"Tiger Mom” study shows the parenting method doesn’t work Photo by Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters. When Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother came out in 2011, it sparked controversy among many people but especially psychologists and experts in child development. The book, they felt, had lodged in the culture certain stereotypes about an Asian parenting style that was not well-studied or well-understood and certainly not ready to be held up as some kind of model. Chua’s book was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek memoir of her experiences raising her two daughters with her (non-Asian) husband, which involved hours of forced music practice every day, severe restrictions on extracurriculars, outright bans on social activities like sleepovers, and punishment and shaming on the rare occasions her children failed to attain their mother’s high expectations. Chua eased off as her kids grew older, and she admitted that she might have been wrong in some instances. When Chua’s book first hit the transom, Su Yeong Kim thought, “Oh my God!
The benefits of being stupid at work By Megan Hustad FORTUNE -- Would you rather be thoughtless and successful or intelligent and frustrated? A recent article in the New Scientist addressed the never-ending ignorance-as-bliss debate with the following question: If being intelligent was an evolutionary advantage, "why aren't we all uniformly intelligent?" The obvious, unscientific answer: Probably for the same reasons we aren't uniformly good-looking. But is being smart always to your benefit? Are there instances when stupid works better? Stupidity can increase efficiency, claims Mats Alvesson, professor of organization studies at Lund University in Sweden. MORE: Hospital finances are broken. The study's authors found that stupidity, on the other hand, seemed to have a unifying effect. Superior intelligence often comes with hidden costs. Decreased diligence is only half of it. MORE: NYU's part-time MBA: Worth the hustle? This echoes some of the wisdom dispensed in the 1970s bestseller The Peter Principle.
How Machiavelli Saved My Family by Suzanne Evans Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis Gemma Taylor, doctoral researcher12, Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction23, Alan Girling, reader in medical statistics1, Amanda Farley, lecturer in epidemiology12, Nicola Lindson-Hawley, research fellow24, Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioural medicine24 Author Affiliations Correspondence to: G Taylor GMT181@bham.ac.uk and P Aveyard email@example.comAccepted 21 January 2014 Abstract Objective To investigate change in mental health after smoking cessation compared with continuing to smoke. Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Data sources Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO for relevant studies from inception to April 2012. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Longitudinal studies of adults that assessed mental health before smoking cessation and at least six weeks after cessation or baseline in healthy and clinical populations. Introduction Methods Eligibility criteria Study selection
McDonald's and me: My fight to end gendered Happy Meal toys. Photo by Rob Wilson/Shutterstock In the fall of 2008, when I was 11 years old, I wrote to the CEO of McDonald’s and asked him to change the way his stores sold Happy Meals. I expressed my frustration that McDonald’s always asked if my family preferred a “girl toy” or a “boy toy” when we ordered a Happy Meal at the drive-through. A few weeks later, I received a short response from a McDonald’s customer satisfaction representative claiming that McDonald’s doesn’t train their employees to ask whether Happy Meal customers want boys’ or girls’ toys, and my experiences were not the norm. This response was unsatisfying, so I began visiting more than a dozen local McDonald’s locations with my father to collect data. But I still couldn’t let it go. In a series of 30 visits, we sent boys and girls, ages 7-11, into 15 McDonald’s stores to independently order a Happy Meal at the counter. In the most egregious instance, a McDonald’s employee asked a girl, “Would you like the girl's toy?”
The 50 Best Articles of 2013 50 oustanding articles and essays from the past year Crime and Punishment The Dangers of Stash by Brendan I. Koerner Alfred Anaya put secret compartments in cars. The Body in Room 348 by Mark Bowden The corpse at the Eleganté Hotel stymied the Beaumont, Texas, police. Goldman Sachs' Golden Handshake by Michael Lewis A month after ace programmer Sergey Aleynikov left Goldman Sachs, he was arrested. America's Real Criminal Element by Kevin Drum New research finds Pb could be the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic. Oops, You Just Hired the Wrong Hitmanby Jeanne Marie Laskas Say you want someone, you know, eliminated —a lover, a business partner, a mother-in-law. Cruel and Unusual Punishment by Matt Taibbi The Shame of Three Strikes Laws
Digital Hajj: How religion feels using Mecca 3D, Second Life, virtual worlds, and online. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images Some 2 million Muslims undertook this year’s hajj, a journey to the Holy Mosque at Mecca that takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar. The pilgrimage officially ended Monday. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam that any Muslim capable of it must make this trek at least once. Thanks to modern innovations, many more now can: Back in the 1950s, about 100,000 pilgrims performed it each year. Boer Deng is a Slate editorial assistant. Technology is changing how the faithful engage with the tradition, too. Going on a technologically mediated pilgrimage might resemble the experience of a flight simulator. Devotion facilitated by technology is not new. Scholars of all faiths are divided on how to sanction the role of all this technology in religion. No worshipper would equate a virtual spiritual act with one done in the flesh.
Dental care for poor children: Sarrell makes Medicaid and CHIP work. One of the most shameful gaps in the American health care system involves the country’s poorest children. They can’t get basic dental treatment. It’s not that they don’t have insurance—many of them do. The problem is that dentists won’t treat them. According to the Children’s Dental Health Project, an oral health advocacy group, 46.9 million kids are currently covered by Medicaid or CHIP, the government program that provides health insurance to children in families whose incomes are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid. A Slate Plus Special Feature: Slate Plus members can stream or download the full audio version of June Thomas’ story on dental care and poverty, read by the author. Children who don’t see a dentist are more likely to miss school because of infected teeth and gums and to grow into adults with severe oral health problems. Dentists claim they just can’t help poor kids. June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section.
Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? Alison Seiffer My household's level of confidence in dentistry is at an all-time low. About six months ago, my dentist informed me that my "bunny teeth" were likely getting in the way of my professional success, a problem he could correct with a (pricey) cosmetic procedure. We were convinced we must look like suckers—until I came across an op-ed in ADA News, the official publication of the American Dental Association. Some toddlers treated at one chain underwent as many as 14 procedures—often under restraint and without anesthesia. "In recent years, I have been seeing more and more creative diagnosis," Camm told me when I called him at his practice in Washington state. Poking around, I found plenty of services catering to dentists hoping to increase their incomes. Upselling in dentistry isn't a new phenomenon, but it's having a moment. That laser dentistry and whitening package may be a ploy to get you in the door so the practice can upsell you on more-profitable procedures.