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The Situation of Self-Control

Posted on May 10, 2009

Meredith F. Small had a very interesting article,”Losing It: Why Self-Control Is Not Natural” in a recent issue of LiveScience.  Here are some excerpts. * * * After dinner last night, I lost my usual self-control and ate half a box of cookies. No  wonder. My self-control had been under pressure all day. I righteously […]

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Posted in Life, Marketing | 3 Comments »

Just Me and My Friend, Sony

Posted on May 3, 2009

From the University of Buffalo: Not all technology meets human needs, and some technologies provide only the illusion of having met your needs. But new research by psychologists at the University at Buffalo and Miami University, Ohio, indicates that illusionary relationships with the characters and personalities on favorite TV shows can provide people with feelings […]

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Posted in Entertainment, Life | 1 Comment »

Virtual Worlds, Learning, and Virtual Milgram

Posted on April 28, 2009

In a post in February, BoingBoing writer Cory Doctorow told a story about a parent who incentivizes their son’s video gaming by having the teenager adhere to the Geneva Conventions while playing the game Call of Duty. I asked Evan to google the Geneva Convention. Then he had to read it and then we had […]

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Posted in Education, Entertainment, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Situationism in the News

Posted on March 6, 2009

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of the Situationist news items of February 2009. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.) * * * From The Economist: “The kindness of crowds” “According to a much-reported survey carried out in 2002, Britain then had 4.3m closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras—one for every […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Situationism in the Blogosphere – April 2008 (Part I)

Posted on May 5, 2008

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during April. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.) * * * From Research Digest: “The price of thinking ‘It would have been worse under Saddam’“ “After news broke that US soldiers had mistreated their prisoners at the […]

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Posted in Blogroll | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Infection, Disease Dynamics, and Human Behavior

Posted on August 30, 2007

“Some acted selflessly … though that meant they risked infection themselves. Others fled infected cities in an attempt to save themselves. And some who were sick made it their mission to deliberately infect others.” BBC News. Ebola? Influenza? The movie “28 Days Later?” . . . or “Corrupted Blood” Disease in World of Warcraft? In […]

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Posted in Entertainment, Social Psychology | 2 Comments »

The Reality of Fist Fights

Posted on July 16, 2007

One of the more popular films of the last decade is Fight Club, which stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton and revolves around an underground fighting network for regular guys. The film’s fights, many of which are depicted as brutal and bloodied, are thought to reflect a way for otherwise disaffected men to feel meaningful–to […]

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Posted in Entertainment, Life | 13 Comments »

The Situation of First-Person Shooters

Posted on April 30, 2007

We have written about possible connections between playing violent videogames and violent acts (“The Intersection between Tort Law and Social Psychology in Violent Videogames” and “Suing the Suer: Video Game Company Sues Jack Thompson“). In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting, Amanda Schaffer of Slate examines whether Cho Seung-Hui’s apparent playing of first-person shooters […]

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Posted in Entertainment, Life | 6 Comments »

The Psychological Situation of Markets

Posted on July 8, 2013

From Caltec News (by Marcus Woo): When it comes to economics versus psychology, score one for psychology. Economists argue that markets usually reflect rational behavior—that is, the dominant players in a market, such as the hedge-fund managers who make billions of dollars’ worth of trades, almost always make well-informed and objective decisions. Psychologists, on the […]

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Posted in Behavioral Economics, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Religious Situation of Compassion and Generosity

Posted on May 3, 2012

From UC Berkeley: “Love thy neighbor” is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people. In three experiments, social scientists found that compassion consistently drove less religious […]

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Posted in Abstracts, Altruism, Distribution, Ideology, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Social Justice

Posted on February 17, 2012

This book review appeared earlier this week in the American Scientist: THE FAIR SOCIETY: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice. Peter Corning. xiv + 237 pp. University of Chicago Press, 2011. $27.50. After decades of exclusion from meaningful social and political discourse, themes of social justice are making a serious […]

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Posted in Altruism, Book, Distribution, Evolutionary Psychology, Ideology, Morality, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

The Nerdy, Gendered Situation of Computer Science

Posted on February 1, 2010

From University of Washington News (by Joel Schwarz): * * * In real estate, it’s location, location, location. And when it comes to why girls and women shy away from careers in computer science, a key reason is environment, environment, environment. The stereotype of computer scientists as nerds who stay up all night coding and […]

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

Steven Pinker Speaks at Harvard Law School

Posted on December 17, 2009

From HLS in Focus (describing the new student group working with the Project on Law and Mind Sciences (PLMS) at Harvard Law School and the fascinating talk that Stephen Pinker recently gave there). * * * “SALMS” is a recently formed group whose acronym stands for: Student Association for Law and Mind Sciences. They are […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Conflict, Events, History, Life | 1 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 »

Big Papi Magic

Posted on April 15, 2008

Last June, we wrote about Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and how attributional biases may have explained his increased acrimony toward umpires. Back then, Ortiz was slightly off his normal torrid pace at the plate. One of the top three or four hitters in baseball had morphed into a player about 95% as good […]

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Posted in Situationist Sports, Video | 6 Comments »

The Situation of a Baseball Pitch

Posted on April 11, 2008

Jack Curry wrote a nice piece in the New York Times about Johan Santana’s pitching prowess, titled “Santana’s Changeup: Hitters Never See It Coming.” We’ve excerpted portions of the article below and added a video of Santana’s pitching from behind the plate. * * * Johan Santana carried a baseball with him every day, for […]

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Posted in Situationist Sports, Uncategorized, Video | 4 Comments »

The Situation of Gambling

Posted on March 15, 2008

Yesterday’s Here and Now (on NPR) included a fascinating (15-minute) interview of journalist Martha Frankel, who has just published her funny but disturbing autobiography “Hats and Eyeglasses.” From the NPR abstract: “Though she grew up around gambling, Martha Frankel, was largely immune from its lure, until she was in her mid-forties and discovered poker. When […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Life | 4 Comments »

Being Smart About “Dumb Blonde” Jokes

Posted on November 5, 2007

Jon Hanson recently examined the overlooked effects of sexualized stereotypes in televised advertisements about women, including ads characterized as quasi-public service announcements. We now bring news of a new study by Thomas E. Ford of Western Carolina University which finds that jokes about blonde’s intelligence and women drivers lead to hostile feelings and discrimination against […]

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Posted in Life, Public Policy | 3 Comments »

The Situation of College Debt – Part III

Posted on October 1, 2007

Business Week recently published an excellent collection of articles (by Jessica Silver-Greenberg) examining the increasing use of credit cards by college students. The series sheds light on some of the situational sources of the escalating debt loads of college graduates, one component of a wider debt and and bankruptcy epidemic. The Situationist is offering a […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Deep Capture, Marketing | 1 Comment »

Cheating Doesn’t Pay . . . So Why So Much of it?

Posted on September 13, 2007

Wait a minute — it’s not supposed to be like this. Why would Bill Belichick condone his coaching staff videotaping his opponents’ signals? Doing so is, of course, against the rules. Why would the coach, who some call “the only certifiable genius in the [NFL] coaching ranks,” go so far as to “insanely risk his […]

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Posted in Choice Myth, Situationist Sports | 5 Comments »