The Situationist

Posts Tagged ‘Blogroll’

Situationism in the Blogosphere – December

Posted by Gustavo Ribeiro on January 27, 2011

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during December 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From BPS Research Digest: “Do political scandals really distract us from important issues?”

“Barely a day goes by without some political scandal or other splashed across the papers. Critics argue this obsession with tittle-tattle distracts the electorate from more important policy issues. ‘…a fiercely independent media is the guarantor of democracy,’ Will Hutton wrote in 2000, before warning that the British media’s obsession with scandal ‘paradoxically, may be beginning to endanger it [democracy]‘.” Read more . . .

From Deliberations: “A Story of Social Media Enlightenment: It’s not just for kids anymore”

“I have watched the trial consulting industry evolve slowly over the past 22 years.  However, like a scene from a Sci-Fi movie, I feel like some aspects of our field have moved at an incredible pace.  Generally, these have been associated with technology.” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Simple Jury Persuasion: Christian religious concepts increase racial prejudice”

“We’ve written a lot about racial biases in the courtroom.  As regular readers of this blog know, we look for ways to mitigate the impact of racial biases. We believe in social justice. We also know (although we don’t like it much) that there are times when in the interests of advocacy, it is important to either fan the flame of racial prejudice or simply allow it to blossom and flower by not raising juror awareness of racism.” Read more . . .

From Psyblog: “The Illusion of Truth”

“We see ads for the same products over and over again. Politicians repeat the same messages endlessly (even when it has nothing to do with the question they’ve been asked). Journalists repeat the same opinions day after day.” Read more . . .

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For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – September

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 23, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during September 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From BPS Research Digest: “Power leads us to dehumanise others”

“Think how terrible you’d feel if a decision you made led to the death of another person. How then does a political leader cope with the burden of making decisions which lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands? According to a new journal article, they cope through dehumanising those over whom they have power. By this account, dehumanising – seeing others as less than human – isn’t always a bad thing. It serves a function, allowing leaders and certain professionals, such as doctors, to cope with the decisions they have to make.” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?”

“Back in October of 2009, we blogged about some new research from Harvard University showing that when we know someone has hurt us intentionally, it makes us furious. We talked about using that knowledge strategically to light the fire of moral indignation in jurors.” Read more . . .

From Mind Matters: “The Hidden Rules of Blame”

“People like to use categories for people (race, religion, nation, class, gender) as explanations for others’ behavior (for example, I was late because there was traffic and I have a lot on my plate right now, but you were late because you’re a Gen X slacker). Yet all categories are not equal. Instead, each one seems to be licensed to explain only certain kinds of behavior.” Read more . . .

From Neuromarketing: “Wear a Fake Rolex, Turn Into O.J.”

“You can find fake designer and luxury products just about anywhere these days, and most people consider owning one a harmless transgression. After all, if you were never going to pay $12,000 for a real Rolex, who is really hurt if you wear a fake that cost you $30? Rolex didn’t really lose a sale, right? It turns out that the victim of the “crime” may be none other than YOU!” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Humans: “Color blind? Or blind to injustice?”

“In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to the cause of racial equality, ruling 7 to 1 in Plessy v. Ferguson that “separate but equal” was the law of the land. The lone dissenter in that landmark case was Justice John Marshall Harlan, a former slave owner, who bitterly predicted an era of inequality and racial intolerance in America. History proved Harlan right, and we now know what followed as the Jim Crow era. Indeed it took almost 60 more years for the Court to begin setting things right by discarding the “separate but equal” doctrine.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – July, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 27, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during July 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Jury Room: “Deliberations: Jurors think and feel as they make decisions”

“Our legal system assumes jurors will make their decisions without bias. This assumption echoes the ancient words of  Aristotle: “the law is reason, free from passion”. Yet, most of us realize that decision-making encompasses both reason and passion. So how do you take that into consideration as you prepare and then present your case?” Read more . . .

From Psyblog: “How to Banish Bad Habits and Control Temptations”

“Anyone who has ever found themselves trying to turn on the bathroom light seconds after phoning  the power company to ask how long the power cut will last, knows how easily habits bypass our conscious thought processes.” Read more . . .

From Science of Small Talk: “Every Little Bit Counts”

“On a regular basis, we see or hear about the negative behaviors of others and think, what is wrong with this person? We tell ourselves, I would never do that, firmly convinced in the veracity of our assessment.” Read more . . .

