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From the Editors: On the Current State of Science Journalism

From the Editors: On the Current State of Science Journalism

As we move through the 21st century, psychological science is at a crossroads. We are maturing as a field, albeit with some growing pains. The newest groundbreaking discoveries from cognitive, behavioral, and social scientists impress the academic community, and continue to prove the worth of studying the human mind. At the same time, our “food fights” about proper methodology and publishing norms (among other topics) pave the way for innovations that may end up being... / more

What is c Factor, and Where Can I Get It?

What is c Factor, and Where Can I Get It?

Meredith just landed her first job at a run-of-the-mill industrial design firm. As the newest member of an important project team, she began as an “average” member of the group. The team was reasonably strong; they met their deadlines for the most part, but there was definitely room for improvement. After some time on the team, her buy-in for the project began to build. With this growing enthusiasm came a desire to be a more noticeable... / more

Refugees work placement: Call for collaboration

Refugees work placement: Call for collaboration

In the Netherlands only, more than 25.000 refugees arrived this year, and the numbers are rapidly increasing. One of the biggest challenges for refugees is to acclimatize, adapt, and find jobs in a new country. As a group of behavioral change experts, we want to help them, but we need some expert collaborators. This is a call for collaboration with a programmer, translator, and refugee organizations. / more

Empathy and prejudice after attacks in Paris and Beirut

Empathy and prejudice after attacks in Paris and Beirut

In this blog, I will try to explain why we showed more empathy for victims in Paris than in Beirut, and how feelings of fear after such a terrorist attack can lead to prejudice against out-groups, especially against Muslims. / more

Can you nonbelieve it: What happens when you do not believe in your memories?

Can you nonbelieve it: What happens when you do not believe in your memories?

Human memory is susceptible to errors and distortions. This may sound cliché (Loftus, 2005), but the practical meaning of this is illustrated by, for example, the devastating effects of mistaken eyewitness identifications (Sagana, Sauerland, & Merckelbach, 2012), the far-reaching consequences of innocents who falsely confess to crimes they never committed (Kassin & Gudjonsson, 2004), and the tragedy of adults who erroneously come to believe that they recovered very early memories of abuse experiences (Loftus, 1993). As for these alleged ... / more

Seeing and Believing: Common Courtroom Myths in Eyewitness Memory

Seeing and Believing: Common Courtroom Myths in Eyewitness Memory

When it comes to understanding eyewitness memory, people’s commonsense views are sometimes consistent with contemporary scientific knowledge – but sometimes they are dangerously adrift. This article aims to unravel some of the common myths that appear in the courts, in the news, and in the awareness of the public. On a mid-summer evening in 1982, in a small town in the southern U.S., 24-year-old Susan1 was walking home, when a man grabbed her, threatened her with a gun, forced her... / more

Finding Your Way With Your Baby: The Emotional Life of Parents and Babies

Finding Your Way With Your Baby: The Emotional Life of Parents and Babies

I recently visited my friends to see their newborn baby boy. When I arrived, the baby was just fed, clean and seemed happy. Nevertheless, after a while it started wiggling and finally crying, seemingly with no reason at all. My friend tried to comfort his son, but when all methods failed, he gave up and passed the little one to his wife, mumbling “Well, baby whisperer, maybe you know what it is that he wants.” As amusing as it was... / more

Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice.

Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice.

Being perceived as victim of an assault or as a drunk – does it matter to physicians when they treat you? Is it common to lie on purpose to a suspect and invent false evidence to get a confession? Can a suggestive interview create false memories in a witness without her noticing? Is a person more likely to get parole after the lunch break? “Well, maybe, but it should not!” - I believe you agree with me... / more

Why do we so often ignore the influence of situations on behavior?

Why do we so often ignore the influence of situations on behavior?

Situations matter; they have an effect on us all, great or small. We are told we should walk a mile in someone elses shoes, to look at it from my point of view, and would never dream of swearing in the principals office. So why are we so quick to judge others’ behavior as if the situations they find themselves in are irrelevant? Imagine you are walking... / more

Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy: Pathways to Resolution

Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy: Pathways to Resolution

A therapist working within the framework of psychodynamic psychotherapy has to concentrate not only on the patient’s story, but also needs to be aware of the ongoing transference and countertransference dynamic, projective identifications and other defense mechanisms. It makes the therapy process quite challenging for the psychotherapist. All these challenges multiply in a group setting, where the therapist has to be aware of the interactions between the clients and him or herself, but also between the clients. Not all... / more

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