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Findings — From the November 2018 issue

Findings

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A survey of prisoners found that criminals who as children beat, burned, choked, drowned, kicked, shot, starved, stoned, or had sex with animals were not at greater risk of committing future violence against humans, but those who stabbed animals were. A rosebush suspected of killing a woman was cleared when forensic scientists determined that the victim had been stabbed by a human. A study found that adults shot by law enforcement were twenty-two times more likely than those injured in car crashes in the two preceding years to have impulsivity disorders. Innocent black people are likelier to enter the criminal-justice system as a result of mistaken identification, whereas innocent white people are likelier to enter as a result of deliberate misidentification. Sexually coercive men are highly perceptive in noticing women’s disgust. Companies with female CEOs perform worse in stock markets than other equally profitable companies. For the first time since the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index was created, in 2006, the estimated amount of time it will take to close the workplace gender gap rose, from 170 to 217 years. In countries with high gender equality, men are only slightly better at spatial navigation, whereas personality differences deemed to be sex-specific are highly pronounced. Men do not suffer from the “changing room” shock that women experience on realizing that they are too old for certain articles of clothing, but are distressed by the prospect of wearing elasticized trousers. Two million acres in the western United States were on fire.

A wild male infant chimpanzee named Peace was observed thrusting his penis into a wadge of ficus. The most efficient and effective rat-tickling dosage lasts fifteen seconds per session over three days. Goats prefer interacting with happy-looking humans. Psychiatrists observed a therapy wheaten terrier who responded to his owner’s suicidal depression by falling into a vegetative state, and suggested that humane treatment of therapy dogs should consider the personal difficulties dogs face as a result of their owners’ mental illnesses. Teenage friendships are more durable if both teens are equally depressed. Ten percent of straight US male college students kiss one another on the lips. Barely half of people who do not believe in God identify as atheists. Psychologists detected a common thread of teleological thinking in creationism and conspiracy theories. Russian bots have been posting equal quantities of pro- and anti-­vaccine tweets. In the United States, blue lakes are now outnumbered by murky lakes.

The cleaner wrasse fish passes the mirror self-­recognition test. Shrimp whose colonies are visited by injured fish seeking the removal of parasites do not, as previously feared, take advantage of the injured fish by eating them or their mucus. A dolphin named Kylie may have changed the frequency of his clicks in order to communicate with a pod of porpoises. With the addition of beluga whales and narwhals, the number of nonhuman mammals whose females undergo menopause expanded to four. An orca mother who carried her dead calf for seventeen days over one thousand miles finally let go of the body and began chasing salmon. Scientists identified the two brain regions most closely linked to voluntary forgetting, and discovered the mechanism that allows mice to ignore the sound of their own footsteps.

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