Who’d have thunk it? 15.05.14



Would you describe a criminal as ‘hot-headed’ or ‘cold-blooded’? Psychology researchers from Germany reckon that the room-temperature could affect a person’s perception of a criminal’s personality. Volunteers asked to attribute crimes to mugshot photos of real arrestees were more likely to choose premeditated crimes when the rooms were cold and impulsive crimes when the rooms were hot.

And the temperature of a room might not be the only factor affecting your perceptions – researchers from the US claim that people are more likely to express right-wing opinions if the room smells bad. In particular, test-subjects expressed more conservative views on issues relating to sex and relationships. [Read the full TSIC article HERE].

Archaeologists have found the remains of a 2,300 year-old settlement in Peru. The ancient Paracas people built massive geoglyphs and ceremonial mounds, carefully lined up to mark the position of the sun at the Winter Solstice and were thought to use them for large religious or social events.

Sticking loosely with anthropology, scientists from the UK and Malaysia have run computer simulations to see the effects of weapons on historical human populations. They split humans into groups of varying levels of co-operation and estimated the outcome of potential conflict using the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma model. They concluded that weapons may have made conflicts more deadly, so uncooperative people would be more likely to be wiped out than cooperators, making altruism more evolutionarily favourable.


But one arena where cooperation and trust are arguably lacking is in football management: the average tenure of a Premier League manager is shorter than a teenager’s attention span. But a 10-year study conducted in the UK suggests that changing manager actually increases the number of points per match on average. Clubs in the bottom half tend to see an improvement in league position, while those near the top tend to drop a couple of places. Of course, this strategy does not always work: Just ask Fulham.

More Who’d Have Thunk It? Articles

All images are open-source/Creative Commons licence.
Ben+Sam (First); wonker (Second)

Text © thisscienceiscrazy. If you want to use any of the writing or images featured in this article, please credit and link back to the original source as described HERE.


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