From Fruit Fly To Stink Eye: Searching For Anger’s Animal Roots
For comedian Lewis Black, anger is a job. Black is famous for his rants about stuff he finds annoying or unfair or just plain infuriating. Onstage, he often looks ready for a fight. He leans forward. He shouts. He stabs the air with an index finger, or a middle finger. To a scientist, Black looks a lot like a belligerent dog, or an irritated gerbil. "Practically every sexually reproducing, multicellular animal shows aggressive behavior," says David Anderson, a professor of biology at Caltech and co-author of the book The Neuroscience of Emotion."Fruit flies show aggression." When I relay that last bit to Black, he's skeptical. "Really?" he says.
‘Becoming Human’ Review: The Defining Neediness of Humans
When Edward O. Wilson’s “Sociobiology” was published in 1975, setting forth a comprehensive biological analysis of animal (and human) social behavior, its supposed political implications made the book controversial for some people. For others—including myself—it was a magisterial blending of ethology, ecology and evolutionary theory. Michael Tomasello’s “Becoming Human” should be less controversial. But it is comparably magisterial—merging primatology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and evolution. Mr. Tomasello’s goal is widely shared but rarely achieved: identifying the biopsychological wellsprings of human uniqueness.
Data Show No Evidence That Teens’ Social Media Use Predicts Depression Over Time
Longitudinal data from adolescents and young adults show no evidence that social media use predicts later depressive symptoms.
Americans Are Becoming Less Racist and Homophobic, According to New Research
The resurgence of openly racist attitudes in the Trump era has led many observers to question whether the apparent reduction in prejudice in recent years was an illusion. New research provides a reassuring answer. Researchers find that both conscious and unconscious bias regarding race and sexual orientation declined significantly between 2007 and 2016. For racial attitudes, this change was largely generational, whereas the more relaxed attitudes toward sexuality were found in the population as a whole. That said, Americans are hardly ready to give up all our prejudices.
Artificial intelligence thinks your face is full of data. Could it actually unmask you?
Each January, some 4,500 companies descend upon Las Vegas for the psychological marathon known as the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES. The 2019 festivities were much like any other. Companies oversold their ideas. Attendees tweeted out the craziest products, and Instagrammed the endless miles of convention space. Trend-spotting was the name of the game, and this year’s trends ran the gamut: drones, voice-activated home assistants, something called “8K” television. But the most provocative robots were those that claimed to “read” humans faces, revealing our emotions and physical health in a single image.
Got Anger? Try Naming It To Tame It
Over the past three years, I've had one major goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry. Anger has been my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. Door slamming and phone throwing were basic means of communication. I brought these skills to my 20-year marriage. "Why are you yelling?" my husband would say. "I'm not," I'd retort. Oh wait. On second thought: "You're right. I am yelling." Then three years ago, an earthquake hit our home: We had a baby girl. And all I wanted was the opposite. I wanted her to grow up in a peaceful environment — to learn other ways of handling uncomfortable situations. So I went to therapy. I kept cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets.