The Situationist

Archive for January 2nd, 2008

Situationism in the Blogosphere in December 2007

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 2, 2008

Josh Radovan & Digital Methods Initiative

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

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From BPS Research Digest Blog: The Mere Sight of Alcohol Impairs Drinkers’ Memories

“For students who like a tipple or three, the mere sight of a bottle of Jack Daniels can have a detrimental effect on their memory. Dennis Kramer and Stephen Schmidt, who made the observation, said this is probably due to the emotional salience alcohol has for those who drink a lot.”

From BPS Research Digest Blog: Our Need To Know Ourselves Can Sour Unexpected Success

“Our need to feel as though we know ourselves is so strong that unexpected success can leave us feeling anxious and undermine our future performance. That’s according to Jason Plaks and Kristin Stecher who looked specifically at the issue of whether people believe intelligence is fixed or subject to change.”


From Cognitive Daily: Is It Possible To Be Too Happy

“Happiness is associated with a lot of good things in life. People who are happier tend to get better job ratings, make more money, be more likely to get married, and be more satisfied with their marriages than people who are less happy, even years after the original happiness assessment.”

From Cognitive Daily: Smells we can’t detect affect judgments we make about people

“Do smells have an impact on how we judge people? Certainly if someone smells bad, we may have a negative impression of the person. But what if the smell is so subtle we don’t consciously notice it? Research results have been mixed, with some studies actually reporting that we like people more when in the presence of undetectable amounts of bad-smelling stuff. How could that be?”

From Legal Theory Lexicon: Path Dependency

“The phrase “path dependency” is used to express the idea that history matters–choices made in the past can affect the feasibility (possibility or cost) of choices made in the future. This entry in the Legal Theory Lexicon introduces this idea to law students, especially first-year law students, with an interest in legal theory.”

From Mind Hacks: Mind and Brain Science Storms NYT’s ‘Year in Ideas’

The New York Times seems to have been publishing loads of mind and brain articles recently and their end of 2007 round-up of ‘hot ideas’ contains no less than 11 articles on developments in psychology and neuroscience – including everything from Alzheimer’s to Zygotes (via Lap Dancing).”

From Mixing Memory: Priming “God Did It”

“Recently, several social psychologists have posited a “Whodunit” system in the brain that’s always looking to assign authorship — either our own or somebody else’s — to actions. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to tell when we’ve done something, because we have all sorts of signals coming from the body, along with the brain’s awareness of the signal’s it’s sending. But in some cases, particularly when bodily signals are ambiguous or absent, the “Whodunit” system can be tricked into thinking that someone else caused an action that was really of our own doing, or that we caused an action when someone (or something) else did.”

From PsyBlog: When We Are Fools to Ourselves

“Accessing our own higher mental processes is often difficult. Psychologists have found it easy to manipulate the reasons we give for decisions, judgements or actions. Worse than this, even when we’re not actively being manipulated, we regularly fool ourselves without the need of any encouragement. But are these mistakes systematic in any way? Nisbett and Wilson (1977) provide five factors likely to have a huge effect on how accurately we report our own higher mental processes. These give us useful clues about when we’re most likely to be fooling ourselves.

From We’re Only Human: A Sense of Scarcity

“The connection between value and scarcity is something we all know. . . . As described in the January issue of Psychological Science, people who were paid for spotting flower pictures thought there were fewer flowers than birds, and likewise those who were made to value birds were sure they were scarcer than flowers. Nobody knew that in fact there were exactly the same number of flowers and birds, so in effect their laboratory-induced “yearning” for something caused them to wrongly perceive scarcity.”

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For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click on the “Blogroll” category in the right margin.

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