ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "Social"

Anthropology in Practice

Social Lessons from Our Favorite Horror Movies

Photo by Paree, CC.

I’m a fan of scary stories. With a few hours to spare, I’ll gladly spend them with Richard Matheson or Shirley Jackson. If I don’t have a few hours to spare, I’ll pass the time with whatever horror movie I can find playing in the background while I work. Yes, they can be campy. Yes, [...]

Keep reading »
Anthropology in Practice

If You Want Me to RSVP, Then You Need to Actually Invite Me

Responde s'il vous plait. | Photo by Ewan, 2009. | Click image for CC license and information.

I returned the RSVP card for a wedding earlier this week, and it made my think of this piece from the archives where I struggled with RSVPs for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower. Titled “RSVP—A Cultural Construct?,” it examined the obligations that invitations carry. The following has been edited from its original posting for clarity and [...]

Keep reading »
The Artful Amoeba

Are Cycads Social Plants?

cycad_grove_cone_hall_and_walter_2013_200

Botanists have long puzzled over a peculiarity of ancient plants called cycads: they have huge, bright, fleshy seeds displayed in enormous cones. Yet there’s nothing correspondingly ginormous to eat and — I’ll use the polite term here — disperse them. And if their presumed former big dispersers (perhaps super-sized ice age mammals, marsupials, birds — [...]

Keep reading »
Beautiful Minds

What Kind of Introvert Are You?

inline-brainstorm-mash-quiet-book

Are you an introvert? It depends on which book you read. Here’s a sampling of the various conceptualizations of introversion in pop culture [1]: Preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments: Quiet by Susan Cain Preference for concentration and solitude: The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling Rechargeable battery: The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney Thoughtful-introspective: [...]

Keep reading »
Beautiful Minds

The Neuroscience of Social Influence

Bering in Mind

Women Really Are More Socially Aggressive Than Men (With Apologies to Jezebel.com)

Like it or not, men and women evolved different kinds of violent minds

Keep reading »
Culturing Science

The Evolution of Grief, Both Biological and Cultural, in the 21st Century

sciam-blogs-candle-hwat-small

Three months ago, I received an email informing me that a high school friend, Pat, had died. I read his obituary and my body stopped functioning. I froze on the spot, limbs tense but trembling. My mouth went dry, my vision blurred. As I waited for my train in the packed station, I could barely [...]

Keep reading »
MIND Guest Blog

Read the Thoughts of a Boy with Autism

Reprinted with permission from SFARI.org, an editorially independent division of the Simons Foundation. (Find original story here.) The autism described in The Reason I Jump is quite different from the mostly social disorder that I, as a researcher and clinician, find in textbooks and journal articles. The new bestselling book, featuring the remarkable testimony of [...]

Keep reading »
MIND Guest Blog

Brain Stimulation Can Control Compliance with Social Norms

ruff2HR

Human beings are utterly dependent on a complex social structure for their survival.  Since all behavior is controlled by the brain, human beings may have evolved specialized neural circuits that are responsible for compliance with society’s rules.  A new study has identified such a region in the human brain, and researchers can increase or decrease [...]

Keep reading »
Not bad science

Mice Will Approach Another Mouse in Pain, But Only When He’s Top Mouse

3130915987_353af56089

Mice, like us, are social animals. As social animals they like to hang out with each other. Also like us, they don’t just hang out with anyone. Who a mouse chooses to hang out with will depend on number of factors, such as how old the other mouse is, what it’s social status is and [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Brains’ Social Network Formula Dates Back Hundreds of Millions of Years

vertebrates evolution social network circuits brain

Newts aren’t doing a lot of Facebook friending, and last time I checked, the cormorant had not updated its relationship status. But a new neural analysis suggests that our social networking tendencies most likely have their neural roots in some of our early vertebrate ancestors. The findings were published online May 31 in Science. “There [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Tweeting to Save the Day

So Superstorm Sandy comes and pretty much knocks everybody on their butts – and then what? Where to go? Shelters? Food? Which streets are open, and which are flooded? Is somebody dropping off blankets or chain saws somewhere? When? According to Julie Macie, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina working towards a [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

Paralyzed Woman Walks Again, with the Aid of a Robot

Amanda in her wheelchair

ASPEN. Life can change in an instant. We all know this, but we forget, or try to forget, this fact—until something happens that makes it hard to ignore. An attractive blonde in a bright red blouse sits in a wheelchair before the assembled scientists, doctors, writers and members of the community. We are in a [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

Benefits of Online Attraction: The Movie

Courtesy of Katsunojiri via Flickr.

Biologist Carin Bondar features my blog, “Meeting Your Spouse Online May Lead to a Better Marriage,” (and me!) in her video compilation of Scientific American blog network hits for the month of June. In her series, “The Headlines Have It!–Best of the Blogs,” Bondar also showcases blogger Felicity Muth chatting about her post, “Are Pigs [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

Meeting Your Spouse Online May Lead to a Better Marriage

Courtesy of lyubenov.com via Wikimedia Commons.

I met my husband at a party in a bygone era. He had no online profile. Neither did I. We didn’t trade email addresses, as neither of us had one of those either. He seemed like a good guy–and a party was as good a venue as any for meeting a future spouse. He still [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

Brain Benefits for the Holidays? Stuff the Stocking with Video Games

happy face superimposed over man

Happy holidays! As the year draws to a close, one thing I’m celebrating is the fun I’ve had helping put together the magazine I edit, Scientific American Mind. I am looking forward to working on new articles and projects in 2013. (We have some surprises in store.) I’m pleased about my growing and attentive audience [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

How Social and Emotional Learning Could Harm Our Kids

Editor’s note: The following is a critique of a social and emotional learning program called MindUP that I have covered in other blogs (see list below) and in a feature in Scientific American Mind (visit “Schools Add Workouts for Attention, Grit and Emotional Control”).  Please also read a response to this critique, posted separately, from [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

The Education of Character—Stoking Memory with Stones [Video]

In MindUP, a social and emotional learning program pioneered by actor Goldie Hawn, children learn to be mindful—that is, attuned to the present without judgment. This skill engenders a healthy outlook on life, hones the ability to pay attention and creates a sense of calm, preparing the mind for learning. (For more on the brain [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

The Education of Character: Teaching Control with a Cotton Ball [Video]

We think of school as a place where children learn new skills and knowledge. Young people come to class more or less ready to learn, their aptitude and readiness determined by genetics and environment. They are motivated or apathetic. They are attentive or distractible. They are social or shy, anxious or calm. Teachers accept these [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

Educating Character and Other Lessons from Scientific American MIND

Teacher and children breathing

I am happy to be breaking my silence of recent weeks with a preview of the September/October issue of Scientific American Mind. As the summer begins its slow resignation and people anticipate the start of school, our pages revive the ongoing societal debate about the best way to teach our kids. This issue of Mind [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

Why Wearing Fakes Makes Us Cheat More [Excerpt]

Book cover for The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty

Think donning an Armani knockoff or phony Prada only hurts the fashion industry? Take another look in the mirror By Dan Ariely* This e-book chapter is excerpted from The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty, by Dan Ariely (HarperCollins Publishers, 2012). Used with permission. Let me tell you the story of my debut into the world of [...]

Keep reading »
Streams of Consciousness

The Importance of Being Social

soccer football team huddle

Guest Blog by Leonard Mlodinow* One advantage of belonging to a cohesive society in which people help each other is that the group is often better equipped than a set of individuals to deal with threats from the outside. People intuitively realize there is strength in numbers, and take comfort in the company of others, [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X