From Social Psychology Eye: “Protecting the powerful”

“Minnesota representative Michelle Bachmann has had her share of questionable moments in the past. For example, she once referred to President Obama and his wife as “anti-American”. She also seems to side with the powerful. The most recent example of this comes in regards to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Humans: “No Exit: Living With Walls and Fences”

“The right to move around is a fundamental human right. Back in 1948, in the wake of World War II, the United Nations declared that all men and women have the right to roam freely in their homeland, to leave, to return if they choose, and to exit again. That political vision recognized a basic psychological truth—that it is a violation of human nature to fence people in.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – July, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 21, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during July 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From BPS Research Digest: “It’s the way they move – politicians’ personalities inferred from their motion patterns”

“People form impressions about the personality of politicians simply from the way they move, according to a new study. This isn’t your typical body-language investigation into double-armed hand-shakes, bitten lips and fidgety fingers. Rather Markus Koppensteiner and Karl Grammer devised a new system for mathematically describing the movement patterns of forty real German politicians giving speeches in parliament.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “Violent Video Games as a Learning Tool”

“Video games have come a long way from the early days of Pong and Pac-man. Today’s games are sophisticated media that blur the line between fiction and reality. One of the most heated debates surrounding video games, and, especially, their playing by young kids and adolescents, is the explicit violence present in many action-oriented games. While many parents, educators and psychology experts worry about the amount of violence that pervades society, new research is leading gaming experts to claim that video games, even violent ones, are actually useful learning tools.” Read more . . .

From Mediation Channel: “What did we know and when did we know it? The mutability of facts”

“Facts may indeed be stubborn things, but they are also subject to the vicissitudes of time and nature’s forces. Our thinking about those facts, and their significance to us, is often refracted through the lenses of culture, cognition, and bias. As our understanding of our physical world alters; as records are broken or measurements exceeded; as times, laws, borders, and customs change; our encyclopedias and other reference books, along with our memories, demand constant updating.” Read more . . .

From Mind Hacks: “Researchers implant false symptoms”

“An intriguing study  just published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology has found that we can be convinced we reported symptoms of mental illness that we never mentioned and, as a result, we can actually start believing we have the symptom itself.” Read more . . .

From Mind Matters: “Want to Play It Safe? Have a Cheeseburger”

“Sometimes it seems that everyone  has abandoned the notion that rational self-interest drives people’s decisions. It’s high time for some answers to the next obvious question: If Reason doesn’t rule the mental roost, then what does  govern people’s approach to buying, selling, voting, marrying, hiring and other choices? Last month, this study suggested that part of the answer is, simply, food. People who are hungry, it found, make different financial decisions than people who’ve recently eaten.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – June, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 15, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during June 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From BPS Research Digest: “Does greater competition improve performance or increase cheating?”

“What happens when you recruit dozens of students to perform a maze-based computer task and then you ratchet up the competitive pressure? Does their performance improve or do they just cheat more?” Read more . . .

From Beautiful Minds: “What do Narcissists Sound Like?”

“Narcissists love themselves. Even in psychology experiments. This is a problem for psychologists trying to study narcissists in the laboratory because narcissists are likely to present themselves in the best possible light, inflating their abilities on self-report surveys, and generally being oblivious to their own true selves (Vazire, 2010).” Read more . . .

From Frontal Cortex: “High Stakes Innovation”

“This oil spill sure is getting depressing. We’ve become extremely talented at hiding away the ill effects of our consumption decisions. We don’t see the inhumane chicken farms behind our chicken McNuggets, or the Chinese factories that produce our shoes, or the offshore oil rigs that extract our oil from the center of the earth. The end result is that, when we’re finally forced to confront the ugliness that makes our civilized life possible, we’re shocked and appalled. My cheap ground beef comes from that feedlot? My gas station depends on that infrastructure?” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Better find something besides DNA & hard science to persuade the jury!”

“For some time now, there have been concerns about the CSI Effect on our juries. In short, this is a belief/fear that potential jurors who watch television shows such as the CSI franchise will presume real labs can produce the same sort of evidence—and anything that falls short of that causes reasonable doubt. Litigators have lived in fear of the CSI Effect despite rising evidence it may actually be an urban (and rural!) litigation myth.” Read more . . .

From Neuromarketing: “Unconscious Buying”

“In a fascinating study just published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have shown that we make buying decisions even when we aren’t paying attention to the products, and that fMRI observation of brain activity can predict these decisions. This new work builds on previous research by Stanford’s Knutson and CMU’s Loewenstein which showed that purchase decisions could be predicted when subjects were shown explicit offers.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – May, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 21, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during May 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Experiments in Philosophy: “Sex on the Bench: Do Women and Men Have Different Moral Values?”

“With Barack Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan, the United States Supreme Court is likely to have more women than ever before. Some wonder whether the changing gender ratios could impact the Court’s decisions. Research on sex differences in moral judgments-including judicial judgments-suggests an affirmative answer.” Read more . . .

