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Shocking for Money

Posted on April 8, 2011

From Science News: When faced with a thorny moral dilemma, what people say they would do and what people actually do are two very different things, a new study finds. In a hypothetical scenario, most people said they would never subject another person to a painful electric shock, just to make a little bit of […]

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Posted in Classic Experiments, Neuroeconomics, Neuroscience, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Power of the Situation

Posted on March 28, 2011

From Discovering Psychology: This program explores psychologists’ attempts to understand human behavior within its broader social context. It also examines how beliefs and behavior can be influenced and manipulated by other people and subtle situational forces. Related Situationist posts: “Video on the Original Milgram Experiment,” “The Situation of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiments,” “Milgram Replicated on French TV – […]

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Posted in Classic Experiments, Morality, Social Psychology, Video | 3 Comments »

Situationism in the Blogosphere – April, Part I

Posted on May 19, 2010

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during April 2010 (they are listed in alphabetical order by source). * * * From Big Think: “New Study: Insurers Take Both Sides in the War on Obesity” “The other day I pointed out the conflicting motives of corporations […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Blogroll | Leave a Comment »

The Positive Situation of Crowds

Posted on March 8, 2009

The Economist has an interesting piece on the psychology of crowds.  We excerpt the piece below. * * * One researcher who is interested in this approach is Mark Levine, a social psychologist at Lancaster University in Britain who studies crowds. Crowds have a bad press. They have been blamed for antisocial behaviour through mechanisms […]

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Posted in Life | 2 Comments »

Situationism in the News

Posted on January 11, 2009

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of the Situationist news items that we did not already devote individual posts to from late 2008. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.) * * * From MSNBC: “Julia Roberts was born with a beautiful smile” “From sneers to full-blown smiles, our facial […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Life, Neuroscience, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Mispredicting Our Reactions to Racism

Posted on January 9, 2009

For more evidence of how of the power of situation and the illusion of disposition, read the following mashup of articles from CNN, Canadian Press, and Associated Press. * * * It’s one thing to hear reports of racial slurs being hurled at individuals or to see such epithets in literature or as graffiti on […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Choice Myth, Illusions, Implicit Associations, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Disobedience at 150 volts

Posted on December 26, 2008

For our many readers interested in the Milgram obedience experiments, Dominic J. Packer published a valuable paper, “Identifying Systematic Disobedience in Milgram’s Obedience Experiments: A Meta-Analytic Review” (3 Perspectives on Psychol. Sci. 3-1 (2008)).  Here’s the abstract. * * * A meta-analysis of data from eight of Milgram’s obedience experiments reveals previously undocumented systematicity in […]

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Posted in Classic Experiments, Social Psychology | 3 Comments »

A Shocking Situation

Posted on December 22, 2008

Lisa M. Krieger recently published a nice summary of Jerry Burger’s replications of Milgram’s obedience experiment.  Her article in the San Jose Mercury News is titled “Shocking Revelation: Santa Clara University Professor Mirrors Famous Torture Studay.”  Here are some excerpts. * * * Replicating one of the most controversial behavioral experiments in history, a Santa […]

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Posted in Classic Experiments, Social Psychology, Video | 1 Comment »

Jonestown (The Situation of Evil) Revisited

Posted on November 17, 2008

With the 30th Anniversary of the Jonestown Mass Suicide upon us, now is a good time to republish the three-part Situationist series from 2007 on the “Situational Sources of Evil” — published also in the January/February 2007 edition of the Yale Alumni Magazine and based my  book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn […]

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

The Situationist Overwhelmed with Visitors, Return Later if Necessary

Posted on September 15, 2008

Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini have a new book, titled “Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.”  As you might have guessed, it makes a compelling case for itself.  Here’s an excerpt. * * * How can inconveniencing your audience increase your persuasiveness? Colleen Szot is one of the […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Book, Choice Myth, Classic Experiments, Marketing, Social Psychology | 2 Comments »

