human behavior

The Faith Middleton Show
10:08 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Mastering the Art of Quitting in Life, Love, and Work

Credit Kate Haskell/flickr creative commons

As we can see from a recent Planet Money story on NPR, millions of people are quitting their jobs each month, and Janet Yellen of The Fed thinks this is a good sign. She says if people are quitting in high numbers, that signals they're sure better jobs are available. In other words, a strong signal for the economy.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Is There Any Empathy Left In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Members of the Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinian Muslims perform Friday prayers on a street outside the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 3:29 pm

In the waiting room at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, an Israeli woman was shouting at a Palestinian mother whose son was being treated for a beating he received from a Jewish mob.

"Go away you trash," the Israeli woman yelled at the Palestinian. "I would bury you in Gaza."

A second Israeli woman joined in the verbal barrage, complaining that her taxes shouldn't be paying for Palestinian treatment.

Two other Israeli women came over to comfort the Palestinian mother. But she is in no mood for reconciliation and retorted: "What good will your apologies do?"

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:06 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Handwriting Is So Yesterday

Lisa M Lanno on the Colin McEnroe Show.
Chion Wolff

The death of handwriting could be viewed as the end of a tyranny. Especially for those of us who were unable to learn penmanship. That includes me. I’m pretty sure that no teacher I ever had got training in how to teach cursive to a left handed person for whom the process really is radically different. I arrived at college to find halls full of desks from which a small writing area protruded from the right side. I often took two hour exams at those desks, scrawling essay question answers in a blue book with my body twisted around uncomfortably.

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Data on Violence
1:57 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

New Data Released on Intimate Partner Violence in Connecticut

Credit Thinkstock

On average, 14 people die each year in Connecticut as a result of intimate partner violence. There have been 188 intimate partner homicides in the state since the year 2000.

These are among the statistics in this year's annual report by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:18 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Please Don't Take My Stuffed Animal Away!

WNPR Producer Betsy Kaplan's French Poodle, Gigi.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:01 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Are Middle Initials a Thing of the Past?

Credit Bruce Szalwinski / Creative Commons

Imagine two people. One of them is named Betsy Kaplan, the other, Betsy F.P.R. Academic studies suggest people, on average, would infer a higher intellectual capacity for Betsy F.P.R. Kaplan and be more likely to admire her and think she made more money than plain old Betsy Kaplan. A middle initial, says the scholarly literature, is basically a free ticket to higher status. 

Which makes it odd that each successive generation is less likely, overall, to use them. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:24 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Miss Manners Takes On Workplace Etiquette

Credit Penn State/flickr creative commons

The "doyenne of civility," Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, has decided that the fast-changing modern workplace could use some tips on what is and is not okay. And she delivers it in her characteristic dry, witty way, in the book she has co-authored with her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, Miss Manners Minds Your Business.

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Customer Service
2:32 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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Mental Health
3:30 am
Tue July 15, 2014

When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:13 am

In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.

Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.

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Voicemail Project
12:31 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tell Us Your Stuffed Animal Story

Marc Dodge's mother bought this 1980 Vermont Teddy Bear Fireman for his father after he retired as a fire chief. It stayed with his parents until they both died, and now resides on his bed.

The Colin McEnroe Show is working on a show all about stuffed animals: the history of being attached, or developing a sentiment towards an object that comforts; the business of building them, and the awesome stories people have about their precious squishy toys.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:57 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Drunk Tank Pink

Credit peapodsquadmom/flickr creative commons

This hour: the way the thoughts we have and the decisions we make are influenced by forces that aren't always in our control.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:39 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Celebrate the Goodness of Ordinary People

Credit Thangaraj Kumaravel/flickr creative commons

Celebrate someone you know, even a stranger who offered some kindness. Was a nurse or doctor there for you, a teacher, a neighbor, your mate, or a friend? Today we pay tribute and remember the goodness of ordinary people.