From Frontal Cortex: “Anchoring”

“In the last few months, the globalized world has endured two very different crises. […] In both instances, officials settled on an early version of events – the ash cloud posed a severe danger to plane engines, and the oil well wasn’t a very bad leak – and then failed to update that version in light of new evidence. As a result, valuable time was squandered. This is a form of anchoring, a mental bias first outlined (of course) by Kahneman and Tversky.” Read more . . .

From Neuromarketing: “Unconscious Branding: Who Needs Facts?”

“Few doubt that branding messages can be powerful, but new research shows that even when consumers don’t recall the specific message, their preferences can be shaped to the point where they reject new information that conflicts with their stored brand association.” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Who was hurt? That’s how we know just whom to blame…”

“Most of us know that in order to manage reactions to a personal injury story the plaintiff begins with the bad acts of the defendant as opposed to the sad story of the plaintiff. This story order results in anger at the bad defendant rather than hopeless feelings for the sad plaintiff. Instead of ‘if only’ reactions to the injuries, the plaintiff wants to elicit active anger at the defendant’s choices. This increases damage awards and mobilizes jurors to “do something”.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – May, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 8, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during May 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Big Think: “To Improve Girls’ Science Scores, Show Them Women Scientists”

“Standardized tests are supposed to measure innate abilities. The subject of your last conversation, the lead story on the news last night, the pictures on the wall at the test site—this trivia is presumed to have zero impact on your score in geometry or chemistry. Trouble is, it’s increasingly clear that this presumption is simply false. Case in point: This study, published in last month’s Journal of Social Psychology, which erased the usual gender gap in high-school chemistry tests. All it took was a change in the illustrations in a textbook.” Read more . . .

From BPS Research Digest: “How to increase voter turnout”

“The political parties don’t agree on much but what they do all agree on is that the more people who exercise their right to vote, the better. Psychology can help. A new study shows that phone calls to encourage people to vote can be made more effective by a simple strategy – that is, by asking the would-be voter to spell out what time they plan to vote, where they will be coming from prior to voting and what they will have been doing beforehand.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “Societal Assumptions on Abuse and the Victim’s Perspective”

“Sexual abuse of children is morally revolting and a topic wrought with emotions. In the past few decades, awareness of the prevalence of child abuse and its psychological repercussions has increased. A “trauma model” has been built around sexual abuse that perceives it as being directly traumatic and frightening, and necessarily damaging.” Read more . . .

From Everyday Sociology: “Can Social Problems Be Solved?”

“If you have ever taken or taught a sociology class, you know that many students leave feeling like some problems are too deeply entrenched in our social structure to ever change. This, of course, is not true; social change is possible. But how?” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – April, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 19, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during April 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Big Think: “New Study: Insurers Take Both Sides in the War on Obesity”

“The other day I pointed out the conflicting motives of corporations that sell soda, snacks and fast food: They promote “wellness” because they want manageable health-care costs, but they also promote their products. And those are linked to just those long-term “lifestyle” diseases that push health-care costs up. Now comes this study in the American Journal of Public Health, which documents the mixed motives of another set of corporations—companies that sell health and life insurance.” Read more . . .

From BPS Research Digest: “Milgram’s personal archive reveals how he created the ‘strongest obedience situation’”

“Stanley Milgram’s 1960s obedience to authority experiments, in which a majority of participants applied an apparently fatal electric shock to an innocent ‘learner’, are probably the most famous in psychology, and their findings still appall and intrigue to this day. Now, in a hunt for fresh clues as to why ordinary people were so ready to harm another, Nestar Russell, at Victoria University of Wellington, has reviewed Milgram’s personal notes and project applications, which are housed at Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “The Brain Rejects Inequality”

“The human brain likes balance. Not simply biological and physiological homeostasis that maintains the proper functioning of the brain, but emotional, social and psychological balance. Notably, the human brain dislikes inequality when it comes to money, and rejects it at all costs, according to new research in the journal Nature.” Read more . . .

From Frontal Cortex: “Classroom Creativity”

“Everybody wants a creative child – in theory. The reality of creativity, however, is a little more complicated, as creative thoughts tend to emerge when we’re distracted, daydreaming, disinhibited and not following the rules. In other words, the most imaginative kids are often the trouble-makers.” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?”

“Our brains. They seem to be all powerful. They make us do stuff. Stuff beyond our control or even awareness, or so it seems. For example, if you are a young (and presumably heterosexual, for this study) male, you are more likely to do something really risky if you are being watched by a young woman rather than another man.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – March, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 24, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during March 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Neuronarrative: “When You Expect Rapid Feedback, the Fire to Perform Gets Hotter”

“Let’s say that you’re preparing for an extremely important test that you and roughly 100 other classmates will be taking in a week.  A few days before the test, you find out that your instructor will be going on a trip not long after the test is over and will be providing written and verbal feedback to the students within a day of the test.” Read more . . .

