What’s Behind Phantom Cell Phone Buzzes?


Have you ever experienced a phantom phone call or text? You’re convinced that you felt your phone vibrate in your pocket, or that you heard your ring tone. But when you check your phone, no one actually tried to get in touch with you.

You then might plausibly wonder: “Is my phone acting up, or is it me?”

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Babies Understand More About The World Than Once Thought


This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Until a few decades ago, scholars believed that young children know very little, if anything, about what others are thinking. Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, who is credited with founding the scientific study of children’s thinking, was convinced that preschool children cannot consider what goes on in the minds of others.

The interviews and experiments he conducted with kids in the middle of the 20th century suggested that they were trapped in their subjective viewpoints, incapable of imagining what others think, feel or believe. To him, young children seemed oblivious to the fact that different people might hold distinct viewpoints or perspectives on the world, or even that their own perspectives shift over time.

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Why People Say ‘You’ When They Mean ‘Me’


Sometimes “you” doesn’t mean “you,” a new study finds.

Instead, in these instances, people say “you” to make it easier to talk about a negative experience, according to the study. In this sense, the word “you” can, somewhat obliquely, mean “me.”

For example, people may say, “you win some, you lose some,” when they have just failed at a task, but by using “you” instead of “I,” they communicate that failure can happen to anyone, not just that individual, the study said.

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What The Heaven’s Gate Suicides Say About American Culture


This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Heaven’s Gate — also known as the “UFO cult” — burst into American consciousness 20 years ago this month, when, on March 26, 1997, law enforcement discovered 39 decomposing bodies in a San Diego, California mansion.

Each detail that emerged from the scene stunned a rapt public: Adherents had committed suicide in waves on March 22 and 23, ingesting a lethal mix of barbiturates and alcohol; they lay under purple shrouds, with five-dollar bills and rolls of quarters in their pockets; all wore simple dark uniforms and Nike tennis shoes.

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Book Excerpt: ‘Surviving Death’ (US 2017)


In “Surviving Death,” Leslie Kean reveals stunning and wide-ranging evidence suggesting that consciousness survives death. Kean explores the most compelling case studies of young children reporting verifiable details from past lives, contemporary mediums who seem to defy the boundaries of the brain and of the physical world, apparitions providing information about their lives on earth, and people who die and then come back to report journeys into another dimension. Below is an excerpt of “Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife” (Crown Archetype, 2017). 

While exploring the evidence for an afterlife, I witnessed some unbelievable things that are not supposed to be possible in our material world. Yet they were unavoidably and undeniably real. Despite my initial doubt, I came to realize that there are still aspects of Nature that are neither understood nor accepted, even though their reality has profound implications for understanding the true breadth of the human psyche and its possible continuity after death.

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What Motivates Moral Outrage?


When 109 travelers entering the United States were detained by an executive order blocking citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, tens of thousands of Americans gathered all over the country to voice their anger. The policy had little to no direct effect on the protesters themselves.

Similarly, more than four decades after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized certain forms of abortion, people regularly gather to voice their anger at those providing abortion services.

Social psychologists refer to such displays of anger against a third party (such as a government) for perceived harm against someone as moral outrage.

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Laziness Is Contagious, Scientists Find


Other people’s attitudes toward laziness and impatience can rub off on you, a new study from France reveals.

Researchers found that people not only pick up on other’s attitudes toward three personality characteristics — laziness, impatience and prudence — but they may even start to imitate these behaviors, suggesting a strong social influence.

Prudence, impatience and laziness are personality traits that guide how people make decisions that involve taking a risk, delaying an action and making an effort, said Jean Daunizeau, a team leader of the motivation, brain and behavior group at the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) in Paris. Daunizeau is the lead author of the new study, published today (March 30) in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

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Back To The ’50s? Many Teens Say Man Should Be In Charge At Home


American teens have no problem with gender equality in the workplace, but home life is a different story.

A new report released today (March 31) by the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) finds that modern high school seniors increasingly believe that everyone is better off if the man is the achiever outside the home while the woman takes care of domestic duties. In 1992, 58 percent of high school seniors disagreed that male-breadwinner arrangements were best. By 2014, the most recent year that survey data are available, that number had slipped to 42 percent.

“It’s been a steady reversal,” said study co-author Joanna Pepin, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Maryland.

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Amazing Images: The Best Science Photos Of The Week


Is Australia’s extinct thylacine — a striped, dog-like marsupial commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger — not extinct after all? Recent alleged thylacine sightings convinced scientists at James Cook University in Australia to investigate whether the species is still among the living.

The new investigation for the purported thylacines will survey sites on the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia, based on accounts supplied by an employee of the Queensland Park Service, and by another observer.

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