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Questions tagged [sociology]

The scientific study of society.

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147
votes
6answers
26k views

Are people of Nordic Nations “happier, healthier” with “a higher standard of living overall than Americans”?

Ernest W. Adams wrote in the answer to the question "Why are people so negative about Nordic nations, especially Sweden?": There are a lot of right wing Americans who have been preaching for the ...
75
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4answers
6k 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 ...
74
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3answers
19k views

Was Mohammed the most popular first name for boys born in Berlin in 2018?

German right-wing party AfD has recently posted this claim on its Facebook page: ++ Neugeborene: Mohammed auf Platz 1 der Vornamen in Berlin ++ Man höre und staune: Der häufigste Erstname für ...
72
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2answers
22k views

Is Muhammad one of the most popular names for boys in England and Wales?

A number of articles describe how Muhammad is the most popular name in the UK for baby boys, topping William and other names. A few links for reference: 2016 Independent article Muhammad has ...
59
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2answers
17k views

Do 40% of U.S. Americans think that global warming is unproblematic since Christ will return soon?

Noam Chomsky states in a recent interview: One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why ...
51
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1answer
3k views

Is ignoring a bully an effective means to prevent bullying?

It's a common belief among people such as teachers and parents or other carers/guardians that a good way to prevent being bullied is to simply ignore the aggressor, as that apparently gives them no ...
50
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3answers
24k 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 ...
48
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1answer
10k views

Are IQ tests reliable?

Some of the more common types of IQ tests are: Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fifth Edition (SBIS-V) (Ages 2–90+)An update of the SB-IV. In addition to providing a Full Scale score, it ...
43
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3answers
5k 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 ...
39
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3answers
4k 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 ...
36
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1answer
3k views

Do atheists have a better knowledge of religion than theists in the United States?

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 ...
32
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4answers
28k 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 ...
32
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1answer
6k 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 something ...
31
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7answers
5k 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 ...
31
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1answer
3k 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 ...
29
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3answers
7k 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 ...
28
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2answers
3k views

Do biological males who were castrated at birth and raised as females often behave like stereotypical men?

In "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", James Damore wrote (emphasis added on claim): On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed ...
28
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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 ...
28
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1answer
2k 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 ...
27
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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 ...
27
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3answers
3k views

Do more men use the Internet than women?

Long before the Internet existed, computers were women. (United States Census Bureau, courtesy of the University of Hartford) It's a well-known trope that there are no girls on the Internet. In fact,...
26
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1answer
2k views

Does staying married “for the kids' sake” benefit the kids?

The common opinion I have heard is that parental divorce has negative effects on children. Wikipedia has a section on "Effect of divorce on children" with all effects listed being negative, and ...
26
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1answer
1k 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 ...
24
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2answers
3k views

Have one in ten women suffered rape in the UK?

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, ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Can we determine the percentage of statistics made up out of thin air?

Comedian Stephen Wright once joked that 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Recently, Arizona Senator and notably stubborn Jon Kyl provided us with the most famous example of just such ...
22
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3answers
9k 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?
21
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1answer
7k views

Does being a strong free market supporter correlate with rejection of scientific claims?

The following research claims that there is a link between one being a strong free market supporter and being more likely to reject scientific claims: Paralleling previous work, we find that ...
21
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1answer
4k 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 ...
20
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3answers
35k 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 ...
19
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0answers
8k 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 ...
17
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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 ...
17
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0answers
799 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Did 'Key Parties' ever exist?

According to Wikipedia,a key party is a: a form of swinger party, in which male partners place their car and house keys into a common bowl or bag on arriving. At the end of the evening the female ...
16
votes
1answer
902 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 ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Does having more women in a group increase its collective intelligence?

Various reputable media outlets have written articles down through the years to the effect that the higher the ratio of women in a group, the higher its collective intelligence. Examples online: ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Does money correlate with happiness at 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 ...
14
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1answer
1k 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 ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Does swearing give people the impression that you are from a lower social class?

Kinja.com published an article called Swearing and Its Socioeconomic Baggage: One of the most common complaint against swearing was the socio-economic baggage attached to it — simply put, that ...
14
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1answer
2k 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 ...
14
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1answer
2k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
666 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, ...
14
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2answers
2k 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?
14
votes
1answer
551 views

Do team-bonding exercises promote distrust?

In Barking Up the Wrong Tree, author Eric Barker makes the claim: You can't rely on HR team-bonding exercises; studies show they're only effective at building distrust. -- Chapter 4 There is ...
14
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0answers
563 views

Are beggars in the Nordic countries cities typically part of organised networks?

In Sweden and other Nordic countries, the presence of beggars on the streets is a relatively new phenomenon, with many beggars originating from new EU member states. There are frequent claims that ...
13
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3answers
5k 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. ...
13
votes
1answer
849 views

Did food industry make their instant cakes harder to cook in the '50s?

In a video against animal cruelty, a woman talks about the tricks food industry has been using for decades. One subject in particular intriges me. In the 1950s there was a very important innovation ...
13
votes
1answer
605 views

Is job experience a poor predictor of job performance?

I was shocked by an implicit claim in an HBR article. The most shocking part to me there is that job experience came dead last among those predictors of job performance. Alas the graph is from a talk,...
13
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2answers
2k 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 ...
12
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1answer
783 views

Did a disproportionate number of celebrities die in 2016?

There is a general claim being made that 2016 has had an unusually high number of celebrities pass away. While the past few days may have had a cluster of celebrity deaths, is 2016 really an unusual ...
12
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2answers
1k 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. ...