From Neurophilosophy: “Magnetic manipulation of the sense of morality”

“When making moral judgements, we rely on our ability to make inferences about the beliefs and intentions of others […] The legal system also places great emphasis on one’s intentions: a “guilty act” only produces criminal liability when it is proven to have been performed in combination with a “guilty mind”, and this, too, depends on the ability to make reasoned moral judgements. MIT researchers now show that this moral compass can be very easily skewed.” Read more . . .

From Social Psychology Eye: “The Bottom Line”

“What determines the importance of fairness, particularly to strangers?  There are no incentives to play fair when dealing with people we don’t know, aren’t related to, and will never interact with again. Evolutionary psychologist might point to carryover effects of living in smaller communities in our distant past. A recent study led by Joseph Henrich hopes to clarify the issue postulating that there is more to it than simply inheriting fairness attitudes.” Read more . . .

From Psyblog: “How to Increase Your Self-Control Without Really Trying”

“New study shows that self-control can be automatically, unconsciously bolstered by abstract thinking. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just spontaneously and automatically exercise self-control, without all that painful back-and-forth battle with ourselves? […] Unfortunately so often temptation wins. And experiments show that when we are run down from exercising self-discipline all day, we become even more likely to give in to temptation.” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Human: “Fast food, racing thoughts”

“Fast food is unhealthy. I know, I know. Few of us need convincing of that fact any more. But as unassailable as it is, the brief against fast food has for years focused almost entirely on the food in fast food—the high fructose corn syrup and artery-busting fats and nutritional bankruptcy of burgers and French fries and soft drinks. But what about the fast in fast food? New science is now suggesting that fast food may be doubly unhealthy—not only nutritionally damaging but psychologically detrimental as well.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – March, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 8, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during March 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From BPS Research Digest: “Scary health messages can backfire”

“A short while ago there was a shocking advert on British TV that used slow motion to illustrate the bloody, crunching effects of a car crash. The driver had been drinking. Using these kind of scare tactics for anti drink-driving and other health issues makes intuitive sense. The campaigners want to grab your attention and demonstrate the seriousness of the consequences if their message is not heeded. However, a new study makes the surprising finding that for a portion of the population, scare tactics can back-fire, actually undermining a message’s efficacy.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “Why Some Human Brains Become Leaders, While Others Followers?”

“The human brain is a biological pattern making machine. At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are stars in the Milky Way. These billions of neurons in human brain have extraordinary capacity to construct and weave strings of useful information patterns which gets ever more complex as cognitive thought process increases. These neural patterns help the brain to recognize, organize, store and retrieve information patterns when needed. It has been noticed that leaders engage in activities which provide the time, space and structure to facilitate the construction of such neural patterns.” Read more . . .

From Frontal Cortex: “Inequality Aversion”

“The ultimatum game is a simple experiment with profound implications. The game goes like this: one person (the proposer) is given ten dollars and told to share it with another person (the responder). The proposer can divide the money however they like, but if the responder rejects the offer then both players end up with nothing. […] In a paper published last week in Nature, a team of Caltech and Trinity College psychologists and neuroeconomists looked at how the brain’s response to various monetary rewards is altered by the context of inequality.” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Simple Jury Persuasion: You may want to disagree with this post”

“Here’s a simple and powerful persuasion strategy. Although somewhat paradoxical, giving people the freedom to resist your message appears to undermine their wish to do so.” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Your brain is a liar: It will find what it wants before it even starts looking”

“Brains are pretty amazing. And the research on how our brains affect us comes out so fast it’s hard to keep up with–so we’re simply giving you a post with a hodge-podge of research findings. Prepare to be amazed (or perhaps amused).” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – February, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on March 22, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during February 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Law and Mind: “The Law’s Relationship to Self-Interested, Competitive, and Trusting Behavior”

“In “Associations between Law, Competitiveness, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest,” Mitchell Callan and Aaron Kay present and analyze their research regarding whether the existence of law, “implicitly fosters the assumptions that people are self-interested, competitive, and cannot be trusted.” Read more . . .

From Mind Hacks: “Subliminal cigarette marketing”

“The Tobacco Documents Library is an online database of millions of tobacco industry documents made public through court cases. Included are letters written to cigarette companies including several  where the public have complained about ‘subliminal messages’ hidden in adverts.” Read more . . .

