Gossip can be good for us. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53 participants were hooked up to heart rate monitors when they were told someone else in the study had behaved in a selfish, exploitive way. They were also told that person would interact with others in the room. This information elevated the participants’ heart rates. However, once a person passed on a note warning others not to trust the person, the participant’s heart rate normalized. According to this study – which was corroborated by 2 other studies – gossip can be “heartfelt”.
Walking while using headphones is dangerous to your health. According to a report published in Injury Prevention, between 2004 and 2005 there were 16 incidents of serious injury or death to U.S. pedestrians. However, the number tripled in the past 7 years - with 66% resulting in death. The median age of victims was 21 and 68% were males. Half of victims were struck by trains and half by cars, buses, trucks, trailer tractors or bicycles. Using headphones causes inattentional blindness (distraction) and sensory deprivation. Pedestrians can’t hear warning sounds. The report’s message is “Hear today or gone tomorrow”.
Synchronized movement makes us think alike. It connects us to others and makes us want to think the way they do. In a study published in the journal Social Influence, 70 college students were asked to walk behind a leader. They could walk in sync or at whatever pace they felt comfortable. Then the students used a 7-point scale to rate how close they felt to the leader, how similar and how much they liked the leader. Those walking in sync saw themselves as more similar and felt closer to the leader. However, it’s not always good to “follow in someone’s footsteps”.
There are many things we don’t know about mosquitoes. For example, there are 170 different species in North America and 3,500 worldwide. Male mosquitoes don’t bite and only a few species have females that do. They bite to get protein for making eggs. Fortunately, there are only 2 species in North America that can carry disease but wearing dark colors or having type “O” blood won’t make you a specific target. Those are old wives’ tales. Mosquitoes are attracted to people who exhale more carbon dioxide then usual and that targets pregnant women and heavy drinkers. The rest can “bug off”.