I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my kids to do more household chores. Luckily, help was forthcoming from a recent paper by Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, and Seema Jayachandran. They take to Indian secondary schools with an intervention designed to increase support for gender equality among adolescents. And yes, it does work, including getting boys to do more chores.
Ask a German to describe a bridge, and they are likely to use words like beautiful and elegant. Ask a Spanish speaker, and they will use words like big and dangerous. Now, ask them to describe a key. The German will say hard and heavy while the Spanish speaker will say lovely and intricate. Why? According to work by Boroditsky and co-authors, that’s because in German the bridge takes a feminine article and the key takes the masculine. And, as you may have guessed, the reverse is true in Spanish.