New research reveals that the more people think they know about a topic in general, the more likely they are to allege knowledge of completely made-up information and false facts, a phenomenon known as "overclaiming." The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
In one set of experiments, the researchers tested whether individuals who perceived themselves to be experts in personal finance would be more likely to claim knowledge of fake financial terms.
One hundred participants were asked to rate their general knowledge of personal finance, as well as their knowledge of 15 specific finance terms. Most of the terms on the list were real (for example, Roth IRA, inflation, home equity), but the researchers also included three made-up terms (pre-rated stocks, fixed-rate deduction, annualized credit).
As expected, people who saw themselves as financial wizards were most likely to claim expertise of the bogus finance terms. read more
What would happen if you switched from conventionally grown food to organic-only? One family of five found out after participating in an experiment run by Swedish grocery chain, Coop, and the Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
During the first week of the 21-day experiment, the Palmberg family ate a conventional diet and then each member submitted a urine sample to the SERI laboratory, where analysts found a number of insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators. Then, the family switched to an organics only diet, including soaps and personal care items, for two weeks. During the organics phase, the researchers took daily urine samples.
The results were dramatic: The pesticide loads in the family members' bodies dropped in ways that were observable after a single day, according to the report. And by the end of the two weeks, there was very little evidence of the pesticides and other compounds in their follow up urine samples. read more
Which candidate will emerge from the crowded Republican presidential field next year? Can anyone stop or at least slow down Hillary Clinton's seemingly inevitable march to the Democratic nomination? Will Democrats be able to match the GOP in Super PAC spending? And will there be new revelations about Clinton's e-mails or the Clinton Foundation's fundraising practices?
These are some of the questions that are dominating discussion of the 2016 presidential election in the media and among Washington political insiders.
What you need to know is that the answers to these questions, interesting as they might be, will have almost no bearing on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. read more
Brett and Kate McKay, The Art of Manliness: In 1960, only 10% of children were raised without a father in the home. Today, 40% are. It seems like more and more folks feel that dads are optional and that single moms can do just fine raising children on their own. Just over half of births among Millennials are to unwed mothers, significantly more than past generations, including Gen X. And only about half of Millennials believe a child needs a home with both a father and a mother present to grow up happily. Yet despite the trend in popular culture towards greater acceptance of single motherhood, study after study empirically demonstrates that dads play an extremely important role in a child's well-being and success. Below we list a few studies that show exactly how much fathers influence their children's lives. read more
The biological parents of a prominent civil rights activist in Washington state have claimed that she has been misrepresenting herself as a black woman when her heritage is white. Rachel Dolezal is an academic, chair of the office of the police ombudsman commission in the city of Spokane and president of its chapter of the African American civil rights organisation NAACP. In an interview with the local Spokane news channel KREM 2 News, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal said their daughter's biological heritage was not African American but German and Czech, with traces of Native American ancestry. "Rachel has wanted to be somebody she's not. She's chosen not to just be herself, but to represent herself as an African American woman or a bi-racial person and that's simply not true," Ruthanne Dolezal said.