At The Conversation, neuroscientist Melissa Hines talks about what little biological basis there is behind the idea of heavily gender-coded toys for children
. It's true that male and female fetuses are exposed to different hormones before birth and that might affect what kinds of toys they're interested in later. But it's also true that there is natural variability in both hormone levels and interests within
the sexes and (intriguingly) human babies all
prefer reds and pinks, regardless of their sex. (Meanwhile, human adults prefer blue colors, regardless of sex.) Read the rest
Now you can play Cyberball
— a computer game that psychology researchers use to study the effects of social ostracism and hurt feelings. Normally, the game is played by test subjects who are hooked up to some kind of brain scanning system and who are told that they are playing against other test subjects in other rooms. In reality, they (and now you!) are playing against a computer program that is designed to exclude you and make you feel unwelcome. Why would someone design such a thing? For science! Of course. (Via Rowan Hooper) Read the rest
"To put it very simply, the experiments show that when people think they are drinking alcohol, they behave according to their cultural beliefs about the behavioural effects of alcohol." — Anthropologist Kate Fox, writing for the BBC
. (Via Ed Yong) Read the rest
If you're the sort of person who likes to wake up strangers, or talk to strangers first thing in the morning, then TalkO'Clock might be right for you. It's a P2P matchmaking service that allows you to volunteer to serve as someone else's wake-up call (or to book a stranger in as your waker-upper).
TalkO’Clock allows you to choose whether you want to be called by a male or a female stranger, and it has a robot – CallO’Bot – lined up in case no one is available at the time you have to wake up.
TalkO’Clock, The Social P2P Alarm Clock
Read the rest