Which old sayings are true and which are false? – Barking up the wrong tree

Let’s go ahead and insert the “studies say” caveat, but there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. Selections:

“All _____ people look alike”

For all of us, whenever people are a different race it’s harder to tell them apart.

“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long”

Probably.

“You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake”

Absolutely. “Results showed that HGS was correlated with SHRs, aggressive behavior, age at first sexual intercourse, and promiscuity in males but not in females. HGS appears to be an honest signal for genetic quality in males.”

“Happy wife, happy life”

When the husband is happier than the wife, couples are more likely to divorce.

“Gaydar”

Yes.

“Attractive women make men stupid”

True. In fact, just thinking about attractive women makes men dumb.

“It’s the booze talking”

No, actually, that’s you talking.

“Spanking is bad for kids”

Kids who were spanked behave better as teenagers.

Which old sayings are true and which are false? – Barking up the wrong tree

Why do you always sit in the same place in meetings? – Barking up the wrong tree

People exhibit territorial behavior when they take seats in public places, limiting themselves to small areas so they don’t have to “renegotiate” seating arrangements with other people, researchers say. In one study by Marco Costa of the University of Bologna in Italy, university students showed strong attachments to specific areas of a lecture hall; on average, each student made use of just 2.4% to 2.7% of the seating area.

Confession: at college back in the day and at work currently, I’m that jerk that, every so often, likes to take the seat where other people always sit. Always stirrin’ shit up.

Why do you always sit in the same place in meetings? – Barking up the wrong tree

Are people who dwell on their problems more creative? – Barking up the wrong tree

Because rumination may allow an idea to stay in one’s conscious longer and indecision may result in more time on a given task, it was expected that these two cognitive processes may predict creativity. Self-report measures of rumination, indecision, and creativity were electronically distributed to 85 adults (28 men, 57 women; M age = 32.96 years old). Reflective rumination significantly predicted creativity, moderated by high levels of indecision. This study may resolve previous conflicts between findings on rumination and creativity and introduces indecision as beneficial in the creative process. This study also provided important clinical implications in distinguishing between adaptive and maladaptive rumination suggesting a new cognitive link between creativity and depression.

Insert the “One Single Study Often Means Jack Shit” disclaimer here. But it reminded me of Alain de Botton:

Being cheerful is really no recipe to get down to work: nothing happens until paranoia, jealousy, competitiveness and guilt arrive.

And also of Roz Chast:

I kind of tend to stay up late just about every night, anywhere from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. I putter. I nurse old grudges. I fold origami while nursing old grudges. I think about the past. I wonder if there’s any grudges I should start.

Are people who dwell on their problems more creative? – Barking up the wrong tree