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RESEARCH: Science confirms rich people don’t really notice you, or your problems || By Lila MacLellan

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No one can pay attention to everything they encounter. We simply do not have enough time or mental capacity for it. Most of us, though, do make an effort to acknowledge our fellow humans. Wealth, it seems, might change that.

There’s a growing body of research showing how having money changes the way people see—or are oblivious to—others and their problems. The latest is a paper published in the journal Psychological Science in which psychologists at New York University show that wealthy people unconsciously pay less attention to passersby on the street.

In the paper, the researchers describe experiments they conducted to measure the effects of social class on what’s called the “motivational relevance” of other human beings. According to some schools of psychological thought, we’re motivated to pay attention to something when we assign more value to it, whether because it threatens us or offers the potential for some kind of reward.

The NYU team had a group of 61 study participants walk down a city block in Manhattan wearing Google Glass. The pedestrians, who were told they were testing the technology, later filled out surveys asking them to self-identify their social class. Analyzing the Google Glass recordings, the researchers found that those who had self-identified as wealthy didn’t rest their eyes on their fellow humans for as long as those who said they were from lower social classes.

The researchers conducted a pair of similar follow-up studies using an advanced eye-tracking system. This time, students recruited for the study viewed a series of photographs taken from Google Street View on a computer screen, then answered the same survey about social class. Again, the researchers found that students self-identifying as wealthier spent less time looking at people.

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In a separate experiment, the NYU researchers tested whether the difference in the amount of time a participant dwelled on a person was the consequence of a conscious decision or a spontaneous cognitive reaction. They recruited nearly 400 participants for an online study and had them look at alternating pairs of pictures, each of which contained an array of various items, always including one face and five objects (like fruit, an appliance, or an article of clothing.) One picture would appear briefly on the screen, and then be replaced by a second picture that was either identical or nearly identical to the first. The two images would keep flickering this way until the participant hit the spacebar to indicate they had detected a change in one of the objects, or the face, in the photo, or that they had decided there had been no change.

People self-identifying as less wealthy were significantly faster than those of a higher social class at noticing change in faces in the photos, a sign, the researchers say, that faces held higher motivational relevance for them.

“Across field, lab, and online studies, our research documents that other humans are more likely to capture the attention of lower-class individuals than the attention of higher-class individuals,” Pia Dietze, a PhD student at New York University and lead author of the study, said in a press release. And the response is pervasive and spontaneous, she added.

Past studies have investigated the myriad ways the rich interact differently with their community, and the results have not been pretty.

For instance, in a series of studies published in 2012, psychologists from University of California, Berkeley, had college students watch two videos—one of a man explaining how to build a patio, and another depicting the lives of children with cancer—and found the wealthier participants were less likely to report feeling compassion for the children and their families in the second video. (The researchers controlled for factors like ethnicity, spiritual beliefs and gender, all of which also influence compassion.) As they watched the videos, all of the participants also wore heart monitors, because research has shown that our heart rate will slow down when we’re tuning into the feelings of another person. This reaction was noted in the less wealthy participants as they watched the second film, but not the wealthier subjects.

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An earlier study published in Psychological Sciences, and led by a University of California, San Francisco psychologist, found that people of a higher socioeconomic status are not as adept at reading other people’s emotions accurately, compared to less affluent peers. What’s more, in a 2009 study, college students of a higher socioeconomic status tended to pay less attention to a stranger with whom they were paired to speak for few minutes, even if the conversation partner was equally affluent. The wealthy, psychologists believe, pay less attention to everyone, regardless of status, which may affect their relationships with friends and family.

One reason the rich may be less likely to value others is because they can afford to hire help to serve their needs (like child care and home repairs) rather than depend on a neighbor, according to Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley. Writing in the New York Times, psychologist Daniel Goleman explained that Keltner’s and other social psychologists’ work shows that “financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference. Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations…than the rich are, because they have to be.”

