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Dr. Ryan Enos at HLS on the Role of Trivial Things on Elections

Posted on October 11, 2012

Today, October 4th 12 pm, Austin North Dr. Ryan Enos (Harvard Government) “Mitt Romney is Really, Really Good Looking: Do Attractiveness and Other Trivial Things Affect Elections?” Free Chinese food! Cognitive and social psychology have evidence that physical appearance can powerfully shape human behavior through “thin slice” judgments. Advances in measurement allow us to measure the […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of the 53 Percent

Posted on October 8, 2012

Situationist Contributor Eric Knowles recently published this excellent piece on Huffington Post: What has crystallized in the last few weeks of the 2012 presidential campaign is nothing less than a battle between two competing theories of success — about where success comes from and the role of government in fostering it. However, this question, which […]

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Posted in Education, Situationist Contributors | 2 Comments »

The Situation of Political Yard Signage

Posted on October 2, 2012

For The Conversation, Shannon Callahan wrote an interesting piece on the social psychology of political yard signs.   As the November elections draw nearer, front yards across America are sprouting campaigns signs broadcasting their chosen political candidates. These lawn signs have been a traditional part of politics in the United States for well over 60 years, […]

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Posted in Ideology, Politics, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

Prejudiced at Age 3?

Posted on June 27, 2012

Excerpts from a recent Boston Globe article about recent work Situationist Contributor, Mahzarin Banaji: For more than four decades, the notion that racism and physical prejudice don’t fully develop in humans until the teen or adult years has been at the root of research into racism. Popular scientific belief had been that children, who only […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Situationist Contributors | Leave a Comment »

Rebecca Onie on the Situation of Health (and Health Care)

Posted on June 22, 2012

From TEDtalksDirector: Rebecca Onie asks audacious questions: What if waiting rooms were a place to improve daily health care? What if doctors could prescribe food, housing and heat in the winter? At TEDMED she describes Health Leads, an organization that does just that — and does it by building a volunteer base as elite and […]

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Posted in Distribution, Education, Law, Life, Morality, Video | Leave a Comment »

Race and Dehumanization

Posted on June 15, 2012

I was very sorry to miss the Implicit Racial Bias Across the Law Book Launch Conference yesterday.  It’s rare for such a great set of law and mind sciences speakers to assemble in one spot and the topic continues to be of great importance for all those committed to ironing out injustice in our legal […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Ideology, Implicit Associations | Leave a Comment »

The Exaggerated Situation of Polarization

Posted on June 14, 2012

Situationist friend Dave Nussbaum has more terrific posts over at, Random Assignments.  Below, we have re-blogged portions of his timely piece about how “extremists exaggerate polarization.” Why have American politics become so polarized? Maybe they haven’t – maybe it’s just you? New research reveals that partisans, especially those on the extremes, overestimate the amount of […]

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Posted in Conflict, Ideology, Naive Cynicism, Politics, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Chicago School “Law and Economics”

Posted on June 10, 2012

From Business Week (an article, by Peter Coy, including several quotations from Situationist Editor, Jon Hanson): Q: How many Chicago School economists does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. If the light bulb needed changing, the market would have done it by now. Chicago-style free-market economics is an easy target for satire, […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Choice Myth, Deep Capture, Ideology, Legal Theory | Leave a Comment »

The Political Situation of Support and Opposition to Gay Marriage

Posted on June 6, 2012

Situationist friend Dave Nussbaum continues to write terrific posts over at, Random Assignments.  Below, we have re-blogged portions of his recent post about how President Obama’s support of gay marriage led Republicans to become more opposed to it. Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan posted a new Washington Post/ABC News poll tracking changes in approval for legalizing same […]

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Posted in Classic Experiments, Conflict, Emotions, Ideology, Morality, Naive Cynicism, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Race and Racism Among Children

Posted on May 25, 2012

From CNN: Anderson Cooper details a study that seeks to gain insight into the way black and white children perceive each other. A sample of related Situationist posts: The Pretense of Colorblindness “Talk to an Iraqi” from This American Life  The Situation of the Obama Presidency and Race Perceptions Color Conscious Situation of Neighborhood Choice The Legal and […]

