FAVORITE CHILD: We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you’re thinking it’s not you. But does that really make a difference?
Many if not most parents do have a favorite child. And though parents usually strive to hide that, it’s not always successful. That differential treatment has been linked to problems with family relationships and risky behavior in teens.
But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.
In families that weren’t particularly close, the child who felt less favored was more likely to be a substance abuser. The more dramatic the difference they perceived in preferential treatment, the more likely they were to be using.
But when family members were more engaged with each other, the perceived favoritism had less impact, at least when it came to substance abuse.
After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep. (Current Biology, Kouider et al.)
THINGS YOU DO IN YOUR SLEEP: For those who find themselves sleeping through work — you may one day find yourself working through sleep. People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions. This may explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.
ARE YOU LUCKY: Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. The harder you look, the less you see. The more anxious you are, the less likely you notice the unexpected. The more tense you are, the less likely you will be able to take advantage of unexpected ‘luck’ – therefore the more unlucky you are.
Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Ignorance Isn’t Bliss (Lucinda Schreiber, NPR)
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS: Many of us have information aversion or the ostrich effect. In other words, we would rather not know if we have a serious or terminal illness if we have been scared by the consequences. The worse the consequences, the more likely people are to avoid testing. Scaring people more about the implications may scare them away from getting tested.
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.