Regret over a hookup doesn’t change our behavior

A study finds that sexual regret doesn't change how we behave in the future.

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  • Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology investigate the degree to which regret regarding sexual encounters makes us modify our behavior.
  • Women more often have regrets about encounters that occurred, while men regret the ones that didn't.
  • According to the study, people keep doing what they've been doing and continue to have the same regrets.
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Retrain your brain for long-term thinking

Escaping the marshmallow brain trap.

  • Roman Krznaric, philosopher and author of the book "The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking," says that there are two parts of the human brain that are driving our decisions and ultimately determining what kind of legacy we leave behind for future generations.
  • Short-term thinking happens in the marshmallow brain (named after the famous Stanford marshmallow test), while long term thinking and strategizing occurs in the acorn brain. By retraining ourselves to use the acorn brain more often, we can ensure that trillions of people—including our grandchildren and their grandchildren—aren't inheriting a depleted world and the worst traits that humankind has to offer.
  • "At the moment we're using on average 1.6 planet earths each year in terms of our ecological footprint," says Krznaric, but that doesn't mean that it's too late to turn things around. Thinking long term about things like politics and education can help "rebuild our imaginations of what a civilization could be."

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The great free will debate

Philosophers, theoretical physicists, psychologists, and others consider what or who is really in control.

  • What does it mean to have—or not have—free will? Were the actions of mass murderers pre-determined billions of years ago? Do brain processes trump personal responsibility? Can experiments prove that free will is an illusion?
  • Bill Nye, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Michio Kaku, Robert Sapolsky, and others approach the topic from their unique fields and illustrate how complex and layered the free will debate is.
  • From Newtonian determinism, to brain chemistry, to a Dennett thought experiment, explore the arguments that make up the free will landscape.

Monkeys are capable of inferential reasoning, study shows

A recent study showed that monkeys can make logical choices when given an A or B scenario.

Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Public domain
  • For centuries, humans have wondered which cognitive abilities animals share with people.
  • In a new study, researchers presented baboons with a "hidden-item" task designed to test their understanding of disjunctive syllogisms.
  • The results showed that the baboons were not only successful in the task, but also displayed signs of confidence in their decision making.
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Why large groups of people often come to the same conclusions

Study confirms the existence of a special kind of groupthink in large groups.

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  • Large groups of people everywhere tend to come to the same conclusions.
  • In small groups, there's a much wider diversity of ideas.
  • The mechanics of a large group make some ideas practically inevitable.
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