Learning! Roundup: Gay Americans, Robo-Bugs, Your Own Kind, and More!

A roundup of research from the past week, including the fact that Asians are seen as "more American" if they are, or seem to be, gay.
Photo by Tatiana Rodriguez.

Gay Americans

Stereotypes often layer one on top of the other, creating new interpretations. Here's one: Asian Americans are generally seen as less "American" than their white counterparts, unless they are gay. Gay (or potentially gay) Asian Americans are seen as having embraced American culture more thoroughly.

Robo-Bugs

In a step close to many sci fi distopian futures, we now have a tiny, robotic flying insect that uses solar power to fly. It is lightweight enough to land on a leaf, and thus is perfect for environmental tracking (as the researchers suggested) or spying on an unsuspecting populace.

Your Own Kind

We all know that people love to categorize each other. It's part of how our brains work and will likely never stop. We also know that once we have come up with a category, we tend to prefer people who are inside our category (or in-group) than those who are outside. Well, an analysis of 50 years of research not only confirms this, but shows that we hold this in-group bias whether the traits we are looking at seem significant (like the perceived shared values of a common cultural background) or if they are completely meaningless (like a tendency to overestimate or underestimate the number of dots on a screen). And the preferences based on meaningless categorizations are just as strong.

Housework Standards

Speaking of social categories, women are judged more harshly for having a messy home than men, especially when a woman and a man live together. But that's not a surprise to anyone, right? (Or at least not the women.)

Got Flu?

Hopefully, you already know that taking antibiotics is a bad idea if you have the flu. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections, not viruses, and taking antibiotics unnecessarily contributes to drug resistance. Well! Now we also know that taking antibiotics while you have the flu can actually make your flu WORSE by killing off your gut bacteria!


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