From Neurophilosophy: “Your eyes betray the timing of your decisions”

“When it comes to making decisions, timing can be everything, but it is often beneficial to conceal the decision that has been made. Take a game of poker, for instance: during each round, the player has to decide whether to bet, raise the stakes, or fold, depending on the hand they have been dealt. A good player will have perfected his “poker face”, the blank expression which conceals the emotions he feels and the decisions he makes from the other players sitting at the table.” Read more . . .

From Neuromarketing: “The Power of Text”

“What makes an engaging television commercial? If you think visual and auditory appeal – action, sound, music, people, color, etc. – you would usually be correct. Ditto for high production values. An exotic location might help, too. But the recent Super Bowl provided an example that should warm the hearts of copy writers everywere: the Google “Parisian Love” ad.” Read more . . .

From Psyblog: “Conformity: Ten Timeless Influencers”

“Conformity is such a strong influence in society that it’s impossible to understand human behaviour without it. Psychological experiments show that people will deny the evidence of their own eyes in order to conform  with other people.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere

Posted by The Situationist Staff on March 9, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during February 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Ambigamy: “Consciously unconscious: Reflections on the annual social psychology conference”

“I just got back from the annual Social Psychology meeting in Las Vegas. Are you following this amazing field? It’s not hard to follow, what with the wealth of marvelously accessible books with monosyllabic titles like Blink, Switch, Nudge, and Sway, not to mention The Hidden Brain, Predictably Irrational, The political brain, On being certain, How we decide, and well, really too many to mention.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “I Feel Your Pain” – The Neural Basis of Empathy”

“Last month, a terrible earthquake raised havoc in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While the Haitians in Port-au-Prince are miles away from us, witnessing media images of their physical and emotional suffering moves us tremendously, and motivates many of us to respond to their distress with monetary and other donations. In a sense, this is an amazing human feat—that we are able to feel for other people’s far away tragedies. How is it that we are so moved? This is a question about human empathy, and it has boggled the minds of great thinkers for centuries.” Read more . . .

From BPS Research Digest: “Your left brain has a bigger ego than your right brain”

“Psychologists have used an inventive combination of techniques to show that the left half of the brain has more self-esteem than the right half. The finding is consistent with earlier research showing that the left hemisphere is associated more with positive, approach-related emotions, whereas the right hemisphere is associated more with negative emotions.” Read more . . .

From Cognition and Culture: “Better live in Sweden than in the US: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better”

“Let’s talk about politics for once. It is common knowledge that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. In a quite fascinating book, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always do Better, epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett demonstrate that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone – the well-off as well as the poor (here is the Guardian review, and here is Nature’s).” Read more . . .

From Jury Room: “Lighter Skin, More Like Me”

“[…]It’s a timely piece. As the country becomes increasingly polarized, researchers keep churning out work on our biases and how they result in us modifying how we see others. For example, the Atlantic reports on a study showing that our own partisanship determines how we perceive skin color. The more we believe the person shares our own values and political perspective, the lighter skinned we believe them to be. If we do not believe they share our perspective and values, we see them as darker skinned.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – January, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 17, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during January 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

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From Neuroscience Marketing: “Green Marketing: Light Up Sales”

“Green marketing” usually refers to using an environmental pitch to sell a product. A car creates less pollution, a paper product is made from recycled content, and so on. Results of appealing to environmental sentiment have been mixed.” Read more . . .

From Neurophilosophy: “Desire influences visual perception”

“WE tend to assume that we see our surroundings as they really are, and that our perception of reality is accurate. In fact, what we perceive is merely a neural representation of the world, the brain’s best guess of its environment, based on a very limited amount of available information. This is perhaps best demonstrated by visual illusions, in which there is a mismatch between our perception of the stimulus and objective reality.” Read more . . .

From Social Psychology Eye: “Why people choose to kill? The allure of terrorism”

“The 23-year-old Nigerian who boarded an international flight for Detroit with a bomb in his underwear on Christmas Day reminded many people of the important lessons they learned from Sept. 11. Terrorism attracts worldwide attention again. Many people, especially the psychologists, start to think more about the motivation of terrorism and solution to it. What do the terrorists who attempted to strike U.S. territory in common? What is the allure of terrorism? Is religion the only reason?” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Human: “Hyper-binding ain’t for sissies”

“Imagine this hypothetical scenario: You’re at a cocktail party and the host introduces you to a stranger, whose name is Jeremy. It’s a crowded party, and as you chat with Jeremy, you’re also picking up snippets of another conversation nearby. Something about a big football game on Sunday. It doesn’t concern you, so you try to tune it out. You have a short but pleasant conversation with Jeremy, then go on to mingle with other guests.” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Human: “The Science of Prayer”

