The Situationist

Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Boston Magazine recognizes Michael McCann

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 22, 2013

McCann Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine has released it’s “Best Boston Sports Personalities on Twitter” and Situationist Co-Founder & Contributor Michael McCann, who tweets @McCannSportsLaw, is on the list.

Boston Magazine described McCann as “a Massachusetts attorney who represented Maurice Clarett in his attempt to declare early for the NFL Draft, McCann is as reputable a source as there is on Aaron Hernandez’s trial and future prospects.” McCann is also the director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a legal analyst and writer for Sports Illustrated.

McCann’s tweeting on Aaron Hernandez relates to a book project he and Situationist Co-Founder & Editor Jon Hanson are developing on Hernandez and other major news stories.

Related Situationist posts co-authored by Jon Hanson and Michael McCann:

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2013 SPSP Awards

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 11, 2013


From SPSP Website:

September 18, 2013 – When you pass by a stranger in need of help, do you stop to lend a hand? Maybe not… A landmark 1973 study found that seminary students in a hurry were less likely to help someone in distress, even when they were on their way to deliver a talk on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. A co-author of that study and several other distinguished researchers are the recipients of the 2013 annual awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The contributions of these scientists to personality and social psychology include furthering our understanding of how personality shapes health and well-being across adulthood, why it’s so hard to evaluate ourselves, and the virtues that divide political ideologies.

The Society’s highest awards – the Jack Block, Donald T. Campbell, and Distinguished Scholar awards – go to Robert R. (“Jeff”) McCrae, retired from the National Institute of Aging, [Situationist Contributor] Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia, and Carol S. Dweck of Stanford University, respectively. The Career Contribution awards, which honor scholars whose research has led the field in new directions, are C. Daniel Batson of the University of Kansas and [Situationist friend] James Sidanius of Harvard University.

Good Samaritan, Social Dominance

Batson co-authored with [Situationist Contributor] John Darley the 1973 study on the “bystander effect” – revealing processes that influence how and when we help people. His work looks at a variety of topics that bridge psychology and religion, including altruism, empathy, and compassion. Batson is leading proponent for the existence of pure or selfless altruism, in which people help out of a genuine concern for the welfare of others.

Sidanius’ work explains the acceptance of group-based social hierarchy – such as believing that men are superior to women or that Whites are superior to people of color – by both the dominant and oppressed groups. Long before others were convinced, Sidanius analyzed the inevitability and the significance of hierarchy in structuring society, social relations, and psychological functioning – pioneering the study of the widely shared cultural ideologies that provide the justification for group-based hierarchies.

Personality, Self-Insight, and Mindset

McCrae’s work on personality in aging adults led to a resurgence of personality psychology in the 1980s and the establishment of the Big Five model of personality traits that persists today. His work has shown how individual differences in personality traits effect everything from health to coping. McCrae has established new ways of measuring personality traits and has looked at the effects of personality cross-culturally. Recently, he has written provocative papers on the future of personality psychology for the 21st century, including exploring the molecular genetics of personality dispositions.

Wilson’s research examines why it is so hard for people to accurately evaluate themselves. He has shed light into the ways in which people are mistaken about themselves, whether wrong about the causes of their past actions or about their present attitudes. His book Stranger to Ourselves explored the challenges of self-insight. An Elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wilson works to ensure that public policy is informed by scientific fact.

Dweck’s work has examined how people’s mindsets shape their lives and determine their achievement. In a series of well-known studies, Dweck demonstrated how people with a “growth mindset,” who believe that certain qualities, such as intelligence, can be developed make life choices that lead to greater success than those with a “fixed mindset,” who believe that basic abilities are unchangeable. This distinction profoundly affects people’s motivation, psychological well-being, and learning, and the ideas have been extended to apply to work in diverse areas, such as education and intergroup relations.

