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The Cause of Rioting? That’s Easy: Rioters!

Posted on August 16, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron attributed the recent riots in his to “the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations.”   The message may seem vaguely situationist at first blush, as Cameron emphasizes the problem of a “broken society.” But what he really seems to care about […]

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Posted in Conflict, Distribution, Law, Politics, Public Policy, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Attributing Blame — from the Baseball Diamond to the War on Terror

Posted on July 25, 2008

The Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain and the Red Sox’s Kevin Youkilis are at it again. Joba, who showed no sign of control problems, nonetheless launched a pitch at Kevin’s head in tonight’s pitchers’ dual. The big question, of course, is whether Joba’s head-ward pitch was intentional or inadvertent. With that question in mind, we thought this […]

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Posted in Conflict, Emotions, Situationist Sports, Social Psychology, Video | 3 Comments »

Attributing Blame — from the Baseball Diamond to the War on Terror

Posted on September 4, 2007

Whenever we witness something harmful or unexpected, we humans look to make attributions of causation, responsibility, and blame. Social psychologists have been studying the way we make those attributions for the last half century. Part of that research, known as attribution theory, focuses on how we draw inferences about how much control people exert over […]

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Posted in Conflict, Emotions, Situationist Sports, Social Psychology | 4 Comments »

Race Attributions and Georgetown University Basketball

Posted on March 30, 2007

Earlier this week, we wrote about how group identification and disidentification — “us” and “them” — gives rise to various motivated attributions of causation, responsibility, and blame. Our analysis focused on college basketball fans in the height of March Madness. The motivated attributions we discussed include the ultimate attribution error, which leads fans to attribute […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Situationist Sports, Social Psychology | 8 Comments »

Looking for the Evil Actor – Reposted

Posted on March 10, 2012

Five years ago Jon Hanson and Michael McCann wrote and published the following post about Joseph Kony as part of a series on the the situational source of evil.  In light of the attention Kony is now getting (see Youtube video, “Kony 2012,” here or at bottom of this post), we thought it might be […]

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Posted in Conflict, History, Ideology, Morality, Politics, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy, Video | Leave a Comment »

9/11 Remembered

Posted on September 11, 2011

A number of Situationist posts have discussed the causes an consequences of the 9/11 attacks or have been related, sometimes only implicitly, to the war on terror.  Here is a sample: Attributing Blame — from the Baseball Diamond to the War on Terror Jeffrey Sachs on the Situation of Global Poverty Trampling People While Whistling Rights: Normative […]

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Posted in Conflict, Distribution, History, Public Policy, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Jon Ensign, Mark Sanford, Chris Lee, and Now Arnold Schwarzenegger and Anthony Weiner: The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation

Posted on June 8, 2011

During the summer of 2007, we published the post below in response to the sex scandal du jour involving U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA). We republished it in the wake of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s (D) “indiscretions.”  Former U.S. Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee John Edwards’ confession had us dusting off […]

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Posted in Emotions, Evolutionary Psychology, Ideology, Life, Morality, Politics, Video | Leave a Comment »

David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Jon Ensign, Mark Sanford, and Now Chris Lee: The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation

Posted on February 14, 2011

During the summer of 2007, we published the post below in response to the sex scandal du jour involving U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA). We republished it in the wake of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s (D) “indiscretions.”  Former U.S. Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee John Edwards’ confession had us dusting off […]

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Posted in Emotions, Evolutionary Psychology, Ideology, Life, Morality, Politics, Video | 1 Comment »

The Situation of Creating a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Posted on November 15, 2010

In the wake of the worst economic crisis in the United States since the Great Depression, there has been a drive to reconfigure the regulatory state and renegotiate the relationship between Americans, business, and government. In a new article, just posted on SSRN, I argue that the ultimate formulation of that relationship turns, to a […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Conflict, Ideology, Legal Theory, Naive Cynicism, Politics, Situationist Contributors | 2 Comments »

The Broader Situation: A Case Study of Cop Car Cameras

Posted on February 12, 2010

As part of my new commitment to posting more of my work on SSRN, I’ve just put up another forthcoming article that may be of interest to some readers.  It offers a law and mind sciences (situationist / critical realist) perspective on Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project (CCP) using a great recent article by […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Cultural Cognition, Legal Theory, Situationist Contributors | 5 Comments »

Hey Dove! Talk to YOUR parent!

