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Why smart men make better partners

Intelligence of the male partner affects the strength and longevity of the relationship, find researchers.

An 1891 portrait of composer Erik Satie by Ramon Casas.

A new study says that if you're picking a male life partner, a smarter one would be better for the long-term success of your relationship.

Jaako Aspara led the research at the Hanken School of Economics in Finland that looked at the question of picking partners from an evolutionary perspective. The team discovered that the levels of a partner's intelligence directly affect the “fitness" of the partnership to “survive and support the offspring."

Another aspect that impacts the strength of a relationship: smarter men generally have a larger income. This makes them more attractive bets.

The study relied on military conscription data from almost 200,000 Finnish men, aged 18 to 45. Intelligence was assessed via a 120-item test that the men took upon entering the Finnish Defense Forces.

When they were initially examined, two-thirds of the men were single. As Susan Krauss Whitbourne from Psychology Today explains, these were matched by age and region with married men. Both groups were followed during a five-year period, with researchers looking at their marital status, income, cars they owned, and other factors. The men also had to take another intelligence test, which measured numerical, verbal, and nonverbal abilities.

The researchers showed a connection between intelligence and marital history. The number of men who got married and stayed hitched increased with each rise in overall intelligence within the five age groups studied. Younger groups most strongly exhibited this effect.

In other interesting conclusions, the scientists found that verbal intelligence relates to the probability of getting married, since being a better talker can make it easier for you to attract a mate. Overall intellectual ability equally relates to getting divorced. Higher intelligence means having the capacity to avoid a breakup by expressing and discussing feelings, according to the research team. On the flip side, notes Whitbourne, studies showed that intelligent women also have more stable and long-lasting marriages.

“In parallel to the effect of a peacock's mysterious tail on its mating success…human intelligence has a direct positive impact on human mating prospects in terms of marriage," write the researchers.

Potentially good news also for men with newer and bigger cars: they appear to have an advantage in getting married, according to the research.

You can find the study here.

For a different perspective, perhaps having "sexier sex" is another road to a long and happy relationship:

Is the universe a graveyard? This theory suggests humanity may be alone.

Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?

According to the Great Filter theory, Earth might be one of the only planets with intelligent life. And that's a good thing (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team [STScI/AURA]).
Surprising Science

Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.

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The key to better quality education? Make students feel valued.

Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.

Future of Learning
  • Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
  • One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
  • "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
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Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

A truck pulls out of a large Walmart regional distribution center on June 6, 2019 in Washington, Utah.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
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Personal Growth

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

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