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Survival through Friendship

Posted on June 14, 2009

Shari Roan of the Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece on new research on “Alliance Hypothesis for Human Friendship.”  We excerpt the story below. * * * While they didn’t study the hit television show, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted experiments on the motives behind human friendship. The prevailing theory is that humans […]

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Posted in Life, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #16 – Robin Vallacher

Posted on September 10, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University. The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September. In his fascinating lecture, titled “Rethinking Psychological Process,” Robin Vallacher discusses his early friendship and research with Dan […]

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

The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology

Posted on January 14, 2013

From PsychCentral (Judy Crook reviews new book edited by Kay Deaux and Mark Snyder): What’s the difference between personality psychology and social psychology? In essence, personality psychology focuses on the person, while social psychology focuses on the situation—how people act in different situations, or how situations affect individuals. In exploring how and why the two […]

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Posted in Book, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Rewards of Cooperation

Posted on October 13, 2012

From the Harvard Gazette: It turns out nice guys can finish first, and David Rand has the evidence to show it. Rand, a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard’s Department of Psychology and a lecturer in human evolutionary biology, is the lead author of a new paper, which found that dynamic, complex social networks encourage their members […]

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Posted in Altruism, Conflict, Distribution, Evolutionary Psychology, Positive Psychology, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Friends on the Brain

Posted on October 27, 2011

Have a lot of friends on Facebook? Think that makes you special? Well, researchers at University College London suggest that you might just be right. According to a new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Facebook users with the largest number of pals had greater brain density in areas of the brain […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Life | Leave a Comment »

Selfishness versus Altruism

Posted on October 21, 2011

From the Stanford Daily: Individuals who act in their own self-interest are more likely to gain prestige and leadership recognition than those who exhibit altruistic characteristics, according to a recent study. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) collaborated with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business on the […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Altruism, Distribution | Leave a Comment »

The Gendered Situation of Math, Humanities, and Romance

Posted on June 16, 2011

From the Boston Globe: Psychologists have found that being stereotyped can subconsciously alter behavior. For example, subtle stereotypes of women being weaker in math and science can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, undermining women’s math and science aptitude. According to a new study, though, even supposedly innocent aspects of daily life can have a similar effect. […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Implicit Associations, Life, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

The Social Situation of Contagious Outbreaks

Posted on September 20, 2010

From Harvard Medical School (written by David Cameron and Inga Kiderra): Your friends are probably more popular than you are. And this “friendship paradox” may help predict the spread of infectious disease. Nicholas Christakis, professor of medicine, medical sociology and sociology at Harvard University, and James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Distribution, Life, Video | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Cooperation

Posted on May 4, 2010

From The National Science Foundation: Humans are incredibly cooperative, but why do people cooperate and how is cooperation maintained? A new research study by UCLA anthropology professor Robert Boyd and his colleagues from the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico suggests cooperation in large groups is maintained by punishment. The finding challenges previous cooperation/punishment models […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Conflict, Legal Theory | 1 Comment »

The Situation of Kindness

Posted on December 9, 2009

Yamin Anwar wrote an interesting press release about recent and ongoing research at University of California, Berkeley suggesting that the kindest, and not just the fittest, survive.   Here are some excerpts. * * * Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a […]

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Posted in Life, Positive Psychology | 5 Comments »

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 »

Deterring Divorce through Major League Baseball?

Posted on April 23, 2009

BusinessWeek has an engaging piece on a new study from the University of Denver Center for Marital and Family Studies which finds that cities with major league baseball teams have a 28% lower divorce rate than other cities.  We excerpt the piece below. * * * The family unit is society’s fundamental unit—95 percentage of […]

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Posted in Life, Situationist Sports | 2 Comments »

The Situation of April Fools’ Day

Posted on April 1, 2009

Taya Flores of the Journal and Courier has a timely piece on the pranking of others that so often take place each April 1st.   We excerpt her piece below. * * * April Fools’ Day is characterized by pulling pranks and playing jokes. While most experts and pranksters agree that it can be done in […]

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Posted in Emotions, Life | Leave a Comment »

The Overlooked Normalcy of Only Children

Posted on September 23, 2008

Last year, we blogged on the situation of only children.  Below we excerpt a piece by Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune on how stereotypes of only children being not as well adjusted as kids with siblings appears to be untrue. * * * But for all their strength in numbers, only children (and their […]

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Posted in Life, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Living with a Roommate

Posted on August 27, 2008

From Science Daily: * * * Anxious college freshmen can relax. No matter who will be sharing their dorm room, they have the power to make the relationship better, University of Michigan research suggests. The research, published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was conducted by psychologists Jennifer […]

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Posted in Conflict, Life, Positive Psychology, Social Psychology | 3 Comments »

The Situation of Lawyers and Practicing Law

Posted on June 24, 2008

The Situationist has examined various implications that social psychology and related fields for law and legal theory. But what about for the practice of law? Martin Seligman, former American Psychological Association president and one of the leaders of the new field of Positive Psychology, examines the relationship between psychology and the practice of law in […]

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Posted in Book, Emotions, Law, Life, Positive Psychology, Situationist Sports | 2 Comments »

The Situation of Political Animals

Posted on January 30, 2008

With Americans’ political juices flowing at full capacity, this is a apt moment to consider the situational origins of those juices. Last week Natalie Angier wrote a fascinating article, “Political Animals (Yes, Animals)” for the New York Times. We offer a few excerpts below. * * * . . . . Researchers who study highly […]

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Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

The Market as Situation and Situational Character

Posted on January 16, 2008

Publisher’s Weekly describes Michael Shermer’s new book, The Mind of the Market, as follows: Shermer provides an in-depth examination of evolutionary economics. Using fascinating examples — from monkeys that balk at unfair distributions of rewards after completing a task to humans who feel cheated when offered $10 of free money if a partner is given […]

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Posted in Book, Choice Myth | Leave a Comment »

Situational Obesity, or, Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat and Veg

Posted on August 2, 2007

No one would deny that your friends have a profound effect on your personality and what you find to be socially acceptable. A group of friends develops inside jokes, shared history, and gestures that instantly convey complex meanings. They also influence each member’s views of how people should act in groups and what is acceptable […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Food and Drug Law, Life | 6 Comments »

The Social Awkwardness of Online Snubbing

Posted on July 6, 2007

In February, we examined the “Internet disinhibition effect,” the tendency of the human brain to feel less restrained in online communication than in face-to-face or telephone communication. We now bring you an excerpt from Jack Malvern’s piece in the Times Online on “the etiquette pitfalls” that arise when you don’t want on-line “friends,” such as […]

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Posted in Life, Social Psychology | 3 Comments »