Harsh Parents Raise Bullies–So Do Permissive Ones

The consensus is clear: mean parents make mean kids—and the victims of mean kids. Several recent studies confirm an association between strict parenting styles and children’s likelihood of both being a bully and being bullied. Some work also points to a more surprising association—permissive or neglectful parenting might create bullies, too.

In one such study, researchers at the University of Washington and Arizona State University conducted a retrospective study of 419 college students and found that parental authoritativeness—in which parents are warm and caring but set rules for the sake of their child’s safety—lowered kids’ risk of being bullied. Both permissive and authoritarian (strict) parenting styles, on the other hand, were positively correlated with bullying other kids, according to the results published in January in Substance Use and Misuse. Both approaches can result in a lack of respect for rules and the rights of others.

A 2012 study in the Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation also pointed to lackadaisical parenting as a problem. Researchers investigated online bullying in a sample of college students and found that those with permissive parents had engaged in more bullying behaviors than participants with authoritarian and authoritative parents. Neglectful parenting was associated with the most bullying.

Toni Rodriquez, Scientific American, September 1, 2016

How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket


For anyone who has ever had to stand in line (or if you are a New Yorker, you stand on line) at a supermarket, retailer, bank or anywhere else, here are some tips from experts for picking the line that will move the fastest.

Get behind a shopper who has a full cart

Go left for faster service

Study the customers ahead and what they are buying

Choose a single line that leads to several cashiers

Christopher Mele, New York Times, September 7, 2016

Fill It With Regular: AAA Finds Millions Of Drivers Waste Money On Premium Gas

For American drivers filling up with premium at the gas station, AAA has a message for you: unless your owner’s manual calls for premium, you’re wasting your money.

More than 16 million Americans buy premium even though their cars don’t need it, according to a new study released by AAA this week. The association found that premium gas does not improve performance or gas mileage in cars that only require regular-grade fuel.

NPR, September 23, 2016

The Internet is systematically changing who we date

More people are meeting their partners online than ever before. So it’s worth asking whether the Internet is transforming romance today.

In a recently published study, Gina Potarca of the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland, finds that the Internet appears to be a force for breaking down some of the social barriers that prevent people from marrying those who are different from them. To some extent, the Internet is leading to more mixing between people, the study shows.

Ana Swanson, Washington Post, September 1, 2016

Failing to Measure Up Is $422 Billion Stock Pickers’ Crisis

In the year ended June 30, 85 percent of large-cap stock funds, 88 percent of mid-cap funds and 89 percent of small-cap funds failed to match the major stock indexes they track: S&P 500 Index, the S&P Midcap 400 Index and the S&P Smallcap 600 Index. The numbers for five and 10 years were slightly worse.

Mutual funds with an international tilt fared somewhat better. Over the past year, 75 percent of global funds, 55 percent of international funds and 42 percent of emerging market funds failed to match indexes. Over 10 years roughly 80 percent of the funds trailed indexes.

Charles Stein, Bloomberg, September 15, 2016

’Power Posing’ Co-author: ‘I Do Not Believe That ‘Power Pose’ Effects Are Real’

It would be hard to come up with a recent psychological idea that has stormed the mainstream more quickly and effectively than “power posing” — the idea that if you adopt assertive, “powerful” poses it can have various positive psychological and physiological effects that may help you during negotiations, public speaking, and other high-pressure situations.

But that science has always been a bit wobbly. In January, Andrew Gelman and Kaiser Fung wrote in Slate that the excitement over power posing has far outpaced the evidence for it: A much larger, more rigorous replication attempt failed, and researchers have also raised issues with the way the original research was conducted.

Jesse Singal, Science of Us, September 26, 2016

Bias Isn’t Just A Police Problem, It’s A Preschool Problem

New research from the Yale Child Study Center suggests that many preschool teachers look for disruptive behavior in much the same way: in just one place, waiting for it to appear.

The problem with this strategy (besides it being inefficient), is that, because of implicit bias, teachers are spending too much time watching black boys and expecting the worst.

Cory Turner, NPR, September 28, 2016

How Small Forests Can Help Save the Planet

More than half of the 751 million acres of forestland in the United States are privately owned, most by people like Ms. Lonnquist, with holdings of 1,000 acres or less. These family forests, environmental groups argue, represent a large, untapped resource for combating the effects of climate change.

Conserving the trees and profiting from them might seem incompatible. But Ms. Lonnquist is hoping to do both by capitalizing on the forest’s ability to clean the air, turning the carbon stored in the forest into credits that can then be sold to polluters who want or need to offset their carbon footprints.

Erica Goode, New York Times, September 26, 2016

Why Are the Different Presidential Forecasts So Far Apart?

Hillary Clinton currently has a 71 percent chance of winning the presidency, according to The Upshot’s forecasting model. This is down from 90 percent last month, but higher than some other models we’re tracking, which put the odds between 58 percent and 85 percent.

Part of the discrepancy comes from the use of different information. The PredictWise number — 74 percent — incorporates a sharp jump in betting markets that occurred during the first presidential debate. This jump, if it’s real, is not yet reflected in polls, which take days to conduct.

Josh Katz, New York Times, September 29, 2016

It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave

One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support. The common explanation for the shift is that people born in the late 1980s and early 1990s came of age amid several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends. Those who graduated college as the housing market and financial system were imploding faced the highest debt burden of any graduating class in history. Nearly 45 percent of 25-year-olds, for instance, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000. (Kasinecz still has about $60,000 to go.) And more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, meaning they make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree. According to Lisa B. Kahn, an economist at Yale University, the negative impact of graduating into a recession never fully disappears. Even 20 years later, the people who graduated into the recession of the early ’80s were making substantially less money than people lucky enough to have graduated a few years afterward, when the economy was booming.

Adam Davidson, New York Times, June 20, 2016