Does wearing a school uniform improve student behavior?

About half of schools around the country have dress codes policies. A dress code identifies what clothes cannot be worn to school. A school uniform policy defines what clothes must be worn to school. Dress codes limit clothing options while school uniforms define clothing options. I believe school uniforms may be part of a broad array of programs and approaches that a school may adopt… Read More >> 0 comments

A Theory of Style

The notion that fashion is based on imitation – a way for individuals to feel that they belong to something ‘bigger’ than themselves, for example a social class or a nation – was first articulated by the Anglo-Dutch philosopher Bernard de Mandeville in his Fable of the Bees (1714).

How the hard-man mask can affect a prisoner’s sense of self

They marched down the corridor with over-developed muscles, projecting authority and machismo, hollering to their friends and acquaintances, displaying a front of the ‘hard man’ as they headed to their classrooms. However, when they entered, their demeanours changed dramatically. Their swagger would disappear as they took their seats, and looked at me with apprehension, uncertain… Read More >> 0 comments

Why People Conform

Despite costs to individual liberty, we comply with whims of groups. … Other evidence shows that the more people are required to invest in a group, the more connected to that group they feel, and the more likely they are to behave altruistically towards fellow members. 

Cognitive gadgets

Our thinking devices – imitation, mind-reading, language and others – are neither hard-wired nor designed by genetic evolution. ..Children are masters of imitation. Copying parents and other adults is how they learn about their social world – about the facial expressions and body movements that allow them to communicate, gain approval and avoid rejection. Imitation… Read More >> 0 comments

Participation in the arts raises kids self esteem

Mak and Fancourt offer several “broad explanations” for their findings. Creating art can “validate the uniqueness of an individual, which gives rise to a sense of accomplishment and to feelings of self-worth,” they write. Also, “the arts have been shown to support a sense of social identity” and can “encourage goal-directed behavior, and enhance social… Read More >> 0 comments

Go ahead, watch that movie again – research shows you’ll enjoy it more than you think

Those who repeat enjoyable activities, like watching a movie or going to a museum, seem to pick up on nuances and dimensions of the experience they missed the first time around, the study found. By reflexively seeking out novelty instead of returning to the tried-and-true, we may be leaving many of life’s enjoyments unenjoyed.

Empathy is the secret ingredient that makes cooperation – and civilization – possible

Justification for more reading and theater – all the arts – SA. But where do these cooperative skills come from and why don’t our selfish instincts overwhelm them? Using a branch of mathematics called evolutionary game theory to explore this feature of human societies, my collaborators and I found that empathy – a uniquely human capacity to take another person’s… Read More >> 0 comments

Prison arts programs produce change that no audit can measure

Other results of these programs, such as the massive rise in empathy we’ve seen in individuals who participate in them, can’t be measured in numbers. We have witnessed how painting, music, writing and the dramatic arts can reveal to people who are incarcerated their inherent potential and awaken in them a sense of hope and purpose…. Read More >> 0 comments

Girls were forced to wear skirts at school to ‘preserve chivalry.’ So they sued — and won.

Mitchell explained in an email that the dress code, along with other policies, were meant to “preserve chivalry and respect among young women and men.” He cited societal concerns such as “teen pregnancies” and “casual sex” for the need to create a learning environment that “embodied traditional values.”

The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start

But among traditional cultures and throughout most of human history, she said, art has also been a profoundly communal affair, of harvest dances, religious pageants, quilting bees, the passionate town rivalries that gave us the spires of Chartres, Reims and Amiens.  Art, she and others have proposed, did not arise to spotlight the few, but… Read More >> 0 comments

Nicholas Kristof: Want to make a difference? Tell a compelling story.

So why do people flock toward a cause like Pale Male’s yet ignore something as large and devastating as genocide in Darfur? Aside from the power of novelty, Kristof discovered through the research of Dr. Paul Slovic that people are attracted to a cause by two things. First, the opportunity to make a connection with another individual. Second, the… Read More >> 0 comments