The scientific study of society.

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17
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0answers
320 views

Is the US more tolerant of failure than other cultures?

I've come across several sources claiming that the US is more tolerant of trial-and-error than other cultures: (The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb) "American culture encourages the process of ...
1
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0answers
171 views

How many people does it take to keep a secret? [closed]

On the Wikipedia entry on Vesna Voluvic, who holds the Guiness book work record on surviving the highest fall without a parachute, a conspiracy theory claiming the plane got shot by the army got ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Are 1 in 5 college women raped?

In this article, it is claimed that 1 in 5 college women are raped (at least around the 2013-2014 time period). I have heard the claim repeated from other sources (such as the BBC, which was ...
7
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2answers
507 views

Are discussions about suicide themselves suicide triggers?

Several online forums I've frequented have had discussions removed when suicide methods are mentioned. The reasoning have been that discussion about suicide themselves are suicide triggers. While it ...
15
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1answer
495 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
353 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
votes
1answer
188 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
164 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 ...
12
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0answers
305 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
328 views

Did the Palestinian Authority exaggerate their census numbers by 50%?

A claim is here: In 1997, the PA published census figures that exaggerated its population figures in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem by nearly 50 percent. The PA double counted Arab ...
5
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1answer
505 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 ...
25
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7answers
3k views

Is it accurate to say that 97% of experts agree that global warming is anthropogenic?

A recent spate of newspaper headlines reported that 97% of scientists agreed with the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The UK's Daily telegraph reported: A review of 12,000 scientific ...
-5
votes
2answers
7k 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
289 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
958 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
votes
1answer
737 views

Does smiling too much indicate low social status?

According to this article: ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Money doesn't correlate with happiness after a certain level

I read various claims, but this HowStuffWorks article seems the most representative (bolding is all mine): The one place that money and happiness are significantly linked is when a person is ...
12
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2answers
814 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
votes
1answer
694 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
votes
1answer
745 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

Are chances of succeeding in life increased if in school you were either the best or the worst?

I heard one day on the radio about a study that showed that people that in school were the best or the worst are the ones more likely to succeed in life. If you are in the middle of the bunch you will ...
-2
votes
1answer
506 views

26 thousand users of Facebook list their location as Greenland

Recently, according to this map 25 680 users of Facebook list their location as Greenland. 26 000 is about half of the number of inhabitants of Greenland. If these data are reliable it says that there ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there between 100,000-300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today?

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore state this as part of the "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" campaign. CNN - There's between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," Ashton Kutcher ...
6
votes
0answers
218 views

How accurate is the estimate that 1/3 of teen suicides are homosexual?

The media and government officials have often claimed that the rate of teen suicide for homosexuals is vastly higher than the suicide rate of heterosexual teens. The figure they often use is that an ...
40
votes
3answers
19k views

Are a high percentage of scientists atheist?

When I was an engineering student, I had many friends who were atheist, or otherwise became so as the years progressed, including myself. Because I grew up with a religious background, I tend to ...
21
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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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Have one in ten women suffered rape?

A recent survey in the UK claims that about 10% of women have been raped but that most do not report the incident even to friends. In the words of one news report: One in 10 women has been raped, ...
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
182 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, ...
12
votes
1answer
516 views

Is there a significant difference between voters and non-voters preferences in political elections?

When discussing political campaigns where voting is optional, it is often advocated that everyone (who can legally do so) should vote: Example Example Example It's reasonable to conclude that the ...
9
votes
1answer
366 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 ...
4
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0answers
196 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 ...
15
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0answers
4k views

Is the Predictive Index® personality inventory for hiring based on scientific research?

I just heard of it (a friend has to take it) and it seems obvious that it's a product marketed directly to business people. I'd expect that the test isn't worth much because it was made in 1955 and ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Do atheists have a better knowledge of religion than believers?

A Pew Survey from 2010 seems to indicate that this could be the case, with the atheist/agnostic group outscoring all others on a 32-question quiz of religious knowledge. Obviously, this lone survey ...
49
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
18
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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
608 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, ...
25
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 ...
27
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the religious population declining?

Different groups argue that the numbers of religious people are either shrinking or growing, often depending on which group they are from. One example of the shrinking religious viewpoint is the ...
16
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3answers
11k views

Are the chances of dying each day 1 : 250 000?

I've read the odds of dying as around 1 : 250 000 each day, which presumably is based on the global death rate. I use this when people buy lottery tickets to point out they have more chance of dying ...
9
votes
2answers
625 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. ...
26
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
5k 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
5k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
571 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 ...
22
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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
votes
1answer
554 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
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1answer
174 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 ...