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Coping with being bullied

Coping with being bullied

In this blog post, I discuss recent research suggesting that being the victim of bullying can have a long-lasting impact on mental and physical health. But there’s a ray of hope in this literature as well: the lasting impact may depend on the ways that victims cope with being bullied. / more

Political ideology is more than just “liberal” and “conservative”

Political ideology is more than just “liberal” and “conservative”

In this blog post, I describe new evidence that thinking about political ideology on a single liberal/left to conservative/right spectrum masks important nuances in the origins of political ideologies and in the way that people apply those ideologies to important judgments, including those of other people (i.e., prejudice). / more

Would One Direction be as popular if we got to re-run the world?

Would One Direction be as popular if we got to re-run the world?

In this post I ask why do songs, movies and books become popular? If you love something, it is easy to think it must be its obvious qualities, but if you work in promotion, you know that these qualities are not easy to spot. Usually, we look to our peers to discover new things – what Psychologists call social proof. The work I present shows how important social proof is in determining what becomes popular, but also that appeal, to some degree, matters. / more

Can music create intercultural understanding? According to Madonna (and psychological research), it can!

Can music create intercultural understanding? According to Madonna (and psychological research), it can!

In my last blog, I argued that Madonna’s lyric of ‘music makes the people come together’ has a scientific basis. There are scientific studies that support the claim that music indeed increases cooperation and, thus, brings people together. But, as you might remember, the second line in the chorus of Madonna’s song is: ‘Music mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel’. In this blog, I will discuss whether she is citing the literature correctly or not. / more

Pre-registration watch part 1: Detecting deception

Pre-registration watch part 1: Detecting deception

In this blog post, I will report on the experiences of social psychologists, such as myself, with committing ourselves to detailed descriptions of the hypotheses and other specifics of experiments before we run them. In part 1, I briefly cover some basics about this so-called pre-registration and then I will discuss my own experience with a pre-registration in the online journal Frontiers about unconscious deception detection. / more

Free will without metaphysics

Free will without metaphysics

Despite the resurgence of interest in free will, there remains confusion and disagreement regarding free will’s role in social life, in particular, how people understand free will and whether free will guides blame and praise for others. In this blog post I argue that we need to pay closer attention to the folk concept of free will in order to resolve the confusion surrounding free will in everyday life. / more

What makes Olga run?: The mystery of the 90-something track star and what she can teach us about living longer, happier lives.

What makes Olga run?: The mystery of the 90-something track star and what she can teach us about living longer, happier lives.

What Makes Olga Run is an engaging, informative and inspiring read about the international track star Olga Kotelko. At the time of the writing of the book, Olga was holding 26 world records, and had over 600 medals won at throwing, sprint, and jump events. This is quite impressive, but here is where things get really interesting: Olga is 95 years old currently, and she has taken up track-and-field at the age of 77! When award-winning Canadian writer Bruce Grierson met the astonishingly young-looking Olga a couple years ago, he had the same question that Olga awakens in many: “Seriously: When you’re breaking records, rather than hips, at an age most people will never live to see … what gives?” At his physical and mental nadir at that point in his life, Grierson decided to follow Olga and learn from her as much as possible about living healthier and happier, longer and better. The result is this book, which perfectly blends Olga’s life story with the latest on the science of optimal aging. / more

Sticks and stones and breaking bones: Social psychology and school aggression

Sticks and stones and breaking bones: Social psychology and school aggression

Bullying is a pervasive issue in schools today. This is one of two blog posts that will look at school aggression from the perspective of contemporary social psychology. In this post, I'll examine the role of groups in encouraging bullying. In my next post, I'll look at the perspective of the bullied victims. When it comes to bullying, it seems that groups can both be a part of the problem and the solution. / more

Word of mouth: How our tongue shapes our preferences, and why you should eat popcorn in the cinema

Word of mouth: How our tongue shapes our preferences, and why you should eat popcorn in the cinema

Are you sick of banner ads, commercials, and brand names depicted everywhere? You might think this way of advertising is pointless since it will not influence you anyway. However, psychological research has identified how branding hacks into your mind and how you can prevent this. Think of the last time you interacted with a person wearing brand-name clothes. For instance talking with those “cool” people with the RayBan pilot-glasses, where you do not see their eyes but only this little... / more

Inequality: Minority disadvantage or White privilege? - And why it matters

Inequality: Minority disadvantage or White privilege? - And why it matters

In this blog post, I will discuss research showing how framing ethnic inequality in terms of White advantage versus minority disadvantage impacts how Whites and minorities understand inequality and thus how we should address inequality. / more

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