Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taking the red pill makes all the difference, I guess

Sociology interprets its mission in various ways. One approach holds that individuals' behavior and life circumstances are usually interpreted predominately in terms of personal characteristics, but in reality larger social forces have a considerable impact. (I'm thinking C. Wright Mills here).


Two news stories came up this week that reminded me, once again, how much of our behavior results from things that we don't understand.

A study found that women who take birth control pills choose genetically less-suitable mates than those who are not on the pill. This, in turn, leads to less satisfying marriages.

Another study found that judges of taekwondo matches gave 13% more points to competitors wearing red uniforms than blue.

Yet more evidence that what we do is influenced by all sorts of things.


Stray thoughts about this...

I'm now going to wear only red clothing when I teach.

Also, it makes me wonder about this dialogue, from the matrix, about red pills.


Crockhead said...

As a sociologist, you know all about faultily-designed studies, but I have to wonder about the ethnic backgrounds of the taekwondo judges. Since that is an Oriental sport were they Oriental? Everyone, even MSNBC knows that red is considered a lucky color or Orientals? It would be interesting to know if judges from northern Europe react to red costumes in the same way as Oriental judges.

Ben Byerly said...

Does this mean that red heads have an unfair advantage in life?

Brad Wright said...

clearly yes, Ben.