Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hens and chicks

One of the most common reasons I hear for why it's "okay" to eat factory-farmed chickens is that they're not very bright.

They may be brighter than you think. Chicks several days old can "add" and "subtract." And mothers do indeed feel empathy for their young ones.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The limits of willpower

Should have posted this long ago (when I first was made aware of the study), but it's one of my favorites. The following quote sums it up:
"The theory that willpower is a limited resource is interesting, but it has had unintended consequences," Dweck said. "Students who may already have trouble studying are being told that their powers of concentration are limited and they need to take frequent breaks. But a belief in willpower as a non-limited resource makes people stronger in their ability to work through challenges."
The researchers manipulated belief in unlimited willpower in their subjects (that is, they suggested to some that it is limited, and others that it is unlimited); those who believed that it is unlimited went on to demonstrate more self-control.

Article about the finding here.