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Findings — From the December 2017 issue

Findings

Economics students behave more selfishly than do arts majors and science majors in monetary experiments because they expect less from others. Anger shifts people toward fiscal conservatism. Deviance spurs bonding gossip, and among Canadians, women gossip about other women’s looks, whereas men gossip about other men’s wealth and athleticism. Pre-psychopathic British boys tend not to want to participate in contagious laughter. People tend to think common behavior is moral behavior. Anti-vaccine tweets in the United States are associated with men aged forty to forty-four, high household wealth, and minimal college education. The efficacy of flu shots is boosted by good moods. Video footage of desserts is perceived as smooth, whereas footage of bodily mutilation is perceived as choppy. Six percent of US adolescents were engaging in digital self-harm, and doctors were reporting wrist fractures from taking selfies. Performance pressure drives the unethical behavior of middle managers. Bullying makes American and Chinese bosses feel better in the short term and worse in the long term. Not all stingless bee queens castrate their workers.

Pumpkin toadlets cannot hear their own calls. Scientists discovered why poison frogs do not poison themselves and also that they can be triggered into foster-parenting unrelated tadpoles. Fifty-fifty custody is best for children, and a bronze seal seized by Turkish gendarmes in Hamamözü district was determined not to be Solomon’s. A giant coconut-cracking rat was discovered in the Solomon Islands, and Bombay police blamed hungry rats for the disappearance of thirty-four kilograms of seized ketamine. A Karnataka snake rescuer removed a blind snake from the nostril of a cobra. A porpoise found in a medieval grave was being tested for seasoning to determine whether the monks who buried the porpoise ate it first. Fragments of a sack filled with bread by St. Francis and delivered to the Friary of Folloni by an angel were determined to be authentic. Palermo psychologists reported that inhabitants of the Sicilian town of Corleone were unwilling to speak on the record about Mafia activity.

Sleep deprivation makes an eyewitness half again as likely to select an innocent person from a lineup in which the perpetrator is absent. Being visited by a rival male causes male fruit flies to defer sleep until later, but being visited by a virgin female eliminates the need for sleep altogether. Strange-face illusions appear when two strangers are asked to gaze at each other in the dark. Scientists suspected that erythropoietic protoporphyria, whose sufferers are injured by daylight and may seek relief by drinking blood, could be responsible for some vampire myths. A new troglodyte was discovered in eastern Turkmenistan. Single Grave Culture adopted the words for bean, pea, shrimp, sturgeon, and turnip from Funnel Beaker Culture. Raccoons seeking marshmallows can solve Aesop’s “Crow and Pitcher” puzzle. Genital herpes came from the hominid Paranthropus boisei. A macaque cared for the mummified corpse of her baby for weeks, then ate it, after which only a single bone remained. A psychiatrist investigated the neurobiological correlates of dwelling in squalor. Astronomers identified nine worlds ideally positioned to observe Earth, none of which are habitable.

Edgelands #27, 2013, an oil painting by Judith Belzer. Courtesy the artist and George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco

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