Top research stories of the week: March 17 edition

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail This week’s top research stories include a study that shows the first initial of a last name could foretell one’s success or setback in life and research that finds that teens prone to drug experimentation don’t necessarily become addicted.First initial of last name could foretell one’s success or setback in lifeAs the end of the school year approaches, the season of recognition—with awards ceremonies, performances and graduations—flourishes for many.But there might be more than just hard work to people’s successes and fates. The coincidental detail of where one’s last name falls in the alphabet can affect life outcomes, according to Professor Jeffrey Zax and graduate student Alexander Cauley, both of the Department of Economics. Those with names in the latter half of the alphabet are negatively impacted—an occurrence that can begin at an early age.Teens prone to drug experimentation won’t necessarily become addictedAdolescents who lack self-control, have attention deficits, or demonstrate poor “executive function” are more likely to experiment with a greater variety of drugs and alcohol. However, they are not more likely to become dependent as young adults, according to a new CU Boulder study of twins.“Some people assume that if you try something in adolescence, you are on a path you are never going to come back from—sort of the gateway drug hypotheses,” said first author Daniel Gustavson, who conducted the study as a graduate student at the Institute of Behavioral Genetics. “Our data do not support this and instead suggest it could just be about experimenting.” Published: March 17, 2017 last_img read more