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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

Girls will be girls, boys will be bossy

Girls will be girls, boys will be bossy

The word bossy has been heavily discussed recently, thanks, at least in part, to the Ban Bossy campaign. To date, this debate has centered on why women get called bossy. But what about men? In this blog post, I will share some new research on the word bossy, and what happens when both men and women act bossy, specifically within a workplace context. / more

Einstein beats Mother Theresa as the hero of the world

Einstein beats Mother Theresa as the hero of the world

Heroes and villains don’t only exist in comic books. The real world is full of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys (and girls). Being an exceptional scientist or humanitarian will most likely land you on the heroic side of history. Obviously, dictators who have oppressed millions of people are more likely to be seen as the villains of world history. For a number of influential figures, our perception of their achievements however strongly depends on how our particular cultural region was affected. For example, even though the abolition of slavery by Abraham Lincoln makes him a historical hero in American eyes, people from other countries might value Mandela’s struggle against apartheid, or even Princess Diana much more. And what about more controversial figures such as Che Guevara and Napoleon? In this blog, I will review a brand new study in which it was tested who the heroes and villains of our shared, global history are. / more

From the Editors: Commentary for Embodiment Special Issue

From the Editors: Commentary for Embodiment Special Issue

Wellington, New Zealand, is considered a windy city (twice as windy as Chicago). It is also a hilly city. Victoria University, where I spend my day, is on the top of one of those hills and while that means I have a wonderful view, there are times I despise the walk up from town. Particularly the last bit (the ‘final insult’ as I think of it), from where I can almost see my office. Thanks to Shame Cole and Emily... / more

Time to unwind: When autonomy and motivation add weight to recovery

Time to unwind: When autonomy and motivation add weight to recovery

Extended working hours and off-job duties leave increasingly less time for a person to recover. Thus, the more important it becomes for a person to seek activities that really help to unwind from daily hassles. But is there anything such as the right or even wrong recovery activity? And what role does motivation play in this regard? In this blog post I will elaborate on these questions by reviewing recent research. / more

A Mind For Numbers. How To Excel At Math And Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra).

A Mind For Numbers. How To Excel At Math And Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra).

When I first started to teach myself how to program, I self-diagnosed myself with dysprogrammeria - a natural inability to understand any computer language. No matter how much time and effort I invested, I could not stretch my brain enough to understand all the new concepts. I was glad to find out that the author of “A Mind For Numbers. How To Excel At Math And Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)”, Barbara A. Oakley, must have felt similar when she first started learning engineering at the age of 23. However, she decided to take classes in engineering and 30 years later, as a professor of mechanical engineering, she is sharing her experience of how to rewire a “humanistic brain” into a “technical brain”. / more

Empowering cartoonists, deterring killers, protecting bystanders: Can psychology contribute?

Empowering cartoonists, deterring killers, protecting bystanders: Can psychology contribute?

We respond on many levels, like our readers, to the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo staff in France. The human tragedy makes us sad and angry. The moral atrocity screams for outraged condemnation. The sense of threat calls out community determination, courage, and sacrifice. The counter-mobilisation of millions, and of world leaders, evokes pride and grim satisfaction. / more

On kissing in elevators and flirting in the office: A cross-cultural perspective on normative behavior.

On kissing in elevators and flirting in the office: A cross-cultural perspective on normative behavior.

Imagine you are walking around the city center. It is a warm summer evening and the street is deserted, no children or cars are around. The pedestrian light to cross the street is red. What do you do? Keep waiting for the light to turn green or just cross? And why? Because it is your own free choice? If you decided to ignore the red light and cross the street, you just broke what is called a... / more

Children are poor witnesses. Or are they?

Children are poor witnesses. Or are they?

In a recent murder case, a 6-year-old girl claimed immediately upon arrival of the ambulance and police to have witnessed her father stabbing her mother (Brackmann, Otgaar, Sauerland, & Jelicic, 2014). Does such an account really reflect what happened and should it be used as evidence in court? In criminal cases, it is important to decipher whether eyewitness statements are credible or not. Indeed, erroneous eyewitness statements can have severe consequences, such as wrongful imprisonment and waste of resources. The... / more

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