Being a wise person, you’ve probably avoided asking your kid what part of their body best embodies them because you know their answer will be “My butt!” According to researchers, if you modify the question and ask them if they think they’re a “head person” or a “heart person,” that might give you more useful information (which, to be fair, won’t be nearly as funny). That’s according to a series of 8 studies recently published in the journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
Researchers surveyed hundreds of U.S. and Indian citizens online and use the answers to determine if respondents located their sense of self in their head or their heart. Men, Americans, and individuals brought up to be independent were more head people, whereas women, Indians, and participants raised to be more interdependent were heart people. The heart folks were emotionally driven when it came to moral decisions about, for example, when life begins and end; the heady toppers were more fact driven (also, no judgement, but they had higher GPAs overall). Head people placed a greater importance on autonomy, and heart people valued belonging to social groups. Not to over-simplify, but apparently the world is made up of two types of people, and you’re only going to want to hang out with one of them.
The study’s most literal finding was that heart individuals preferred to donate money to heart-disease and head individuals were more likely donate to brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Though funds they were asked about were purely hypothetical, this might give you something to talk about the next time you’re cornered by someone from the opposing camp at a party.
These conclusions give further support to the ones drawn in another series of studies separately published in 2013. It’s important to note that each looked at adults rather than children, and your kid has a lot of growing up to do and all that crying now doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a heart person. They’re still working on becoming a person person — you can both figure the rest of it out once they have full-size organs.
[H/T] New York Magazine