This interplay of power, money, and empathy becomes particularly troubling in contemporary economies marked by growing inequality. Goleman and others argue if those who earn more and therefore hold more power do not see (figuratively and literally) those who have less, reversing financial disparity becomes unlikely. As Goleman points out, “Reducing the economic gap may be impossible without also addressing the gap in empathy.”

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One percenters of the world may not be terribly concerned about societal income gaps, but they should care about a significant disadvantage to having a bigger stockpile of cash than everyone else: a diminished ability to experience the benefits of strong interpersonal relationships, which may be the most rewarding part of the human experience—even the secret to happiness, according to a 50-year study from Harvard. Humans are built to thrive in a community, and without it we are at increased risk of loneliness, which is harmful to one’s health, and can play a role in heart disease, depression, and even premature death. Privilege comes at a cost.

 

 

Source :Quartz

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Two-thirds of Global South hypertension sufferers missing treatment – study

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Healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment – a new study reveals.

Researchers studied health data for one million people in the Global South, discovering that less than half of those affected are diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension. Of these patients, only 30% are treated and only 10% have the disease under control.

The research team analysed the healthcare of hypertension in 44 countries. Using a cascade of care approach, which looked at the numbers of people with hypertension who had been screened, diagnosed, treated, and controlled, they determined how well the health systems of the various countries are treating people with hypertension.

University of Birmingham researchers worked with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Göttingen and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, publishing their findings in The Lancet.

Justine Davies, Professor of Global Health at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, comments: “Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known from other studies to be prevalent in lower and middle income countries.

“Our research adds by showing that care in these countries is not able to match the number of people who need treatment. This is a particular problem as without treatment there is a considerable risk of complications – including stroke and death.

“It is not all bad news though. We found that some countries – like Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan and Peru – are doing much better than expected, and it is important to look in more depth at those countries and learn from their success.”

The group carried out its research using surveys including the World Health Organisation’s STEPS survey – which uses a uniform approach to obtain data on established risk factors.

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“Our study shows not only that care for hypertension in these countries is severely inadequate, but also where exactly patients are being lost in the treatment system,” says Pascal Geldsetzer, postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and first author of the study.

Dr. Mary Mayige, Principle Research Scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania and co-author of the study, commented: “There is an urgent need to strengthen the healthcare system for chronic disease care in low income countries. This includes improving information systems and increased financing to ensure universal access across the continuum from preventive interventions to tertiary health care services.”

Researchers firstly determined how many people suffered from high blood pressure. Based on this, they determined how many of these patients were examined, diagnosed and treated each time. Finally, they analysed how many patients successfully controlled the disease with medication.

“High blood pressure can be treated relatively well and cheaply, but undiagnosed or untreated hypertension represents a considerable risk for the people affected,” says Sebastian Vollmer, Professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen.

“High blood pressure is one of the major widespread diseases in the Global South and increasingly common as populations in these countries age. This study provides important insights for policy-makers about where in the treatment chain for hypertension the greatest problems currently lie,” adds Till Bärnighausen, Professor of Global Health at Heidelberg University Hospital and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg.

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Environmental Sanitation Law: Oyo Govt. Seals 6 Shops, Canteen, Butcher’s Stand In Ibadan 

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At least six shops,  including a food canteen and a butcher’s shop were sealed on Thursday along Old Ife road and Gbagi area in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital for flouting the State’s environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Law.

 

The act was in accordance with the recent agreement made by Stakeholders during an advocacy programme on environmental laws organised by Oyo State Government to leverage on  environmental laws in its bid to ensure a healthy and safe environment.

 

Oyo State government held a stakeholders advocacy meeting on Tuesday 16th July at the House of Chiefs in Ibadan, where various groups and government representatives deliberated on ways forward to put a stop to indiscriminate waste disposal, where participants charged the Seyi Makinde-led administration to step up enforcement exercise among other solutions to the menace of filthy environment.

