By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Published November 03, 2014
What makes that earworm an earworm? Musicologists at the University of Amsterdam recently set out to find out, collecting data from 12,000 participants who listened to a random selection from 1,000 hit singles in the UK dating back to the 1940s.
The results were unveiled at the Manchester Science Festival over the weekend. While it took most participants an average of 5 seconds to identify a song, the 17 most popular were all detectable in less than 3 seconds, with the top song—1996 hit “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls—averaging just 2.29 seconds, reports the Independent.
“Very strong melodic hooks seem to be the most memorable for people,” the lead researcher said. The interactive game Hooked on Music is online for now, reports the BBC, so see how you compare to the top 10:
- Spice Girls, “Wannabe”
- Lou Bega, “Mambo No 5”
- Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”
- Lady Gaga, “Just Dance”
- ABBA, “SOS”
- Roy Orbison, “Pretty Woman”
- Michael Jackson, “Beat It”
- Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”
- The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me”
- Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”
Click for the full list of 20—Gaga appears again.
This article originally appeared on Newser: Scientific Study Determines Catchiest Hit Song Ever
A different version of cute dogs for your Monday blues. What do dogs think?
By Kate Seamons
Published February 19, 2015
Finger length may be telling. (AP Photo/Staten Island Advance,Vincent Barone)
A study released earlier this month relied on the “2D:4D” ratio to determine that 57 percent of men are inclined to be promiscuous. Now, a second study says the same ratio—which makes use of the length of the index and ring fingers—can also indicate how nice men are to women.
The study, published in Personality and Individual Differences, notes that a lower ratio “indicates greater androgen exposure”; in less scientific-speak, it means the longer a man’s ring finger compared to his index finger, the more male hormones (chief among them testosterone) he was exposed to in the womb.
As lead author Debbie Moskowitz explains in a McGill University press release, “When with women, men with smaller ratios were more likely to listen attentively, smile and laugh, compromise or compliment the other person.” The results stemmed from 155 participants’ self-reported behavior.
Over the course of 20 days, they selected which behaviors they exhibited in any social interaction of at least five minutes. The researchers mapped those behaviors as agreeable or quarrelsome, and discovered men with lower digit ratios reported roughly a third more agreeable behaviors with women, and also a third fewer quarrelsome ones.
The results went beyond the romantic: They held regardless of who the woman was, from a romantic partner to a co-worker. But in terms of the romantic, Moskowitz noted her findings may support previous research that also linked smaller ratios to having more kids.
“Our research suggests they have more harmonious relationships with women … This might explain why they have more children on average.” Somewhat incongruously though, the smaller-ratio men were the ones who fell into the potentially more promiscuous camp in the previous study.
This article originally appeared on Newser: Finger Length Indicates How Nice a Man Is to Women