Learning! Roundup: Finding Love in a Hopeless Place (the internet), The Big Five Personality Types, Friendship Increasing Bone Density, and More!

A roundup of research from the past week, including the fact that the majority of people now meet their partners online
Photo by Yogas Design.

Finding Love in a Hopeless Place

It's finally happened: people are meeting less and less through friends and more and more online. For the first time ever, online is the most common way that couples meet each other, with the only other meeting method that has increased alongside it being meeting at a bar or restaurant. Every other way to meet a partner (through friends, in school, at work, in the neighbourhood) is on the decline. This is too bad, because dating apps are decidedly not fun.

The Big Five Personality Types

For a while now, there has been one personality testing metric that was considered scientifically accurate: the "Big Five". There are many different tests for it, but they score people on what are considered the five universal, core personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Now it looks like these traits, and tests that look for them, are not actually universal across cultures. Back to square one?

Friendship Increases Bone Density

Social stress has now been shown to cause bone density loss in postmenopausal women. A longitudinal study showed that the more negative social interactions a woman had, the more she lost bone density. Quality also counted more than quantity, with poorer quality relationships having a greater effect than the number of people she had around.

Workin' It to Learn It

If you're trying to learn something and napping isn't your thing, then try a few jumping jacks! Short bursts of exercise can help with learning.

Very Premature Babies Love the Flute

New research on babies born very premature (at 24-32 weeks of pregnancy) has found that playing them flute music can help their brain development. Maybe in utero, everything sounds a bit flutey?


Sometimes, reading new research introduces you to a type of prejudice that you didn't even know existed. For example: apparently, it's a commonly-held belief that Mexican immigrants, in particular, are unable or unwilling to assimilate to American culture. This is false.

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