We get by with a little help from our friends
Plus, when name calling backfires
“People tend to see victims of wrongdoing as more morally good people than non-victims who have behaved identically.” – Jillian Jordan
Friend zone. In our busy lives, it’s easy to minimize the importance of socializing. But let this new study serve as your reminder to make time for friends —it could mean a longer life. Researchers in China studied the lives of more than 28,000 people over the span of two decades, measuring how often they engaged in various social activities during that time. They used data from a national survey that focused specifically on older adults who live independently. They found that the more often these people socialized, the longer they lived. “This study found that frequent participation in social activity was associated with prolonged overall survival time,” the study reported. “From baseline to 5 years of follow-up, the more frequent the social activity, the more prolonged the survival time.” After that five years, though, the effect flatlined “and only participating in social activity almost every day could significantly extend the overall survival time.” The study is observational, meaning it’s not quite accurate to say that your friends are the reason you’ll live longer, but there seems to be a link between longevity and a more social lifestyle. If you need a reason to make plans with a friend, this is a pretty good one.
He started it. A new study from Indiana University looked at how adults react to name-calling. Researchers showed people a news story with a fictitious political candidate. In some versions of the story, they also randomly inserted a pejorative in front of the candidate’s name. When people saw the pejorative, they tended to rate the attacker — the fictitious rival doing the name-calling — lower. In other words, name-calling backfires. However, this effect was stronger for certain political affiliations. “We find that Democratic identifying respondents actually punish their co-partisan candidates when they use name-calling,” the study reported. “However, Republican identifying respondents do not punish their co-partisan Republican candidates in the same way.”
Is justice served? At the end of legal proceedings, many victims feel that what they received was not what they needed. Some scholars have pointed to an alternative process called restorative justice — what does that look like? Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
April 10: It used to be that we tried our best to conceal disadvantages, hardships, and humiliations. But new research explores a curious shift: some people are flaunting limitations that don’t exist. This week, psychologists Karl Aquino and Jillian Jordan on the strange phenomenon of wanting to seem worse off than we really are.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
April 11: In high school, Susan had a stutter, and was embarrassed to speak in front of her class. Then her English teacher told her something that changed the course of her life.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
What call for help, when written in capital letters, is the same forwards, backwards and upside down?
The answer: SOS
A MOMENT OF JOY
This delightful sketch by Sketchplanations is a great accompaniment to a recent episode.
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