Math and Science Intervention, Political Ideologies, Hidden bias

An intervention aimed at parents can boost children’s interest in math and science, according the study awarded this year’s Robert B. Cialdini Award for excellence in a published field study. Judith Harackiewicz of the University of Wisconsin, with colleagues Christopher Rozek, Chris Hulleman, and Janet Hyde, sent to parents of high-school students information that emphasized the importance of mathematics and science to college, career, and everyday life, and that offered tips for parents to communicate this importance to their children. Compared to a control group, children whose parents received the information took nearly a full extra semester of math and science. The paper, “Helping parents to motivate adolescents in mathematics and science: An experimental test of a utility-value intervention,” was published in Psychological Science. Honorable Mention for the Cialdini Award goes to “Signing at the beginning makes ethics salient and decreases dishonest self-reports in comparison to signing at the end,” by Lisa L. Shu and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The recipient of the Media Book Prize is Jonathan Haidt for The Righteous Mind, which takes a tour of how people bind themselves to political and religious teams and the moral narratives that accompany them. Using a range of arguments – anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary – Haidt proposes that the U.S. political left and the right emphasize different virtues and he suggests that we use that discovery to try to get along.

The Methodological Innovation Award goes to Anthony G. Greenwald of the University of Washington, who in 1998 created the Implicit Association Test (IAT) – a widely-used method for measuring attitudes, stereotypes, self-concepts, and self-esteem without relying on self-reporting. Researchers have used the IAT in fields ranging from education and health to forensics and marketing. Tens of thousands of people weekly visit the Project Implicit website, created by Greenwald and colleagues.

Recipients of the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology and the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology are Andrew J. Elliot of the University of Rochester and Nalini Ambady of Stanford, respectively. Elliot studies achievement and social motivation, particularly in educational contexts, and focuses on how approach and avoidance temperaments, motives, and goals influence psychological functioning. Ambady’s work looks at “thin slices” – showing that social, emotional, and perceptual judgments made on the basis of brief behavioral observations can be surprisingly accurate.

The remaining SPSP awards for 2013 are as follows:

  • The 2013 SPSP Award for Service on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology: Kay Deaux of City University of New York and Hazel Rose Markus of Stanford. A great mentor and supporter of diversity in the field, Deaux’s pioneering work looks at gender, identity, and immigration, reflecting her deep social consciousness. Markus has worked to create the field of cultural psychology – shifting it from the assumption that research findings in one culture represent basic processes of human nature, to the idea of linking different social and personality processes to gender, race, social class, age, and culture.
  • The 2013 SPSP Service Award for Distinguished Service to the Society: Wendi Gardner of Northwestern University and George (Al) Goethals of the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Through her roles with the Society, Gardner has played a vital role in shaping the organization’s annual conferences and also has served as a passionate advocate for graduate students. As Secretary-Treasurer of SPSP (1995-1997), Goethals shepherded the Society through lean financial times, helping it to establish a solid financial foundation.
  • The 2013 Theoretical Innovation Prize: Kurt Gray, Liane Young, and Adam Waytz for their 2012 Psychological Inquiry article entitled “Mind Perception is the Essence of Morality.” The paper proposes a simplification in the way psychologists view moral judgment.

A ceremony at the 2014 annual SPSP conference in Austin, TX (Feb. 13-15, 2014) will honor all of this year’s award recipients. Full citations are available online.

Image by Marc Sheff.

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Tony Greenwald Wins the William James Fellow Award

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 8, 2013

Anthony Greenwald by Joshua Besses

From the Washington Daily (an article about Situationist friend Tony Greenwald):

Even though a black man sits in the White House, and a gay woman legislates in the Senate, according to nearly two decades of research by a professor of psychology at the UW, Anthony Greenwald, most people are racially, ethnically, religiously, or sexually biased.

In 1995, Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji developed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and uncovered this disturbing truth.

Last week, for this contribution to the field of scientific psychology, the Association for Psychological Science (APS) announced they would present the William James Fellow Award to Greenwald at the APS’s 25th anniversary celebration.

When the test was first developed, Greenwald said he began administering the IAT on UW undergraduate students from psychology classes — and the results were shocking. The test revealed the majority of students, especially caucasians and asians, showed an “automatic white preference.”

Since then the test has been tweaked, improved, and used in contemporary instances. Greenwald analyzed election results with the IAT.

“We found that Obama suffered by being black,” Greenwald said. “He got fewer votes because of race biases.”

Greenwald explained the IAT tries to tease out hidden associations made by our unconscious. It accomplishes this by measuring the time it takes our brain to sort words and images.

Researchers can discover how closely a participant’s brain instinctively links various words with a particular set of images by measuring the average time it takes participants to sort these objects.

During the IAT, a computer flashes either a word or picture at subjects who are asked to either move the word or picture to the right or left.