 

The Director of Environmental Health Officers for the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Sanitarian Olusoji Oyewole  who led the enforcement team during the weekly environmental sanitation within Ibadan environs, said it was surprising that despite the campaign efforts of the present administration against the scourge of filth and maintenance of healthy and safe environment, some shop owners were still violating the environmental regulation.

 

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He further warned traders, shop owners, motorists and the general public to desist from violating the sanitation laws which include dumping of refuse indiscriminately, construction of shanties on drainage, display of wares and food items at the road set back and under high – tension wires among others as mobile court would soon be established to prosecute  residents that violate environmental sanitation law in the state

 

“It is disheartening that despite the efforts of the State government to bring to a halt, the culture of filth through indiscriminate refuse dumping, lackadaisical attitude to environmental exercise on Thursdays and other regulations, some are still found doing same.

 

“All these regulations are for our own good. We will spend less on maintenance of our health and you will see that the government’s strive to make the State an investor friendly will be successful.

 

“The mobile court that will see to immediate dispensation of justice to environmental

 

Mr. Oyewole therefore enjoined all and sundry to embrace cleaningness as environmental issue is a collective responsibility.

 

 

 

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Activate Waste To Wealth Project’ – CCII, Stakeholders Charge Makinde

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As Oyo Kicks off Environmental Mobile Courts

Oyo State government has been urged to start work on the Waste To Wealth project which was part of cardinal programs of the Seyi Makinde-led administration to bring to a bearest minimum, the problem of indiscriminate refuse dumping in the State.

The call was made by the President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Yemi Soladoye and other stakeholders at an advocacy meeting  organized for Stakeholders by the government to sensitize the populace on immediate solution to the menace of poor waste disposal culture, pervading the State.

Soladoye noted that before long, waste collectors would be paying those that generate the waste instead of collecting money from them whenever waste recycling begin in the State.

He called for haste in the implementation of the Orita-Aperin recycling project, which he said has suffered abandonment overtime.

“While commending the efforts of the State in its unrelenting stride to eradicate poor waste disposal culture, I need to call on our Governor to start work on the Waste to Wealth project so as to not only beautify our environment but to also create wealth for the populace and generate more revenue for government.

“I have traveled far and wide but there was a time I found it so difficult to come home to Ibadan because of the culture of filth then. Today, the story has changed and we have a clean environment which needs to be sustained.

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“Imagine a time that we allocated a parcel of land for Olubadan’s palace but within short time, people turned the land to refuse dumping ground. We invited the police and they left within a week as they were frustrated.

“We need to do more advocacy and enforcement especially at all local communities while I want to reiterate the call for the commencement of the waste recycling project in Oyo State. Soon, you will see people collecting money instead of paying to dispose refuse,” he maintained.

The Head of Service in Oyo State, Mrs Ololade Agboola who presided over the meeting said the people must spread the gospel of collective responsibility in order to stop the poor waste disposal culture.

Ololade who applauded what she called an impressive attendance by stakeholders at the gathering declared that the State government has concluded all preparations to kick off the operation of environmental mobile courts in the State.

She also reminded the people of the interest of the present administration to bring in as many foreign investors as possible as well as create enabling environment for local business to thrive especially in a clean environment.

“This meeting is at the behest of the governor of Oyo State who was worries over the state of filth in the State and various meetings have been held with other sectors and strategic members of the society to achieve more understanding about the need for a clean environment which will engender good health and promote business.

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“Soon, Oyo State Mobile Court will be in operation to dispense express justice to sanitation offenders and deter the poor attitude to waste disposal. Also, the Orita-Aperin Waste to Wealth project will soon begin work to complement other efforts at imbibing good environmental culture.”

Contributions were made at the event by members of the steering committee on environment in Oyo State which include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Olusoji Oguntola, his colleague from the Ministry of Works, Mr Olusola Oyedele and Mrs Christiana Abioye, of Ministry of Women Affairs.

Others are Iyabo Olaleye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju.

Various groups and organizations that were represented at the meeting include the National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Community Development Association, NGOs and royal fathers from different communities.

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