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Posted in Education, Implicit Associations | 1 Comment »

The Facial Situation of Presidential Candidates

Posted on May 16, 2012

From InMind (an outstanding article by Dr. Theresa DiDonato from a few years ago): If your citizenship comes with the responsibility – and privilege – of voting, then every few years you face an interesting challenge. Who will you vote for? Whether you choose to support an incumbent, a celebrated war hero, an experienced government […]

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Posted in Evolutionary Psychology, Ideology, Implicit Associations, Politics, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Racial Situation of 2012 Election

Posted on May 8, 2012

From University of Washington Newswire: After the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, many proclaimed that the country had entered a post-racial era in which race was no longer an issue. However, a new large-scale study shows that racial attitudes have already played a substantial role in 2012, during the Republican primaries. They may play […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Politics, Situationist Contributors | Leave a Comment »

Justice for Trayvon

Posted on March 26, 2012

For The Situationist, Sabreena El-Amin (Harvard Law School student and President of the Student Association for Law and Mind Sciences (SALMS)), has authored the following legal analysis of the Trayvon Martin shooting and situationist analysis of the “stand your ground” doctrine.  We are pleased to publish it and look forward to more contributions from Sabreena […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Law, SALMS, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

How Deceptive Advertising Preys Upon Our Minds

Posted on March 1, 2012

In my Business Organizations course this semester, we have been spending some time thinking about the collection and use of consumer data by corporations.  We have looked at the types of information that companies gather, how they employ statisticians to “weaponize” this information, and whether (and in what ways) the government might effectively (and constitutionally) […]

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Posted in Deep Capture, Marketing, Neuroscience | 2 Comments »

The Imagined Ideological Divide

Posted on January 29, 2012

From Eureka Alert (regarding research co-authored by Situationist Contributor Peter Ditto): Republicans and Democrats are less divided in their attitudes than popularly believed, according to new research. It is exactly those perceptions of polarization, however, that help drive political engagement, researchers say. “American polarization is largely exaggerated,” says Leaf Van Boven of the University of […]

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Posted in Ideology, Politics, Social Psychology | 5 Comments »

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Situationism

Posted on January 15, 2012

This post was originally published on January 22, 2007. * * * Monday’s holiday provides an apt occasion to highlight the fact that, at least by my reckoning, Martin Luther King, Jr. was, among other things, a situationist. To be sure, King is most revered in some circles for quotations that are easily construed as […]

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Posted in History, Ideology, System Legitimacy | 2 Comments »

Why Threats to Social Identity Lead to Conflict

Posted on October 13, 2011

From Psychological Science: Be it at school, office, the neighborhood or the community people live in, conflicting situations amongst various groups might arise on an almost day to day basis. Today, the prevalence of these intergroup conflicts is on the rise and has resulted in minor disagreements amongst friends to waging full scale wars between […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Conflict, Politics, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy | 2 Comments »

If It’s Evitable, I Don’t Like It!

Posted on March 24, 2011

Situationist Contributor Aaron Kay as well as Peter A. Ubel and Gavan Fitzsimons wrote the following editorial for the Detroit Free Press.: This week it will be one year since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Despite all the controversy that preceded the bill’s passage, most health policy experts confidently […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Emotions, Law, Life, Politics, Situationist Contributors, System Legitimacy | Leave a Comment »

Uncovering the Situation With Technology

Posted on February 11, 2011

I have a distinct memory of coming home from school one day in seventh grade and announcing to my parents that the Fairfax County Public School System had gone off the deep end.  Why? They were forcing all students to learn how to touch-type! How utterly useless!  I was never, ever going to need this […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Reactions to the Repeal of DADT

Posted on February 8, 2011

Over at the new Law & Mind Blog, several Harvard Law students have been blogging about about System Justification Theory.  Here is one of those posts, written by first-year student Michael Lieberman. * * * In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proudly proclaimed: “Starting this year, no American will be forbidden […]

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Posted in Ideology, Morality, Politics, System Legitimacy | Leave a Comment »

 
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