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Social studies

The heavier the bottle the heftier the price Add to ...

Hefty bottle, hefty price

“Shoppers would be happy to pay more for a bottle of wine if it was heavier, a new study suggests,” reports The Daily Telegraph. “Despite the fact that all standard bottles contain the same 750 millilitres of fluid, a survey of 150 people found that consumers believe heavier bottles are more expensive and contain higher-quality wine. This could be down to the historic use of thicker bottles to protect more expensive wines in transit, or to our general tendency to estimate heavier things as being more valuable. But our bias toward weight allows wine producers to ‘trick’ customers into paying more for certain wines simply by packaging them in bottles made from thicker glass or having a deeper punt on the underside, researchers said.” The study appears in the journal Food Quality and Preference.

Is this a good time?

Writer Mark Di Vincenzo, the author of Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00, has researched the best times of

the year, month or day to complete all sorts of personal tasks, says The Christian Science Monitor:

The safest time to go to the automatic banking machine in a dangerous neighbourhood “is between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., when statistically the [fewest] crimes occur. Most people who would commit crimes, he says, have been out late and would probably be asleep.”

In the office: “Tuesday is the most productive day of work during the week, says Di Vincenzo. A survey of workers chose that day overwhelmingly as the day they would be most productive, with Monday trailing far behind to come in second, Wednesday and Thursday tying for third and Friday placing last.”

When taking your car to be spruced up: “[H]ead over as soon as possible in the morning. The car wash itself is cleaner and the employees aren’t tired from a day of work, so they’ll be alert when washing your car.”

Strong kids, ambitions

“Big career plans in young children may hint at greater emotional strength and resilience, a study suggests,” reports BBC News. “Researchers at London University’s Institute of Education asked more than 11,000 seven-year-olds what they wanted to be when they grew up. They found ambitious children from poor homes had fewer behavioural problems than those with lesser dreams. ‘Their ambitions may reflect their sense of hope for the future,’ said lead author Eirini Flouri. ‘Early aspirations may therefore be a very good indicator of a cluster of characteristics associated with resilience – or the lack of it – such as self-perception of competence or a feeling of hopelessness.’”

Shamed into voting

“Before Michigan’s 2006 gubernatorial primary, an East Lansing direct-mail consultant named Mark Grebner decided to shame non-voters,” says The Wall Street Journal. “He sent citizens copies of their own publicly available voting histories, along with those of their neighbours, and said that he would deliver an updated set following the election. In response, Grebner received death threats, but his tactic worked. Those whom he targeted were 20 per cent more likely to show up at the polls than those who received a standard get-out-the-vote reminder.”

When it’s a sinful world

“A prominent theme of the New Testament is ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’” writes Kevin Lewis in The Boston Globe. “Nevertheless, theologically conservative Christians may have more trouble with this maxim than other Christians. Using data from a [U.S.] survey, sociologists found that theologically conservative Christians – who tend to believe in the authoritativeness of the Bible, the existence of hell, being born again and proselytizing – were less likely to report trusting other people, even

controlling for factors like education, involvement with church, or living in a small community. The authors theorize that this effect is due to theologically conservative Christians’ belief in the sinfulness of mankind.”

Thought du jour

“It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.”

Karl Popper,Austro-British philosopher (1902-94)

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