Life

Stressed Out?

Curated by CLAI

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

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.”

 

Is Passion a Millennial Coping Mechanism?

Curated by CLAI

PASSION A COPING MECHANISM? Millennials want jobs that are “meaningful” rather than lucrative. Some would call that proof of our compassion and engagement; I would call it a coping mechanism.

  • Many of us are well aware that job security and pensions are a thing of the past. We know that aside from a few Silicon Valley-bound college grads (or willful dropouts), most of us won’t do better than our parents. So we seek validation and happiness in other ways.
  • Still, many millennials, especially low-income ones, still want the proverbial White Picket Fence: a good job, a house, a family. No wonder seven out of 10 of us want to be entrepreneurs  —it seems like the only way to make it now that the traditional safety nets are eroding.
Boomerang Kid

Boomerang Kid (NYTIMES)

BOOMERANG KIDS: One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60% of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only 10% young adults moved back home and few received financial support.

  • They appear to be part of a new and permanent life stage. More than that, they represent a much larger anxiety-provoking but also potentially thrilling economic evolution that is affecting all of us.
  • Is living with your parents a sign, as it once was, of failure? Or is it a practical, long-term financial move?
  • Childhood is a fairly recent economic innovation. For most of recorded history, a vast majority of people began working by age 4, typically on a farm, and were full time by 10. By the end of the Civil War, much of American culture had accepted the notion that children under 13 should be protected from economic life, and child-labor laws started emerging around the turn of the century.
  • Eventually, teenagers were no longer considered younger, less-competent adults but rather older children who should be nurtured and encouraged to explore.

Day of an American: Sleeping, Commuting, and Working

Curated by CLAI

MAPS OF DAY-TO-DAY AMERICA: Alabama and Mississippi are the nation’s sleep capitals, averaging 9+ hours each. New York and New Jersey spend the most time commuting.

  • North Dakota employees work the longest days. The average employed North Dakotan reports spending 8 hours and 16 minutes at work each day. This is probably related to that state’s Bakken Shale boom and the influx of petroleum industry jobs, where armies of mostly male workers spend long hours on the job site.
  • Maine’s low reported working time — 6 hours and 54 minutes — may be related to a preponderance of seasonal and temporary jobs in the tourism industry in that state. They don’t call it “Vacationland” for nothing.

 

Map of Sleeping America

Alabama and Mississippi are the nation’s sleep capitals, averaging 9+ hours each (WAPO)

AMERICANS WORK 7 DAYS A WEEK: On Tuesdays we work the hardest, and have the hardest time falling asleep. We really don’t like running errands on Wednesday. We devote our weekends to our friends and our pets. We watch a ton of TV every day, but especially on Sunday. The 10 charts below reveal these trends and more.

Chart of how Americans spend their time each day

Everybody really is working for the weekend. (WAPO)

 

Better Handwriting Means More Creative? What Does 100 Years Old Feel Like?

Curated by CLAI

DOES HANDWRITING MATTER? Most states call for teaching legible writing, only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.

  • When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.
  • When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory — and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks.
  • Students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard.
  • For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information.
What stage in life do you remember most fondly?

What stage in life do you remember most fondly? (Source: United Healthcare)

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A CENTENARIAN: Only 3% said they were lonely, sad or burdened. They remember their 30s most fondly. And feel like they’re only 83 …

Who Should We Trust? How Should We Sleep?

Curated by CLAI

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.

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.