Claims about my friends

Robin Hanson will like this one:

The more fiction a person reads, the more empathy they have and the
better they perform on tests of social understanding and awareness.  By
contrast, reading more non-fiction, fact-based books shows the opposite
association.  That’s according to Raymond Mar and colleagues who say their finding could have implications for educating children and adults about understanding others…

If you, like Robin, are fond of signaling theory the causality can run either way.

Bryan Caplan will like this one:

In general, the students and experts believed mental disorders were
less ‘real’ than medical disorders.  For example, most of the
participants agreed that you either have a medical disorder or you
don’t, but that this isn’t true for mental disorders (although a third
of the experts felt it was).  The experts and students also believed
more strongly that medical disorders exist ‘naturally’ in the world,
than do mental disorders.  The familiarity of conditions didn’t make any
difference to the participants’ views.


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