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How the Body Knows its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel

How the Body Knows its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel

Can Botox be used to treat depression? Can adopting a “power pose” make you feel more confident? Does carrying a grocery basket versus pushing a cart alter purchasing behavior? In How the Body Knows its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel, Dr. Sian Beilock (also the author of Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When... / more

The cross-cultural psychology of Internet privacy concern

The cross-cultural psychology of Internet privacy concern

In a recent cross-cultural study of Facebook users in Japan and the US, I show that Japanese SNS users are more concerned about Internet privacy than American SNS users. And it turns out that because Americans have higher general trust, they less likely to believe that a stranger would take advantage of their private information, should it be leaked online. / more

How to win (and lose) friendships across cultures: Why relational mobility matters

How to win (and lose) friendships across cultures: Why relational mobility matters

Making and keeping friends: Strategy matters

Friendships can be tough work. Whether it’s making them or maintaining them, friendships usually require effort. If you’re from a Western country, this likely involves trusting and relying on others, and confidently communicating your strengths and your struggles. Let’s call these your strategies for relational success: Let people know what sort of friend you are, and you’ll increase your chances of finding and keeping a desirable friend. For a moment,... / more

Always on the Move: How Residential Mobility Impacts Our Well-Being

Always on the Move: How Residential Mobility Impacts Our Well-Being

John had just received a job offer from a company located in a big city. He was very excited about it and couldn’t wait to move there. He had been hearing a lot of vivid descriptions about the interesting life experiences he could have in the new city from his future colleagues, who have lived there for a couple of years. They told John that people in this big city are friendly, especially to the newcomers. Even...

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Sex versus Survival: The Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein

Sex versus Survival: The Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein

The following review incorporates answers from Dr. John Launer, from an interview I conducted with him over email. I have included them within my review where appropriate, as I felt they added a new dimension to my own subjective thoughts.    To summarize, "Sex versus Survival: The Life and Ideas of SABINA SPIELREIN" is the biography of Sabina Spielrein, a scientist at the turn of the 20th century whose life and ideas... / more

To affinity and beyond! How our preference to be among similar people interacts with our social ecology

To affinity and beyond! How our preference to be among similar people interacts with our social ecology

From a socio-ecological perspective, we discuss the interactions between our social environment and our preferences in relationships. We discuss research showing that not only does our intrinsic desire for similarity in others create different outcomes depending on the opportunities we have to choose the people we form relationships with, but our preferences also contribute to socioeconomic inequality and societal fragmentation. / more

The Power of Others

The Power of Others

The majority of people perceive themselves as individual thinkers who make their own decisions and formulate their personal opinions independent of others. Could this perception be far from the truth?                                                                                                Are most of our decisions predetermined by others? Is free choice an illusion created... / more

A junior researcher's practical take on the why and how of open science.

A junior researcher's practical take on the why and how of open science.

If you are a social psychologist, it’s probably old news to you that the field is in the midst of a revolution.  As a fifth-year grad student, this is all I have ever known of the field—news of Hauser’s questionable coding broke my first week of graduate school, and Bem’s parapsychology paper and Diederik Stapel followed shortly after. Since then, nearly every conference, Twitterfeed, and paper-writing meeting I’ve experienced has included discussion of QRPs (questionable... / more

A Perfect Storm: The Record of a Revolution

A Perfect Storm: The Record of a Revolution

At some point in their past, almost every country has witnessed a political revolution, a change of government following a dramatic and sometimes violent expression of discontent. As a result, emperors have been beheaded, kings dethroned, and presidents exiled. Revolutions are often caused by a slowly growing dissatisfaction in the general population, for instance due to lost wars, lack of food, or high taxes. In other words, the general population feels a strong desire for change.... / more

The perverse incentives that stand as a roadblock to scientific reform

The perverse incentives that stand as a roadblock to scientific reform

Four pillars of perverse incentives stand strong against efforts to make our science more transparent and reproducible. Arguments against these changes, by their nature conservative arguments to keep the status quo, only help to perpetuate a system that has rewarded individuals and individual careers, but has undermined the integrity and reliability of our science. Reporting only statistically significant findings results in a literature that does not represent the truth. Pushing small N, conceptual replications aids and abets the hiding of inelegant findings that don’t conform perfectly to the theories we test. Overvaluing counter-intuitive findings undermines the development of cumulative knowledge that might be relied on for social policy. Policing studies so that they only report “clean findings” and thus have a clean narrative further incentivizes a depiction of science that is too good to be true. / more

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