The words that appear are either pleasant, like “Joy,” “Love,” and “Peace,” or unpleasant, like “Agony,” “Terrible,” and “Horrible”; depending on the social preferences researchers want to test, the pictures belong to either of two categories. In the race version of the experiment, the pictures depict either European American or African American faces.

In the first round of the race IAT, participants are asked to sort the photos of African Americans together with positive words to the right and European Americans with negative words to the left. In the second round, the test now prompts participants to group African American faces with negative words and European Americans with positive.

Participants perform the sorting that aligns with their implicit mental connections faster than the one that does not. So by measuring the time it takes participants to complete both rounds of the IAT, researchers can discover subject’s underlying mental racial biases.

Greenwald said at first even he was skeptical of the test and the consequences of its conclusions.

“It was quite a while before I was willing to say this is a measure that people have in their heads a stronger association between racial white and pleasant and racial black and pleasant,” Greenwald said.

But Greenwald cautioned an over-interpretation of the IAT.

“[The IAT] doesn’t measure prejudice or racism,” Greenwald said. “Those imply hostility and harmful behavior. But it does measure a racial preference, and we think that preference can be significant socially.”

Similarly, UW psychology professor Geoff Boynton clarified that the IAT cannot sniff out prejudiced people that harbor hatred or ill intent for minorities.

“These are just quick decisions that the brain makes based on prior information that have biases,” Boynton said.

Greenwald said this understanding of the mind goes against decades of traditional scientific wisdom. He said that 30 years ago most scientific psychologists figured human behavior was determined by explicit, conscious thought. The IAT helped to disprove this naive view of the mind.

However, the idea of a subconscious is not new. Sigmund Freud revolutionized the field of clinical psychology by breaking down the human mind into the id, ego, and super-ego. But Boynton said the way modern psychology views subliminal cognition “is not such a fluffy idea having to do with your mother or something like that.”

Rather, professor emeritus of psychology Earl Hunt explained that the contemporary view of cognition is more analogous to a man trying to ride an elephant.

“The rider is our conscious cognition, fairly slow, deliberate, considers things,” Hunt said. “The elephant is our unconscious, a very quick gut feeling that we may not even be aware of. The rider is trying to keep the elephant on task …  but the problem is the elephant is really stupid.”

Hunt said the elephant, or human unconscious, reacts to emotions or statistical associations. He said, “The genius of the IAT lies in its ability to put the rider and elephant in conflict.”

Greenwald borrowed the stroop effect from biological psychology to create this tension between the deliberate conscious and the implicit subconscious.

In a 1935 paper, American psychologist John Stroop described how it took longer for individuals to read the name of a color if the name and the color font did not match: for example, the word “red” written in blue font. This is called the stroop effect.

“What [Greenwald] did was very creative,” Hunt said. “He looked at occurrence and a logic that was developed for a completely separate field, and he realized it could be applied in the social-psychological realm. That’s creative.”

UW professor of psychology Geoffrey Loftus had more kind words to add about Greenwald’s attitude toward scientific research.

“I’ve known him for probably 30 years,” Loftus said. “He thinks a great deal about scientific methodology, statistics, and data analysis, and he’s very sophisticated in these areas. He’s extremely proficient and extremely highly regarded as both a researcher and a mentor to his graduate students.”

This hard work and scientific dedication has helped him win the William James Fellow Award.

Greenwald said he was grateful to receive the recognition but noted, “Oh, I’m too old to be excited by this.”

Related Situationist posts:

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The #1 Psychology Blog of 2012

Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 1, 2013

Top 30 Psychology Blogs of 2012

We are happy to report that Best Online Psychology Schools just published their top 30 psychology blogs of 2012, and placed The Situationist at #1.

The broad field of psychology has numerous approaches, methods, and theories–some say as many of each as there are practitioners. There are numerous high quality blogs operated by psychology professionals from every facet of the field. This list consists of thirty of the most prominent blogs on the topics of psychology and the closely related field of neuroscience. The neuroscience blogs all have a psychology bent to them, explaining the relationship between the inner workings of the human brain as understood by neuroscience and how it relates to human action and thought.

