STRESSED OUT: Women are more stressed out than men in every category – too many responsibilities, finances, work, health, neighbors – except for friends.
18-29 year olds are most stressed out by “too many responsibilities.” 30-39 year-olds most stressed about finances. 65+ year-olds are least stressed out by their looks.
70% of people respond to extreme stress by sleeping less than usual.
83% of 18-29 year olds say stress has a positive effect in their lives – the highest in all age groups.
Sources of Stress by Age Group (NPR)
PARENTING AROUND THE WORLD: Dutch parents believe strongly in not pushing their children too hard. “People would talk about a cousin who got a PhD and was very unhappy because there were no jobs at universities, and said that you shouldn’t teach your child to read before they got to school, because then your child would be bored at school and not have any friends.”
MEN PREFER PAIN OVER MIND WANDERING: Most men would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts. And while only 6 of the 24 women shocked themselves, 12 of the 18 men did so.
Men tend to be more “sensation seeking” than women. In other words, most men are more interested in seeking variety and stimulation than women are, even if that means getting 190 electric shocks in 15 minutes.
Being able to disengage mentally is an important attribute. It allows us to think about information that is not in the environment, which allows us to act in ways that aren’t directly influenced by our environmental stimuli. The ability to let the mind wander has been linked to greater working memory and increased creativity.
Low Energy, Low Ethics (HBR)
LESS ETHICAL AT NIGHT: When that energy is low, people are more likely to behave unethically. For example, people who didn’t sleep well the previous night can often act unethically, even if they aren’t unethical people. Larks will be more unethical at night than in the morning, and that owls will be more unethical in the morning than at night.
3 SIGNS OF PSEUDOMATURITY: These young teenagers sought out friends who were physically attractive; their romances were more numerous, emotionally intense and sexually exploring than those of their peers; and they dabbled in minor delinquency — skipping school, sneaking into movies, vandalism. The fast-track kids didn’t turn out O.K.
At 13, they were viewed by classmates with envy, admiration and not a little awe. The girls wore makeup, had boyfriends and went to parties held by older students. The boys boasted about sneaking beers on a Saturday night and swiping condoms from the local convenience store. They were cool. They were good-looking. They were so not you. Whatever happened to them?
Now in their early 20s, many of them have had difficulties with intimate relationships, alcohol and marijuana, and even criminal activity.
They are doing more extreme things to try to act cool, bragging about drinking three six-packs on a Saturday night, and their peers are thinking, ‘These kids are not socially competent.’
Cool Kid (Gianluca Fabrizio/Getty Images)
ANXIETY: Adolescents, on average, experience more anxiety and fear and have a harder time learning how not to be afraid than either children or adults. It turns out that the brain circuit for processing fear — the amygdala — is precocious and develops way ahead of the prefrontal cortex, the seat of reasoning and executive control. This means that adolescents have a brain that is wired with an enhanced capacity for fear and anxiety, but is relatively underdeveloped when it comes to calm reasoning.
BINGE DRINKER? Living on an island appears to exacerbate one’s tendency to drink. The Cook Islands, Samoa, Ireland and Sri Lanka are all near the top.
Portuguese women drink 8.8 gallons of alcohol per year – American woman 2.2 Mali men drink 16.4 gallons a year – American men 5.5.
If you’re Zambian, you’re probably drunk at least once per week — and in very good company.
The World Health Organization found in 2011 that the people of Moldova are the hardest drinkers in the world. They drink three times the global average, putting back 18 liters of pure alcohol per year
Pakistan, despite the fact that it’s a Muslim country, has a pretty sizable drinking problem. The penalty if you’re caught is 80 lashes, but the punishment is rarely enforced, and alcohol addiction clinics are flourishing.
Oktoberfest in Munich, September 18, 2010. (Reuters)
You Had Me at Hello: trustworthiness, aggressiveness, confidence, dominance and warmth. In less than a second, the time it takes to say “hello,” we make a snap judgment about someone’s personality.
The pitch of the untrustworthy voice was much lower than the male deemed most trustworthy. McAleer says this is probably because a higher pitched male voice is closer to the natural pitch of a female, making the men sound less aggressive and friendlier than the lower male voices.
All seem to perceive that one voice is the most trustworthy and another voice is the least trustworthy
Humans make split-second judgments about others based on the way they talk. (Katherine Streeter, NPR)
SLEEP CULTURE: This obsession with eight hours of continuous sleep is largely a creation of the electrified age. Back when night fell for, on average, half of each 24 hours, people slept in phases.
People fell asleep not long after dark for the “first sleep.” Then they awoke, somnolent but not asleep, often around midnight, when for a few hours they talked, read, prayed, had sex, brewed beer or burgled. Then they went back to sleep for a shorter period.
There is every reason to believe that segmented sleep, such as many wild animals exhibit, had long been the natural pattern of our slumber before the modern age, with a provenance as old as humankind.