Learning! Roundup: Aging, fundraising, dancing, and convincing someone they're wrong


Yes, we're getting older every second of every day 

Of all the things that seem inevitable in life, aging sure is one of them. I mean, as much as we idolize youth and seem to dread old age, we also want to live a long time, which means we all secretly want to get old.

Of course, aging would seem a lot better without the aches, pains, and cognitive breakdown that seems to be part of the package deal. Well, according to Dr. Deborah Serani, these symptoms of aging can actually be symptoms of depression in the elderly, which is entirely treatable.

Paying fundraisers makes them less effective

We all know the dreaded clipboard people: the predators who stand on street corners wearing giant vests, holding clipboards, and using all sorts of social maneuvers to trap you into talking to them and guilt you into signing up for monthly donations to their charity.

Well, apparently they would do a better job if they were working for free! New research shows that fundraisers who are being paid are not as effective. It turns out that people aren't as good at communicating their genuine concern for a cause when they are being offered incentives, even when they already cared about the cause. Receiving payment seems to create a internal conflict between self interest and altruism, and the rest of us pick up on those subtle cues well enough that we don't donate as much money.

Dance makes you a better person

Yet ANOTHER benefit of dancing! This time, research has shown that dancing helps you be a better human being by being more sensitive to displays of emotion in others.

To convince someone they are wrong, tell them they're right

Here's a bit of research that falls both into the "duh" and "but no one does this so it can't be that obvious" categories: if you want to show someone that they are wrong, you will be more successful by first taking their point of view and seeing where they are getting it right. Turns out, people are way more receptive to negative feedback when they feel their point of view is validated and understood! Funny, that.

Seems obvious, but then we all seem to think that some combination of yelling and telling people they are fat will convince them they are wrong, so I guess we need to keep working at it.


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