Learning! Roundup: Plastic Tea, Teaching Bias, Half-Lucky Careers, and More!

A roundup of research from the past week, including microplastics in tea and how easily kids learn bias against a whole group.
Photo by Tracy Hocking.

Plastic Tea

I remember the first time I had some fancy tea that came in a plastic teabag and I thought, "this seems weird, why would I want to put a plastic bag in a cup of boiling water?" Well, turns out I was right! Plastic tea bags release microplastics into your tea!

Teaching Bias

Young children not only learn bias against an individual person from the nonverbal behaviour of adults, but they also extend that bias to that person's entire group. That sucks.

Halfway Lucky

How lucky do you have to be to have a successful career? Apparently about fifty percent. As in, new research shows that about half of people's career success comes from luck.

Reverse Discrimination

Have you had a conversation with someone (a white someone) who thought that their success was being hampered by anti-discrimination policies? New research shows that white people see discrimination as a zero-sum game where somebody has to lose and are more likely to see diversity as anti-white bias, even though white people still get more job interviews, job offers, rental apartment offers, and more.

Protecting Your People

Science has confirmed what crime dramas have known for a long time: people lie to protect those they love. A new study looked at what people will do if they saw someone they know commit a crime. The people ranged from a distant acquaintance to a close loved one and the crimes ranged from incredibly minor to severe. The closer the loved one and the more severe the crime, the more likely to lie and help cover it up.

The Best Relationships

There is one secret to good relationships that doesn't get talked about very often: self-esteem. A meta-analysis of a large set of relationship studies has shown that people who have higher self-esteem are more likely to have good relationships. (Please note, this did not say that people with low self-esteem are doomed to have terrible relationships, this is not yet another reason to hate on yourself. Learning to like yourself does make life a lot easier though, so I would recommend giving it a try!)

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