You're Different, Just Like Everyone Else

How is it that in our search for individuality we all end up in the same place, chasing the same trends while drinking the same drink while staring at the same app on the same phone.

What's the Latest Development?


Why do we strive to be unique, to be distinctly not like everybody else? Two sociologists recently asked themselves this question and came to some surprising conclusions. They designed an experiment requiring college students to write about a time they felt "distinct" and "separate from the group". Compared to the control group who wrote about an unrelated topic, those prompted to think about their own distinctiveness were later willing to go to further lengths (walk further, pay more) for the things they desired. 

What's the Big Idea?

How does our drive for distinctiveness compare to our other base needs for food, sex and love? It turns out they are intimately intertwined but perhaps not in ways that we would expect. Individuals primed to think about sex, for example, desire distinctiveness. "We can [no] longer write off the 'drive for distinctiveness' as merely a habit of insecure teenagers. Instead, it appears to be a pretty essential component of Westerners—that’s why it's engaged in a deep psychological dialogue with rewards for food and sex."

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Climate change is no longer a financial problem, just a political one.
  • Mitigating climate change by decarbonizing our economy would add trillions of dollars in new investments.
  • Public attitudes toward climate change have shifted steadily in favor of action. Now it's up to elected leaders.


Following sex, some men have unexpected feelings – study

A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.

Credit: Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study shows men's feelings after sex can be complex.
  • Some men reportedly get sad and upset.
  • The condition affected 41% of men in the study
Keep reading Show less

Elizabeth Warren's plan to forgive student loan debt could lead to an economic boom

A plan to forgive almost a trillion dollars in debt would solve the student loan debt crisis, but can it work?

Photo credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just proposed a bold education reform plan that would forgive billions in student debt.
  • The plan would forgive the debt held by more than 30 million Americans.
  • The debt forgiveness program is one part of a larger program to make higher education more accessible.
Keep reading Show less