Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sociology and Psychology stuff from the fortnight 30/7 - 12/8/12

'Weather matters when buying a home or car'
Research that used data from more than 40 million new and used vehicle transactions, and more than 4 million single-family residential properties that sold in the United States between 1998 and 2008, has found a real correlation between weather conditions, and sale frequency.
Hotter weather caused higher sales of convertible cars; snow caused higher sales of 4x4s; sunniness determines sales of black cars; summer increases the value of houses, when they have a swimming pool.
"the results of the paper suggest that consumers would benefit from laws designed to help them better evaluate their decisions. For example, laws that allow consumers a “cooling-off period” for durable goods or goods for which consumers sign extended contracts may provide significant benefits." 

A woman who was born with two missing fingers on her right hand, and later had to have the hand amputated, after a car accident, has developed phantom pain in the two fingers that she never had. Weird!

When women break through into positions in the business hierarchy that others are not familiar with women having, they are treated with disdain, and seemingly not just from men:
"58 percent of female supervisors in predominantly male work environments are likely to experience harassment, while 42 percent might expect harassment in female dominated workplaces."

"Don't be fooled by popular stereotypes... Men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus. We are all on planet Earth."
"Men and women are actually more similar in the ways they express love than they are different," said study author Elizabeth Schoenfeld, a researcher at the University of Texas in Austin. "But we also learned that, even in the wake of feminism, wives express love by being less assertive and more accommodating, while husbands show love by initiating sex or sharing activities together."

And sometimes they express love, even when they weren't expecting to...
'New study finds clients want real love from sex workers'
"In recent years, we have come to see a gradual normalization of independent escort prostitution, where sexual encounters have come to resemble quasi-dating relationships," stated study author Christine Milrod. "Our study shows that regular clients of a particular sex provider often come to experience feelings of deep affection, which can progress into an authentic love story."
Read the "saying" in the comment, LOL

Forget polygyny - men having multiple wives - Katherine Starkweather's research says polyandry - a woman having multiple husbands - is a recipe for stability, as demonstrated by some cultures.
"Extra husbands ensure that women's children are cared for even if their fathers die or disappear."
"In approximately half of the cultures studied, the other husbands were closely related to the first husband, a practice with economic repercussions. In previously studied polyandrous cultures, especially those of Nepal, Tibet and India, inheritance traditions called for land to be divided evenly among male offspring after a parent's passing. That practice would have resulted in land being sub-divided into useless parcels too small to provide enough crops to feed a family. However, if several brothers married the same wife, the family farm would stay intact. In the small egalitarian cultures Starkweather studied land and property ownership was unusual. In these societies, younger brothers in the marriage often protected and provided food for the family in the absence of the older brother, who was often the primary husband."
I'm not sure that i'd favour either over communalism/socialism - where you just look after each other, whoever they are - but polyandry seems favourable to polygyny.

Having used the buses before, these tactics come as no surprise to me -- even though i do live in a completely different country. So similar are we.
'Strangers on a bus: Study reveals lengths commuters go to avoid each other'

Culture -- what you dish out, you're more likely to get back -- that's the 'rule of thumb'.
If you treat people with disdain and suspicion, then they'll take up the precedent, and treat you with matching disdain and suspicion.
'Being paranoid about office politics can make you a target'

The perils of self-reporting: 'Americans gaining more weight than they say'
Subjective analyses are usually completely useless, because they bear no relation to the actual situation.

'Stress makes men appreciate heavier women'
The proposed mechanism is that stress is usually associated with environmental paucity of calories, therefore better-built women will be better options for reproducing with.
Also observed, was that men broadened their interests in women, which also suggests a response to environmental difficulty.

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