New study: Like humans, world's smallest bears can mimic faces too

This may be more common in mammals than we'd thought.

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  • Sun bears imitate each other's faces during play.
  • This is the first time this has been seen in non-primate, non-domesticated animals.
  • They're mostly solitary, so this is likely innate, as opposed to a learned behavior.
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Surprising Science

Toddlers engage more with print books than ebooks, developmental researchers say

Researchers find that toddlers verbalize and interact more with their parents when reading sessions feature print books, not tablets.

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  • Neurological development, educational success, social aptitude, the benefits of early reading are well-known.
  • A new study finds that print books offer better communication and bonding opportunities for parents and their toddlers.
  • While more Americans read print books than ebooks, they still don't make reading a priority outside of work and school.
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Personal Growth

7 best board games to help children think big

Like sneaking veggies into dessert, these board games teach STEM, strategy, and executive functions through the joys of play.

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  • Many popular board games offer little more than colorful distractions, lacking both thoughtful design or quality learning principles.
  • However, the recent board game renaissance has resulted in a host of new games that teach children a range of hard and soft skills through play.
  • We look at some of the best new board games and offer tips to find even more.
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Personal Growth

What keeps elite athletes motivated to win? It's not just money.

A wealthy team doesn't automatically make for a successful team.

Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images
  • Revenues for teams in the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL are boosted by wins — but not those in the NFL.
  • Your favorite sports team might not be experiencing a "real" championship drought, at least compared to others.
  • The average overall length of a title drought in the NFL is 61.5 years
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Culture & Religion

Most talked about: How overparenting backfired on Americans

This is the most talked about Big Think video of 2018! What's your take?

  • American childhood is going, going… gone, says Professor Jonathan Haidt.
  • In the mid-'90s there was a sharp shift to overprotective parenting. In previous generations, kids were allowed to out of the house unsupervised from age 5-8, which has now become age 12-16. As a result, their independence, resilience, and problem-solving skills suffer.
  • "Give childhood back to kids so that they do what they most need to do, which is develop the skills of being an independent adult. Remember that the job of a parent is to work him or herself out of a job."
  • As a resource for parents, Jonathan Haidt recommends letgrow.org.
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