This article on the Social Animal from the New Yorker is the best article I’ve read in a while. It’s packed with interesting tidbits from research results.
On a mother’s attention to their babies:
Researchers at the University of Minnesota can look at attachment patterns of children at forty-two months, and predict with seventy-seven-per-cent accuracy who will graduate from high school. People who were securely attached as infants tend to have more friends at school and at summer camp. They tend to be more truthful through life, feeling less need to puff themselves up in others’ eyes.
On how we develop social intuition:
Scientists used to think that we understand each other by observing each other and building hypotheses from the accumulated data. Now it seems more likely that we are, essentially, method actors who understand others by simulating the responses we see in them.
A simple idea to improve education:
We’ve spent a generation trying to reorganize schools to make them better, but the truth is that people learn from the people they love.
On being a
nerd a know-it-all:
Managers in the advertising industry gave answers that they were ninety-per-cent confident were correct. In fact, their answers were wrong sixty-one per cent of the time. People in the computer industry gave answers they thought had a ninety-five per cent chance of being right; in fact, eighty per cent of them were wrong.
On why you should bring a ruler to a first date:
Despite the saying about opposites attracting, people usually fall in love with people like themselves. There’s even some evidence that people tend to pick partners with noses of similar breadth to their own and eyes about the same distance apart.
Wow, I feel like I just wrote a movie trailer for an article.