Despite social pressure, boys and girls still prefer gender-typical toys

Fifty years of research on children's toy preferences shows that kids generally prefer toys oriented toward their own gender.

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  • A recent meta-analysis overviewed 75 studies on children's gender-related toy preferences.
  • The results found that "gender-related toy preferences may be considered a well-established finding."
  • It's a controversial topic: Some people argue that these preferences stem from social pressure, while others say they're at least partly rooted in biology.
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Why people become radical extremists and how to help them

New research sheds light on the indoctrination process of radical extremist groups.

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  • A new study features interviews with 24 former extremists on the radicalization process.
  • Financial instability, online propaganda, and reorienting events that caused them to "snap" are leading causes of indoctrination.
  • The research team offers potential solutions, including exposure to diverse ideas during childhood and a tamping down of polarization and media sensationalism.
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Even in mathematics, who you know may matter more than your talent

The Field Medal was created to elevate promising mathematicians from underrepresented demographics. But has it followed through on that goal?

Credit: Fung et al.
  • In a recent study, researchers collected data on the backgrounds and academic genealogy of thousands of mathematicians.
  • The results revealed that mathematicians of certain backgrounds—namely, from Western countries—are significantly more likely to join elite circles in mathematics.
  • The researchers issued recommendations for how elite institutions could help the Fields Medal accomplish its original goal.
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Politics desperately needs hope, so why does it no longer inspire it?

For some philosophers, hope is a second-rate way of relating to reality.

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In the late 2000s and early 2010s, the word 'hope' was ubiquitous in Western politics.
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Hannah Arendt: Change the world, not yourself

How the German political philosopher called out Henry David Thoreau on civil disobedience.

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It is not often that a neighbourhood squabble is remembered as a world-historical event. In the summer of 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a single night in jail in Concord, Massachusetts after refusing to submit his poll tax to the local constable.
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