was a simple four letter word: “they.”

The reason for the choice, according to the dictionary publisher, is that the pronoun – which for hundreds of years was used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun – no longer fills just that role, and has been increasingly used to refer to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary.

The red and orange sun sets over dark water
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF Public Media

Sad songs. Why do we love them so much? And might they be bad for us? Especially for people with clinical depression?

Psychology researchers at the University of South Florida studied this question, and uncovered some surprising results.

courtesy Paul Spector

(This report originally aired April 12, 2016, and is reairing June 7, 2016.)

In the 1980s, one bestselling book advised people to "do what you love, the money will follow."

Others believe in the adage "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

While neither of those concepts can probably never really be proven correct or not, a pair of University of South Florida psychologists are taking on a similar idea: if a person has a a calling, a form of work someone finds fulfilling, what happens if they pursue it - and what happens if they don't?