The Situationist

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

The Situation of Money-Based Happiness

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 12, 2012

An excerpt from a recent, terrific New York Times piece by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton:

The notion that money can’t buy happiness has been around a long time — even before yoga came into vogue. But it turns out there is a measurable connection between income and happiness; not surprisingly, people with a comfortable living standard are happier than people living in poverty.

The catch is that additional income doesn’t buy us any additional happiness on a typical day once we reach that comfortable standard. The magic number that defines this “comfortable standard” varies across individuals and countries, but in the United States, it seems to fall somewhere around $75,000. Using Gallup data collected from almost half a million Americans, researchers at Princeton found that higher household incomes were associated with better moods on a daily basis — but the beneficial effects of money tapered off entirely after the $75,000 mark.

Why, then, do so many of us bother to work so hard long after we have reached an income level sufficient to make most of us happy? One reason is that our ideas about the relationship between money and happiness are misguided. In research we conducted with a national sample of Americans, people thought that their life satisfaction would double if they made $55,000 instead of $25,000: more than twice as much money, twice as much happiness. But our data showed that people who earned $55,000 were just 9 percent more satisfied than those making $25,000. Nine percent beats zero percent, but it’s still kind of a letdown when you were expecting a 100 percent return.

Interestingly, and usefully, it turns out that what we do with our money plays a far more important role than how much money we make. Imagine three people each win $1 million in the lottery. Suppose one person attempts to buy every single thing he has ever wanted; one puts it all in the bank and uses the money only sparingly, for special occasions; and one gives it all to charity. At the end of the year, they all would report an additional $1 million of income. Many of us would follow the first person’s strategy, but the latter two winners are likely to get the bigger happiness bang for their buck.

We usually think of having more money as allowing us to buy more and more of the stuff we like for ourselves, from bigger houses to fancier cars to better wine to more finely pixilated televisions. But these typical spending tendencies — buying more, and buying for ourselves — are ineffective at turning money into happiness. A decade of research has demonstrated that if you insist on spending money on yourself, you should shift from buying stuff (TVs and cars) to experiences (trips and special evenings out). Our own recent research shows that in addition to buying more experiences, you’re better served in many cases by simply buying less — and buying for others.

Read the entire article, including their discussion of value of “underindulgence.”

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending (Simon & Schuster), co-authored by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, is due out in the spring of 2013!

Pre-order it on Amazon here.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Altruism, Book, Deep Capture, Distribution, Emotions, Illusions, Life, Positive Psychology, Video | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Face Blindness

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 8, 2012

From CBS News:

Imagine you couldn’t recognize people’s faces, and even your own family looked unfamiliar. Lesley Stahl reports on face blindness, a puzzling neurological disorder.

From CBS News:

This week on “60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl reports on people who are “face blind.” It’s a mysterious and sad condition that keeps sufferers from recognizing or identifying faces — even the faces of close family members, children, or spouses. Many “face blind” people don’t even know they have it.

If you suspect you might be “face blind,” in the above video, you’ll find a test that may provide an answer. We show you a series of pictures of famous people and ask you to figure out who they are.

If you have trouble identifying the faces in our test, we suggest that you check out www.faceblind.org/facetests/ where you can learn about face blindness and take other tests created by Professor Brad Duchaine and his colleagues at Dartmouth College.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Evolutionary Psychology, Illusions, Neuroscience, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock 2011

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 3, 2012

In 2011, a conference honoring Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.  Videos of the talks are available online here.

Speakers include Dan Gilbert, Susan Fiske, Tim Wilson, Jon Haidt, Henk Aarts, Nick Epley, Bill Swann, Todd Heatherton, Thalia Wheatley, Ap Dijksterhuis, Jon Krosnick, Jerry Clore, Bill Crano, Robin Vallacher, Jamie Pennebaker, Jonathan Schooler and Dan Wegner.

The talks are brief (roughly 15 minutes each) and are well worth watching.  Here’s a sample by Situationist friend Dan Gilbert and Situationist Contributors Susan Fiske and Timothy Wilson.

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Susan Fiske — Varieties of Dehumanization

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 29, 2012

From : Situationist Contributor, Susan Fiske recently spoke at the UCLA Psychology Diversity Science Initiative Lecture Series.

