Dirty money and TV time togetherness

A roundup of university research from across the country

British Columbia: Note to Liberal leadership candidates—it takes just 120 seconds for a person to spot a future leader in a crowded room. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found people are drawn to leaders who exhibit signs of prestige and dominance. The team used eye-tracking technology and found that being well-liked attracted less attention than exuding authority and skill.

Alberta: Whether you get the stink eye for cutting in line may depend on whether your fellow shoppers feel sorry for you. A University of Alberta study found consumers want to punish others who break social norms, like cutting in line. But they will go easy if a perpetrator suffers a physical ailment or has already been seen to be punished.

Ontario: When is a $20 bill not a $20 bill? Apparently when it’s crumpled and dirty, which leads people to view it as less valuable, according to researchers at the University of Guelph. They found Canadians with dirty money are more likely to spend it and take greater chances than if their money was clean and new. Researchers also found people are more likely to hand over a grimy bill before a clean one in order to get rid of it—unless they’re trying to make a good impression.

Quebec: The family that watches TV together, sticks together. And you can forget about the “death of the small screen.” Those are the conclusions of a study from the Université de Montréal. It shows families in five major Canadian cities still find valuable bonding time in gathering around the TV, despite competition from computers and tablets.

Newfoundland: Canadian police officers lack basic interviewing skills, says a new study from Memorial University. Researchers pored over 80 police interview transcripts and found investigators talked too much, didn’t listen to suspects’ answers, and asked closed- instead of open-ended questions. It blamed the results on insufficient interview training within police forces.




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