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Researchers studied kindergarteners' behavior and followed up 19 years later. Here are the findings.

Every parent wants to see their kid get good grades in school. But now we know social success is just as important.

kindergarten, behavioral research, grades, testing
Image from Pixabay.

Big smiles in class at kindergarten.



Every parent wants to see their kid get good grades in school. But now we know social success is just as important.

From an early age, we're led to believe our grades and test scores are the key to everything — namely, going to college, getting a job, and finding that glittery path to lifelong happiness and prosperity.


It can be a little stressful.

But a study showed that when children learn to interact effectively with their peers and control their emotions, it can have an enormous impact on how their adult lives take shape. And according to the study, kids should be spending more time on these skills in school.

Nope, it's not hippie nonsense. It's science.

Kindergarten teachers evaluated the kids with a portion of something called the Social Competence Scale by rating statements like "The child is good at understanding other's feelings" on a handy "Not at all/A little/Moderately well/Well/Very well" scale.

The research team used these responses to give each kid a "social competency score," which they then stored in what I assume was a manila folder somewhere for 19 years, or until each kid was 25. At that point, they gathered some basic information about the now-grown-ups and did some fancy statistical stuff to see whether their early social skills held any predictive value.

Here's what they found.

1. Those good test scores we covet? They still matter, but maybe not for the reasons we thought.

Back To School GIF by IFC - Find & Share on GIPHY

education, research, competency, kids

Meeting high expectations...

Billy Madison GIF from Giphy

Traditional thinking says that if a kid gets good grades and test scores, he or she must be really smart, right? After all, there is a proven correlation between having a better GPA in high school and making more money later in life.

But what that test score doesn't tell you is how many times a kid worked with a study partner to crack a tough problem, or went to the teacher for extra help, or resisted the urge to watch TV instead of preparing for a test.

The researchers behind this project wrote, "Success in school involves both social-emotional and cognitive skills, because social interactions, attention, and self-control affect readiness for learning."

That's a fancy way of saying that while some kids may just be flat-out brilliant, most of them need more than just smarts to succeed. Maybe it wouldn't hurt spending a little more time in school teaching kids about the social half of the equation.

2. Skills like sharing and cooperating pay off later in life.

Adam Sandler Pee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

friendship, movies, GPA, emotional maturity

Adam Sandler helps out a friend dealing with a stressful situations.

Billy Madison GIF from Giphy

We know we need to look beyond GPA and state-mandated testing to figure out which kids are on the right path. That's why the researchers zeroed in so heavily on that social competency score.

What they found probably isn't too surprising: Kids who related well to their peers, handled their emotions better, and were good at resolving problems went on to have more successful lives.

What's surprising is just how strong the correlation was.

An increase of a single point in social competency score showed a child would be 54% more likely to earn a high school diploma, twice as likely to graduate with a college degree, and 46% more likely to have a stable, full-time job at age 25.

The kids who were always stealing toys, breaking things, and having meltdowns? More likely to have run-ins with the law and substance abuse problems.

The study couldn't say for sure that strong or poor social skills directly cause any of these things. But we can say for sure that eating too much glue during arts and crafts definitely doesn't help.

3. Social behaviors can be learned and unlearned — meaning it's never too late to change.

social behavior, social skills, learning, positive social traits

Adam Sandler GIF of getting his groove on.

Billy Madison GIF from Giphy

The researchers called some of these pro-social behaviors like sharing and cooperating "malleable," or changeable.

Let's face it: Some kids are just never going to be rocket scientists. Turns out there are physical differences in our brains that make learning easier for some people than others. But settling disputes with peers? That's something kids (and adults) can always continue to improve on.

And guess what? For a lot of kids, these behaviors come from their parents. The more you're able to demonstrate positive social traits like warmth and empathy, the better off your kids will be.

So can we all agree to stop yelling at people when they take the parking spot we wanted?

But what does it all mean?

This study has definite limitations, which its researchers happily admit. While it did its best to control for as many environmental factors as possible, it ultimately leans pretty heavily on whether a teacher thought a kid was just "good" or "very good" at a given trait.

Still, the 19-year study paints a pretty clear picture: Pro-social behavior matters, even at a young age. And because it can be learned, it's a great "target for prevention or intervention efforts."

The bottom line? We need to do more than just teach kids information. We need to invest in teaching them how to relate to others and how to handle the things they're feeling inside.

Ignoring social skills in our curricula could have huge ramifications for our kids down the road.


This article originally appeared on 08.12.15

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

CBS Mornings|YouTube

Video shows group of strangers trying to free man from burning car

Getting into a car crash is not something people hope they experience in their lifetimes, and if it does happen you hope it's just a minor fender bender. Unfortunately not all car accidents are minor. One man found himself in a pretty major accident on a Minnesota highway becoming trapped in his car.

