Marginal and Happy – How can people be culturally detached and well adjusted?

Marginal and Happy – How can people be culturally detached and well adjusted?

Belonging to several cultural groups at the same time can be associated with complex feelings of group membership. In this post, I will provide an explanation for the phenomenon whereby many immigrants marginalize—feel detached from the mainstream culture they live in and the heritage culture they grew up in—while feeling happy. / more

Are conservatives really simple-minded?

Are conservatives really simple-minded?

The current consensus in psychology is that political conservatives are uniquely simple-minded. Indeed, even the famous critic of political bias and Heterodox contributor Jonathan Haidt (and colleagues) suggested that there is a “consistent difference between liberals and conservatives” on several measurements related to cognitive complexity (Joseph, Graham, & Haidt, 2009, p. 176). / more

Foetus or child? Language and attitudes toward abortion

Foetus or child? Language and attitudes toward abortion

Due to moral, religious and cultural sensibilities, the topic of abortion still gives rise to controversy in many countries. In this post, I will discuss our research showing how language used in abortion discourse can affect people’s attitudes by changing their attributions of humanity to unborn (Mikołajczak & Bilewicz, 2015). / 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

What does your selfie say about you?

What does your selfie say about you?

Selfie is a new form of self-expression in this digital age. In this post, I will discuss our research on how selfies reveal the personality of their owners and how people judge others’ personality based on selfies. / more

Bicultural minds: How capable are you in responding culturally appropriate?

Bicultural minds: How capable are you in responding culturally appropriate?

When individuals live actively with two cultures (in families, organizations or society at large) they, partly unconsciously, partly deliberately, may change towards acquiring a ‘bicultural mind’. I will discuss here, is whether these individuals are capable of spontaneously producing appropriate responses that fit the expectation patterns of either of their two cultures. / 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

Why do we still have a cognitive bias that makes us send innocent people to jail? – Explanations of the confirmation bias

Why do we still have a cognitive bias that makes us send innocent people to jail? – Explanations of the confirmation bias

The confirmation bias – seeking and interpreting information to support your pre-existing beliefs – can have tremendous consequences. In this blog, I will explain the existence of the confirmation bias in the criminal justice system and give two possible explanations to why we still have this bias. / more

Does it matter if people are aware of their implicit racial bias?

Does it matter if people are aware of their implicit racial bias?

In this blog post, I discuss how people respond to information about their implicit racial bias—automatic attitudes and beliefs that favor one ethnic group over another. Although people can be defensive, emerging research suggests there are benefits to accepting implicit racial bias and being aware of this subtle prejudice . / more