Studies say: A not-so-boozy spring break, and lying toddlers

Our semi-regular roundup of findings from the world of academia

British Columbia: Bosses who pick favourites at work get the best results, according to Karl Aquino, a business professor at the University of British Columbia. In a study for the Journal of Business Ethics, he found treating all employees well is good, but when leaders treat their most productive employees even better than the rest, those workers outperform and benefit the team as a whole.

Saskatchewan: Students behaving badly on spring break is the plot for many a Hollywood script, but researchers say there’s no evidence university kids party any harder during this time. Nuno Ribeiro of the University of Regina analyzed 29 studies on spring break tourism and found, on balance, no evidence of an increase in drunkenness and promiscuity—at least not more than during a typical weekend.

Ontario: Toddlers can lie at a far younger age than first thought. Kang Lee, a child psychologist at the University of Toronto, found 25 per cent of two-year-olds would lie if they thought it might earn them a prize. The research, published in Developmental Psychology, puts the age at which toddlers lie 18 months earlier than previous research suggested.

Quebec: Super-elite professional athletes process visual scenes faster, and have better developed cognitive functions than amateur athletes, who in turn are better at these skills than regular university students. Jocelyn Faubert, at the University of Montréal’s school of optometry, tested the three groups by having them describe simulated objects moving through three dimensions.

New Brunswick: A study of teen pregnancy found the province has had the biggest jump in pregnancy rates for girls in the country. The study, published by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, found the number of pregnancies during the period 2006 to 2010 jumped 40 per cent over the four-year period ending 2005.