Birth Order Doesn’t Affect Your Personality— Just Your Intelligence

For centuries, humans have been curious about the effect that birth order has on personality, possibly because eldest children in ruling families typically inherited the seat of power. A new study published in PNAS finds that firstborn children tend to score higher on objective measures of intelligence and self-reported measures of intelligence. But it finds that there are no birth-order effects on other personality characteristics.

Source: Birth order doesn’t affect your personality—just your intelligence

Older by minutes or even seconds, makes no difference… 😉

Pregnancy and birthing are very taxing on women, I’ve read studies that claim a woman’s body does not return to normal for 4-5 years after a pregnancy. I wonder if there is some correlation between the intelligence gap and the age difference of the siblings. Would not surprise me to find that pregnancies that happen before the body has fully recovered means that the woman’s body cannot give as many resources to the subsequent children during those critical developmental stages.

TLDR: Got older siblings?  If so, here’s something shiny to play with.  …but you missed the squirrel.

If You Could Take a Pill to Improve Your Creativity, Would You?

Sure, who wouldn’t want to be more creative? But what about a pill to improve your self-control, or sociability? What if you enjoy being impulsive, or revel in your alone time? If a pharmacological enhancement changed a defining aspect of your personality, how would it change your perception of that enhancement?

Source: If You Could Take a Pill to Improve Your Creativity, Would You?

The findings were interesting.  I disagree with what the subjects were assessed with wanting to improve only innate abilities.  If I’m already good at something, I want to improve where I’m not.  But the finding is consistent with another study where people were found to generally not want to see others improve.

Inherited Genes Control Your IQ, May Affect Exams

For once, a study with a substantial sample size!

We know that genes play a role in how well children do in school, but there are gaps in our knowledge: is this the same for different topics in school? And can this be explained largely by intelligence, or do other genetic factors contribute?

Source: Your inherited genes control your IQ and may affect how well you do at exams

Just linking genes and behaviours is still an area of furious debate, let alone figuring out the exact mechanisms by which those genes cause the behaviours in question. Hopefully studies like this one, that take us closer to identifying genetically-influenced traits, can also get us closer to figuring out the answer to that question.

Generalizing, look at animal behaviour for some insight.  Take a typical breed to see what attributes it has.  Labs are pretty consistent – loyal, happy, but destructive if you don’t keep them active.  Bernese Mountain dogs for me have been similar to labs, but shorter life spans.  Dachsunds have a lot of personality… I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone describe corgi’s as smart 😉

What You Probably Don’t Know About the Most Famous Case in Neuroscience

In 1845, a meter-long iron rod pierced the skull of Vermont railway worker Phineas Gage. The resulting changes to his personality forever changed our perception of the human brain. But what happened next to Gage is rarely covered in textbooks — a problematic oversight, say psychologists.

Source: What You Probably Don’t Know About the Most Famous Case in Neuroscience

Supposedly, a “doctor” who was overseeing Mr. Gage inserted his fingers of each hand into the top and bottom exit wounds and made his fingers touch.

Even if that finger touching was exaggeration, it’s still absolutely amazing that Mr. Gage did not die of infection. Incredible.

Why Lead Is Bad For Humans

Given that humans have been using lead in various product for over 8,000 years (with the first known mining of it in Anatolia around 6500 BCE), you might be surprised to learn that we have known that lead is dangerous and shouldn’t be trifled with since at least 150 BC, when its effects on the human body were noted by famed Greek physician Nicander of Colophon. Nicander even went so far as to describe the metal as “deadly”, writing extensively on the crippling effects it has on the human body in his work, Alexipharmaca.

Source: Why is Lead Bad For Humans?

Part of the reason for so many jokes about slack jawed yokels, pre-meth era, was that cider presses and stills tended to be made of lead.

How to Tell if Music Will Help or Hurt Your Workout

Music can boost your workout by distracting you from pain and fatigue, but it’s not a boon to every workout. Depending on your personality and your sport, you may be better off skipping distractions.

Source: How to Tell if Music Will Help or Hurt Your Workout

I’ve spoken before about my distaste for music in particular training.  For cycling, it’s a Darwin Award to me.  There’s the same potential for running, but not as much and it can be more beneficial IMO to have music than while cycling.  I’ve seen setups that allow you to listen to music while swimming.  I come from cycling – group rides usually provide a partner but otherwise are without music so being without never bothered me.

Personality Influences Where You Live, and How Happy You’ll Be There

Criteria like housing prices, population density, and crime rates are often emphasized when people consider the desirability of living in an urban area. These “livability” factors are associated with higher life satisfaction, both directly (by making the lives of residents better) and indirectly (because more affluent and satisfied people live in these neighborhoods).

However, according to a recent PNAS paper, these livability factors can only account for two-thirds of the difference in life satisfaction, with a large portion of the difference being attributed to something more surprising: a match between personality and neighborhood. In London, personality traits cluster in different neighborhoods and contribute to the life satisfaction of the residents there.

Source: Your personality influences where you live—and how happy you’ll be there

In other news: Your personality influences where you work—and how happy you’ll be there.

A majority of people tend to take their own conclusions about things and project them onto others, equating what they think they need and want and believe into what other people need and want and believe. Happiness, as a transitive emotional state, is the most relative thing in the world to try to measure.

People tend to adapt and don’t want to live in an unsatisfied state. Mankind is a tribal creature, and tends to emulate the behaviors of others when in crowded situations (such as a large city like London) in order to “fit in”. Most people tend to stay in a relatively small geographical region and will then emulate the behaviors of that region. Not wanting to seem “outside the tribe” they may even think that they’re “happy”. It’s not that their personality influences where they live, or how happy they are there. At least not for most people, which is what the study concludes. It may well be that the opposite occurs due to man’s tribal nature.

Using Social Media, Algorithm Predicts Personality Better Than Friends

The idea for the study came together last year when psychologist Youyou Wu and computer scientist Michal Kosinski, then both at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, watched Her, a 2013 science fiction film in which a man falls in love with his computer operating system. “By analyzing his digital records, his computer can understand and respond to his thoughts and needs much better than other humans,” Wu says, “including his long-term girlfriend and closest friends.” Wu and Kosinski wondered: Is that possible in real life?

… a team led by Kosinski showed that the pattern of people’s likes on Facebook is enough to predict their personal traits such as gender, race, political persuasion, and even sexuality.

Source: Your computer knows you better than your friends do

It was never a matter of “if”, but “when”.  Social media is a sociologists dream come true.  All the demographics, all the data…  If the service is free, the product is you.

What Your Favorite Childhood Lunch Box Says About You

It means you’re old 😉

When you’re a kid, it’s not so much about what’s in your lunch box, but what’s onyour lunch box. Were you a Scooby Doo kid or more of a Strawberry Shortcake kind of gal? Did you like the hard plastic lunch boxes, or did you prefer the vintage metal look? You can learn a lot about someone based on their favorite childhood lunch box.

So think back, way back, and remember what your favorite childhood lunchbox looked like. Got it? Now read on to see what that says about you as a person now.

Source: What Your Favorite Childhood Lunch Box Says About You