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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 »

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 News Situation of Judge Sotomayor’s Nomination

Posted on May 26, 2009

As the the media quickly responds to news of Judge Sotomayor’s nomination, we thought it might be interesting to include some excerpts from a few different sources. * * * From Fox News: President Obama nominated federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, citing her “inspiring life story” and “distinguished […]

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Posted in Law, Politics, Video | Leave a Comment »

The Situational Benefits of Compassion

Posted on May 20, 2013

Emma Seppala, for The Observer, has an outstanding overview of some of the health consequences and contagiousness of compassion.  Here is a portion of her article: Decades of clinical research has focused and shed light on the psychology of human suffering. That suffering, as unpleasant as it is, often also has a bright side to […]

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Posted in Altruism, Distribution, Emotions, Morality, Positive Psychology | 2 Comments »

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 Precision-Targeted Ads

Posted on October 21, 2010

Robert Wright posted an interesting commentary on the New York Times Opinionator last night in which he argued that the arrival of HTML 5, which “will allow sites you visit to know your physical location and will make it easier for them to keep track of your browsing and shopping history,” may be “the salvation […]

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Posted in Conflict, Deep Capture, Education, Ideology, Politics, Situationist Contributors | 1 Comment »

Elena Kagan’s Situation

Posted on May 10, 2010

In today’s New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Katharine Q. Seelye and Lisa W. Foderaro  have an illuminating biography of Supreme Court Nominee (and Situationist friend and supporter) Elena Kagan. Here are the opening paragraphs of that story. * * * She was a creature of Manhattan’s liberal, intellectual Upper West Side — a smart, […]

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Posted in Education, Events, Law, Politics | 3 Comments »

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 »

Why Are They So Biased?

Posted on July 22, 2009

Last week Sally Lehrman published an interesting op-ed, titled “Why are people of color presumed biased, and we are not?“ in the Oakland Tribune.   Here are some excerpts. * * * On the first day of the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings, one senator after another demanded assurances the judge would not allow her background to […]

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Posted in Ideology, Implicit Associations, Politics | 2 Comments »

The Situation of Homogeneity

Posted on July 20, 2009

This summer, I have finally gotten around to reading Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s book Nudge and, unsurprisingly, there is much in the book that parallels situationist work.  Indeed, many (if not most) of the referenced social psychology experiments and dynamics should already be familiar to readers of this website. One paragraph that I came […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Book, Choice Myth, Conflict, Entertainment, Ideology, Life, Marketing, Situationist Contributors | 2 Comments »

Firefighters and the Situation of “Merit”

Posted on July 16, 2009

The following excerpted op-ed, “Trial by Firefighters,” co-written by Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier and Columbia Law Professor Susan Sturm, was published in the July 11, 2009, edition of The New York Times. They are also the co-authors of “Who’s Qualified: A New Democracy Forum on the Future of Affirmative Action” (Beacon Press, 2001). * […]

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

It’s Hard to Step into Someone Else’s Shoes

Posted on June 25, 2009

Stanley Fish has an interesting new post (over on his New York Times blog) that reflects on a panel discussion at NYU Law School on the question of what kind of Supreme Court justices we want.  Do we actually desire a judge with “empathy”? Fish gave particular attention to “Judge Sotomayor’s now famous or infamous […]

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Posted in Ideology, Law | 1 Comment »

The Situation of Biased Perceptions

Posted on June 10, 2009

Emily Aronson and Ushma Patel recently wrote a nice article (pasted below) about the important work of Situationist Contributor and psychology star Emily Pronin. Pronin’s work takes on special significance this week in light debates about the Sotomayor nomination and this week’s Supreme Court’s decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., in which Justice […]

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Posted in Ideology, Law, Life, Politics, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

Brooks on the Situation of Judging

Posted on May 31, 2009

New York Times columnnist David Brooks had a nice op-ed, “The Empathy Issue,” picking up some of the themes in the recent op-ed by Situationist Contributors Adam Benforado and Jon Hanson.  Here are some excerpts. * * * The American legal system is based on a useful falsehood. It’s based on the falsehood that this […]

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Posted in Cultural Cognition, Emotions, Ideology, Situationist Contributors | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Judicial Activism

Posted on May 21, 2009

Yesterday, Situationist Contributors Adam Benforado and Jon Hanson published an op-ed, “Right or Left, Judges Are Activists,” in the Philadelphia Inquirer. * * * The attack is on. Supreme Court Justice David Souter may still have his robe, but a conservative rabble has already begun its effort to influence who will wear it next. Their […]

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Posted in Ideology, Law, Legal Theory, Politics, Situationist Contributors, Video | 3 Comments »