November 20, 2012

Happiness and Higher Earnings
People who express more positive emotions as teenagers and greater life satisfaction as young adults tend to have higher incomes by the time they’re 29, according to a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The difference was so great that when measuring life satisfaction on a 5-point scale, a 1-point jump at age 22 made a 2,000 dollar difference in income down the line. Between the gloomiest and the happiest brackets, that amounts to an 8,000 dollar earnings swing. (Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times)

Do Great Apes Have a Mid-Life Crisis?
A study of 508 great apes in captivity shows that the animals’ sense of well-being bottoms out in their late 20s to mid-30s, the ape equivalent of middle age, before rebounding in old age. The finding that mid-life crises may not be uniquely human suggests that the events might have a biological, rather than a sociological, cause. (Ewen Callaway, Nature)

Examining the Brain Activity of Brazilian Mediums During a Trance State
The low level of activity in the experienced mediums’ frontal lobes should have resulted in vague, unfocused, obtuse garble. Instead, it resulted in more complex writing samples than they were able to produce while not entranced. Why? No one’s sure. (David DiSalvo, Forbes)

What Your Shoes Say About You
A new study found that people deduce certain characteristics of strangers with better-than-chance accuracy based solely on their footwear. (Tori Rodriguez, Scientific American Mind)

Marco Rubio on the Age of the Earth
Marco Rubio is a Republican senator from Florida. He is sometimes called the “crown prince” of the Tea Party movement. He will likely run for president in 2016. He sits on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. He is not a scientist. As has been widely re-reported, the December issue of GQ features an interview with Rubio in which Michael Hainey asked, “How old do you think the Earth is?” Rubio responded. (Juliet Lapidos, Taking Note, The New York Times)

Category: Field Notes


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