Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of the Situationist news over the last several weeks.
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From USA Today: “Psychologists: Propaganda works better than you think”
“Science seldom interacts with the legal world, more’s the pity. But the latest big Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, has some scientists talking about the difference between the legal view of human psychology and what the evidence shows.” Read more . . .
From Guardian: “We can make you behave”
“What have we learned from the financial crisis? That’s the question on everyone’s lips here at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, where we are taking part in a panel discussion with some of the world’s leading behavioural thinkers, including Professor Anil Gaba of INSEAD, Richard Nisbett” Read more . . .
From ScienceNOW: “The Ape That Never Grows Up”
“Chimpanzees have an aggressive reputation and often fight rather than share. Bonobos, on the other hand, are famously playful and friendly. A new study hints at a difference in how the two apes develop, suggesting that bonobos retain a youthful lack of social inhibition longer than chimpanzees do. Understanding how and why these two apes–the closest living relatives to humans–differ from each other could yield clues about how our own species evolved to be so social.” Read more . . .
From The New York Times: “The Americanization of Mental Illness”
“AMERICANS, particularly if they are of a certain leftward-leaning, college-educated type, worry about our country’s blunders into other cultures. In some circles, it is easy to make friends with a rousing rant about the McDonald’s near Tiananmen Square, the Nike factory in Malaysia or the latest blowback from our political or military interventions abroad. For all our self-recrimination, however, we may have yet to face one of the most remarkable effects of American-led globalization. We have for many years been busily engaged in a grand project of Americanizing the world’s understanding of mental health and illness. We may indeed be far along in homogenizing the way the world goes mad.” Read more . . .
From The New York Times: “Is There an Ecological Unconscious?”
“[…] Last August, the American Psychological Association released a 230-page report titled “Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change.” News-media coverage of the report concentrated on the habits of human behavior and the habits of thought that contribute to global warming. This emphasis reflected the intellectual dispositions of the task-force members who wrote the document — seven out of eight were scientists who specialize in decision research and environmental-risk management — as well as the document’s stated purpose. “We must look at the reasons people are not acting, […] in order to understand how to get people to act.” Read more . . .