Best Pscyhology and Neuroscience Blogs

1. The Situationist is a prominent social psychology blog in which the author[s] explore human social behavior, examining such phenomena as preferences, choice, and the human will. These choices are explored most often through thought experiments that consist of various situations and the the contributing factors to the choices made in those situations.
Highlight: Why Race May Influence Us Even When We “Know” It Doesn’t

Read about the other 29 blogs on the list here.

Related Situationist posts:

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Rising Star Interviews – Dana Carney

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 29, 2013

Dana CarneyIn 2011, APS published a series of “Rising Star” interviews, including several of scholars who are Situationist Contributors or good friends of blog.  We will highlight some of those interviews in weeks ahead.  Here is the interview of Situationist friend, Dana Carney.

What does your research focus on?

I am interested in the incredible power of tiny, ordinary, nonverbal cues.

What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you?

I was drawn to this research because of how diagnostic these cues can be when trying to make inferences about others’ mental states.

Who were/are your mentors or psychological influences?

I have had so many incredible mentors and I have been influenced by so many wonderful minds — I could fill all of these pages with the names. My very first mentor was Maureen O’Sullvan. Maureen died last year. She has an incredibly special place in my heart and in my mind.

To what do you attribute your success in the science?

I do not consider myself to be successful but hard work and many hours of practice are the most powerful tools we have if we want to become good at something.

What’s your future research agenda?

I am working with my students Andy Yap and Abbie Wazlawek and my former student who is now at Kellogg, Brian Lucas, on some of the powerful ways in which ordinary, everyday, nonverbal behaviors can exert extraordinary impact on thoughts, feelings, and choice.

Any advice for even younger psychological scientists? What would you tell someone just now entering graduate school or getting their PhD?

What you study is an expression of who you are. Leading a life of science is much more akin to being an artist than anything else. It is a part of you, it comes everywhere with you, you see the world only through its lens, it pervades every aspect of who you are and how you think.

What publication you are most proud of or feel has been most important to your career?

I do not generally feel proud of my work but I like some of my papers more than I like others. A recent paper with my very close, dear colleague, Amy Cuddy and my wonderful student Andy Yap is one I like.

Carney, D. R., Cuddy, A. J., & Yap, A.J. (2010). Power posing: Brief nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance. Psychological Science, 21, 1363-1368.

Related Situationist posts:

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Rising Star Interviews – Aaron Kay

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 23, 2013

Aaron KayIn 2011, APS published a series of “Rising Star” interviews, including several of scholars who are Situationist Contributors or good friends of blog.  We will highlight some of those interviews in weeks ahead.  Here is the interview of Situationist Contributor, Aaron Kay.

What does your research focus on?

My research focuses on the relation between motivation, implicit social cognition, and broad societal issues. I have a particular interest in how basic motivations and needs – including ones that people may not be entirely aware of – manifest as specific social and societal beliefs. These include (but are not limited to) the causes and consequences of stereotyping and system justification, religious and political belief, and the attitudes people hold towards their institutions and social systems.

What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you?

I was drawn to these issues because I was (and still am) taken by how little we know about some of humankind’s most cherished and steadfastly defended belief systems. I continue working on these issues because I have now to come to realize the extent to which understanding the origins and functions of these beliefs can shed light on basic psychological processes.

Who were/are your mentors or psychological influences?

In graduate school I was very lucky to have two exceptional advisors: Lee Ross and John Jost. They are my most important mentors and their ideas are my most proximal psychological influences. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention three other programs of research that deeply influenced my thinking as a graduate student. John Bargh’s research on the automatic nature of social behavior and motivation, Melvin Lerner’s research on the Belief in a Just World, and Susan Fiske and Peter Glicke’s research on hostile and benevolent forms of sexism all strongly influenced my approach to studying the social mind.

To what do you attribute your success in the science?

Two things, really: In graduate school, I had great advisors. They made it very hard for me not to be productive and excited about my research. Afterwards, my years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo were filled with brilliant and incredibly energetic social psychologist colleagues. Richard Eibach, John Holmes, Mike Ross, Steve Spencer, Joanne Wood, and Mark Zanna provided the type of support and nurturance that a fledgling academic can only dream about. They didn’t merely drop by every once in a while to see how things were going, but became actively engaged in my research, infusing it with different perspectives and methodological approaches. And while that was going on, I was surrounded by the hardest working and smartest set of graduate students one could hope for.

What’s your future research agenda?

