Researchers turn up insights into marriage, cats, swearing… and how to get your lost wallet back

I’m sufficiently enthused by researchers’ quest to understand why human beings are the way they are that I maintain a regularly updated RSS feed on research coming out of the world’s universities. A few interesting bits that have made the news recently:

  • Men — Avoid marrying before age 25: Researchers at the Australian National University have found that marriages are more likely to survive if the husband is at least 25 years old when he ties the knot, the couple are in agreement on how many kids to have and when to have them, and if there are no pre-existing children.
  • Living together before marriage increases risk of breakup: Traditional objections to living together before marriage might not have been meant to curb illicit sex, but to make it easier for people to abandon a flawed relationship before it was too late. According to researchers at the University of Denver, couples that live together first and then marry are more likely to break up. The probable reason: it’s easier to walk away from an unviable relationship if you’re not sharing accommodations, pets, costs, etc.
  • Who’s the pet? Ever get the sense that your cat controls you? Research from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom has found that cats can actually train their owners (or should I say their pets?) to feed them, by appealing to their parental instincts.
  • Babies bring out the Good Samaritan in people: Ever lose your wallet? Your odds of getting it back are better if you have a baby’s picture inside of it. An experiment carried out in Scotland using hundreds of deliberately ‘lost’ wallets found that those wallets with a picture of a baby easily visible on the inside were substantially more likely than other wallets to be returned to their owner.
  • There’s a good f–king reason for our swearing: If you ever let out a good, loud cuss word after hurting yourself, you were probably doing yourself more good than harm. Research from Keele University in Britain found that swearing actually serves a useful purpose by improving our ability to tolerate pain.

The quest to understand the human condition continues…


About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

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