“Everyone who is in any kind of serious relationship—with a partner, a child, a close friend—has been guilty of transgression as one time or another. That’s because we’re not perfect. We all commit hurtful acts, violate trust, and hope for forgiveness. […] Why not take all that prayer and direct it at the people who have wronged us? Is it possible that directed prayer might spark forgiveness in those doing the praying—and in the process preserve relationships?” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – January, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 5, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during January 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From BPS Research Digest: “Morbid warnings on cigarette packs could encourage some people to smoke”

“Every now and again a finding comes along that provides perfect ammunition for psychologists confronted by the tiresome claim that psychology is all ‘common sense.’ Researchers have found that death-related health warnings on cigarette packs are likely to encourage some people to smoke. The surprising result is actually consistent with ‘Terror-management Theory’, according to which thoughts of mortality cause us to cling more strongly to our cultural beliefs and to pursue ego-boosting activities.” Read more . . .

From BPS Research Digest: “Prejudice towards migrants stems partly from the fact that they’re awkward to think about”

“Survey research consistently shows that people tend to have a poor view of migrants. It’s unpalatable but psychologically speaking, it’s no great surprise. After all, the odds are stacked against new-comers: most of us display inherent biases against people who we perceive to be in a different social group from our own – the so-called ‘out group bias’ – together with a similar aversion to people who are members of a social minority. Migrants usually fit both these descriptions.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “Too Much Information?”

“How things have changed. Once information was a precious commodity, jealously guarded by the elite who deliberately withheld it from the masses in order to keep them in their place. Now information is everywhere, available to everybody, all of the time. While the democratization of information is undoubtedly a force for good, is there such a thing as too much information? And, who is verifying the information? Does something become true just because it has been written?” Read more . . .

From Frontal Cortex: “Self-Control and Peer Groups”

“For the most part, self-control is seen as an individual trait, a measure of personal discipline. If you lack self-control, then it’s your own fault, a character flaw built into the brain. However, according to a new study by Michelle vanDellen, a psychologist at the University of Georgia, self-control contains a large social component; the ability to resist temptation is contagious.” Read more . . .

From Mediation Channel: “Does law lag behind science? Psychologists question Supreme Court campaign finance decision”

“In yesterday’s mail, among the bills, bank statements, and catalogs, I found a solicitation from a non-profit. The package it arrived in declared in bold red letters that my “signature is needed” (not to mention, no doubt, my cash) for a petition to halt some objectionable political action. Visible through the plastic wrapper was a pen, their gift to me.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – December, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 15, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during December 2009 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From Mind Hacks: “Fan violence: take a swing when you’re winning”

“Popular sporting occasions have long been associated with violence and it was long assumed that assaults were more likely to be initiated by losing fans taking out their frustration. This has been contradicted by recent research that suggests it is fans of the winning team whom are more likely to be violent.” Read more . . .

From Neuronarrative: “What’s More Potent, Testosterone or the Power of Belief?”

“When most people think of testosterone, words like “aggression,” “dominance,” and “violence” usually come to mind.  Those words are memetically linked with testosterone the way “expensive” is linked with diamonds, and most of us have adopted the linkage without thinking much about it.  Collectively, we’ve adopted a “folk hypothesis” about testosterone–a generalized presupposition grounded in folk wisdom assumed to be correct.” Read more . . .

From Neuronarrative: “A Photo is Worth a Thousand Ways to Change Your Memory”

“[…]A recent study in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology tested whether showing people photos of completed actions–such as a broken pencil or an opened envelope–could influence them to believe they’d done something they had not, particularly if they were shown the photos multiple times.” Read more . . .

From PsyBlog: “When Situations Not Personality Dictate Our Behaviour”

“A modern test of an ancient bible story demonstrates the power of situations to trump personality in determining behaviour. A fundamental mistake we often make when judging other people is assuming that their behaviour mainly reflects their personality. Unfortunately this ignores another major influence on how people behave staring us right in the face: the situation.” Read more . . .

From PsyBlog: “How Other People’s Unspoken Expectations Control Us”

“We quickly sense how others view us and play up to these expectations. A good exercise for learning about yourself is to think about how other people might view you in different ways. Consider how your family, your work colleagues or your partner think of you. Now here’s an interesting question: to what extent do you play up to these expectations about how they view you?” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – December, Part I

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 7, 2010

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during December 2009 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From Brain Blogger: “Sex, Violence and The Male Warrior Hypothesis”

“Throughout the history of human civilization, wars have a common feature of being practiced primarily by males. This group aggression by males is a persistent trait of human behavior, seen across different continents among civilizations that have developed independent of each other.” Read more . . .

