Archive for “December, 2015”

WALL-E watches himself on TV

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: catching stress through TV screens; the benefits of confusion in the classroom; how rough surfaces can heighten empathy; decision-making and the brain; situational vs. moral wrongs.

Catching stress. We can catch feelings of anxiety from seeing other people under stress, even if we’re watching them on a video screen. From Simone M. Scully via Nautilus.

Confusion in the classroom. A recent study found that students who spent more time in a state of confusion learned more than bored students. From Tania Lombrozo via NPR.

Feeling rough. New research suggests that making contact with a coarse surface can temporarily make you more empathetic. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Weighing options. A relatively neglected section of the brain may play a role in helping us recall the value we assign objects when making decisions. From McGill University Health Centre via Science Daily.

Blanket statements. We often make sweeping condemnations about others’ behavior based on moral principle rather than acknowledging that the behavior may be situational. From Jeremy E. Sherman Ph.D. via Psychology Today.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Smitten CC BY 2.0

human gives monkey a piece of food

#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Watch that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the evolutionary roots of morality; storytelling in the age of iPads; debunking the “warfare” framing around science and religion; the amygdala and blame; the neurological appeal of bass and rhythm.

Ultra-social nature. A new book explores how our species’ social nature sets us apart from close animal relatives and lays the foundation for morality. From Emily Esfahani Smith via The Atlantic.

Screen time. An early childhood media researcher talks about how screen time is changing the ways kids tell stories. From Allison S Henward via The Conversation.

Science vs. religion. A worldwide survey finds that only a minority of scientists believe religion and science are in conflict. From Rice University via Psy Post.

The blame game. New research on the amygdala helps explain why we are quick to judge others, but slow to give them credit. From Duke University via Science Daily.

All about that bass. This video explains why our brains are hardwired to enjoy bass lines in music. From Caitlin Schneider via Mental Floss.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Vivek Joshi CC BY 2.0

3D glasses

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads; reading emotions in 3D; socially-relevant curricula; investigating the racial wealth gap; standing up (or staying seated) for what’s right; Pixar’s first non-white lead.

Amplified emotions. New research finds that 3D displays of facial expressions evoke stronger emotional reactions than 2D photos. From Aalto University via Psy Post.

Shifting curriculum. A white fifth-grade teacher shares her journey of shifting classroom curriculum to explore the subjects that matter most to her students. From Valerie Strauss via The Washington Post.

Getting ahead. Reporter Mel Jones examines some of the reasons why the racial wealth gap still exists among Millennials. From Adrian Florido via NPR.

More to the story. Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat on December 1, 1955, was one day in the life of a battle-tested freedom fighter. From Nshira Turkson via The Atlantic.

Sanjay’s Super Team. Pixar’s new animated short tells the story of a young boy’s journey to bridge the generational and cultural gaps between his American and Indian heritage. From Madeleine Thomas via Pacific Standard.


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