Colorful Culture

Colorful Culture

As a world without colors would be extremely boring, we are luckily able to perceive various different colors that enrich our environment. Recently, Keiko Ishii and colleagues found that the colors we prefer and use for our paintings vary systematically across cultures. But that doesn’t mean that tomorrow’s multi-cultural world is becoming black-and-white or grey, rather there is hope that it will become even more colorful than it is today. In this post, we will illustrate how individuals and cultures engage in mutual construction and thus enhance variety. / 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

Bleeding-heart liberals and hard-hearted conservatives: Political dehumanization in the United States

Bleeding-heart liberals and hard-hearted conservatives: Political dehumanization in the United States

My previous blog post covered new research showing that liberals and conservatives are prejudiced against one another to an equal degree. In this post, I will review evidence that liberals’ and conservatives’ prejudices lead them to dehumanize their political opponents—that is, to see them as less than human. / more

Why Madonna was right: Music really does make the people come together

Why Madonna was right: Music really does make the people come together

In August 2000, global superstar Madonna released the single “Music” from her soon to be hit album. Other than the brilliant lyrics “Do you like to Boogie woogie”, you might remember that one of the lines in the chorus was “Music makes the people come together.” In this post, I will discuss the social psychological research, which suggests that she was more right then even she must have thought. / more

Is banning bossy enough to enact real social change? Celebrity activism and the “Ban Bossy” campaign

Is banning bossy enough to enact real social change? Celebrity activism and the “Ban Bossy” campaign

Recently celebrity activists such as Beyoncé, Jenifer Garner, and Sheryl Sandberg have thrown their weight behind a campaign to ban the term “bossy” to describe women (banbossy.com, #banbossy). The goal of the campaign is to encourage young women to step into leadership roles and to assert themselves in the classroom and in life. In this blog I highlight the social value of celebrity activism and I highlight important caveats of celebrity activism based on science. / more

Variety and motivation: The crux to lasting happiness

Variety and motivation: The crux to lasting happiness

Most people seek lasting happiness but only a few are aware of the fact that false expectations and a tedious lifestyle can speed up the disappearance of happiness. In this blog post, I explain how exciting activities and motivation may curb the dwindling of happiness. / more

Being rational and emotional are not (necessarily) contradictions

Being rational and emotional are not (necessarily) contradictions

In the first part of this three part series, my colleague Ellie Shockley described how rational thinking may drive political attitudes and voting behavior. In the second part of the series, Matt Moytl described how emotion may drive political attitudes and voting behavior. In the final part of this series, I discuss how emotions and reasons are not necessarily in conflict. / more

CEO’s, morality, and minds: How good and bad guide our perceptions of others

CEO’s, morality, and minds: How good and bad guide our perceptions of others

Morality colors the way we view the world, but how it influences our judgments of others is a controversial debate. One popular view is that morality biases people’s perceptions of others—specifically others’ intentions. I suggest that this view is incorrect. Instead, valence, not morality, guides perception , and it does so in a way that may be adaptive . / more

Political convictions emerge from the gut

Political convictions emerge from the gut

In the first part of this three part series, my colleague Ellie Shockley described how rational thinking may drive political attitudes and voting behavior. In this second part of the series, I describe how emotion may drive political attitudes and voting behavior. In the final part of this series, Mark Brandt will discuss how emotion and reason each contribute to people’s political attitudes and behaviors. / more

Fifty Shades of arousal misattribution and cognitive associations: How Christian Grey is making us believe that women find BDSM “hot”

Fifty Shades of arousal misattribution and cognitive associations: How Christian Grey is making us believe that women find BDSM “hot”

Does Fifty Shades of Grey make you wonder if BDSM is arousing? If women secretly want to be spanked? This post explains how Fifty Shades readers may develop this belief, how it may affect their behavior, and how it may increase sexual aggression against women. / more