The mismeasure of woman

An article in The Economist last week on the ways in which men and women think differently stated:

Not surprisingly, on average men were physically more aggressive (d=0.6). But in this case other work shows the danger of jumping too rapidly to a conclusion. A study done in 1994 hints that if women think nobody is watching and judging them, and there are no physical consequences, they might be more aggressive than men.

In this study, participants played a video game in which they defended themselves from attackers, and the number of bombs they chose to drop was a measure of aggression. When participants thought they were known to the experimenter and were having their performance assessed, men dropped more bombs than women did. But when those same participants were given the impression that they were anonymous, women became the more enthusiastic bombers.

I find this incredibly fascinating and would love to hear some of our female readers weigh in. What say you?

The article also states that "female is the default brain setting. Until the eighth week of gestation every human fetal brain looks female."

I wonder what former Harvard president Larry Summers would think of that one.

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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