Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Social Status Affects Immune Health

Chronic social stress can affect your health:

Who’s Top Monkey? How Social Status Affects Immune Health

Social hierarchies among rhesus macaques give rise to differences in their ability to respond to bacterial and viral invaders

Catherine Caruso | November 24, 2016| Scientific American

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December 15, 2016 Posted by | health, sociology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes, I’d lie to you

Scary. Really scary. A must-read.

Yes, I’d lie to you

Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying

The Economist | Sep 10th 2016

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October 9, 2016 Posted by | information, politics, sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Masculinity

Are mass shootings  temper tantrums of low self-esteem, sexually frustrated males rather than a result of religious or political ideology ? This article makes a good case for it.  Check out the “conversation” on the original page for some thought-provoking counterpoints.

The weaponised loser

Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it?

Stephen T Asma | aeon | 27 June, 2016

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July 9, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology, terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Majority Illusion in Social Networks

You think everyone does/know/be it?  Maybe it’s just an illusion.

The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind

June 30, 2015 | MIT Technology Review

Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.
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December 25, 2015 Posted by | behaviour, sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

Your friends really are better than you

I never thought there would be a mathematical explanation for any aspect of the “grass is greener” idiom — but here it is:  compared to your friends, you really do suck. From MIT Technology Review, January 14, 2014:

How the Friendship Paradox Makes Your Friends Better Than You Are

The friendship paradox is the empirical observation that your friends have more friends than you do. Now network scientists say your friends are probably wealthier and happier, too.

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January 18, 2014 Posted by | sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

Testicle size ‘link to father role’

Ladies, if you are looking for good father/husband material, go for small-balled men. At least if you believe the study described in this article from BBC:

Testicle size ‘link to father role’

9 September 2013

A link between the size of a father’s testicles and how active he is in bringing up his children has been suggested by scientists.

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September 10, 2013 Posted by | evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

Why a man’s face can lie but still produce orgasms

Interesting research reported: the wider a man’s face, the more aggressive and the more likely to lie and cheat.  Doesn’t apply to women.  But a good-looking man will produce more orgasms in women.  From The Economist, July 9th, 2011:

Physiognomy: Facing the truth

Why a man’s face can lie but still produce orgasms

August 28, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, sociology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Middle class attitudes changing

How middle class attitudes differ from those of the working class, in different countries.  Enlightening.  From The Economist, Feb 12th 2009:

A special report on the new middle classes in emerging markets: Beyond Wisteria Lane

Scott Fitzgerald was wrong. It is not the rich who are different but the middle classes

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February 26, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, economics, sociology | , , | Leave a comment

Rich lack empathy

According to the study below, people from higher economic status have lower emotional intelligence. IMHO that’s like saying the rich lack empathy.

From Chief Learning Officer:

Emotional Intelligence Linked to Socio-Economics, New Study Shows

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February 2, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, sociology | , , , | Leave a comment

The rich are selfish

At least more selfish than the poor. But not all is lost: if the rich are reminded, they can act with more compassion.

From The Economist, July 31, 2010:

The rich are different from you and me

They are more selfish

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January 28, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, psychology, sociology | , , , | Leave a comment