Marshmallow Test: Want to teach your kids self-control? Ask a Cameroonian farmer. Now for the first time, there’s a study reporting on what happens when psychologists give the marshmallow test to kids outside Western culture, specifically 4-year-old children from the ethnic group Nso in Cameroon. Compared to German children in the experiment, the Cameroonian kids waited, on average, twice as long for the second treat. And way more Cameroonian kids — nearly 70% — waited the full 10 minutes to snag the second marshmallow. Only about 30% of the German kids could hold out.
What to Tell Your Ultra-Rich Kids about Money: Money is the last taboo. People will tell you about their sex life before they will talk about money. Such is the dichotomy for the ultra-wealthy as they work to strike a balance. They want to live well, but they don’t want to spoil their children. They want their kids to be well-adjusted and advantaged, but they don’t want them to lack ambition. Wealthy people on both sides of the equation — the wealth creators and the heirs — often consider it gauche to even discuss money. Some are embarrassed by it.
“What I make a point to do when all my kids have just turned 18 is visit our estate attorney in Richmond who my dad and now me have done business with for 28 years.”
All three children have attended public schools, and all work at the company starting at 11 or 12. They also must work outside the company after college, so they “learn what you have to do to make $100,000 a year.”
“Each child has a small trust set up when they were born that will mature in stages when they graduate from college, turn 30 and, finally, turn 35.”
Americans Are Wary of Being Alone With the Opposite Sex: Many men and women are wary of a range of one-on-one situations. Around a quarter think private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate. Nearly two-thirds say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work. A majority of women, and nearly half of men, say it’s unacceptable to have dinner or drinks alone with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.
Source: Morning Consult survey of 5,282 registered voters, conducted May 2 to 5. Questions were shown in random order. The grey bar represents those who said they did not know or had no opinion.
Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives? Fewer of the youngest millennials, those aged 18 to 25, support egalitarian family arrangements than did the same age group 20 years earlier. The proportion of young people holding egalitarian views about gender relationships rose steadily from 1977 to the mid-1990s but has fallen since. In 1994, 83% of young men rejected the superiority of the male-breadwinner family. By 2014 that had fallen to 55%. Increased support for male leadership in home life among 18- to 25-year-olds may reflect an attempt to compensate for men’s loss of dominance in the work world.
MIDDLE SEAT REDESIGN: The Slide-Slip Seat, by Molon Labe, BMW Groups’ Designworks, and Panasonic Avionics, extends the curved armrest back to ensure the middle seater has access to at least half of its length. That also gives the middle seat’s in-flight entertainment system room to grow to a whopping 18 inches, compared to the puny 15-inch screens on other seat backs. For all this design prowess, however, this thing gets you nothing in extra legroom. Let’s see if airlines think that an uptick in passenger happiness may be worth the extra weight of, say, an extra-wide seatback entertainment system. Wired
The aviation design company’s newest concept moves middle seats back and down, giving passengers an extra 3 inches of width compared to fellow flyers. MOLON LABE
MOST ATTRACTIVE CITIES FOR WORK: the most (and least) attractive places for today’s workforce were ranked financially — salary, tax, and cost-of-living data. net purchasing power of a typical salary in each city. Similarly, the lifestyle ranking takes into account living conditions and social benefits, including physical threat and safety (e.g. violence, crime, medical), discomfort (e.g. climate, geographic isolation, cultural or psychological isolation) and inconvenience (e.g. availability of housing, recreation, goods and services, and education facilities). For individuals, younger workers see a flatter world and prioritize international experiences and mobility for career development. 71% of Millennials desire to work abroad at some point in their career. HBR
KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE: American families will shell out an average of $233,610 from birth through age 17 — or about $13,000 a year. The ballooning price tag, a 3% increase, comes at a time when day-care costs can exceed university tuitions and homes prices have skyrocketed to record highs. (Washington Post)
Families in urban areas in the Northeast, such as New York and Boston, were likely to pay even more — an average of $253,770, or roughly $14,000 a year — because of higher housing and child-care costs.
Lower-income families are likely to spend $212,300 per child through age 17, while higher-income families will spend more than double that, or about $454,770.
Families in rural areas, meanwhile, are likely to spend 24% less than their counterparts in urban areas in the Northeast.
Credit: Washington Post
PERSONALIZED LEARNING FOR 6-12 GRADES: A nationwide pilot program, one that could indicate just how deeply and how quickly the personalized-learning trend will penetrate the average classroom. Indeed, despite the buzz around personalized learning, there’s no simple recipe for success, and the common ingredients — such as adaptive-learning technology and student control over learning — can backfire if poorly implemented. (Wired)
One early November afternoon in an hour’s drive south of San Francisco, a class of ninth-graders sat at computers for a 45-minute session of personalized learning time. Many watched instructional videos or worked with adaptive-learning software that adjusted lessons based on each student’s proficiency. Other than a few murmured conversations and the clicking of keyboards, the only sound was mellow acoustic guitar music played on their teacher’s laptop.
By offloading some rote learning to a computer—such as memorizing the steps of cell division or the formulas for sine, cosine and tangent—we can make the most of the connections between teachers and kids. We want more of those interactions to be about big ideas, deeper learning and the sort of feedback that you can only get from a real, live adult.
“I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.” ~Woody Allen
BOREDOM: What if boredom is a meaningful experience—one that propels us to states of deeper thoughtfulness or creativity? Boredom might spark creativity because a restless mind hungers for stimulation.
Bored subjects came up with more ideas than a nonbored control group, and their ideas were often more creative. Subjects who took an “associative thought” word test came up with more answers when they’d been forced to watch a dull screensaver.
The problem is that these days we don’t wrestle with these slow moments. We eliminate them. “We try to extinguish every moment of boredom in our lives with mobile devices.” This might relieve us temporarily, but it shuts down the deeper thinking that can come from staring down the doldrums.
Credit: Wayne Miller/Magnum USA, 1955
SPEED READING: Skilled readers know more about language, including many words and structures that occur in print but not in speech. They also have greater “background knowledge,” familiarity with the structure and content of what is being read. We acquire this information in the act of reading itself—not by training our eyes to rotate in opposite directions, playing brain exercise games, or breathing diaphragmatically. Just reading.
Boustrophedon (Ancient Greek method): Texts were written bidirectionally, left to right on one line, then right to left on the next. This method would seem to allow reading to proceed continuously, uninterrupted by line sweeps. Try it.
Here we have a nice normal first line.
.siht ekil nettirw eb dluoc enil txen ehT
Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP): A text is presented at a single location on a screen, one word (or sometimes a few) at a time. It was developed for research purposes in the 1960s. College students could read with RSVP at up to 700 words per minute with good comprehension, about triple their normal speeds. Alas, the experiments also found that subjects could only sustain reading at high speeds with good comprehension for short bursts.