Learning! Roundup: Fix your body image, gender-neutral preschools, smart phones make us dumb (actually), and more!

Learning! Roundup: A collection of research and interesting facts, including the fact that exercising for just 30 minutes can make you feel stronger, thinner, and overall better about yourself. Also, gender-neutral preschools, gendered medical research, and cigarette butts in birds nests.
Photo credit: daverose259 via Foter.com / CC BY

Fix Your Body (Image) in Just 30 Minutes!

New research shows that exercising for just 30 minutes can make you feel stronger, thinner, and overall better about yourself.  I mean, I've known this for a while, that's why I made my special fitspiration memes.

Gender-Neutral Preschool

Sweden, always ahead of the game, has some gender-neutral preschools. This is not achieved by dressing everyone in matching sackcloth, but by making sure that toys are not segregated by gender, that posters depict a combination of gender norms (like a robot in a tutu), and instructors talk more about humans, kids, adults, and friends than boys and girls. And, guess what? It's working! Kids who attend these gender-neutral preschools have better outcomes than those who don't.

Smart Phones Still Make Us Dumber

Turns out that our smart phones are not only distracting, but our cognitive capacity significantly reduces when we have one around. Even when it's off. Lame.

Birds Use Cigarette Butts to Protect from Ticks

Looks like there is ONE good thing about cigarettes: birds can weave the fibres from cigarette butts into their nests to protect from ticks.

The Male Default Strikes Women Again!

You know how everything in life defaults to being male unless there's a reason to make it female? Well, that holds for research on animals: they generally use male mice. The result is that women may be getting worse medical treatments. Thanks, guys!

Uncertainty

Everyone is a little bit bad at uncertainty, but some people are REALLY bad at it. Now we know that there may be a biological reason for this: they may have enlarged striatum, the part of the brain that tracks how reliable a reward will be.

More Parenting Advice

Because that's what you need, right? Well, research shows that when you correct your child's bad behaviour, you should point out the impact of their behaviour on others. It helps teach empathy, which is kind of key to our humanity, so I guess that's a good thing.


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