Summary of “Popular People Live Longer”

The human body’s sensitivity to popularity may reflect the effects of natural selection over thousands of years.
As social beings, we protected one another, shared resources and collaborated to gain advantages over other species.
Our popularity may have an effect on our DNA.George Slavich and Steve Cole, experts in the field of human social genomics at the University of California, Los Angeles, have described our genomic material as being exquisitely “Sensitive to social rejection.” They study what happens immediately after we’ve been left by a romantic partner, excluded from a social event, rejected by a stranger or even simply told that we may be judged by others we care about.
Professors Slavich and Cole suggest that ancestral humans who had no peers to defend them no longer had a great need to be protected from viruses – who would infect them? – so their bodies conserved energy by reducing their vigilance to infection.
That’s most likely why our concern for social standing begins so early and persists throughout our lives.
Dozens of studies reveal that children’s popularity can be measured reliably by age 3, and it remains remarkably stable not just through the next dozen years of primary and secondary education but also across contexts, as they move from community to community and into adulthood.
This same research reveals that there is more than one type of popularity, and most of us may be investing in the wrong kind.
Likability is markedly different from status – an ultimately less satisfying form of popularity that reflects visibility, influence, power and prestige.
Status can be quantified by social media followers; likability cannot.
We may be built by evolution to care deeply about popularity, but it’s up to us to choose the nature of the relationships we want with our peers.

The orginal article.

Key Points of “The 4 Skills Needed to Make a Great Impression”

Fake it, ’til you make it.

Mostly body language. Try to feel comfortable and confident.

  • Perfect handshake: dry, vertical, firm
  • Make eye contact
  • Use your arms and hands
  • Stance that projects confidence: upright, head sightly up
  • Lean in
  • Be calm – don’t: tap your fingers, shake your legs, tap your feet, touch your face, blink too much
  • Be curious – don’t use your standard questions

The original article by Vanessa van Edwards.

Key Points of “Want to Raise Successful Kids? Send Them to School a Year Later, According to Science”

  • Studies of academic performance yield frustrating, inconsistent results.
  • Stanford University studied how did being among the oldest kids or the youngest kids in the class affect things like mental health, discipline, and self-control in Denmark — for some reason.
  • Dramatically higher levels of self-control:  “We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73 percent for an average child at age 11,” Thomas Dee, one of the co-authors, said. “And it virtually eliminated the probability that an average child at that age would have an ‘abnormal,’ or higher-than-normal rating for the inattentive-hyperactive behavioral measure.”
  • Similar to the findings in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.
  • Send your kid to a decent pre-kindergarten instead.

The original article by Bill Murphy Jr.

Key Points of “The utter uselessness of job interviews”

Research shows that the judgment of the interviewers

  • in the best case adds nothing of relevance to the admissions process.
  • can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees.

What can be done?

  • Structure interviews so that all candidates receive the same questions to make interviews more reliable and modestly more predictive of job success.
  • Test job-related skills, rather than idly chatting or asking personal questions.

The original article by Jason Dana.

P.S.: You could also learn from the most successful companies and select applicants based on IQ tests – which means they are well equipped to adapt to the ever changing requirements and challenges of modern work.