It’s easy to feel as if safety has a universal definition. Freedom from want, freedom from fear—aren’t those what everyone means when they think of safety? Perhaps, but the routes through the world to that state of being are circuitous and varied. Smoke alarms, for instance, have been required in every American bedroom since 1993. We rarely think about them, except to grouse when they go off while we’re cooking. France, however, only began requiring residential smoke alarms in 2015. Switzerland, rated the safest country in the world in 2015 by one consumer-research firm, has not mandated them at all. There is not a simple, one-way progression from a state of nature to a state of safety. Even within nations, there are fundamental divisions about how we want to deal with risk.
When your partner does something that bothers you, don’t go with your gut reaction. Think before you blame, and be especially wary of what psychologists call the “fundamental attribution error.” When we do something wrong ourselves, we often blame it on temporary external circumstances: Yes, I lost my temper a couple of times today, but that’s just because of all the stress from the quarantine. But when our partner does something wrong, we’re inclined to wrongly attribute it to permanent internal flaws: He lost his temper because he has lousy self-control and doesn’t care about how I feel.
This Pulitzer winning article about a serial rapist is more than just an account of crime and investigation, but an insight into our very own stereotypical mindset.
But her misdemeanor had made the news, and made her an object of curiosity or, worse, scorn. It had cost her the newfound independence she was savoring after a life in foster homes. It had cost her sense of worth. Each ring of the phone seemed to announce another friendship, lost. A friend from 10th grade called to ask: How could you lie about something like that? Marie — that’s her middle name, Marie — didn’t say anything. She just listened, then hung up. Even her foster parents now doubted her. She doubted herself, wondering if there was something in her that needed to be fixed.
A meaningful article on how to prevent teen suicide.
In King’s approach, teens nominate trusted adults — for example, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, teachers, and clergy — to serve as a support team. (Parents have veto power.) The adults then get an hour-long training session and weekly phone calls from King’s intervention specialists to talk about how things are going. They are cautioned to not feel responsible for the teen’s behavior — “We’re not asking them to be mental health professionals,” King said — but they agree to check-in with their teens once a week by phone, a face-to-face meeting, or an outing.
Might be true!
What is the source of the attraction to dangerous people? There is no shortage of speculation, ranging from a drive to feel like a rebel, to a drive to become a celebrity or increase one’s popularity, to a drive for a more exciting and adventurous life, to self-esteem issues typically resulting from past abuse, to the drive to be a caretaker, to the drive to control and have power over a person which can result from dating a person who needs you more than you need them.
Do you feel your name is apt for you?
The explanation that the study authors offered for their results echoes Alter’s point: In most cases, a name is “a self-fulfilling prophecy,” explains co-author Yonat Zwebner, a marketing researcher at Wharton. “Your parents and society treat you according to the spirit of your name, and then you grow up and you fulfill those expectations, eventually even the way you look.” In the study, Zwebner and her colleagues attributed their “face-name matching effect” to both factors within the person’s control, like hairstyle, and factors created by life experience, like smile lines.