14 juillet 2006

En bref...

Poll Finds White Lies a Necessary Evil

Associated Press - July 11, 2006

It can be hard to get people to face the truth sometimes. Especially about lying. You don't want your kids to eat too much, so you say all the cookies are gone. You don't feel like going out, so you tell your date something important came up. You're overloaded with errands, so you call in sick.

Lies, all of them - but we don't really like calling them that. In a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll, over half of respondents said lying was never justified. Yet in the same poll, up to two-thirds said it was OK to lie in certain situations, like protecting someone's feelings.

Apparently white lies are an acceptable, even necessary, part of many lives - even though we dislike the idea of lying.

En savoir plus

Women more likely than men to earn degrees

United Press International - July 10, 2006

WASHINGTON, Jul 10, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Statistics released by the U.S. Department of Education suggest that men are less likely than women to earn bachelor's degrees.

The department also said male students, who account for 42 percent of the nation's college population, also tend to get lower grades than female counterparts, The New York Times reported Monday.

"The boys are about where they were 30 years ago, but the girls are just on a tear, doing much, much better," Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, told the Times.

However, a report by the American Council on Education has said the gender differences vary among races and social classes. Men in the highest income brackets tend to attend college in the same or greater percentages as women in the same category.

"Over all, the differences between blacks and whites, rich and poor, dwarf the differences between men and women within any particular group," said report author Jacqueline King, a researcher for the American Council on Education's Center for Policy Analysis.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Office gossip has professional benefits

United Press International - July 12, 2006

CHICAGO, Jul 11, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Boston and Chicago researchers say office gossip encourages staff bonding and can help increase productivity on the job.

Jack Levin, who studies gossip at Boston's Northeastern University, said gossip is not always about damaging information, the Chicago Tribune reported. Levin said people talk about promotions, pregnancies and other positive topics just as much as they talk about their co-workers mistakes.

Levin said gossip creates alliances that make co-workers closer and can provide key information for getting ahead.

University of Chicago professor Ron Burt said gossip also encourages slackers to pick up the pace, the newspaper said. If rumors begin to spread about one person's lack of dedication or poor production, that individual may put in extra hours just to prove the gossips wrong.

"Nobody wants to be at the bottom of the list," Burt told the Tribune. "If that means staying late, coming in on the weekends, working extra so your reputation reflects that, it's what you do to fit into the social structure."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Students' homework habits are studied

United Press International - July 13, 2006

BERLIN, Jul 13, 2006 (UPI via COMTEX) -- German scientists say students' general level of conscientiousness predicts how much effort they will put into doing their homework.

The researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, the Leibniz Institute for Science Education in Kiel, and Humboldt University in Berlin, wanted to understand why homework often becomes a "battlefield" for students, parents, and teachers. Among the key questions they explored: Why do some students work hard on their homework while others don't?

The researchers found age plays a role in homework, with children in lower grades showing greater effort and motivation. One possible explanation for that, said lead author Ulrich Trautwein of the Max Planck Institute, is that studiousness may conflict with both female and male gender identities in adolescence.

The study's findings, said Trautwein, suggest parents and teachers could help improve students' homework effort by improving students' beliefs that they can do well, increasing their interest in the subject and providing a sense that the assignments are useful.

The research is reported in the journal Child Development

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

15:46 09/07/2006, Yahoo News - Health, Social Psychology Network


AP - Dr. John Money, a psychologist and sex researcher who coined the terms "gender identity" and "gender role" and was a pioneer in studies of sexual identity, has died. He was 84.

13:48 13/07/2006, ScienceDaily, Social Psychology Network

A new UCLA imaging study finds political party allegiance affects the brain activity of partisans viewing the faces of candidates. Published online July 9, 2006, by the peer-reviewed journal Neuropsychologia, the study finds a partisan's brain responds to the opposition candidate's face by activating cognitive networks designed to regulate emotion.

13:45 11/07/2006, Medical News Today, Social Psychology Network

Feelings of empathy lead to actions of helping - but only between members of the same group - according to a recent study in the July issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, an official publication of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, published by SAGE Publications.

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