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'Universal' personality traits don't necessarily apply to isolated indigenous people

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Jan. 3, 2013 — Five personality traits widely thought to be universal across cultures might not be, according to a study of an isolated Bolivian society.

Researchers who spent two years looking at 1,062 members of the Tsimane culture found that they didn't necessarily exhibit the five broad dimensions of personality -- openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism -- also known as the "Big Five." The American Psychological Association's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published the study online Dec. 17.

While previous research has found strong support for the Big Five traits in more developed countries and across some cultures, these researchers discovered more evidence of a...

How some medieval cultures adapted to rise of Islam

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The medieval coin at left, minted in the Islamic center of Baghdad, bears two names. The one at right, minted at Isfahan, Iran, bears a total of five names, reflecting more complex political networks further away from the capital. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati)

Medieval Afghanistan, Iran and the one-time Soviet Central Asian states were frontiers in flux as the Islamic Caliphate spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh through 10th centuries.

As...

Did Lucy walk on the ground or stay in the trees?

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Men in Twa society from Uganda regularly climb trees to gather honey. (Credit: Nathaniel Dominy)

Much has been made of our ancestors "coming down out of the trees," and many researchers view terrestrial bipedalism as the hallmark of "humanness." After all, most of our living primate relatives -- the great apes, specifically -- still spend their time in the trees. Humans are the only member of the family devoted to the ground, living terrestrial rather than arboreal lives, but that...

Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution

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The researchers examined lake sediments from Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, looking for biomarkers -- fossil molecules -- from ancient trees and grasses. (Credit: Gail Ashley)

Dec. 24, 2012 — A series of rapid environmental changes in East Africa roughly 2 million years ago may be responsible for driving human evolution, according to researchers at Penn State and Rutgers University.

"The landscape early humans were inhabiting transitioned rapidly back...

Is tomorrow the end?

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Dec. 20, 2012 — Is the world coming to an end Dec. 21, 2012? According to some, the Mayan calendar predicts such will be the case.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis anthropologist Larry Zimmerman, Ph.D., discusses end-of-the-world theories in a class at IUPUI titled "Lost Tribes, Sunken Continents, and Ancient Astronauts: Pseudoscience, Fractured Science, and the Past."

"We cover end-of-the-world predictions, because they are so common in human history,"...

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Fossils 

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Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...