One study says there are 4 types of people. 2 of them might screw you over. Which are you?

How much do you really trust people?

That's what scientists in Spain wanted to find out. So they staked out a festival in Barcelona and recruited about 500 volunteers to play a little carnival game for fun, prizes, and, you know, advancing our knowledge of human psychology.

Step right up! Step right up and learn whether you can trust your friends! Photo from iStock.


The games were all variations of the prisoner's dilemma.

What's the prisoner's dilemma? I'll explain. (You can read this section in a gangster-y detective voice if you want).

Image from iStock.

It's a famous thought experiment that helps us figure out how people manage trust, risk, and temptation while making decisions, see? If you're being traditional, what you do is get two wise guys, separate the lugs, and tell 'em that they're both under arrest. But you're a nice guy, and you've really got their best interests at heart, so you'll cut 'em a deal: If they rat on their buddy, they go free.

But here's the twist, if they both rat, both go to the slammer. Of course, they could both clam up, in which case you can't do much. Maybe give 'em a little time in the clink, but that's about it.

Imagine that you were the prisoner: Do you trust your friend and clam up so you're both safe from prison?

Or do you think you can play 'em by turning them in and getting yourself a better deal? (You can stop the gangster voice now. Or don't. It's a free country.)

This kind of game also happens on reality TV all the time when partners have to decide whether they want to split the money or take it all. And you can tweak the game by changing how big the rewards and punishments are, too.

In the case of the Spanish study, the scientists made the volunteers play a few different games with different setups.

Instead of trying to place people's reactions in pre-existing categories, the scientists in this study gathered everyone's results, then let a computer group the people together as best it could.

This is what it found:

First, there were the optimists. These people will work together whenever the everyone-works-together option is most rewarding. They seem to believe that when the payoff's obvious, everyone will work for it.

Then, there were the pessimists. These people always expect to get screwed over and will only try to cooperate when they'll benefit anyway.

Thirdly, there were the trusting people. They'll always cooperate, whether it makes sense or not. Bless their (naive) little hearts.

Finally, we get the envious people. Envious players don't really seem to care what the outcome is, as long as they're getting more.

There were roughly the same number of optimists, pessimists, and trusting people — about 20% of the group each. Envious was a bit more, at about 30%. There was also a mysterious fifth category, which the computer couldn't classify.

Living in a world of envious people might seem like a downer, but we can actually do a little scientific jujitsu on this and turn it into something awesome.

That's because this experiment is part of game theory, a branch of mathematics that studies how people make decisions, which carries important consequences in designing things like laws, political systems, or jobs.

While we like to assume people will always act rationally, this study suggests that people think with their gut as much as their brains. And knowing more about people's motivations means we can add new little incentives to big projects that affect lots of people. Maybe that new anti-poverty law needs a little bonus for the rich to appease envious players, for example — or maybe it needs a fail-safe to keep the pessimists happy.

By understanding what motivates people, we can motivate people to do good in the world.

As for what the mysterious fifth category is, maybe it's this guy:

Family

A new Harriet Tubman statue sculpted by Emmy and Academy award-winner Wesley Wofford has been revealed, and its symbolism is moving to say the least.

Harriet Tubman was the best known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that helped thousands of enslaved black Americans make their way to freedom in the north in the early-to-mid 1800s. Tubman herself escaped slavery in 1849, then kept returning to the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help lead others to freedom. She worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after the war dedicated her life to helping formerly enslaved people try to escape poverty.

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Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Kenneth Goldsmith / Twitter

The Hillary Clinton email scandal was a major right-wing talking point during the 2016 election that aimed to create an air of suspicion around the candidate.

The media played right into it turning Clinton — one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for the office — appear just as unworthy of the presidency as Trump, a vulgar, politically-inexperienced pathological liar.

The controversy surrounded Clinton's use of a private email account in which over 30,000 emails were sent during her time as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. An FBI interrogation found there were 110 confidential emails sent from her private account.

Clinton was never criminally charged, however FBI director James Comey said she was "extremely careless."

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Democracy

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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