From Brain Blogger: “White Bears – The Paradox of Mental Suppression”

“Whatever you do, don’t think of a white bear. Go on, close your eyes, relax, but don’t think of a white bear… So, what happened? Most likely, you were overwhelmed by thoughts of a white bear. This mini-experiment highlights the fascinating paradox of thought suppression.” Read more . . .

From BPS Research Digest: “Step away from the cookie jar! Over-confidence in self-control leads us to temptation”

“Out on a shopping trip after lunch, you buy a couple of boxes of chocolates to put in storage for enjoyment over the festive break. You’re not particularly hungry, and you see no obvious problems with the plan. Later that night, however, the munchies kick in and before you know it you’re raiding the cupboard, tearing open the box and gorging yourself. According to a new paper by Loran Nordgren and colleagues, such lapses occur all to frequently because of our inability, when satiated, to fully recognise the power of our visceral needs when hungry, tired, or lustful.” Read more . . .

From Frontal Cortex: “Free Will and Ethics”

“Earlier this week, I wondered if all of our new knowledge about the brain, which is too often presented in a lazy causal fashion – if x lights up, then we do y – might undermine our sense of self and self-control. I’ve since riffled through the literature and found some interesting and suggestive answers.” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – November, Part III

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 21, 2009

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during November 2009 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From Neuronarrative: “Thinking You’re in Control Can Lead to an Impulsive Demise”

“[…] A new study in the journal Psychological Science investigated the dynamics underlying why we repeatedly convince ourselves that we’ve overcome impulsiveness and can stop avoiding our worst temptations.  This particular tendency toward self-deception is called restraint bias, and four experiments were conducted under this study to test the hypothesis that it’s rampant in our bias-prone species.” Read more . . .

From Psyblog: “Our Minds Are Black Boxes – Even to Ourselves”

“We all have intuitive theories about how our own and other people’s minds work. Unfortunately psychological research demonstrates that these theories are often wrong. The gulf between how we think our minds work and how they actually work is sometimes so huge it’s laughable.” Read more . . .

From Psyblog: “Ads For Unhealthy Foods Increase Children’s Consumption 45%”

“Nowadays the word ‘obesity’ is rarely seen in print without its partner-in-crime, ‘epidemic’. The developed world seems to be intent on eating itself to death and no small proportion of the newly obese are children: one-third in the US, with a further third at risk.” Read more . . .

From Sam Sommers Psychology Today Blog: “Fort Hood Fallout”

“Psychologists call it illusory correlation. The idea is that when we think about others, we tend to overestimate the association between groups and actions that are distinctive. It’s one of the ways in which societal stereotypes are perpetuated and endure over time. And it’s exactly what has many an American Muslim concerned in the wake of this week’s tragic shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army base.” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Humans: “Some of my best friends are pawns”

“[…] University of Waterloo psychologist Grainne Fitzsimons is interested in the interplay of personal goals and stereotypes. We are all motivated by goals, from big ones like career success to more modest ones […]. We also categorize people. We all do, whether we like it or not, simply because we need to find order in the world’s complexity. […] Given that personal goals and stereotyping are both so basic to our psychology, Fitzsimons reasoned, is it possible that our goals actually influence how we pigeonhole people?” Read more . . .

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere, November 2009 – Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 3, 2009

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during November 2009 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From Nicholas Herrera Psychology Today Blog: “Attributional Biases and Violent Soccer Play”

“On November 5, 2009, during a soccer match between the University of New Mexico and Brigham Young University, UNM defender Elizabeth Lambert behaved badly. […] People seem to think that Lambert’s actions on the field reflect a deep-seated anger, moral defect, or unconscious conflict. […] These simple explanations are comforting, because they reaffirm what most people already believe: Good people do good things and bad people do bad things. However, they neglect the findings of social psychology, which show that behavior is a function of the person and the situation.” Read more . . .

From Nicholas Herrera Psychology Today Blog: “Cognitive Dissonance, the Need to Belong, and Mass Murder”

“On Thursday, November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 29 others at Fort Hood in Texas. Since then, there has been much speculation as to why he behaved as he did. Some of the more prominent explanations include post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of working with combat veterans, harassment from fellow soldiers because he is an Arab and a Muslim, dissatisfaction with the Army, depression, and distress caused by his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. […]  In Hasan’s case, social causes seem to be especially important. In particular, he seems to have suffered from social isolation, harassment, and cognitive dissonance.” Read more . . .