According to eye witnesses, the man struck a light pole on the highway, landing with the driver's side of the car pinned against the guardrail. The car quickly becomes engulfed in flames as other drivers rush to the man's side in an attempt to free him from the fiery vehicle. Kadir Tolla caught the whole thing on his dash-cam accidentally when he jumped out of his running car to help.

Multiple people fought flames trying desperately to pull the car door open to let the driver out, but the guardrail thwarts their efforts repeatedly. At some point, Tolla runs to grab a large piece of hard plastic he found on the road and attempts to break the window. Nothing seems to be going in favor of the civilian rescuers.


"He was saying, 'pull me out, pull me out, pull me out,'" Tolla tells Fox News. "We could crack the door a little bit, you know, give him a little air. It [the flames] was actually smacking us in our face but we was just jumping back."

Eventually a "highway helper" arrived and breaks the glass on the driver's side window, which allows the other drivers to pull the man through the window, carrying him to safety. They got him out just in the knick of time because before they could get the unidentified man away from the car, the flames began to dance right where the driver was sitting seconds before.

The entire video is heart stopping, and shows the power of everyday people working together to save a stranger. Watch the heroic rescue below.

Representative image from Canva

Because who can keep up with which laundry settings is for which item, anyway?

Once upon a time, our only option for getting clothes clean was to get out a bucket of soapy water and start scrubbing. Nowadays, we use fancy machines that not only do the labor for us, but give us free reign to choose between endless water temperature, wash duration, and spin speed combinations.

Of course, here’s where the paradox of choice comes in. Suddenly you’re second guessing whether that lace item needs to use the “delicates” cycle, or the “hand wash” one, or what exactly merits a “permanent press” cycle. And now, you’re wishing for that bygone bucket just to take away the mental rigamarole.

Well, you’re in luck. Turns out there’s only one setting you actually need. At least according to one laundry expert.

While appearing on HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast, Patric Richardson, aka The Laundry Evangelist, said he swears by the “express” cycle, as “it’s long enough to get your clothes clean but it’s short enough not to cause any damage.”

Richardson’s reasoning is founded in research done while writing his book, “Laundry Love,” which showed that even the dirtiest items would be cleaned in the “express” cycle, aka the “quick wash” or “30 minute setting.”


Furthermore the laundry expert, who’s also the host of HGTV’s “Laundry Guy,” warned that longer wash settings only cause more wear and tear, plus use up more water and power, making express wash a much more sustainable choice.

Really, the multiple settings washing machines have more to do with people being creatures of habit, and less to do with efficiency, Richardson explained.

“All of those cycles [on the washing machine] exist because they used to exist,” he told co-hosts Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson. “We didn’t have the technology in the fabric, in the machine, in the detergent [that we do now], and we needed those cycles. In the ’70s, you needed the ‘bulky bedding’ cycle and the ‘sanitary’ cycle ... it was a legit thing. You don’t need them anymore, but too many people want to buy a machine and they’re like, ‘My mom’s machine has “whitest whites.”’ If I could build a washing machine, it would just have one button — you’d just push it, and it’d be warm water and ‘express’ cycle and that’s it.”
washing machine

When was the last time you washed you washing machine? "Never" is a valid answer.

Canva

According to Good Housekeeping, there are some things to keep in mind if you plan to go strictly express from now on.

For one thing, the outlet recommends only filling the machine halfway and using a half dose of liquid, not powder detergent, since express cycles use less water. Second, using the setting regularly can develop a “musty” smell, due to the constant low-temperature water causing a buildup of mold or bacteria. To prevent this, running an empty wash on a hot setting, sans the detergent, is recommended every few weeks, along with regularly scrubbing the detergent drawer and door seal.

Still, even with those additional caveats, it might be worth it just to knock out multiple washes in one day. Cause let’s be honest—a day of laundry and television binging sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

To catch even more of Richardson’s tips, find the full podcast episode here.


This article originally appeared on 2.4.24

Joy

Officer holds back tears hearing his K-9 partner's retirement announcement over the radio

Indy has been Sergeant Sullivan's partner in crime-fighting for the past 9 years.

@bgsully/TikTok (used with permission)

Indy has served his community faithfully.

It's remarkable that canines have co-evolved with humans to the point where dogs not only serve as our beloved pets but also, sometimes, as our professional companions.

Dogs can be trained to guard, protect and sniff out everything from drugs to bombs to specific suspects. Many police departments have a K-9 unit for this purpose, using specially trained dogs—most often shepherds and retrievers, but other breeds as well—to aid in police work.

One of those dogs, a German shepherd named Indy, has spent the past nine years working alongside his handler, Sergeant Barry Sullivan, in Trophy Club, Texas. Indy retired on March 26, 2024, and a video of Sullivan's reaction to his official end of service announcement has brought millions to tears.