Posted on September 21, 2009

[This post was first published in October of 2007.] Several weeks ago, as part of its much lauded “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty,” Unilever released “Onslaught,” a video (above) examining disturbing images of women in beauty-industry advertising. The video ends with this admonition to parents: “Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.” It’s […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Deep Capture, Life, Marketing, Video | 2 Comments »

David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Jon Ensign, and Now Mark Sanford: The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation

Posted on June 26, 2009

During the summer of 2007, we published the post below in response to the sex scandal du jour involving U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Last March we republished it in the wake of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s (D) remarkable “indiscretions.”  Last August, former U.S. Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee John Edwards’ […]

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Posted in Life, Morality, Politics, Video | 1 Comment »

David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, and Now Jon Ensign: The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation

Posted on June 18, 2009

During the summer of 2007, we published the post below in response to the sex scandal du jour involving U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Last March we republished it in the wake of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s (D) remarkable “indiscretions.”  Last August, former U.S. Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee John Edwards’ […]

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Posted in Life, Morality, Politics, Video | 1 Comment »

David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, and Now John Edwards: The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation

Posted on August 9, 2008

Last summer we published the post below in response to the sex scandal du jour involving David Vitter. In March we republished it in the wake of Eliot Spitzer’s remarkable “indiscretions.” The latest John Edwards confession had us dusting off this post yet again. (We have little doubt that we’ll be posting it again, which […]

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Posted in Life, Morality, Politics, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Lessons Learned from the Abu Ghraib Horrors

Posted on April 28, 2008

On April 28, 2004, four years ago, our nation, and the world, was shocked by the revelation of the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. More surprising than the fact of the abuse, for soldiers often abuse their enemies in wartime, was the nature of the “trophy photos.” Both male and female […]

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Posted in Book, Classic Experiments, History, Morality, Politics, Social Psychology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

March Madness

Posted on March 21, 2008

This post was first published in March of 2007. * * * Watching this year’s tournament, it is difficult not to notice the profoundly passionate (mad?) fan base enjoyed by so many teams. We’re not just talking about the “Go! Go! Rah! Rah! Siss Boom Bah!” of conventional cheering sections. We’re talking about camping overnight […]

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Posted in Conflict, Emotions, Politics, Situationist Sports, Social Psychology, Video | 3 Comments »

David Vitter (Eliot Spitzer): The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation

Posted on March 13, 2008

In July, we published the post below in response to the sex scandal du jour involving David Vitter. The Vitter story has much in common with the most recent scandal to titillate, enrage, and otherwise occupy the press and the public. We’ve republished the Vitter post below, and leave it to our readers to assess […]

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Posted in Life, Politics | 4 Comments »

The Need for a Situationist Morality

Posted on December 11, 2007

In 1999, renowned social psychologist Albert Bandura published an article examining the role of “Moral Disengagement in the Perpetration of Inhumanities.” That article’s abstract reads as follows: Moral agency is manifested in both the power to refrain from behaving inhumanely and the proactive power to behave humanely. Moral agency is embedded in a broader sociocognitive […]

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Posted in Deep Capture, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy | 1 Comment »

Hey Dove! Talk to YOUR parent!

Posted on October 21, 2007

Several weeks ago, as part of its much lauded “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty,” Unilever released “Onslaught,” a video (above) examining disturbing images of women in beauty-industry advertising. The video ends with this admonition to parents: “Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.” It’s a powerful video with a disturbing collection of images. […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Deep Capture, Life, Marketing | 25 Comments »

Of Senators and Sympathies

Posted on September 17, 2007

By now, it’s pretty well known that Senator Larry Craig has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Hennepin County, Minnesota and announced his resignation (sort of). Virtually every news outlet and blog has picked up the story (for example, see here, here, and here), and the police report and the recording of the police […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Law, Politics | Leave a Comment »