From Nicholas Herrera Psychology Today Blog: “The Chicago Cubs and the Curse of a Stereotype (Part 1)”

“Once again, the Chicago Cubs are not in the World Series. Last year, however, they seemed destined to win it. They won 97 games, the most for any Cubs team since 1945 and the most in the National League. […] Given the Cubs’ history and people’s love of supernatural explanations this is not surprising. People are especially likely to believe in superstitions when they feel that they lack control over an event. People also expect the cause of a dramatic event to be equally dramatic. Oftentimes, however, the cause is not dramatic, but rather a subtle and seemingly unimportant situational factor. In the case of the Cubs, this factor may have been the stereotype that they are “loveable losers.” Read more . . .

From Nicholas Herrera Psychology Today Blog: “The Chicago Cubs and the Curse of a Stereotype (Part 2)”

“Stereotype threat, a social psychological theory developed by Claude Steele and his colleagues, describes the fear experienced by members of a group that their performance might confirm a negative stereotype. This apprehension, as well as the added pressure to perform well, can increase anxiety and physiological arousal, trigger distracting thoughts, and reduce working memory capacity, all of which can impair performance. Even well-learned motor skills can be affected. Ironically, people who care more about their social group and performing well and have higher ability may be most vulnerable.” Read more . . .

From Psychology Today Editors Psychology Today Blog: “The Danger of Self-Affirmation”

“All people want to think well of themselves. This is, at least, what many psychologists would have us believe. So too would hundreds of practitioners of the self-help movement. Indeed, in the US, a multi-billion dollar personal improvement industry is built on the premise that people have an insatiable hunger for positive self-views. […] With enough repetitions, the argument goes, people who suffer from low self-esteem will transform themselves into highly self-confident individuals who will discover that the world is their oyster.” Read more . . .

From Sam Sommers Psychology Today Blog: “Fort Hood Fallout”

“Psychologists call it illusory correlation. The idea is that when we think about others, we tend to overestimate the association between groups and actions that are distinctive. It’s one of the ways in which societal stereotypes are perpetuated and endure over time. And it’s exactly what has many an American Muslim concerned in the wake of this week’s tragic shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army base.” Read more . . .

* * *

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – October 2009, Part III

Posted by The Situationist Staff on November 27, 2009

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Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during October 2009 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From Neuronarrative: “When the Powerful Feel Incompetent, the Rest of Us Feel Their Wrath”

“[…]It’s no surprise that power and aggression often move along the same track. In particular, the threat of losing power is like striking a match near the aggression gun powder keg.  Studies have shown that the perceived need to protect one’s power kicks ego defenses into high gear, loaded with enough aggression to regret for a lifetime.” Read more . . .

From Neuronarrative: “Once You Start Trusting a Source, Beware the Trust Trap”

“If you follow a news commentator closely, reading everything he or she writes in whatever venue it appears, you may unknowingly be in a trust trap.  Studies have shown that once we invest trust in a particular source of knowledge, we’re less likely to scrutinize information from that source in the future.” Read more . . .

From We’re Only Human: “Sneezing at health care reform”

“[…]A stranger’s sneeze can be a good thing in a way. Think of it as a public service announcement, a very-simple-to-understand message about health risk. A sneeze can remind us to wash our hands and schedule our inoculations—probably more effectively than a lecture. But what if, in our hyper-vigilance, we overreact to everyday sneezes and coughs and sniffles? Can such signals change healthy prudence into an unreasonable fearfulness about germs and more?” Read more . . .

* * *

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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Situationism in the Blogosphere – October 2009, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on November 15, 2009

blogosphere image

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during October 2009 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source).

* * *

From Deliberations: “When They Don’t See What You See”

“A recent study highlights what might be the most important thing lawyers and clients miss about how juries will react to their cases.  The same evidence that makes you angry at the other side might make jurors angry at you.” Read more . . .

From Everyday Sociology: “Equality in Justice: Cognitive Dissonance and Fame”

“Two cases involving the rape of a young girl have been in the news: one involving Roman Polanski’s arrest and the other about Elizabeth Smart’s court testimony. While these cases have the “adult male-minor female” rapes as their basic similarity, most other things have been very different, especially in news reports and public reactions.” Read more . . .

From The Frontal Cortex: “Calorie Postings”

“A new study reveals that all those unappetizing calorie counts on New York City menus – do you really want to know how much sugar is in a Frappuccino? Or that an Olive Garden breadstick contains hundreds of calories? – don’t lead to more responsible food decisions.” Read more . . .

From Neuroanthropology: “The Encultured Brain: Why Neuroanthropology? Why Now?”

“Neuroanthropology places the brain and nervous system at the center of discussions about human nature, recognizing that much of what makes us distinctive inheres in the size, specialization, and dynamic openness of the human nervous system. By starting with neural physiology and its variability, neuroanthropology situates itself from the beginning in the interaction of nature and culture, the inextricable interweaving of developmental unfolding and evolutionary endowment.” Read more . . .

* * *

For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click here.

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