That’s a great question, since it is one that I’d love to know the answer to. I have recently developed a model of compensatory control aimed at explaining a wide swath of beliefs and behaviors, and I imagine I will continue to work on understanding and refining that model. Where exactly that will take me, though, is an open question. Research for me is such a collaborative endeavor that I assume my future research agenda will be dictated, at least in part, by what aspects of my research my students and collaborators are most interested in.

Any advice for even younger psychologists? What would you tell someone just now entering graduate school or getting their PhD?

Lee Ross once told me that he thinks it is important to involve yourself in something “exciting” while in graduate school — that is, an idea or approach or perspective that you feel is new and different in some way. In looking back at my experience and those of my many successful peers, I now see the truth in that advice. I am not suggesting (nor do I think Lee was suggesting) that you need to develop something new yourself, but involving yourself in a larger research program that is doing that is an invaluable experience — or at least it was for me. Many of the most successful research programs  are ones that deviate from what everyone else is doing but in a way that still keeps them relevant to what everyone else is doing. To do this, you need to both understand what is happening in the field and have a desire to break new ground. The former can be learned pretty easily, but my feeling is the latter is facilitated by getting a sense for what it is like to swim in relatively uncharted waters. So, if possible, seek that out.

What publication you are most proud of or feel has been most important to your career?

Kay, A. C., Gaucher, D., Napier, J. L., Callan, M. J., & Laurin, K. (2008). God and the government: Testing a compensatory control mechanism for the support of external systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 18-35.

This article was directly inspired by my earliest research in graduate school and now motivates much of my current research. As such, it connects, via one common mechanism, issues I used to work on to issues I am now interested in. So it feels something like a unifying paper to my young career, both temporally and thematically.

Related Situationist posts:

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2011 SPSP Award Recipients (including Co-Founders of this Blog!)

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 26, 2012

The Annual SPSP Conference is taking place in San Diego this week.

Congratulations to the 2011 SPSP Award Recipients!

The 2011 Jack Block Award

Charles Carver

This award is for career research accomplishment or distinguished career contributions in personality psychology and honors an individual who has demonstrated “analytic sophistication, theoretical depth, and wide scholarship.”
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Donald T. Campbell Award

John Dovidio

This award is for career research accomplishment or distinguished career contributions in social psychology and honors an individual who “has contributed and is continuing to contribute to the field of social psychology in significant ways.”
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Career Contribution Award

Thomas Pettigrew, Harry Triandis

New in 2011, this award honors scholars who have made “major theoretical and/or empirical contributions to social psychology and/or personality psychology or to bridging these areas.” Recipients are recognized for distinguished scholarly contributions across productive careers.
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Robert B. Cialdini Award

Ayelet Gneezy, Uri Gneezy, Leif Nelson, and Amber Brown

“Shared social responsibility: A field experiment in pay-what-you-want pricing and charitable giving.” Published in Science in 2010.

This award recognizes a publication “that best explicates social psychological phenomena principally through the use of field research methods and settings and that thereby demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to communities outside of academic social psychology.”
Endowed by FPSP

The 2011 Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality

Laura King

This award recognizes a mid-career scholar “whose work substantially adds to the body of knowledge” in personality psychology and/or brings together personality psychology and social psychology.
Endowed by FPSP

The 2011 Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology

Galen Bodenhausen

This award recognizes a mid-career scholar “whose work substantially adds to the body of knowledge” in social psychology and/or brings together personality psychology and social psychology.
Endowed by FPSP

The 2011 Media Achievement Award

David Brooks

This award honors a person, normally outside the SPSP community, who has “a sustained and distinguished record for disseminating knowledge in personality or social psychology to the general public through popular media.”
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Media Prize

[Situationist Co-Founders] Jon Hanson and Michael McCann

SPSP’s first Media Prize recipients – This prize recognizes a person, normally outside the SPSP community, providing the best piece or collection of pieces in popular media that represents the contributions of personality or social psychology to the general public in a given calendar year.
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Murray Award

Michelle Fine

This award, which is presented at the APA Convention, is for “distinguished contributions to the study of lives … in the demanding kind of inquiry pioneered by Henry A. Murray.“
Sponsored by the Society of Personology and SPSP

The 2012 SAGE Young Scholars Awards

To be announced in January

These awards support the research of junior colleagues and recognize “outstanding young researchers” representing the broad spectrum of personality and social psychology research areas.
Sponsored by FPSP with the generous support of SAGE Publications

