The Stories You Missed in 2021 (4/6)

Andy Hab
3 min readJan 13, 2022

So 2021 has come and gone — and there was a lot to talk about.

I’ve already written 3 summaries (see links below) and here is Part 4 with another collection of pieces of research that could have dramatic impacts on your and others lives, or are just plain interesting.

So here’s Part 4, from 6, (Part 1 here / Part 2 here / Part 3 here) of what you almost certainly missed in 2021.

Part 4, July-August 2021

Gender Diversity

There were a couple of pieces that came out focusing on women. One that had collected data from performances in Biathlon (cross country skiing and shooting) that showed how women and men performed differently without audiences. Basically polar opposites with men: men performed worse in the skiing section whereas women performed better; and men performed better in the shooting and women worse.

The assumption is that this is due to stereotype threat whereby in audiences we try to live up to our stereotypes. Note that the quantity of data analysed makes it a pretty robust finding.

Another interesting one showed that women who are consistently shown to be worse negotiators than men can be as good or better than men. The condition? It is when they negotiate for their friends! Another one from the workplace also showed under what conditions women are considered more effective leaders than men. Yes, you read that correctly. And this is again very interesting, notably that when women focused on positive emotions of calm, cheer, and pride, and not negative emotions of anger, fear, or remorse, they were considered more effective than men.

Children (and their brains)

Research into children is a big area and some interesting pieces were published that should interest anybody with children but also society at large. A number of these studies published were longitudinal studies following children over years and sometimes decades. The results are fascinating and worrying:

I reported on two articles into brains of children and exercise, one showing that children who exercised regularly had better organised brains, and another that showed that exercise in childhood predicted healthier brains

Andy Hab

The brain and human behaviour, in business, society, learning, and health.