How Close We Live and Work and How We Move Has Large Effects on Human Behavior

1. Increasing population density, rather than boosts in human brain power, appears to have catalysed the emergence of modern human behaviour, according to a new study by UCL (University College London) scientists published in the journal Science. High population density leads to greater exchange of ideas and skills and prevents the loss of new innovations. It is this skill maintenance, combined with a greater probability of useful innovations, that led to modern human behaviour appearing at different times in different parts of the world.

This work further emphasizes the importance of cluster development of economic development.

2. In a separate study from Northwestern University found that the mere act of physically approaching a potential partner, versus being approached, seemed to increase desire for that partner.

Regardless of gender, those who rotated experienced greater romantic desire for their partners, compared to those who sat throughout the event. The rotators, compared to the sitters, tended to have a greater interest in seeing their speed-dating partners again.

“Given that men generally are expected — and sometimes required — to approach a potential love interest, the implications are intriguing,” Finkel said.

This would mean that men and women are less different in how they choose mates, but that the cultural expectation that men approach women is causing differences.

Architectural design and city planning (and advanced time and motion and comprehensive event tracking and recording studies) in combination with technology seem likely to yield further increases in productivity via improved collaboration, connection and other factors.