6. People with generous partners have happy marriages
In the realm of unsurprising marriage advice, researchers found this year that generous marriages are happy marriages. Couples with spouses who offer back rubs and other seemingly selfless acts are happier with their relationships than people who report low amounts of generosity in their marriages, according to researchers with the National Marriage Project.
Half of women and nearly half (46 percent) of men who reported above-average generosity in their marriages described themselves as "very happy" with their relationships. In comparison, only 14 percent of people with low levels of generosity in their marriages said the same.
7. Parents don't think their kids are doing drugs
Smoking pot and drinking? Not my daughter! Parents are in denial about their own children's bad habits, according to poll data released in September by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. That study found that while most parents believe at least 60 percent of 10th-graders drink alcohol, only 10 percent thought their own teen did.
8. People aren't doing anything in particular on the Internet
Anyone who has ever gone down an Internet black hole, only to emerge hours (and dozens of Wikipedia articles) later, will be less than shocked at the revelation that online is the place to go for mindless entertainment. According to a Pew Research report released in December, 53 percent of people ages 18 to 29 get online at least once on any given day just to pass the time. Using the Internet to goof off isn't limited just to the young, either: Fifty-eight percent of all adults said they sometimes get on the Internet for no reason other than casual entertainment.
9. Restricting driver's licenses decreases teen fatalities
Graduated licenses, which allow teens more freedom behind the wheel as they gain driving experience, save lives. Researchers at the Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) reported in November that fatal automobile crash rates among 16- and 17-year-olds fell 8 percent to 14 percent in states that enacted graduated-licensing laws. Restrictions such as limits on the number of passengers a teen can ferry around and rules against night driving decreased fatal crashes by 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Practice (and a little more maturity) makes perfect, it seems.
10. Most shoppers ignore nutrition labels
Calories, cholesterol, sugar … yawn. A study published in October found that grocery shoppers pay little attention to the information on nutrition labels. Even shoppers who say they "almost always" read nutrition information aren't likely to take in much information in a real-world shopping environment, the research found. Using an eye-tracking device on study volunteers, researchers found that only about 1 percent looked at information about total fat, trans fat, sugar and serving size on nearly all labels, even though between 20 percent and 31 percent of people said they looked at each of those categories when they shopped. Anything low on the label is particularly unlikely to get attention. The study found that the average consumer doesn't make it past the fifth line.
11. Presidents outlive their contemporaries
U.S. presidents tend to live as long or longer than their contemporaries, according to research published Dec. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Sure, being chief executive is stressful (and eight have died in office, four by assassination), but it turns out the top job in the country comes with perks: great medical care, for example. Presidents also tend to be well-off and well-educated, according to lead researcher S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Unsurprisingly, money and knowledge tend to buy health and longevity.