Sin Eaters performed a ceremony wherein they took on the sins that the deceased performed — sins that went unforgiven or without confession prior to death. People typically hired a Sin Eater in situations where the deceased died unexpectedly.
By consuming bread and a drink (usually wine or beer) placed on, or ritually waved over, the dead body, onlookers believed the dead person’s sins were digested by the eater after he or she consumed this beggar’s feast. The act appears to be confined to 18th and 19th Century Europe, with no accounts of necro-cannibalism noted.
In time, the practice expanded in popularity, so that Sin Eaters also attended to people who had just died of natural causes — because people believed the ritual could help prevent the dead from wandering the countryside after death. -Keith Veronese -Keith Veronese
People seeking shelter during tornadoes and cyclones are often called back, or delayed, by people doing normal activities, who refuse to believe the emergency is happening. These people are displaying what’s known as normalcy bias. About 70% of people in a disaster do it. Although movies show crowds screaming and panicking, most people move dazedly through normal activities in a crisis. This can be a good thing; researchers find that people who are in this state are docile and can be directed without chaos. They even tend to quiet and calm the 10-15% of people who freak out.
The downside of the bias is the fact that they tend to retard the progress of the 10-15% of people who act appropriately. The main source of delay masquerades as the need to get more data. Scientists call this “milling.” People will usually get about four opinions on what’s going on and what they should do before taking any action — even in an obvious crisis. People in emergency situations report calling out to others, asking, “What’s going on?” When someone tells them to evacuate, or to take shelter, they fail to comply and move on, asking other people the same question. -Esther Inglis-Arkell
Teenage girls were a strange breed of animal, prone to strange trends and behaviors. – Bradley Convissar, Blink
Do we lose our sense of moral responsibility in a crowd? This condition is called “the diffusion of responsibility” in social science, or “the bystander effect.” The idea is that you would help a stranger if you were alone, but you are less inclined to be a good samaritan when part of a crowd. -Daniel Honan
…the greatest unspoken rule of bus travel is that if other seats are available you shouldn’t sit next to someone else. As the passengers claimed, “It makes you look weird.” When all the rows are filled and more passengers are getting aboard the seated passengers initiate a performance to strategically avoid anyone sitting next to them…
Kim found that this nonsocial behavior is also driven by safety concerns, especially for coach travel which is perceived to be dangerous with ill lit bus stations.
“In a cafe, which is more relaxed, people often ask strangers to watch their stuff for a moment,” said Kim. “Yet at bus stations that rarely happens as people assume their fellow passengers will be tired and stressed out.”
“Ultimately this nonsocial behavior is due to the many frustrations of sharing a small public space together for a lengthy amount of time,” concluded Kim. “Yet this deliberate disengagement is a calculated social action, which is part of a wider culture of social isolation in public spaces.” -Science Daily
Kortovsky gave himself a final once-over in the elevator mirror before he reached the hotel lobby. -Gerald Elias, Death and the Maiden
Prof. Aquino explains that it’s natural for people to wonder how others view them, especially when social acceptance in the workplace is often rewarded with power and financial compensation.
“However, our research shows employees should do their best to keep their interactions positive and ignore the negative. As the expression goes, kill them with kindness.”
In one of the study’s experiments, the researchers discovered that people who more readily interpret interactions with others as negative are also more likely to try to root it out through such means such as eavesdropping or spying. -Science Daily
… because society trains us not to hurt others’ feelings, we rarely hear the truth about ourselves — even when it’s well deserved. And that can be a problem for overly self-confident people who carry around inaccurate, overly positive perceptions of how others view them…
There are many times when overconfidence carries serious consequences.
“Overconfident doctors and lawyers might offer their patients or clients poor advice,” she said. “There are ways in which overconfidence is dangerous, and it might be important to set aside politeness in the service of helping people avoid the perils of overconfidence.” -Science Daily
Be careful whom you help, Sara. They never forgive you for it. – Consuelo Saah Baehr, Best Friends
If a server brings you a check and does not include a candy on the check tray, you will tip the server whatever it is that you feel the server deserves. “But if there’s a mint on the tray, tips go up 3.3 percent,” Cialdini says.
According to Cialdini, the researchers who did that study also discovered that if while delivering the tray with the mint the server paused, looked the customers in the eye, and then gave them a second mint while telling them the candy was specifically for them, “tips went through the roof.”
Servers who gave a second mint got a 20 percent increase over their normal tip. -Alix Spiegel
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