Abstract: Americans are becoming ever more aware of our huge social-class divides, for example in income inequality. Even outside socio-economic status, other forms of status divide us (Fiske, 2011). Status-comparison compels people, even as it stresses, depresses, and divides us. Comparison is only natural, but the collateral damage reveals envy upward and scorn downward, which arguably poison people and their relationships. Based on one of the Stereotype Content Model’s two primary dimensions, status/competence, several experiments-using questionnaire, psychometric, response-time, electro-myographic, and neuroimaging data-illustrate the dynamics of envy up and scorn down. All is not lost, however, as other experiments show how to mitigate the effects of envy and scorn.

Initial studies suggest the importance of status, as people value other people by their apparent social status (Cikara, Farnsworth, Harris, & Fiske, 2010). Other data show how scorn down minimizes thought about another’s mind; contempt deactivates mentalizing processes (Harris & Fiske, 2006). Turning to envy up, other studies demonstrate that Schadenfreude (malicious joy) targets envied outgroups (Cikara & Fiske, in press-a). However, counter-stereotypic information, empathy, and outcome dependency can mitigate both scorn and envy (Ames & Fiske, under review; Cikara & Fiske, in press-b; Harris & Fiske, 2007).

Related Situationist posts:

 

Posted in Conflict, Emotions, Ideology, Morality, Situationist Contributors, Video | Leave a Comment »

Obama Emphasizes Situation: Romney Emphasizes Disposition

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 26, 2012

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Posted in Ideology, Politics, Video | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

BBC Replicates Bargh’s Famous Priming Study

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 23, 2012

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Embodied Cognition, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Kristina Olson on the Psychology of Inequality

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 15, 2012

At the Fifth Project on Law and Mind Sciences Conference,“Young Children’s Understanding of Social Inequality” (Harvard, 2011) , Kristina Olson made a fascinating presentation, titled “Stress and Reslience: Pathways to Social Disparities in Health.”  The video of her presentation is above.  Here is a short description:

Dr. Olson discusses recent research indicating that even young children (aged 3-5 years), have an understanding of social inequality. In her lab and others, researchers are finding astounding evidence that children routinely notice social inequality, they favor individuals and groups who are high in social status, and they often behave in ways that perpetuate inequalities between individuals and groups. Olson describes these results, their implications, and will describe other behaviors children engage in that might offset some of these biases to uphold or perpetuate the status quo.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Distribution, Ideology, Social Psychology, Video | 2 Comments »

Pavlov on the Situation of Salivation

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 8, 2012

BBC’s recreation.

A sample of related Situationist posts:

Posted in Classic Experiments, Video | Leave a Comment »

The Interior Situation of Belief in God

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 6, 2012

From BigThink:

Our Lady of Lourdes appears 18 times to a miller’s daughter collecting firewood in a small market town in France. A young woman leads an army through critical strategic victories in the 100 Years’ War, claiming to be guided by divine insight. In the very first hours of the 20th century, a student asks God to fill her with the holy spirit and begins to speak in tongues.

Are these incidents case studies in undiagnosed mental illness, spiritual transcendence, or something nebulously in between?

It’s an interesting and elusive question for neuroscientists, with big implications on our understanding of consciousness. As the Nobel-prize winning neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel has said, reductionism — the idea that a system is nothing more than the interactions between its parts — is an extremely successful theory of biology, but as a “theory of everything,” it fails to provide us with a sufficient explanation of a few basic, fundamental elements that shape human perception.

Particularly, religion. Why do we care whether or not God exists? And why do so many people believe? A new generation of neuroscientists is addressing those questions directly, with the ambitious goal of measuring what happens to the human brain during spiritual experiences. Dr. Andrew Newberg is the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine and a pioneer in the field of neurotheology. Newberg doesn’t identify with a particular religious group, but he’s fascinated by the profound significance and persistence of human faith throughout history.

Watch the interiew of Dr. Andrew Newberg, a pioneer in the field of neurotheology, here.

