sociology

9 Stories

Studies Say We've Been Lining Up All Wrong

Last-come-first served is unfair but efficient, researchers claim

(Newser) - Researchers have figured out a way to reduce wait times everywhere lines are found—from the DMV to Disneyland. Unfortunately, their ideas are unlikely to ever be implemented because of people's unbreakable allegiance to the concept of fairness. Quartz reports on two research papers published in 2012 and 2014... More »

'Broken Windows' Theorist Dead at 80

James Q. Wilson had huge influence on police work in big cities

(Newser) - James Q. Wilson, who came up with the influential "broken windows" theory of policing and crime prevention, died yesterday of leukemia at age 80. A sample of the obituaries:
  • Los Angeles Times : He "helped launch a revolution in law enforcement" with the windows theory—"the idea that
... More »

Racial Identity Shifts With Social Status

Who is seen as black or white can change over time, study finds

(Newser) - Racial identity isn't set at birth—it's a malleable perception that changes with one's social status, a university study has found. Over 23 years, 12,700 people were asked to identify themselves and others as black or white. One-fifth switched their answers over time, often deeming people black if they... More »

Texas Polygamists: Sect or Cult?

Sociologist explores such groups and what keeps people there

(Newser) - While much of the media is calling the polygamous group raided in Texas a “sect,” some experts say it’s better defined as a cult, LiveScience reports. One scientist points out that the word “cult” is often avoided in academia for its negative connotations. But “if... More »

Americans Get More Liberal With Age

Long-term study shows elders trending left

(Newser) - The older a person gets, the more conservative he or she is likely to be, right? Wrong, say scientists who studied more than 46,000 people who responded to a US government survey from 1972 to 2004. In fact, a lead researcher tells LiveScience, "More people are changing in... More »

Police Piece Together Shooter's Trail

Kazmierczak spent two days in motel room before shooting

(Newser) - Before his shooting rampage at NIU, Steven Kazmierczak spent two days in a motel, taking cold medicine and drinking Red Bull, the Chicago Tribune reports. He left behind no note, only a sealed duffel bag filled with gun ammo. Kazmierczak, who had stopped taking medication for anxiety, also sent his... More »

Stop Picking on Nerds!

US needs more brainiacs, even if they are unsexy, new book argues

(Newser) - Americans mock nerds ad nauseum, and psych prof David Anderegg says it's time to lay off. In his new book, Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them, Andregg breezily but thoroughly critiques a cultural prejudice that he claims dates back to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Washington ... More »

Your Phone Knows Where You Sleep

...And lots of other potentially useful things about the way we live

(Newser) - Your cell phone knows more than it lets on. Most can tell where they are, for starters, and how close other phones are. Since most of us tote them everywhere, our phones could track or analyze movement patterns for huge populations. “This is obviously sort of useful,” says... More »

Science Makes Great Strides in Gaydar

Just walking can reveal sexual orientation, new study shows

(Newser) - The way people walk apparently broadcasts their sexual orientation, researchers have discovered.  Participants in a new study were able to correctly identify gay men based only on their gait, a sign that “gaydar” might be real. “We can pick these signals up; we can tell who’s... More »

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