To Get Your Way, Be Direct

If people don’t listen to you, it’s not that they don’t respect you—it could be how you’re phrasing your request, suggests a new study published in Psychological Science.

What's the Latest Development?


People are less likely to object to change if it is proposed in a direct way, says new research from the University of Waterloo. If changes, however, are presented as possible or optional, individuals are more likely to express an unwillingness to go along. In an experiment, "college students who were told that speed limit laws were about to take effect accepted and agreed with the new regulations. But when the laws were said to be possibly going into effect, more students expressed outrage."

What's the Big Idea?

If a new direction seems final, people tend to accept it, says Ph.D. candidate Kristin Laurin. If there is a possibility that the change will not happen, however, people long for the freedom that would be restricted and look for ways to get around the rule. The research suggests some simple ways to make your wants heard more clearly: "Be clear, firm, and direct. If you tell a rule in a definite and relevant manner, people are going to more likely embrace it and they won’t look for ways to cheat the rule, Laurin explains."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less