Related Situationist posts:

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

Rebecca Onie on the Situation of Health (and Health Care)

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 22, 2012

From

Rebecca Onie asks audacious questions: What if waiting rooms were a place to improve daily health care? What if doctors could prescribe food, housing and heat in the winter? At TEDMED she describes Health Leads, an organization that does just that — and does it by building a volunteer base as elite and dedicated as a college sports team.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Distribution, Education, Law, Life, Morality, Video | Leave a Comment »

Uncovering the Interior Situation

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 18, 2012

From :

Every aspect of our mental lives plays out in two versions: one conscious, which we are constantly aware of, and the other unconscious, which remains hidden from us. Over the past two decades researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the unconscious, or subliminal, workings of the mind. This explosion of research has led to a sea change in our understanding of how the mind affects the way we live. As a result, scientists are becoming increasingly convinced that how we experience the world–our perception, behavior, memory, and social judgment–is largely driven by the mind’s subliminal processes and not by the conscious ones, as we have long believed.

A small sample of related Situationist posts:

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

The Situation of Inequality

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 9, 2012

From  :

Talk by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett co-authors of “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger” recorded January 8, 2010 at Hogness Auditorium, University of Washington, Seattle.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Distribution, Life, Politics, Video | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Malcolm Gladwell on the Situation of Equality Discourse

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 5, 2012

Malcolm Gladwell discusses America’s dramatically changing notions of wealth and income inequality since the mid-20th century. Gladwell notes that top-earning Americans faced a 91% income tax rate during most of the 1950s.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Distribution, Ideology, Politics, Video | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sapna Cheryan on Stereotypes as Gatekeepers

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 29, 2012

on Apr 27, 2010 Stereotypes as Gatekeepers –

Sapna Cheryans research broadly examines how cultural stereotypes impact peoples choices and behaviors. She is particularly interested in the role that stereotypes play in determining peoples sense of belonging to important social groups.

In this talk, she asks why do women consider a future in computer science to a lesser extent than men? Might this be because the powerful image of the male computer geek makes women feel like they do not belong in the field?

A sample of related Situationist posts:

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

Laura Kubzansky on Stress and Reslience

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 22, 2012

At the Fifth Project on Law and Mind Sciences Conference,“The Psychology of Inequality” (Harvard, 2011) , Laura Kubzansky made a fascinating presentation, titled “Stress and Reslience: Pathways to Social Disparities in Health.”  The video of her presentation is above.  Here is a short description:

This presentation discusses stress and resilience as important mechanisms by which social disparities influence health. It considers how being stressed or resilient is shaped by social environment, and whether these processes influence health.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Distribution, Social Psychology, Video | 3 Comments »

Ichiro Kawachi on Income Inequality and Population Health

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 20, 2012

At the Fifth Project on Law and Mind Sciences Conference,“The Psychology of Inequality” (Harvard, 2011) , Laura Kubzansky made a fascinating presentation, titled “Stress and Reslience: Pathways to Social Disparities in Health.”  The video of her presentation is above.  Here is a short description:

This presentation discusses stress and resilience as important mechanisms by which social disparities influence health. It considers how being stressed or resilient is shaped by social environment, and whether these processes influence health.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Distribution, Video | 2 Comments »

Elizabeth Loftus on False Memories

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 15, 2012

From Beyond Belief Conference in 2006 (includes discussion of the role of litigation in altering people’s memories):

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Illusions, Social Psychology, Video | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Emotion

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 27, 2012

From by :

Robert Levenson, UC Berkeley Department of Psychology, explores the changes in emotion that occur with age. Much of his research focuses on the nature of human emotion, in terms of its physiological manifestations, variations in emotion associated with age, gender, culture, and pathology, and the role emotion plays in interpersonal interactions.

A sample of related Situationist posts:

Posted in Embodied Cognition, Emotions, Video | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on The Situation of Emotion

Dan Rather Reports on the Brain’s Plasticity

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 20, 2012

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The Situation of Good Ideas

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 18, 2012

From

One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from?

With Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson pairs the insight of his bestselling Everything Bad Is Good for You and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map and The Invention of Air to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.

Beginning with Charles Darwin’s first encounter with the teeming ecosystem of the coral reef and drawing connections to the intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities and to the instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? His answers are never less than revelatory, convincing, and inspiring as Johnson identifies the seven key principles to the genesis of such ideas, and traces them across time and disciplines.

Most exhilarating is Johnson’s conclusion that with today’s tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it. Where Good Ideas Come From is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how to come up with tomorrow’s great ideas.

Sample of related Situationist posts:

Posted in Life, Positive Psychology, Video | Tagged: , | Comments Off on The Situation of Good Ideas

 
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