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category "Current Events"

Doing ill for ‘the greater good’: Understanding what really went on in the Stanford Prison Experiment

Doing ill for ‘the greater good’: Understanding what really went on in the Stanford Prison Experiment

Just about every highschool and college psychology textbook offers extensive coverage of Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). The meaning of the SPE seemed obvious — that when given roles with power , people naturally become brutal tyrants. This message has had lasting influence, not only in psychology but in the world at large. However, after researchers have recently gained access to the SPE archives, it has come to light that much of what we thought we knew about the study... / more

Wait, What?! The Stanford Prison Experiment was pre-tested?

Wait, What?! The Stanford Prison Experiment was pre-tested?

With the recent news regarding the questionable nature of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, we thought it was purdent to republish one of our earlier blog articles drawing attention to the issue. The piece below appeared on our blog in 2012. A blogpost by the Neurocritic suggests that the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) was based on a pre-test in which participants behaved equally cruel. Job van Wolferen summarizes this post and highlights another disturbing point the Neurocritic raises: the... / more

The Violence We Have Committed

The Violence We Have Committed

Circle of Willis is a podcast series from Associate Professor and Clinical Psychologist Dr. James Coan. The podcast features interviews with many of today's top social scientists, journalists, authors, and more. In a recent special episode of Circle of Willis, Dr. Coan speaks with five developmental scientists about what may be happening to the children who are currently being separated from their parents as part of a policy to deter immigration and asylum seekers at the southern border to the... / more

Invoking Pocahontas: An act of racism disguised as politics

Invoking Pocahontas: An act of racism disguised as politics

At a recent event honoring Navajo Code Talkers who are World War II Veterans, President Donald Trump stated, "You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas" [1] . This was not a first offense, as Trump has a history of referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas. Trump’s “name calling” stems from Warren’s (albeit controversial) identification as Cherokee... / more

The Force is Too Strong with This One? Sexism, Star Wars, and Female Heroes

The Force is Too Strong with This One? Sexism, Star Wars, and Female Heroes

The newest installment of the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi , was released last month. Despite critical success, the film has been met with a polarized audience reaction online. Although likely not the primary reason for polarization, some of the negative reaction can be attributed to the perceived progressive, feminist political message of the main characters [1] : The primary protagonist, Rey, is a woman; the two most prominent White men, Kylo Ren and General Hux, are villains. Behind... / 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

Why gender neutral toy aisles might help children’s development stay on target

Why gender neutral toy aisles might help children’s development stay on target

In this blog post I will discuss how Target’s recent decision to do away with gender specific toy aisles could actually help children develop new cognitive skills, and as well as increase their willingness to play with different types of toys. / 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