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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Science Scene

Study reveals innate helpfulness in infants

We may not be as violent natured as first believed.

Michael Tomasello, a developmental psychologist arrived at this conclusion in his book Why We Cooperate through studies that infants are inherently willing to help others.

For example, the study observes 18 month-old infants that see an adult in need of assistance, such as opening the door when their hands are full. These children will immediately attempt to help by opening the door for them. This is seen multiple times in the study, even in examples where the adult is unrelated to the child.

Tomasello argues that this helping behavior must be innate because it appears early on, before the infant learns rules of politeness.

Source: nytimes.com

Repetitive story-telling may be psychological

We all have those friends who repeat the same story multiple times, even if you have already heard the story plenty. But according to new research published in Psychological Science, it may not be their fault.

Studies done by Nigel Gopie, a postdoctoral psychologist at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, Canada suggest that people often have a difficult time remembering whom we told things to.

Gopie and his colleagues call it destination memory. One may remember the story itself, but not to whom they told it. Repeating oneself, according to psychologists, can not only be embarrassing but also damaging to people who need to keep secrets.

Source: nytimes.com

Health care bill may reduce U.S. premiums, study says.

The United States Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that the senate health care bill would not only keep premiums for health care at their current rate from large employers but may also reduce the costs for those who purchase it on their own.

The report comes at a time when the senate begins its debate on legislation. Disaproving senators and congressmen against the bill claim it will raise costs for most Americans.

The budget office said that the bill might drive up premiums. However, the subsidies that most people would receive for buying individual insurance would decrease costs.

Little change would occur to the premiums through their employers, said the report.

Source: nytimes.com

Lost European Culture dates back to 5,000 B.C.E

Before the ancient Greeks, Romans or even Mesopotamians a lost European culture existed between the Danube Valley and Balkan foothills.

New research conducted by archaeologists and historians, said this civilization has been overlooked. Since writing did not yet exist in that era, researchers do not even know what to call this ancient culture.

An exhibition recently opened at New York University with more than 250 artifacts from museums in Bulgario, Moldova and Romania. David W. Anthony, museum curator and professor of anthropology at Hartwick College in Oneotna, New York, said that old Europe was considered very advanced during this peak, around 4,500 B.C.E.

The culture itself was not discovered until 1972 by local archeologists in Varna, Bulgaria. The civilization was made of pioneer farmers that moved north into Old Europe from Greece and Macedonia, bringing wheat, barley seeds, domesticated cattle and sheep. Archeologists discovered they established networks of trade using copper, gold and ceramics through colonies along the Black Sea.

Source: nytimes.com


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