Working class prefers comedy and the intellectual class goes for drama


A study enjoying Spanish participation has analysed the theatre demand of society according to the socioeconomic status of the different types of the viewing public. The results were that the theatre is not just enjoyed by the intellectual classes. While they do prefer drama, the working class opts for comedy and the wealthier are swayed by reviews.

Theater arts are loss-making services that require subsidies to stay afloat. This type of practice has frequently come under fire as it is thought that theatre is consumed mainly by societys economic elite.

A study published in the Journal of Cultural Economics proves this notion wrong. According to its results, the so-called “intellectual class” prefers dramas, the “working class” opts for comedies and the wealthier are influenced by professional reviews when they have paid for a theatre ticket.

“The aim was to analyse theatre demand. It was based on a type of models used in microeconomics that analyses how individuals make their decisions. These models are used frequently in transport and marketing and go by the name of discrete choice models. We conducted surveys in two of Newcastles most important theatres,” as explained to SINC by J.M. Grisolía, coauthor of the study and researcher at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria…

Continue reading @ Working class prefers comedy and the intellectual class goes for drama.


Research study shows men find dancing women more attractive during most fertile time

dancing women

Researchers from the University of Göttingen in Germany have found that men viewing videos of silhouettes of dancing women were more likely to describe those who were ovulating at the time as more attractive than women at other stages of their menstrual cycle, which goes contrary to the longstanding theory of “concealed” ovulation in humans. The team led by Bernhard Fink reports on their findings in a paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Despite a growing body of evidence that suggests that men are able to not only detect when women are ovulating, but find them more attractive, many old school scholars maintain that human beings don’t have anything resembling going into “heat” during the most fertile stage of the their menstrual cycle, as is evident in other species, such as cats. Now new research casts even more doubt on the theory.

The researchers picked up where another study left off, where a group found that strippers tended to get better tips when ovulating. Unfortunately, because of the close proximity of the dancers and the patrons, there was no way to tell what it was about the women that caused the men to want to tip more. The new team sought better control by eliminating the possibility of smell or other factors by recording forty eight women (aged 19 to 33) dancing in silhouette, in similar outfits and with their hair tied down. They then showed the videos to two hundred young male students at the university. They report that the men, who didn’t know what the purpose of the study was, much less which women were ovulating and which weren’t, found those women who were ovulating at the time they were recorded dancing, to be “significantly more attractive.” The team also recorded silhouettes of the women simply walking around and found that the majority of male viewers found those who were ovulating more attractive in that scenario as well.

Research regarding whether women behave differently when ovulating has generated controversy as more and more studies have found that men are able to pick up on subtle changes to body movements during the times when women are most fertile. Some have suggested that such studies are more about seeking headlines than science, while researchers insist that their studies show that women behave in ways that men see as sexier when they are their most fertile, which biologically speaking would seem to make the most sense. But that critics say, ignores the fact that people have evolved over their long history, quashing animalistic instincts that led our forebears to behave far differently than what is going on today.

More information: DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.06.005

Journal reference: Personality and Individual Differences

via Research study shows men find dancing women more attractive during most fertile time.

Simple mathematical computations underlie brain circuits


The brain has billions of neurons, arranged in complex circuits that allow us to perceive the world, control our movements and make decisions. Deciphering those circuits is critical to understanding how the brain works and what goes wrong in neurological disorders.

MIT neuroscientists have now taken a major step toward that goal. In a new paper appearing in the Aug. 9 issue of Nature, they report that two major classes of brain cells repress neural activity in specific mathematical ways: One type subtracts from overall activation, while the other divides it.

via Simple mathematical computations underlie brain circuits – MIT News Office.

Bigger Brain = Social Media Success

social mind

Hiring a social media manager or a salesperson? Maybe you should have the finalists’ brains scanned in an fMRI.

A larger orbital prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with decision-making and cognitive processing, has been shown to correlate with greater social skills, according to a study by a team of UK researchers. Among the scientists was Robin Dunbar, who pioneered the idea that the average human is limited to a social circle of about 150 people (see Your Brain’s Twitter Limit: 150 Real Friends), a constant now known as the Dunbar number…

via Bigger Brain = Social Media Success | Neuromarketing.

Masturbation: “An Evolutionary Magic Trick”


In the climactic scene of Woody Allen’s clever and self-consciously juvenile film Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask, Allen’s character is a sperm cell who is waiting for his big moment. Allen’s character is not happy with his assigned fate. Nor does he get to decide when his moment will come. That is left to the operators in the “brain room,” a bustling control center that resembles a space station.

At one point, a brain operator issues a desperate order: “Have memory think of baseball players to keep sperm from premature launching.” The memory operator then begins to calmly transmit these words into a phone: “Willie Mays. Joe Namath. Mickey Mantle.”

Continue reading @ Masturbation: “An Evolutionary Magic Trick” | Think Tank | Big Think.

Why living in the moment is impossible: Study finds decision-making memories stored in mysterious brain area


The sought-after equanimity of “living in the moment” may be impossible, according to neuroscientists who’ve pinpointed a brain area responsible for using past decisions and outcomes to guide future behavior. The study, based on research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and published today in the professional journal Neuron, is the first of its kind to analyze signals associated with metacognition—a person’s ability to monitor and control cognition (a term cleverly described by researchers as “thinking about thinking.”)

“The brain has to keep track of decisions and the outcomes they produce,” said Marc Sommer, who did his research for the study as a University of Pittsburgh neuroscience faculty member and is now on the faculty at Duke University. “You need that continuity of thought,” Sommer continued. “We are constantly keeping decisions in mind as we move through life, thinking about other things. We guessed it was analogous to working memory, which would point toward the prefrontal cortex.”

via Why living in the moment is impossible: Study finds decision-making memories stored in mysterious brain area.

Memory and the Cybermind


THE line that separates my mind from the Internet is getting blurry. This has been happening ever since I realized how often it feels as though I know something just because I can find it with Google. Technically, of course, I don’t know it. But when there’s a smartphone or iPad in reach, I know everything the Internet knows. Or at least, that’s how it feels.

This curious feeling of knowing has settled over most of us. In a group, someone always seems to be “checking” something in the conversation, piping up with handy facts culled from a rapid consultation with the Great and Powerful Man Behind the Curtain. I’ve attended more than one nerdy party where everyone had a link open and we were all talking about things we didn’t know until we were prompted by our conversation to look them up.

Who knew that the king of hearts was the only one without a mustache? Well, I did — as soon as I checked. The Web is always there, an ever present cloud of intelligence…

via Memory and the Cybermind –

True Secret to Success: Gratitude

I’m utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.

People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.

By contrast, people who lack gratitude are never truly happy. If they succeed at a task, they don’t enjoy it. For them, a string of successes is like trying to fill a bucket with a huge leak in the bottom. And failure invariably makes them bitter, angry, and discouraged.

Therefore, if you want to be successful, you need to feel more gratitude. Fortunately, gratitude, like most emotions, is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes…

via True Secret to Success: Gratitude |

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