It's natural—necessary, even—for a handler to bond with a K-9 partner, and Sullivan and Indy have made a strong team.

"He has been the most amazing partner and I was blessed to have him with me," Sullivan tells Upworthy. "Always had my back and there was always a strong sense of comfort knowing he was there."

Hearing Indy's long list of accomplishments during his K-9 tenure is impressive. Not only has he assisted in drug busts and apprehensions, but he's also served as an ambassador to the community. It's clear from the dispatcher's voice and Sullivan holding back tears that Indy is a beloved member of his local community, both within law enforcement and without.

Watch the emotional announcement on Sullivan's TikTok page:

@bgsully

After 9 amazing years with this handsome fella, he gets to enjoy retirement at home with me and my family! Thank you all for your love and support! #k9 #k9unit #policek9 #policek9unit #k9handler #policek9handler #k9softiktok #gsdoftiktok #k9retirement #k9retiredlife

Indy has become part of Sullivan's family and will continue to live with them in his retirement. But going to work every day just won't be the same for Sullivan.

"Indy has been my steadfast partner, a member of my family, and the heart of many of our community initiatives," Sullivan shared before the retirement. "Every day with him has been an adventure, from his very first patrol to his spirited kitchen escapades."

However, Sullivan knows it's time for Indy to enjoy his leisure time after a long-for-a-dog career helping humans.

"I'm not just losing a colleague; I'm gaining more time with a friend whose bravery and companionship have been constant," said Sullivan. "Indy is more than ready for his retirement, and I am honored to ensure that his golden years are as rewarding as his service years have been for us all."

People were moved by Sullivan's tender reaction and impressed to hear Indy's stellar record of service, which includes the apprehension of numerous suspects and the seizure of over 4 tons of narcotics.

"This pup did more in his life than most people," wrote one commenter, to which Sullivan replied, "You're not wrong."

"May he get to nap on the softest couch, eating the best treats and lots of belly rubs in his retirement!" wrote another.

"I couldn't be that dispatcher I'm over here bawling my eyes out," wrote another.

"This is crazy.....why am I crying at this? the dog didn't die its just retiring from a long dedicated service, so what is it that's breaking me so hard!?" shared another.

"I'm crying here in the UK," shared another. "Thank you K9 Indy for your service. Hope you enjoy a rest now."

We all love a good doggo, and Indy is clearly one of the good ones. You can follow Indy's story on Sergeant Sullivan's TikTok page.

An office worker in front of a computer.

A TikTok creator known as Hub posted a video that inspired an interesting discussion about living the 9-to-5 life. The video, set to some hypnotic, soothing music shows Hub, a confessed “normal guy doing normal things,” going through a typical workday.

The video shows his routine, which he seems to go through every day. The twist is that he enjoys it and finds it comfortable.

In the video, the 29-year-old from Dallas, Texas, who works for a Fortune 500 company, seems to really take pleasure in eating his morning donut and having lunch at Chiili's, which isn’t exactly foodie fare. He also unwinds after a day at the office by taking his dog Benny to the park to get some exercise.


Celebrating the typical 9-to-5 work day on TikTok seems to go against the platform's basic nature. Social media is usually where people brag about how exciting their lives are. It’s not the type of place where people share their genuine love for lunch at Chili’s.

The video struck some as depressing, and many saw Hub as little more than a cog in a corporate system. Is a life that’s so regimented with virtually no spontaneity really worth living?

"Naa this dePRESSED me," Maeve Nash wrote in the comments. “As someone who left corporate 13 years ago, this video validates that decision. I remember the sad leftover pizza lunches,” Hiram added.

"The life I want doesn’t include working till I’m 80 to enjoy the last 5 years," Brigman Bell wrote.

However, many people found the video affirming because it showed a man who has found peace and comfort in adhering to his routine, which he genuinely enjoys. Some folks out there who detest their 9-to-5 routine may learn to appreciate it after seeing that others have found ways to make it enjoyable.

“Man, your TikTok’s slow me down and are such a great reminder to appreciate the small things,” Hayden Tindal wrote in the comments. "I seriously rate this content. It’s a good reminder to appreciate the little things in life!" Will Charter added.

"I think what he meant was just to find what works for you and stick to it. Life doesn't have to be an endless cycle of looking for something," Sushibae wrote.

The video is a great Rorschach test for people to project their own meaning onto. It either shows a man living a quiet life of desperation who is missing out on one of its greatest joys, variety, or it can be an example of a man who has found what works for him and has created a stress-free existence that he enjoys.

When asked whether he’d ever want to leave his 9-to-5 job in exchange for making a living as an influencer, Hub wasn’t interested. “I love my 9-5 as it provides health insurance, steady income, 401k, structure, career growth opportunities, etc. I enjoy the people I work with and genuinely like the work that I do,” he said in a follow-up video.