Situationism in the Blogosphere – February 2009
Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 20, 2009
Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during February 2009. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.)
* * *
From 3 Quarks Daily: “Amazonian Indigenous Culture Demonstrates a Universal Mapping of Numbers onto Space”
“The ability to map numbers onto a line, a foundation of all mathematics, is universal, says a study published this week in the journal Science, but the form of this universal mapping is not linear but logarithmic. The findings illuminate both the nature and the limits of the human predisposition to measurement, a foundation for science, engineering, and much of our modern culture.” Read more . . .
From BPS Research Digest blog: “Would you give way at the photocopier?”
“Back in the 70’s, a classic study (PDF) showed that people using a photocopier were just as likely to give way to a line-pusher who gave the nonsense excuse “because I need to make copies”, as they were to one who gave the more sensible excuse “because I’m in a rush”. Ellen Langer and colleagues interpreted their finding as showing how mindless we often are. As soon as we hear the word “because”, we assume the excuse that follows is justified and respond accordingly. Now Scott Key and colleagues have replicated this classic study, with the further aim of finding out if some personality types are more likely than others to give way.” Read more . . .
From International Cognition and Culture Institute: “Are dogs (and chimps) really inequity-averse?”
“It seems that the closer animals are to humans, the easier it will be to explain the human phenomenon. But it may not help social and cognitive scientists to go too far too fast. Five years ago, Brosnan and de Waal did a similar experiment with capuchins and then chimps. They showed that capuchins and chimps refuse a reward if another individual gets more for the same task. However, this does not show that monkeys are averse to inequity, only that they reject a lesser reward when better rewards are available (see also here and here).” Read more . . .
From Sam Sommers Psychology Today blog: “Purple Tunnel of Personality?“
“. . . . An intriguing hypothesis, that the ocupation, and perhaps more importantly, the personal disposition of the individuals in this crowd explained their behavior that morning. It’s an intuitively appealing hypothesis as well: it seems logical that had the tunnel been filled with professional wrestlers, Baltimore Ravens defensemen, or gubernatorial candidates from Illinois, the outcome might not have been so peaceful. Or does it? Four decades ago, in a study that has become one of the most famous in all of psychology, John Darley and Daniel Batson wanted to test this very question, to assess the relative importance of predisposition and social context in shaping pro-social behavior.” Read more . . .
* * *
For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click on the “Blogroll” category in the right margin.