The Big Ten

December 31, 2013
Posted by Jay Livingston

I’ve noticed some other blogs listing their most popular posts of the year, and thought I would do the same, though I’m not sure why.  The number of  views a post got seems to have less to do with its inherent quality or interest and more to do with who linked or tweeted it.  Nevertheless, for what it’s worth, here they are, the top ten posts of 2013 as chosen by you the listener.

10. Is That a Thing?  News “themes” created by the media as way to organize events.

9.  Emotional Contagion. On being socially isolated when JFK was shot - my first lesson in the sociology of emotions.

8. The Vaper’s Drag  The word “vaper” harks back to “viper” of 70 years earlier.

7.  Unseparating Church and State.  Establishment clause be damned. Conservatives favor an official state religion – Christianity of course.

6.  Fish Oil and Snake Oil.  Scientific experiments, diminishing effects, and the failure to replicate.

5.  Separate Ways. Social scientists’ disenchantment with Malcom Gladwell. (I actually thought this one was kind of amusing.)

4. The Revenge Fantasy - Django Unchained and 12 Years a Slave. Revenge is a dish best served in purely fictional Tarantino fantasies, not in the reality of slavery .

3.  Upwardly Mobile Beer Rolling Rock and social class.

2.  Murky Research, Monkey Research  What appears in the journal article can be very different from what actually happened in the lab.

1.  Yes, But Harvard Students Know a Lot More Now  Grade inflation – with a copy of the grade sheet from a Harvard gov. course JFK took in 1940 (he got a B-, which was above the median).

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