Skeptikai Notices (Aug22) – Psychology, technology, Japan & more

Psychology:

It Pays to Be Mean, Study Shows – Actually, this is classic case of “correlation” not implying “causation,” all though that’s not stopping many science-challenged reporters. The study authors did not say “not agreeing with someone is going to get you more money.” In fact, in this poorly titled article, they write: “men with a meaner disposition are earning significantly higher salaries than those with warmer and more caring personalities.” Right. That does not necessarily mean that being an asshole caused them to earn money. For example, maybe earning the money gradually caused them to become assholes. A CTV piece covering the same study said it much better: “Nice guys makes less than ‘highly disagreeable’ men.” Regardless, the researcher surmised that such disagreeable men may simply be more pushy to get the results they want. But before you start wondering if “nice guys finish last,” consider another article that came out a week ago regarding a excellently-executed baboon study. It showed that nice guys – who finish second – may actually end up getting the better deal than the alpha males.

They all look alike – “Those people all look alike.” Indeed! You aren’t necessarily a racist if they all look alike to you. You are, however, not very exposed to such people, which is why YOUR kind (whatever “your kind” is) look distinct, and everyone else – until you see enough of them – look the same. Or, you know… if you have lived among such diversity and still say they all look alike, then you’re probably just a racist. Bastard…

Why we like people who like the same music – We feel an odd sort of affinity for people who share our taste in music. I have seen fights diffused due to the subject of music affiliation. It’s powerful stuff.

Spoiler alert: People like spoilers – Here’s a study that I never saw coming… people end up enjoying movies, books, TV shows, video games, etc., that were spoiled to them more than if they hadn’t been spoiled to them. I guess this is just so shocking to me because… well, I absolutely hate when something I’m interested in is spoiled to me. In fact, I often avoid movie trailers of movies I really want to see, because they often spoil too much. Case in point: the Simpsons Movie, for which the trailers ruined virtually every joke. Regardless, it’s an interesting study. But if I were you, if you’re with a die-hard sports fan who missed a big game but taped it, don’t – under any circumstances – spoil the results of that game. I’ve seen some crazy sports fans.

The Secret Language Code – Do YOU know that the words YOU say like ME, US, and THAT GUY can indicate something about your personality? A psychologist thoughtfully analyzed the pronouns we use, and here is HIS insight.

Stanford prison experiment continues to shock – Perhaps the most famous experiment in social psychology, and it’s still controversial, 40 years later. Watch the 4-minute video which shows interviews of a former guard, former prisoner, and the experimenter.

Technology:

Study: An hour of TV can shorten your life by 22 minutes – Watching an hour of TV will shorten your life by 22 minutes, which is apparently about as bad as smoking two cigarettes. I’m not sure what comparison for smoking that is (women or men) because smoking was recently seen to be more detrimental for women.But regardless, it’s not so much that the TV itself is making us unhealthy, but the behaviour associated with are. That includes lazily sitting down (usually with bad posture) with a bag of junk food. This is why many people suggest to exercise during commercials.

Hacker group anonymous aims to destroy facebook on Nov 5 – I can practically hear Mark Zuckerberg shitting himself all the way from here (yes that’s right, I went with the sense of sound). “Hacktivist” group Anonymous has vowed to kill Facebook on November 5th. Any bets for how long until the movie comes out?

Study finds third of teachers have been bullied online – Kids can be so cruel, and not just to other kids.

5 things you probably didn’t know could be hacked – Cars with OnStar can be hacked, as well as baby monitors, and pacemakers. The last one on their list, however, I take with a grain of salt.

Japan:

74% of Japan’s nuclear plants to halt this month – 38 of the 54 nuclear power plants are now inactive in Japan, and inspections are gradually getting underway.

UC Researchers Produce First Quantitative Estimate of Fukushima Radiation Leak

From Erotic Games to Murder Charges – A decade ago, “Suzuka Yuna” (her work name) provided the voice for an erotic video game character. Now, she faces charges for killing her 3-year-old foster child.

Cheap chic on the march – If you have never heard the name “UNI QLO,” you must not have been to Japan. This is now the fourth largest clothing brand in the world, and it’s branching out from Japan, attempting fashion-world domination. While we’re on the topic of learning new things about Japan, here’s a recent article introducing the teams of Japanese baseball.

Parents of kids killed on 3/11 sue school
“The complaint filed with the Sendai District Court said the school bus carrying 12 children left the kindergarten, which was located on high ground, about 15 minutes after the massive earthquake on March 11 for their homes along the coastline — despite a tsunami warning having already been issued.”

Women’s soccer team gets People’s Honor Award – Prime Minister Naoto Kan has awarded the team for their heroic victory in the finals of the Women’s World Cup 2011.

Misc:

Abercrombie offering to pay “The Situation” to not wear its clothes – Brilliant! From a marketing perspective, this is just… wow. No matter what, Abercrombie & Fitch have this won. In case you don’t know, “The Situation” is the nickname someone from the reality-TV show “The Jersey Shore.” I won’t go into it, but let’s just say that he’s not known for his clothes. So what will happen? Will “The Situation” start wearing more of their clothes to spite them? That would obviously make little sense, because it would mean funding them. Or he could stop wearing their clothes, and even take their money, and it would be a huge boost in A&F’s image. It would essentially say “we’re too cool for the Situation,” so only cool people should wear our clothes. It’s kind of like when that dating website I mentioned, which got a publicity boost by booting out their less good-looking customers.

86% of parents wouldn’t hand over their rioting teenager to the police! – I can understand the pressure it must be to turn in a family member, but according to these numbers, only 14% feel that their children deserve to be punished for the thoughtless crimes they have committed in London. Now, 100 new people are being jailed everyday, and the police have their hands full. To prevent such riots, an article from the Guardian says that you must understand crowd psychology. On a more positive note, there have been a number of people that the media have praised for their acts during the chaos. They are considered the “10 heroes of the London riots.”

How America turned poverty into a crime – Very interesting article on the current realities of the poor population of the U.S.

That’s So Mysto – What does it take for slang to stick? How did words like “bitchin’,” “hella,” or “santorum” get popular? All right, that last one wasn’t exactly a good example… (don’t look it up on Google or anything…)

More evidence tanning beds may be addictive – Worried that tanning beds aren’t the healthiest approach to darkening your skin? Well now you have a new facet of tanning to be worried about – addiction! Researchers have discovered that the same areas of the brain that are lit up when someone gets a reward are lit up when in a tanning bed.

m4s0n501
This entry was posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>