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How Ted Kennedy’s Passing Influences ‘Obamacare’

Posted on September 12, 2009

Can Ted Kennedy’s death help shape future health care negotiations and pass a compromise bill?  Yes – but not for the reasons you think. On August 24, 2009, President Barack Obama’s ambitious health care agenda looked to be at serious risk.  Numerous sources such as MSNBC, CBS News, and even the blogosphere were noting that […]

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Posted in Politics, Public Policy, Video | 4 Comments »

The Post-Obama Situation of Racism – Abstract

Posted on July 27, 2009

Ian Haney-Lopez, has recently posted his thoughtful paper, “Post-Racial Racism: Crime Control and Racial Stratification in the Age of Obama” on SSRN.  Here is the abstract. * * * What does the 2008 election of Barack Obama to the United States presidency portend for race in America? This Essay uses the tremendous racial disparities in […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Distribution, Ideology, Politics, Public Policy | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Voting for Obama

Posted on March 3, 2009

For the Stanford New Service, Adam Gorlick has summarized a fascinating study indicating that some people who voted for Obama may, as a consequence, be more inclined to favor whites. * * * The election of Barack Obama was as much a milestone in civil rights history as it was a political event. In newspaper […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Politics, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

Stereotype Lift – The Obama Effect

Posted on January 24, 2009

From Sam Dillon’s article, titled “Study Sees an Obama Effect as Lifting Black Test-Takers,” in yesterday’s New York Times. * * * . . . [R]esearchers have documented what they call an Obama effect, showing that a performance gap between African-Americans and whites on a 20-question test administered before Mr. Obama’s nomination all but disappeared […]

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Posted in Education | 6 Comments »

Racial Attitudes in the Presidential Race

Posted on November 29, 2009

From Project Implicit Blog: An article by Project Implicit researchers published this month in Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy reports evidence that both implicit and explicit race attitudes were related to intended vote in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. 1,057 registered voters completed a study conducted at Project Implicit’s research website during the […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Ideology, Implicit Associations, Politics, Situationist Contributors | 1 Comment »

Jane Elliot’s Situationist Pedagogy

Posted on October 24, 2009

From Wikipedia: “Steven Armstrong was the first child to arrive to Elliot’s classroom on that day, asking why “a King” (referring to Martin Luther King Jr.) was murdered the day before. After the rest of the class arrived, Elliot asked them what they knew about Negros. The children responded with various racial stereotypes such as […]

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Posted in Classic Experiments, Education, Social Psychology, Video | 4 Comments »

The Problem of Old Fears and New Dangers

Posted on October 6, 2009

A few weeks ago, the grandfather of law and economics, Richard Posner, decided to weigh in on President Obama’s proposal for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), which would regulate consumer financial products including mortgages and credit cards.  He bemoaned the idea of a new regulatory body—dismissing it as the misguided vision of a cadre […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Choice Myth, Marketing, Public Policy, Situationist Contributors | 2 Comments »

The Situation of Credit Card Regulation

Posted on September 28, 2009

Situationist Contributor Adam Benforado recently published the following op-ed, titled “Time to Rein in Tricks of the Financial Trade,” in Cap Times. * * * I have a confession: I teach contract law, and I do not understand everything in my credit card agreement. If business law professors are getting lost in the fine print […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Deep Capture, Law, Marketing, Public Policy | 2 Comments »

Posner on Keynes and the Economic Depression

Posted on September 25, 2009

Judge Richard Posner just published an essay, “How I Became a Keynesian” in the New Republic.  In it he describes how the economic depression led him to go back to read Keynes’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money and his new-found appreciation for Keynes and elements of Keynesianism.  Here are some excerpts. * […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Ideology, Law, Legal Theory, Public Policy | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Situationism and Other Interdisciplinary Approaches

Posted on September 17, 2009

Interdisciplinary research is on the rise and is itself increasingly a topic of discussion and study.  At this year’s Association for Psychological Science (APS) annual conference, for instance, Situationist Contributors Geoff Cohen and Jon Hanson participated in a symposium titled “Psychology as a Hub Science II: Navigating Early Career Interdisciplinary Collaboration.” In the last issue […]

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Posted in Education, Legal Theory, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Toward a Situationist Perspective on Regulation

