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Tierney’s Skepticism at the New York Times

Posted on November 19, 2008

Recently, John Tierney who writes a Science column in the New York Times has shown great skepticism about the concept of implicit bias, how it might be measured (through the Implicit Association Test), and whether it predicts real-world behavior. See, e.g.,  Findings column (Nov. 17, 2008).    I write to make provide praise, critique, and cultural […]

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Posted in Implicit Associations, Law, Naive Cynicism, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

Some Situational Sources and Consequences of Diversity

Posted on January 13, 2008

Claudia Dreifus has an interesting interview (in last week’s New York Times) with Scott Page. Page is a University of Michigan professor of complex systems, political science, and economics, and author of the new book, “The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies.” Here are a few excerpts from […]

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Posted in Education, Public Policy | 3 Comments »

The Situation of I.Q.

Posted on January 4, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell has a smart article in this month’s New Yorker, “None of the Above: What I.Q. doesn’t tell you about race.” The lesson, it seems, is that intelligence reflects situational differences, not stable dispositional differences across across racial and ethnic groups or national borders. * * * James Flynn, a social scientist at the […]

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Posted in Education, Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Stereotype Threat and Performance

Posted on December 20, 2007

David Dobbs of Scientific American links to a piece by S. Alexander Haslam, Jessica Salvatore, and Thomas Kessler of the University of Exeter entitled “How Stereotypes Shape Performance.” They discuss new research on stereotype threat, a topic that we have examined on multiple occasions and refers the (often self-fulfilling) fear that one’s behavior or performance […]

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Posted in Education, Situationist Sports, Social Psychology | 3 Comments »

The Gendered Situation of Science & Math

Posted on December 15, 2007

In the wake of President Lawrence Summers’s remarks suggesting that the gender gap in math, science, and engineering may reflect innate abilities, social scientists from many fields have taken to researching and writing about the sources of that gap. (Summers’s comments and and some of the resultant research are briefly discussed here.) This month’s Scientific […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Education, Implicit Associations, Life, Social Psychology | 2 Comments »

Brainicize: The Situational Malleability of our Brains

Posted on August 22, 2007

Thought you couldn’t teach old brains new tricks? Think again. Sunday’s New York Times included a thought-provoking and exercise-promoting article by Gretchen Reynolds entitled “Lobes of Steel.” We have excerpted relevant portions of that article below. * * * The Morris water maze is the rodent equivalent of an I.Q. test: mice are placed in […]

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Posted in Life, Situationist Sports | 2 Comments »

Your Group Is Bad at Math: Quick, What’s 748,659 – 7,298?

Posted on May 25, 2007

Previous Situationist Posts have discussed some of the implications of stereotype threat, which loosely can be thought of as the (often self-fulfilling) fear that one’s behavior or performance will confirm an existing stereotype associated with one’s identity groups. For examples, see “Race Attributions and Georgetown University Basketball” and “Don W-Ho?.” Other Situationist posts, including “Women’s […]

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Posted in Education, Social Psychology | 3 Comments »


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