The Situation of John Yoo and the Torture Memos

Posted on May 13, 2008

Situationist friend Andrew Perlman recently published a terrific editorial in The National Law Journal on the situation of John Yoo, “The ‘Torture Memos’: Lessons for all of us.” Here are a few excerpts. * * * It is easy to believe that John Yoo wrote his widely discredited “torture memos” because he holds radical views […]

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Posted in Abstracts, History, Law, Morality, Politics, Social Psychology, Uncategorized, Video | 1 Comment »

The Situation of Soldiers

Posted on March 18, 2008

NPR’s All Things Considered has a 3-minute audio report on an event (sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War) in which veterans told of their experiences in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. One 19-year-old soldier is quoted in the report, explaining, much as Phil Zimbardo or Stanley Milgram might, the mechanisms of obedience: “I […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Conflict | 1 Comment »

Deep Capture – Part IX

Posted on March 11, 2008

This is the ninth part of a series on what Situationist Contributor David Yosifon and I call “deep capture.” The most basic prediction of the “deep capture” hypothesis is that there will be a competition over the situation (including the way we think) to influence the behavior of individuals and institutions and that those individuals, […]

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Posted in Deep Capture, Video | 2 Comments »

Banaji & Greenwald on Edge – Part I

Posted on March 10, 2008

There is a great video interview of Tony Greewald and Situationist contributor Mahzarin Banaji on Edge. We’ll post parts of the transcript in several bite-sized installments. * * * ANTHONY GREENWALD: In 1900, mathematician David Hilbert made a list of 23 recognized questions that the field of mathematics should regard as important unanswered questions and, […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Social Psychology | 4 Comments »

Situationism in the Blogosphere – February ’08

Posted on March 5, 2008

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during February. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.) * * * From Cognitive Daily: “The anatomy of an illusion — and what it tells us about the visual system” “Take a look at this amazing illusion created […]

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Posted in Blogroll, Video | Leave a Comment »

Journalists as Social Psychologists & Social Psychologists as Entertainers

Posted on February 25, 2008

Daniel Weiss has a fantastic essay, titled “What Would You Do?: The Journalism that Tweaks Reality, then Reports What Happens,” in a recent edition of the Columbia Journalism Review. His essay surveys a broad range of journalistic experiments—ranging from the sensationalistic to the profound, some executed in collaboration with social psychologists and some by journalists […]

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Posted in Entertainment, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Um, I don’t make misteaks . . .

Posted on September 19, 2007

The Situationist Staff is happy to recommend a terrific new book, “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me).” The book’s authors, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson are both social psychologists — indeed, Elliot Aronson is widely regarded as one of the most influential social psychologist of the Twentieth Century. We have excerpted a small portion […]

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Posted in Book, Choice Myth, Social Psychology | 3 Comments »

“Situation” Trumps “Disposition” – Part I

Posted on August 7, 2007

A number of social psychologists recently published the following critical response to Situationist Contributor Phil Zimbardo’s latest book, The Lucifer Effect: We are concerned by the message that has been conveyed to the general public regarding the power of the situation to “trump individual dispositions” (“The Banality of Evil,” Observer, April 2007). In contrast to […]

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Posted in Legal Theory, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Applied Quirkology

Posted on May 12, 2007

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, and author of a new book “Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives,” has a guest article in New Scientist on “quirkology,” which he defines as “the use of scientific methods to study quirky human behaviour, or quirky methods to probe weightier topics.” Wiseman’s […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Book, Choice Myth, Life, Social Psychology, Video | 1 Comment »

Why Do Lawyers Acquiesce In Their Clients’ Misconduct? – Part II

Posted on April 2, 2007

In my last posting, Part I of this series, I left off asserting that there are enormous psychological pressures for lawyers, in particular, “in-house” or “inside” lawyers (lawyers employed by corporations) to acquiesce in their clients’ misconduct.  These psychological pressures arise from the multiple roles that in-house lawyers play – as mere employees (subject to […]

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Posted in Law, Social Psychology | 4 Comments »