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Good Kind of Stress
3:32 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:09 pm

Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.

In fact, it's essential.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:03 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Phoniness: From Resume Fraud to Fake Identities

Mark Oppenheimer is an author, and writes the biweekly “Beliefs” column for The New York Times and contributes to many publications including The Atlantic, The Nation, and This American Life.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Maybe Holden Caulfield was onto something when he ranted about "phoniness." This June, Michael Sharpe  resigned as CEO of FUSE, a Hartford-based charter school management company, when it came to light that he was not, in fact, a doctor, as his biography might have you believe.

That got us thinking about faking it: Why do people commit resume fraud? What is with our obsession with titles? What happens when someone adopts a whole new identity?

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Technology Etiquette
2:35 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

What's Right And Wrong In The World Of Texting

Jodi Smith shares tips on the proper text messaging etiquette. (Intel Free Press/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 2:14 pm

In the past decade, texting has become more and more popular, and is even a primary means of communication for many people. But are there rules to these 160 character messages?

Does every message warrant a response and is it ever appropriate to thumb a message during a meeting?

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:33 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

How Personality Shapes Our Lives

Credit Willi Heidelbach/flickr creative commons

Respected researcher and psychologist John Mayer says we can become the best version of ourselves by building our “personal intelligence” to understand ourselves and perceive what makes others tick.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Nose Bit First

Carolyn Paine is an actor, dancer, and choreographer
Chion Wolf WNPR

This week on The Nose, our culture roundtable, we'll tackle "Columbusing," the act of believing that something never existed before you discovered it. Also, this week's biting episode in the World Cup makes us wonder if vampires are setting a bad example.

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Technology
10:04 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Redefining What It Means To Talk In The Age Of Smartphones

Twenty-nine percent of all cellphone owners described their phone as "something they can't imagine living without," according to a Pew Research Center survey.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:59 am

Of all of the things that were a big deal as a sprouting toddler, learning to talk was one of the major milestones.

"Ma-Ma," we uttered, wide-eyed, to camcorder lenses and disbelieving parents. "Da-Da."

Talking is a big part of who we are as humans: as families, as business partners — as a society. It's arguably one of the most powerful forms of expression, alongside writing and art. We use our voices to ask questions, to deliver bad news, to tell someone we love them.

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Wisconsin
4:32 am
Mon June 23, 2014

To Boost Attendance, Milwaukee Schools Revive Art, Music And Gym

Students in gym class at Richard Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee. Two years ago, the students had no gym, art, or music classes but that's changing as Milwaukee Public Schools re-hires teachers for these classes.
Erin Toner WUWM

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 3:00 pm

In the stuffy, little gymnasium at Richard Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee, 16 boys and girls are stretching, jumping and marching to music.

Two years ago, the school had no gym, art or music classes due to budget cuts. But now, Kluge students get a so-called "special" class three days a week.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:39 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Practical Strategies for Treating Rejection, Guilt, Failure

Credit Liz / Creative Commons

The emotional cuts of daily life are endured by all of us, but one of the most frequent cuts, rejection, can lead to profound consequences—four different psychological wounds.

According to our show guest, Dr. Guy Winch, The Squeaky Wheel blogger for Psychology Today, "Rejections elicit emotional pain so sharp it affects our thinking, floods us with anger erodes our confidence and self-esteem, and destabilizes our fundamental feelings of belonging." 

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:41 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Gina Barreca: What Would You Take Back If You Could?

Credit Erin Pettigrew/flickr creative commons

A remark? A cash loan? An affair? It's impossible to get through this life without wishing you could take something back. Torturing your sibling? Deciding to leave one job for another? Or, deciding to stay at a job long after you realized you had bigger fish to fry?

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What's in a Name?
5:36 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Study: Americans Less Fearful Of Storms Named After Women

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed more than 25,000 homes in Florida. But its death toll was far less than "female" storms such as Audrey, Camille and Katrina.
Lynn Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:59 pm

A study published Monday suggests Americans are less afraid of hurricanes with female names.

