There are drawings in Charles Darwin’s manuscripts that defy explanation — until we remember that Darwin and his wife Emma had a huge family of ten (rambunctious) children. Scholars believe that a young Francis Darwin —the naturalist’s son— drew this on the back of Darwin’s manuscript for On the Origin of Species. UC Berkeley psychologist … Read more The influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles Darwin
Greed is good. Competition is natural. War is inevitable. Whether in political theory or popular culture, human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner challenges this notion of human nature and seeks to better understand why we evolved pro-social emotions like empathy, compassion and gratitude. We’ve all heard … Read more We are built to be kind
The term ‘selfie’ took on a life of its own in 2013, especially after the Oxford English Dictionary selected it as the ‘international word of the year’. The Internet and mobile phones were awash in self-portraits as consumers purchased more smartphones with front-facing cameras – turning the selfie into a truly worldwide phenomenon. Now, the … Read more Exploring Urban Trends through Selfies
Spoilers give away endings before stories begin and the conventional wisdom is that they diminish suspense and ruin a story, but here’s the twist… Research by UC San Diego psychologists find that spoilers make reading stories more enjoyable (Story spoilers don’t spoil stories). How they tested it: Participants in the study were given a series … Read more Do spoilers really ruin stories?
Whether in fiction or history, women have often gotten a bad rap for being fickle. But it may just be evolution. A landmark meta-analysis suggests that ovulating women have evolved to prefer mates who display ‘sexy traits’ (think muscular build, dominant behavior, symmetrical facial features). UCLA psychologist Martie Haselton, who is one of a handful … Read more She loves you, she loves you not
“Men don’t think they do it, but they do,” explains Amanda Ritchart, a linguistics grad student at UCSD. ‘It’ is uptalk, the oft-mocked conversational style that uses a rising pitch at the end of utterances. Here’s a classic example: A coffee shop barista asks a person for his or her name. The person says their name … Read more This is a declarative sentence?