Self-control: serves the group

Logging In to the Brain’s Social Network
October 18, 2013

self-control seems like something that is there to help us move our own agenda forward, but a lot of times self-control is really serving to move the group’s agenda forward and serve the group.
So it’s a much more social factor than I think we usually consider.




The Madness Of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism
Marcelo Gleiser
July 27, 2016
Marcelo Gleiser is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist — and a professor of natural philosophy, physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College.

cited paper:
The Devoted Actor: Unconditional Commitment and Intractable Conflict across Cultures
Scott Atran
Scott Atran is Directeur de Recherche of the Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole normale supérieure of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS; Pavillon Jardin, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France), Research Professor of the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy and Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan (, and Senior Fellow of Harris Manchester College and School of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford.

Confidence in Institutions

Americans’ Confidence in Institutions Stays Low
June 13, 2016

Americans have lost faith in pretty much everything
June 14, 2016
The people of the United States have pretty much had it with the country’s major institutions, as faith in everything from the banks and newspapers to organized religion and TV news has taken a big hit in recent years, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Impact of social context on calories purchased

Impact of Group Settings and Gender on Meals Purchased by College Students
Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 41 (9): 2268–2283, September 2011

This study examines the impact of social context and perception of weight on calories purchased by college students in a natural setting. Not only did women in mixed-gender groups purchase fewer calories than did women in same-gender groups, but significant interaction effects exist among the gender composition of groups, perception of being overweight, and gender of respondents. Men modified calories purchased across mixed-gender and same-gender groups, purchasing more when in mixed-gender groups. The study helps address theoretical and methodological gaps in prior research and frames the findings in terms of variation of gender salience across social relational contexts.

journalistic versions:

Living With Parents

More Young Adults Living With Parents Than a Romantic Partner
Researchers cite less desire to settle down, declining employment among young men
May 24, 2016

For the first time in the modern era, young adults are more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or partner, according to a new study by Pew Research Center.

… 18-to-34-year-olds chose to room with mom and dad versus coupling up in their own households.

The year 2014, “appears to be a milestone,” according to the report, because dwelling with parents eclipsed residing with a romantic partner as the dominant living arrangement for young adults, for the first time since 1880.

Occupied time

Even Astronauts Get The Blues: Or Why Boredom Drives Us Nuts
March 15, 2016

VEDANTAM: Richard Larson at MIT tells a story about how business passengers arriving on early morning flights into Houston were complaining about being bored as they waited for the conveyor belt to bring their bags. The airline company brought in consultants. They hired baggage handlers. They reduced the waiting time to eight minutes max. Nothing worked.

The complaints kept coming in. So the airline thought harder. Executives realized that business passengers were spending only a couple of minutes disembarking from the plane and six or seven minutes waiting in baggage claim. The solution, they moved the arrival gate further from baggage claim. Passengers now spend six or seven minutes walking to baggage claim and one or two minutes waiting for their bags. Poof, the complaints disappeared.

PINK: Extraordinary, I mean, this goes to – there’s a concept called occupied time, where if our time is occupied, we don’t feel a sense of distress. So we’ll take more occupied time instead of a shorter amount of time that isn’t occupied.