Posted on August 27, 2009

Tobin Project Program Officer and Situationist friend, John Cisternino, has an important new co-edited book, titled “New Perspectives on Regulation.”  Here’s the abstract. * * * New regulation shouldn’t rely on old ideas. Since the 1960s, influential research on government failure helped to drive the movement for deregulation and privatization. Yet even as this branch […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Behavioral Economics, Book, Law, Legal Theory | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Birthers’ Belief

Posted on August 11, 2009

Scientific American has an interesting, “60-Second Podcast” by Steve Mirsky about research by Situationist Contributor  Mahzarin Banaji and San Diego State’s Thierry Devos finding that white Americans inherently regard white Europeans as somehow more “American” than Asian- or African-Americans.  Here are some excerpts from the podcast, which you can link to here. * * * […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Podcasts, Social Psychology | 2 Comments »

He’s a Banana-Eating Monkey, but I’m Not a Racist

Posted on August 3, 2009

Whatever may have been the payoffs of the recent discussion between Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley, Vice President Biden, and President Obama, the teachable moments unfortunately continue.  Last week, Crowley’s colleague, Officer Paul Barrett wrote an e-mail responding to a Boston Globe columnist this way: “If I was […]

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Posted in Conflict, Implicit Associations, Law, Politics, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology, Video | 1 Comment »

Leaving the Past

Posted on July 25, 2009

Sam has been an active racist his entire life.  For decades, he has called blacks demeaning names; he has written about their inferiority; he has threatened them and beaten them; he has attended lynchings. Under great pressure from various acquaintances and friends, in his seventieth year of life, he stops using the “n” word and […]

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Posted in History, Ideology, Illusions, Implicit Associations, Situationist Contributors | 2 Comments »

Compassion, Law, and Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Posted on July 17, 2009

Situationist contributor Michael McCann has posted on SSRN a draft of his forthcoming law review essay, Judge Sonia Sotomayor and the Relationship between Leagues and Players: Insights and Implications, 42 Connecticut Law Review __ (forthcoming, 2009). The essay examines two of Judge Sotomayor’s most notable sports law decisions, Silverman v. Major League Baseball Player Relations […]

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Posted in Ideology, Law | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Attiudes about Progress

Posted on July 7, 2009

Paul Starobin of has an interesting commentary on President Obama’s trip to Russia and how the President, in Starobin’s view, might receive an unenthusiastic welcome.  An excerpt of Starobin’s piece explains why. * * * But if Obama, more ambitiously, hopes to win over the hearts of the Russian people — along the lines […]

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Posted in Ideology, Life, Politics, Public Policy | Leave a Comment »

The Racial Situation of Voting

Posted on June 20, 2009

Nate Silver discusses race in politics: Did Obama’s race hurt his votes in some places?  If so, how?  And what might be done about it? * * * * * * To read a sample of related Situationist posts, see “The Situational Effects of a Black President,” “The Situation of Voting for Obama,” “Why Race May Influence […]

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Posted in Politics, Video | Leave a Comment »

Martha Minow Named Dean of Harvard Law School

Posted on June 11, 2009

Marth Minow has been a leading legal scholar and teacher for the last several decades and has been on the cutting edge of applying insights from social psychology and social cognition to her important research over the last several years.  Today, she was named Dean of Harvard Law School.  This is wonderful news for Harvard […]

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Posted in Education, Law | Leave a Comment »

Stereotyping Sotomayor

Posted on June 9, 2009

Last week, Situationist Contributor Adam Benforado wrote a second op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled “Stereotypes on Full Display,” about conservative reaction to the Sotomayor nomination.  We’ve pasted it below. * * * If you thought race and gender politics were put to rest with the historic presidential campaigns of last year, think again. The […]

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Posted in Ideology, Politics, Situationist Contributors | 1 Comment »

The Situational Effects of a Black President

Posted on June 8, 2009

Last week for Diverse Online, Angela Dodson, wrote an excellent review of conflicting studies regarding the so-called “Obama Effect” — the increase in standardized test scores of Blacks owing to the election of Barack Obama.  Here are some excerpts. * * * Could merely knowing that a Black man has been elected president of the […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Education, Implicit Associations, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »