Friday, May 15, 2015

10 Tips for Making a Tough Decision

Source: Daniel Oines
Sometimes in life we’re faced with decisions that seem truly impossible to make. Whether they're the kind of decisions we dream about or the kind that we dread, research on decision-making has uncovered a number of useful strategies for gaining clarity.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Benefits of Capturing your Everyday Experiences

Source
What would you rather do right now, write down the last conversation you had or watch a funny video guaranteed to make you laugh? What about a month from now – do you think you’d rather read about a random conversation you had last month or watch another funny video? These are some of the questions researchers asked in a recent set of studies exploring our tendency to underestimate how much pleasure we get out of rediscovering mundane experiences. Participants in these studies consistently expected that they would not be very interested in rereading a log of an ordinary event in their everyday lives. But a couple of months down the road when the time came to reread that log, they found themselves much more interested and experienced more pleasure than they had expected. This was partly because they had forgotten a lot more of the event than they had expected they would! In the moment, we think why record our everyday experiences, we will remember them in the future and they aren’t that memorable anyway. Even just a month later though, our memories of the event begin to dim, the details fall away, and what once seemed ordinary feels a bit more extraordinary.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gender Imbalance in Discussions of Best Research Practices

Over the last couple of weeks there have been some really excellent blog posts about gender representation in discussions of best research practices. The first was a shared Email correspondence between Simine Vazire and Lee Jussim. The second was a report of gender imbalance in discussions of best research practices by Alison Ledgerwood, Elizabeth Haines, and Kate Ratliff. Before then (May 2014), Sanjay Srivastava wrote about a probable diversity problem in the best practices debate. Go read these posts! I'll be here when you return.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

SPSP 2015: Actually Predicting the Future

In regression (a common statistical practice used in social science research) we often attempt to predict the outcome of a given dependent measure (the DV) based on what we know about other measured variables theoretically related to the DV (the IVs). This common regression method has one problem though: We are predicting values for data that we have already collected. What if we were to engage in actual prediction? That is, what if we attempted to predict the values of a DV that is unknown? How might we do this and what would be the benefit?

This was a fascinating talk presented by Liz Page-Gould of the University of Toronto at the Future of Social Psychology Symposium!

SPSP 2015: Status Shapes Preferences for Redistribution

A lot of people think about political ideology as a powerful causal force that influences the structure of our society and our respective positions within it. In the politics and inequality symposium Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her colleagues examined political ideology from a different perspective: Instead of shaping the structure of society, does political ideology arise from our position within that structure? That is, do we create our political beliefs strategically in order to justify our own lives and the lives of those around us?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SPSP 2015: The world thinks that atheists are immoral

At the self and identity pre-conference this morning Will Gervais presented a series of studies (available open access right here) suggesting that people seem to automatically associate atheism with a lack of moral character.

SPSP 2015: The Contagious Spread of Affect

I was fortunate to attend the first session of the emotion pre-conference this morning and had a chance to hear about some amazing research conducted by Wendy Mendes (my post-doc advisor), Sara Waters, and Tessa West. The research examined the extent that affective states are transmitted between individuals.

The researchers reasoned that social living organisms are widely characterized by synchronous actions and states--with humans groups being particularly likely to synchronize their emotions and behaviors (here is a profound example of our capacity to synchronize during communal events).

SPSP 2015: We're here in Long Beach!

It's been a few months since I've posted on this blog, and I'm planning to change that over the next several days: It is time for the annual convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and we've got three full days packed with social-personality content to share with the blogosphere. I'll be writing a few short posts over the course of the conference--but before I do I want to point out where you can find some of the current and former bloggers on this website, right here at the convention:

Thursday
Katherine Thorson: Poster Session A
Cardiac Vagal Tone predicts Responsivity to Self-Regulatory Thought Inductions: Poster A273

Friday
Amie Gordon: Symposium Session A
Bringing Sleep to Social Psychology: Considering the Effect of Sleep on our Emotions, Relationships and Intergroup Relations
Friday, February 27, 2015, 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM, Promenade Ballroom 104C


Michael Kraus: Symposium Session A
The Politics of Inequality and the Inequality of Politics
Friday, February 27, 2015, 9:45 AM - 11:00 AM, Room 203ABC


Saturday
Jennifer Stellar: Symposium Session I
A Big Helping of Humble Pie: Novel Benefits and New Methods for Cultivating Humility
Saturday, February 28, 2015, 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM, Room 103A


Maya Kuehn: Poster Session E
Rejection Resiliency and Social Influence: Poster E004