Above the Noise

Does Being Popular in High School Really Matter? | Above the Noise

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When you’re in high school, it can seem like being popular is the most important thing in the world. But being popular in high school tends to have adverse outcomes once someone enters early adulthood. It all depends on what type of popularity someone has because it turns out there are two types. They are status and likability. Find out what happens to the popular high school kids after they graduate in the latest Above the Noise episode.

Are Internet Trolls Born or Made? | Above the Noise

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Trolls are all over the internet, just annoying people to no end. What makes someone an internet troll? Are some people just destined to be a troll, or do they develop this ability? Believe it or not, but there have been numerous scientific studies surrounding this behavior. Explore the science behind trolling behavior in the latest Above the Noise video.

Is Your Social Status Making You Sick? | Above the Noise

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Financial inequality has been in the news a lot recently. It was the rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street movement that began back in 2011, and it was at the center of Bernie Sanders’ campaign when he ran for president. This inequality creates what is typically called a social status ladder, with rich people at the top and poorer people toward the bottom. Research shows that your position on the ladder is actually one of the most powerful predictors of health. But it’s so much more than just how much money you have or how fancy your education is. It’s how you feel you compare to other people -- your subjective social status. We’ve scoured the research, looking at human and animal studies, to find out how your subjective social status actually affects your health.

Can You Trust Influencers on YouTube? | Above the Noise

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YouTube has been around for over a decade now, and it dominates as the top place for video content. Because of that, it’s way more of a business now than anyone could have imagined. The advertising world refers to many of the stars on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms as influencers, because they have their own, home-grown fanbase that they have been interacting with for years. To capitalize on that fanbase, companies pay these influencers to promote their product or service. Watch the latest Above the Noise video to find out whether you can trust what's on YouTube and what are the rules about influencers advertising products in their videos.

Why Can't Teens Wake Up Early For School? | Above the Noise

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The research shows that teenagers are wired to sleep late, yet most schools in the US start before 8:30 am. Sleep is largely dictated by your genes. Inside all mammals is a tiny region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or the SCN. The SCN is referred to as the body’s master clock, telling the body when to go to sleep and when to wake up. It actually shifts as you age -- and the biggest change happens to teenagers, making it tough for them to wake up for those early classes. But schools aren’t heeding the research. Most school schedules revolve around the typical 9 to 5 workday of adults, and so there is a general worry that pushing back when school starts will be too disruptive. What’s the solution? Watch the latest Above the Noise episode to find out.

How Do Different Social Media Platforms Affect Your Mood? | Above the Noise

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Do a quick Google search on how social media affects your mood, and the results make it seem like all the social media platforms will plunge you into depression. Facebook shows everyone’s perfect life and exotic vacations. Expertly curated selfies abound on Instagram. But, if you look at the actual research, the results aren’t that simple. In this Above the Noise video, host Myles Bess breaks down the science and cuts through the hype about the link between depression and social media use, and looks at how different social media platforms may affect your brain in different ways.

Is Marijuana Actually Medicinal? | Above the Noise

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With the results of the 2016 election, use of medical marijuana is now approved in 28 states, plus Washington, D.C., but the plant itself is not approved as medicine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It still remains federally illegal. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug-- which is a category reserved for the most dangerous drugs, drugs that do not show any medical benefit. This classification makes it difficult for researchers to study, because drugs in this category are very tightly regulated. Host Myles Bess explores the research surrounding medical marijuana and discusses some of the challenges researchers face in studying it.

Can Virtual Reality Make You a Better Person? | Above the Noise

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Virtual reality is gaining traction as a powerful technology for education. Scientists say virtual reality can even promote empathy -- the ability to put yourself in somebody else's shoes. But can VR actually make you a better person? Watch the latest Above the Noise episode to find out.

Why Is Vaping So Popular? | Above the Noise

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Smoking may be at near-record lows, but vaping remains popular. Among high school seniors, nearly than 1 in 3 admitted to using some type of vaping product. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, and instead produce a vapor that consists of fine particles. Find out why vaping is so popular and whether it is a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes in the latest Above the Noise episode.

Why Do Our Brains Love Fake News? | Above the Noise

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Ever have an argument with someone, and no matter how many facts you provide, you just can’t get that person to see it your way? One big reason for this is cognitive bias, which is a limitation in our thinking that can cause flaws in our judgement. Confirmation bias is a specific type of cognitive bias that motivates us to seek out information we already believe and ignore or minimize facts that threaten what we believe. Studies show that when people are presented with facts that contradict what they believe, the parts of the brain that control reason and rationality go inactive. But, the parts of the brain that process emotion light up like the Fourth of July. In this video, host Myles Bess dives into the research and offers some tips to combat confirmation bias. This resource is part of the News and Media Literacy Collection.

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