They share common attributes that make them a kindred clan by Daniel Tomasulo, Ph.D.November 26, 2014
After you have known people for a while, you realize they are defective. They’re cheap, crude, pushy, ignorant, loud, and unattractive. How did this happen? How did people who seemed so elegant and gregarious become the varmint-like creatures you want to avoid? What made them change into the dirty froth of humanity right before your eyes? Believe it or not, science has done some research on this phenomenon.
Highly defective people (HDP) have several common characteristics that reveal themselves over time. Their habits astound and mystify us. They might look different on the outside, but on the inside they are very much alike. They share common attributes that make them a kindred clan. One or two of these traits alone wouldn’t qualify them, but with a cluster of seven, you are in the presence of a HDP. In no particular order, here’s what to look for:
1. Me, me, me.
This is the one person defective people love to talk about. In the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Research in Personality, German researchers discovered that people who refer to themselves more often by using first-person singular pronouns like “I,” “me,” and “myself” are more likely to be depressed than participants who used more pronouns like “we” and “us.” The researchers studied 103 women and 15 men using psychotherapeutic interviews followed by questionnaires about depression. They found that participants who said more first-personal singular words were more depressed.
But wait — there’s more. They were also more likely to be difficult in other ways. They inappropriately self-disclose, constantly seek attention, and have difficulty being alone. (Maybe they don’t like the company.)
Men are stupid idiots. (And no, I am not just typing these words to secure my misandrist card for life.) According to a new report in the British Medical Journal, which releases a silly edition every year just in time for the holidays, men are actually stupid idiots. Science says.
This year, the journal released a study measuring the gender divide among people who die doing really stupid shit, and found that men are significantly more likely to suffer fatalities from taking needless, or “idiotic” (to be technical about it), risks. Researchers looked at outcomes from the past 20 years of Darwin Award winners, or people who “die in such an idiotic manner that ‘their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive.’” The study offers some examples of how to qualify:
[Nominees] must improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race using astonishingly stupid methods. … These include the thief attempting to purloin a steel hawser from a lift shaft, who unbolted the hawser while standing in the lift, which then plummeted to the ground, killing its occupant; the man stealing a ride home by hitching a shopping trolley to the back of a train, only to be dragged two miles to his death before the train was able to stop; and the terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter.
I remember when I found the idea for the new images in my “Wait Watchers” series. I was in a sports equipment store with my husband, who was buying new running shoes. While I waited, I walked around the store. A pair of pink, shiny running shorts caught my eye. I walked to the rack, picked up the hanger holding the shorts in front of my face and stared at the shiny fabric.“Yeah, right,” I heard someone say.
I looked up to see a young female employee smirking at me and moving her eyes up and down my body. She then turned and walked away.
My first thought was to tell the manager what happened. My second thought was to demand that my husband not patronize the store. But my third thought was the best: I can take photographs. And a new idea was born.
By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service 22 February 2012
We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.
In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
His book At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern – in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer’s Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
Much like the experience of Wehr’s subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
“It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge,” Ekirch says.
During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
Want to learn to change the world with empathy? Get ready to learn from the masters by By Roman Krznaric November 8, 2014
Ever heard of “empathy marketing”? It’s the latest business buzzword. The idea is that if companies can look through their clients’ eyes and understand their desires, they will be better able to tailor their offerings and gain a competitive advantage.
To me, this is stepping into someone else’s shoes just to sell them another pair.
I believe that the best use of empathy is not in the commercial world but in the social one, where it allows us to challenge prejudices and create political change.
And if you look through history, there are some extraordinary figures who have harnessed this power by engaging in what I think of as “experiential empathy.” This is where you don’t just imagine someone else’s life (a practice technically known as “cognitive empathy”) but try to live it yourself, doing the things they do, living in the places where they live, and knowing the people they know.
You might also call an experience of this nature an “empathy immersion.” It’s like empathy as an extreme sport—one far more exciting and adventurous than ice climbing or sky diving. Continue reading Empathy Heroes – 5 People Who Changed the World By Taking Compassion to the Extreme
Naphtalia Loderick, 24 Oct, 2014
We asked you which bad driving habits bug – and you responded in your thousands, with tailgating and failing to indicate topping the list.
Three times in the past week I’ve been held up by a car when attempting to cross the road at a junction.
Held up in that I’ve had to pause at the kerb trying to figure out whether the car’s going to continue straight ahead or turn left or right.
Of course, if the driver had bothered to indicate I would know what way he – or she – was going and whether I could cross safely or not.
But maybe the driver had wrist-ache and just… couldn’t… quite… move his – or her – hand that extra couple of inches to flick the indicator stalk up or down.
Failing to indicate irritates
You see, it’s easy to forget that it’s not only motorists who suffer when the car in front fails to indicate.
It affects us pedestrians too.
So it’s little surprise that lack of signals is the nation’s second most-hated motoring habit, just behind tailgating.
Now, we’ve covered tailgating before so we’ll leave that for now – but if you want to read more on tailgating click here.
But failing to indicate is another bugbear, and one that also drives (pun intended) Confused.com’s head of car insurance Gemma Stanbury mad.
Assumption other road users are psychic
Stanbury says: “Some drivers just seem to assume that others on the road are psychic and NEVER indicate.
“At motorway speeds this isn’t just irritating: it’s insanely dangerous.