Which old sayings are true and which are false?



“Men think about sex every seven seconds”

Nope. More like an average of every 158 seconds.

“Nice guys finish last”

It depends.

“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long”


“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

Morning people are more proactive and happier. On the other hand, night owls are smarter. And male night owls do better with the ladies.

“When you smile the whole world smiles with you”

Smiling makes others more likely to smile.

“Money can’t buy happiness”

As a general rule, money does not increase happiness much after our basic needs are met. However, money can increase happiness if we spend it the right way and especially if we spend it on other people. More money can make you less happy.

“Sleep on it”

Yes, sleeping on it improves decision-making.

“Sex sells”

Not in movies.

“Home cooking tastes better”

Comfort food does comfort us and grandmom’s cookies do taste better than other cookies.

“Smart people lack common sense”


“Think positive”

Only works for some people.

“If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”

There’s some truth to it.

“Women talk on the phone more than men”

Women make fewer phone calls but their calls last longer.



“Attractive women make men stupid”

True. In fact, just thinking about attractive women makes men dumb.

“Flattery will get you nowhere”


“I need my beauty sleep”


“I don’t like the look of his face”

People are able to tell who is kind, trustworthy, a criminal, a psychopath and a Nobel Peace Prize winner at above chance levels just by faces. You can tell a lot about someone by their face.

“Surprise me”

On second thought, don’t.

“Porn causes rape”

Actually, it reduces it: “It has been found  everywhere it was scientifically investigated that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased.”

“Long distance relationships never work”

They’re more stable.

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead”

Cheat yourself on sleep and you’ll suffer the consequences, even if you don’t notice.

“Kids who sit at the front of the class do better”

They do.

“Fast talking salesman”

Fast-talkers can be more persuasive.

“Blinded by jealousy”


“Play hard to get”

It works.

“Blondes have more fun”

They do make more money.

“All _____ people look alike”

For all of us, whenever people are a different race it’s harder to tell them apart.

“You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake”

Absolutely. “Results showed that HGS was correlated with SHRs, aggressive behavior, age at first sexual intercourse, and promiscuity in males but not in females. HGS appears to be an honest signal for genetic quality in males.”

“Happy wife, happy life”

When the husband is happier than the wife, couples are more likely to divorce.

“You can tell a lot about the author by what they write”


“My generation didn’t behave like that when we were young”

Wrong. Even grandmom had premarital sex.

“It’s the booze talking”

No, actually, that’s you talking.

“Spanking is bad for kids”

Kids who were spanked behave better as teenagers.

“The music you like says a lot about you”


“Men want sex more than women”


“Count your blessings”

Absolutely. It’s one of the most scientifically validated ways to increase happiness.

“When I’m turned on, I’m like a totally different person”

It’s true, and you’ll do things you didn’t think you ever would.

“Cleanliness is next to godliness”

When your desk is messy it’s harder to focus.

“The woman in red”

Women wearing red are seen as more attractive.

“Older and wiser”

Yes, older people are wiser.

“Women find men who are attached more attractive”


“Pricing something at $1.99 instead of $2 doesn’t fool anyone”

Yes, it does.

“My soulmate”

Our real life partners rarely resemble our ideal partners and who you end up with is more a function of who is around you than what you want.

“I love all my kids the same”

No, you don’t.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”


“Crazy in love”

There is a connection between love and delusion.

“Life speeds up as you get older”

Yes. Subjectively, once you’re 20, your life is half over. “Basically, if you’re older than about 30, you’re almost dead.”


Your mood is pretty much the same on Friday as Monday.

“A dog is a man’s best friend”


“The love of money is the root of all evil”

Loving money does make people unhappy.

“Power reveals people’s true colors”

Not exactly.

“Artists are more likely to be crazy”


“Opposites attract”

More often than not, no, they don’t.

“Be yourself”

Close. Be your best self.

“The good die young”

No, they live longer.

“You only use 10% of your brain”

False but the idea is so prevalent even 6% of neuroscientists agreed with it.

“Clothes make the man/Dress for success”


“Six degrees of separation”

Pretty much true.

“We regret most the things we didn’t do”


“Women marry men like their father/Men marry women like their mother”

There’s some truth to it. Looking at photos, research subjects were able to tell (at a rate above chance) who was married to whom by looking for a resemblance between the bride and the groom’s mother, or between the groom and bride’s father. Interestingly, women are more likely to be attracted to men who look like dad – only if they had a good relationship with their father.

“Mid-life crisis”

It may be a total myth.

“Don’t give in to peer pressure”

Wrong. More often than not kids are pressured into good things, not bad things. Kids who felt more peer pressure got better grades and had better relationships. Kids who were more independent had lower GPA’s and were more likely to smoke, drink and shoplift.

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