The scientific study of society.

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15
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1answer
435 views

Does the establishment of a legal upper speed limit on highways lead to a reduction in traffic deaths and accidents?

The conventional wisdom is that established speed limits lead to an increase in safety. Speed limits are usually set to attempt to cap road traffic speed; there are several reasons for wanting ...
4
votes
1answer
240 views

Does Islam lead to higher crime rates?

I live in a mostly atheistic country. I have often heard the claim that Muslim people commit more crimes than others, especially that they are thieves due to their religion. I think this is just ...
9
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1answer
170 views

Is a better work ethic correlated to the level of education?

I've heard numerous times that less educated people have lower work ethics, but I've never seen any scientific papers on the subject. Is there any correlation between work ethic and level of ...
8
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0answers
154 views

Are these claims about what reduces abortion correct?

This post on tumblr currently has more than 77,500 "notes", so I'd consider it notable. The numbers and letters are mine: Things that lower abortion rates: A1: Better access to condoms ...
11
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0answers
258 views

Does science fiction inspire significant amounts of people to pursue STEM careers?

It's a common belief within the science fiction community that sci-fi has motivated a lot of people to pursue careers as scientists and engineers. A brief search finds many anecdotal accounts where ...
5
votes
1answer
483 views

Do we judge people consistently based on what they eat?

Leon Rappaport claims in his book How We Eat that people judge each other based on what food they eat. From the book: Social psychology studies have demonstrated that people will make fairly ...
-7
votes
2answers
6k views

Is Netherlands the least racist country in the world?

I have heard from my friends who are students of The Netherlands universities or are immigrants and live there with their families that this country is more welcoming to different people than the ...
2
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0answers
278 views

Do a third of Italian men live with their parents?

I have heard that Italian men live with their parents as a racial stereotype joke and from some Italian friends. They say that this is true because they have seen these people in their environments or ...
8
votes
2answers
909 views

Do casinos have a negative economic and social impact on the neighborhoods they are located in?

In a recent article of the Toronto Sun that discusses a proposed waterfront casino for the city of Toronto, the author Christopher Hume makes the following statement: Experience around the world ...
7
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1answer
664 views

Does smiling too much indicate low social status?

According to this article: ...
12
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2answers
760 views

Does “raising awareness” have a meaningful impact?

People often talk about the indirect value of "raising awareness" or "consciousness raising". For issues that most people already know about (like cancer), is there value to raising awareness?
5
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1answer
656 views

Will people start running against glass doors if they cannot see through?

We have a bit of a discussion with the administration of our university about putting up posters on the glass doors in our campus buildings. The hallways have a lot of doors made of glass which would ...
10
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1answer
710 views

Is preferred personal space affected by population density?

Many years ago, I learnt of the concept of "personal space" - the idea that people carry a small territory around them that they do not like strangers to invade. In particular, the size of one's ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Is overpopulation a myth?

I happened across this website http://overpopulationisamyth.com, which raises some interesting arguments against the notion that overpopulation is a real problem. Although it isn't obvious from the ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Is prostitution the oldest profession?

The Oxford Dictionary describes "Prostitution" as the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment It is often referred to as "the oldest profession", e.g. ...
4
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0answers
175 views

Are there cultures who swear oaths of servitude for saving of a life?

In the book Robinson Crusoe (and to a lesser extent the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), there is a character who, when his life is saved by the protagonist, swears allegiance (and, basically, ...
9
votes
1answer
354 views

Does Santa Claus get more mail than any other fictional or divine entity?

Source I was listening to the 2008 Christmas Special of the BBC radio programme The Unbelievable Truth, where the following was said to be true: Santa has more mail than any other fictional or ...
3
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0answers
189 views

Does perceived peer acceptance have any significant influence on adult anti-social behavior?

This question was spawned as the result of a comment on another question I am sure there are a number of jokes {about rape}! I am not so sure that they are told so commonly to make any ...
48
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2answers
2k views

Are girls and boys pre-programmed to behave… like girls and boys?

My dad claims that even as toddlers, my sister and I knew which toys to play with. For example, I would always pick up toy guns, Action Man, and other similar toys. She would always pick up Barbie. He ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Are people who win the lottery more likely to go bankrupt?

It's been suggested that people who win the lottery are more likely to go bankrupt than if they had not. For example, an article on Smartmoney states: More than 1,900 [lottery] winners went ...
13
votes
1answer
599 views

If 1 in 10 is convinced, will the rest follow?

This sounds completely bogus to me, but the source is reputable: Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

Can the Overton Window be deliberately moved by espousing extremist views?

The Overton Window is a political theory that 'describes a "window" in the range of public reactions to ideas in public discourse, in a spectrum of all possible options on a particular issue.' When I ...
9
votes
2answers
592 views

Are food deserts a real phenomenon?

According to Wikipedia, a food desert is a low income area where people there cannot access high quality or nutritional food, due to either a lack of transportation or a lack of real grocery stores. ...
24
votes
4answers
6k views

Do other animals have non-reproductive sex?

You can view the lecture here. At about the 11:40 point the claim is made that humans are the only species that engage in non-reproductive sex. Is there solid evidence for or against the idea that ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Are children from divorced families more likely to become divorced themselves?

I've heard people making this claim both in real life and on TV; but I think one can also argue that children growing up with separated parents are more likely to be careful when getting married, and ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Is asexuality real?

I read here about human asexuality, and I cannot figure out if it's real or if people are just making stuff up. Have studies been done about this phenomenon and what explains it?
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Do dentists have an unusually high suicide rate?

Source It seems to be a common belief and I have heard it mentioned in movies (e.g. The Whole Nine Yards) and TV shows (e.g. Seinfeld): Dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession ...
12
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1answer
545 views

Does addressing the issues focused on by the Broken Windows theory have a measurable impact on crime?

These are excerpts from what could be considered the source for the Broken Windows theory (emphasis added): [A]t the community level, disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked, in a kind ...
21
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1answer
2k views

Do nice guys finish last?

xkcd'  #513 Friends  by Randall Munroe You might think this is something men parrot to justify their lack of luck with the ladies, but ask any androphile and we'll tell you there's just ...
11
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1answer
535 views

Does 'Rubber Necking' happen after an accident?

When two cars get into an accident the cars around them need to slow down to avoid hitting the cars involved in the collision. This causes a backup in traffic. People have often told me that traffic ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Are suicide rates higher during week-ends and holidays?

In the ever growing series of questions about time or weather dependencies of crime or other kinds of behavior, I have heard several times people pretend that the suicide (and attempted suicide) rate ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Have any questions where the underlying cause was thought to have had both a psychological and social component been thoroughly settled?

In an answer to Are human beings naturally predisposed to believe in God? one answer makes the following claims: Note that social-mental questions as basic as "is Sex innate?" or "IQ, breeding or ...
25
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2answers
3k views

Were Kinsey's studies debunked?

To quote from a comment on my recent answer (emphasis mine): Your quoting of Kinsey's bogus studies on homosexuality -- criticized heavily by famed statistician John Tukey -- makes me severely ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Does child rearing by homosexual couples have any measurable negative effects?

There is a widespread belief that there are adverse effects on children reared in same-sex-parents households compared to male+female household (I can add random googled cites if necessary, but the ...