This is a real study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — not The Onion.

Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State looked at deaths caused by hurricanes between 1950 — when storms were first named — and 2012.

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Office Design
2:05 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

How a Well-Designed Doctor's Office Could Help Patients

Will doctor's offices look more like this in the near future? Some say the natural design elements can help patients.
John Bartelstone Jeffrey Berman Architect

Doctor's offices and hospitals may not always be stunning examples of architecture, but both architects and doctors are thinking of how designs can put patients at ease and help them heal.

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Sweetness and Light
7:54 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too

Referee Mendy Rudolph officiates a Knicks-Pistons game in 1971. Refs often say it's best to go unnoticed, but an official who "makes a call with vigor and elan is really a beautiful part of the game," says Frank Deford.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:57 pm

Not so long ago, while enjoying a libation in a decorous saloon, the proprietor — who happened to hail from the fabled Windy City — suddenly jarred the genteel assembled by turning on the Cubs game. Just at that moment, a Cubby was heading toward the plate when the throw came in, and the runner (spoiler alert!), being a Cub, was tagged out.

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Workplace Behavior
3:23 am
Tue May 27, 2014

States Consider Bills To Crack Down On Workplace Bullies

Workplace bullying even happens at the NFL. Investigators concluded that Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin was harassed by other teammates.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:44 pm

Bullying is a behavioral problem often associated with children in grade school, but according to a recent Zogby poll commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute more than a quarter of American workers say they've experienced abusive conduct at work.

Now, many states are considering laws that would give workers legal protections against workplace abuse.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:11 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Exploring the Difference Between Curing and Healing

Credit Neil Fowler/flickr creative commons

The pediatric oncologist Mark Greenberg says in his riveting TED talk, that medicine is losing its vision of healing. “We are not health care providers,” he notes pointedly. “We traffic in healing.” Greenberg knows what he's talking about, and not only because of his long history treating severely ill children. He lost his own child to cancer.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:29 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

How Personality Shapes Our Lives

Credit Willi Heidelbach/flickr creative commons

Respected researcher and psychologist John Mayer says we can become the best version of ourselves by building our “personal intelligence” to understand ourselves and perceive what makes others tick.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Nose Leaves Connecticut to Get Over Donald Sterling

Theresa Cramer as the Dramatic Squirrel.
Chion Wolf WNPR

This hour on The Nose, we lead off with a Gallup poll in which Connecticut ranked second, just a tick behind Illinois, as one of the states people are most eager to leave. Half of the Connecticut people polled said they'd like to move out.

Now, it would be a mistake to ascribe this to any one thing. Property taxes, job market, unfriendly people, dormant cities, and cold weather all play a role, but I can't help but wonder whether Connecticut temperament itself also plays a role. People from Wisconsin would be less likely to say a bad word about the place, even if they had all their belongings packed. That's just now how they talk about life.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:01 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

The Anatomy of a Villain

Brian Francis Slattery is a writer and editor of public policy and international affairs
Chion Wolf WNPR

A couple of weeks ago, I was sick with the April flu, lying in bed in a New York apartment, and trying to distract myself by watching one of the film adaptations of "Nicholas Nickleby". I found myself repeatedly moved to tears, especially when anything good or kind happened. Okay, part of this was that I felt a little vulnerable, and may have over identified with poor tubercular Smike. But another part, I'm convinced, was the excitement generated by pure moral language, which you don't encounter so much in modern culture.

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Code Switch
10:31 am
Sat April 26, 2014

3 Pitfalls To Avoid When Talking About Race

In a recent dissent, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that "we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society."
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 5:28 am

My first hint that a recent column on diversity in late-night TV had made an impact came when I saw a tweet from an old acquaintance.

He runs a website and blog devoted to covering television and had decided to write a post based on my audio story on late-night TV. He then sent out a Twitter message with the headline:

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