The 2011 Award for Distinguished Service to the Society

Richard Petty, Mark Snyder

This award recognizes “distinguished service, either in the form of a particular, significant activity or cumulative contributions over time, to the Society.”
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Award for Service on Behalf of Personality & Social Psychology

Congressman Brian Baird

This award ”recognizes distinguished efforts by individuals to benefit the field of social and personality psychology,” including noteworthy efforts to support educational and research activities in the field, professional leadership, and achievements that enhance the reputation of the field.
Sponsored by SPSP

The 2011 Theoretical Innovation Prize

Mark Landau, Brian Meier and Lucas Keefer

“A metaphor-enriched social cognition.” Published in Psychological Bulletin in 2010.

This prize recognizes “the most theoretically innovative article, book chapter, or unpublished manuscript of the year.” It honors theoretical articles that are especially likely to generate the discovery of new hypotheses, new phenomena, or new ways of thinking about the discipline of social/personality psychology.
Sponsored by SPSP

Read the press release for the awards below the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hail to the (New) Chief

Posted by Adam Benforado on November 4, 2011

I was excited to learn on Thursday that my colleague and neighbor across the hall, Donald Bersoff, has been elected president of the American Psychological Association.

This is great news for the APA as an institution and for Don personally, but I also think it is a victory for all those interested in the intersection of law and psychology.

While Don holds a Ph.D. in psychology from N.Y.U. and has published numerous articles in the field, he is also a lawyer and law professor (the first to be elected APA President).  Indeed, he was once a partner in the D.C. office of Jenner & Block, where I worked prior to entering academia.  Today, he directs the Law and Psychology Program here at Drexel.

The APA is an immense organization with 150,000 member and many tough challenges ahead, but I feel confident that Don is just the leader to steer a course to a bright future where interdisciplinary research and collaborative endeavors between legal scholars/practitioners and psychologists are valued and supported.

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Harvard Law School Highlights The Situationist Blog

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 20, 2011

From Harvard Law School Website:

The Situationist blog, run by the Project on Law and Mind Science at Harvard Law School, recently received the 2011 Media Prize awarded by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, an international organization of scholars devoted to social and personality psychology.

Harvard Law School Professor Jon Hanson established the Situationist with Vermont Law School Professor Michael McCann LL.M. ’05 to share the work of the Project on Law and Mind Science, which Hanson directs.

“It is terrific to see this recognition of the wonderful work being done by Jon Hanson and others writing on this innovative, cross-disciplinary blog,” said Dean Martha Minow. “The cross-pollination between theory and practice illuminates law, the mind sciences, and the human experience with powerful implications for how we make decisions, solve problems, and design institutions.”

The project seeks to identify and understand the implications of social psychology, social cognition, and other related mind sciences for law, policymaking, and legal theory. Hanson and the PMLS team have run an annual conference since 2008 on topics such as “The Psychology of Inequality” in 2011 and “The Free Market Mindset” in 2009. Many of the speakers at the conferences are regular contributors to the blog.

In their article “The Situation: An Introduction to the Situational Character, Critical Realism, Power Economics, and Deep Capture” Hanson and Santa Clara Law Assistant Professor David Yosifon ’02 define “Situationism.”

“Situationism is premised on the social scientific insight that the naïve psychology—that is, the highly simplified, affirming, and widely held model for understanding human thinking and behavior—on which our laws and institutions are based is largely wrong. Situationists (including critical realists, behavioral realists, and related neo-realists) seek first to establish a view of the human animal that is as realistic as possible before turning to legal theory or policy. To do so, situationists rely on the insights of scientific disciplines devoted to understanding how humans make sense of their world—including social psychology, social cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and related disciplines—and the practices of institutions devoted to understanding, predicting, and influencing people’s conduct—particularly market practices.”

Read more about “Situationism” on the award-winning blog.

Hanson is editor of a collection of articles titled “Ideology, Psychology, and Law,” which is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in November.

* * *

Read more about awards and praise for Situationist Blog here.

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The Situationist Honored by SPSP

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 28, 2011

We just learned that the Society for Personality and Social
Psychology (SPSP) awarded its 2011 Media Award to The Situationist.  We are thrilled and will provide more details next week.

Posted in Awards, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

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