Does parental disapproval lead to love or dissolution? The Romeo and Juliet effect vs. the social network effect

Does parental disapproval lead to love or dissolution? The Romeo and Juliet effect vs. the social network effect

In this post, I assert that two opposing theories about how opinions friends and family hold affect one’s romantic relationship (Romeo and Juliet effect vs. social network effect) can actually coexist. Though there is little empirical support for the Romeo and Juliet effect, current research demonstrates that this effect may exist in certain circumstances. / more

Everyone is biased

Everyone is biased

My first blog post tells the story of my discovery of the conditions that reveal the political biases of liberals and conservatives. It’s also a story of coming to terms with my own biases. / more

After Trayvon: The science of protecting innocent black men

After Trayvon: The science of protecting innocent black men

Even though the death of Trayvon Martin drew much public attention in the last year and a half, the shooting of an unarmed, innocent black male is in no way an isolated case in America. Jonathan Ferrell, a 24-year-old African-American man in Florida, was recently killed by police officers when he was looking for help after crashing his car. Roy Middleton, a 60-year-old Florida man, was crippled after the sheriff’s deputies mistook him for a car thief and shot him... / more

Why do we sometimes enjoy the misfortune of others?

Why do we sometimes enjoy the misfortune of others?

Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t resist a little smile when someone else had a setback? Have you ever experienced joy when another person suffered a mishap? We’ve all probably been in that situation and we’ve all felt that joy. The German language coined the word Schadenfreude—a compound word of the German words 'Schaden' meaning 'harm' and 'Freude' meaning 'joy'—for the pleasure at the misfortunes of others and nowadays it is used as a loanword in... / more

Why do people help strangers when disaster strikes?

Why do people help strangers when disaster strikes?

Marc Fucarile, a 34-year old native of Stoneham MA, lost his right leg, nearly lost his left, was peppered with shrapnel, and suffered severe burns when the second bomb exploded at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Shortly thereafter, from his hospital bed, Marc described his situation saying, “There’s more good in the world than there is bad” (LaPierre, 2013). Given his circumstances, this is an extraordinary observation, one that inspires awe and admiration. His perspective tells us about his character, resilience,... / more