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Cultural Psychology | curated by Kevin Goodman

The Situationist

  • Ideology, Psychology, and Free Speech
    From Today’s New York Times, here is a brief excerpt from an article about a revealing new study, co-authored by Lee Epstein. In cases raising First Amendment claims, a new study found, Justice Scalia voted to uphold the free speech rights of cons…
    - 68 days ago, 7 May 14, 6:26pm -
  • The Gendered (Lookist) Situation of Venture Capital
    From Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, here are excerpts of an article by Carmen Nobel about research co-authored by HBS’s Alison Wood Brooks. If you’re in search of startup funding, it pays to be a good-looking guy. A series of thre…
    - 71 days ago, 4 May 14, 3:13pm -

Social Psychology Eye

  • When “The Black Sheep” Is White
    By: Megan E. Birney 2011 marks 10 years since the mixed-race category was added to the U.K.’s annual censes.  To commemorate this event, BBC Two has been running a series of programmes documenting the mixed-race experience both in Britain and ……
    - 17 Oct 11, 9:23pm -
  • Are you afraid to go to Mexico? Mental shortcuts may promote misperceptions about risk

    - 6 Oct 11, 10:26pm -
  • Untitled
    Social and Personality Psychology Compass © Blackwell Publishing Ltd Volume 5, Issue 10 Pages 694 – 823, October 2011 The latest issue of Social and Personality Psychology Compass is available on Wiley Online Library   Emotion Motivation Affiliat…
    - 5 Oct 11, 7:52am -
  • How Netflix just made a bad thing worse
    By Kevin R. Betts Netflix witnessed a storm of customer outrage and tumbling stock prices this month as they dramatically increased their price for subscription to the service. Early this morning, CEO Reed Hastings reacted with an email to customers.…
    - 19 Sep 11, 5:47pm -
  • Scholarly Content on the Impact of 9/11
    Navy videographer at Ground Zero In the 10 years since the events of September 2001 a vast amount of scholarly research has been written on the impact of 9/11. Wiley-Blackwell is pleased to share with you this collection of free book and … Contin…
    - 2 Sep 11, 10:21am -
  • Social Networking: Is my child going to become a narcissist!?

    - 7 Aug 11, 1:13pm -
  • Don’t be a hero! Benefits of the bystander effect
    By Kevin R. Betts I started reading a book this weekend titled, “The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life.” Author Len Fisher’s central idea is that understanding swarm intelligence can help us make better decisions. Swarm…
    - 1 Aug 11, 2:00am -
  • Truck driver… no wait a professor! Can glasses really change impressions of you?
    By Erica Zaiser I came across this cartoon recently from Obviously it is meant to be humorous but it also made me wonder:  Does having a trait like glasses change people’s initial impressions of you? And has there been … Continue r…
    - 26 Jul 11, 1:43pm -
  • The Pursuit of Happiness
    By: Megan Birney We all want to be happy.  It’s something we’ve learned to strive for and likely the primary motivator for trying to land that perfect job, find your soul mate, start a family, get that promotion or buy … Continue reading →
    - 24 Jul 11, 10:03pm -
  • Michele Bachmann gets God’s help for election
    By, Adam K. Fetterman Making appeals to religion is nothing new for American politics. Nearly every candidate makes statements such as “God bless America” or claims that their candidacy is a calling from God. However, on the other end of … Cont…
    - 12 Jul 11, 5:50pm -

Cognition and Culture Institute

  • Alberto Acerbi on cultural evolution
    Alberto Acerbi's excellent blog hosts a noteworthy discussion of Claidière, Scott-Phillips and Sperber's recent PTRS paper on cultural attraction. Alex Mesoudi, Thom Scott-Phillips and Dan Speber joined the discussion; Alberto concluded it.
    - 26 days ago, 18 Jun 14, 8:49am -
  • Babies' and birds' causal understanding
    A very interesting comparison between crows and humans in a new (free access) paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B entitled "Of babies and birds: complex tool behaviours are not sufficient for the evolution of the ability to create a novel cau…
    - 29 days ago, 15 Jun 14, 10:37am -
  • Kinship, theology and deep grammar
    One of the most salient paradoxes in the study of kinship systems is their sheer analytical complexity, from the point of view of an external observer, and simultaneously the ease by which those very same systems are assimilated by the natives themse…
    - 62 days ago, 13 May 14, 10:22am -
  • Deparmental Lectureship in Cognitive Anthropology, Oxford
    Applications are invited for a Departmental Lectureship in Cognitive Anthropology, effective from 1 September 2014, tenable until 30 September 2015. The post is based at the School of Anthropology, Banbury Road, Oxford, UK. The primary function of t…
    - 63 days ago, 12 May 14, 2:30pm -
  • Combinatorial Communication in Bacteria?
    Here is a challenge to standard views about the evolution of linguistic generativity: ""Combinatorial Communication in Bacteria: Implications for the Origins of Linguistic Generativity" by Thomas C. Scott-Phillips, James Gurney, Alasdair Ivens, S…
    - 79 days ago, 26 Apr 14, 9:57am -
  • Negatively-Biased Credulity and the Cultural Evolution of Beliefs
    A new article by Dan Fessler, Anne Pisor,& David Navarrete, highly relevant to cultural epidemiology in PLoS ONE 9(4): e95167. doi:10.1371Abstract: The functions of cultural beliefs are often opaque to those who hold them. Accordingly, to benefit fr…
    - 89 days ago, 16 Apr 14, 7:35am -
  • The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology. Vilnius . 9-11 October 2014
    The Vilnius Experimental Philosophy Lab,  the Departments of General Psychology and of Logic and History of Philosophy organize a conference on: The Moral Domain: Conceptual Issues in Moral Psychology, the 9-11 October 2014 at Vilnius University…
    - 6 Mar 14, 11:37am -
  • The Content of Our Cooperation, Not the Color of Our Skin
    A new, important article by David Pietraszewski, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby: The Content of Our Cooperation, Not the Color of Our Skin: An Alliance Detection System Regulates Categorization by Coalition and Race, but Not Sex. (PLoS ONE, 2012, 9(2…
    - 2 Mar 14, 8:01pm -
  • Relationship Thinking
    Nick Enfield -- ethnolinguist at the Max Planck institute for psycholinguistics (and contributor to ICCI) -- has published a new book, Relationship Thinking.Here's the blurb from Oxford University Press:In Relationship Thinking, N. J. Enfield outl…
    - 30 Jan 14, 10:58am -
  • This year's Edge question
    The new The Edge annual question, and the answers, are now online.The question was: "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?"Here are some answers that could be relevant to the ICCI crowd:Oliver Scott Curry AssociationismN.J. Enfield A Science…
    - 16 Jan 14, 3:35pm -

Scienceblogs: Brain

  • newEuropean Big Brain Project Draws Ire From European Brain Science Community [Greg Laden's Blog]
    Over 600 (as of this writing) neuroscientists from around the world, but with a very large proportion representing Europe, have written an open letter expressing concern with the Human Brain Project (HBP) and its cousin the U.S. BRAIN Initiative. It…
    - 40 mins ago, 14 Jul 14, 1:26pm -
  • ‘Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology’ [Life Lines]
    Phew!! I just submitted my abstract for the Comparative Physiology meeting that will be held this October. Judging from the preliminary program, it is going to be an exciting meeting! Here is a description of the meeting from the American Physiologic…
    - 1 day ago, 13 Jul 14, 6:20am -
  • Why I’d like to have a clam at my next party [Life Lines]
    Have you had a chance to see this video from Discovery News showing the flashy ‘disco clam’? A graduate student at UC Berkeley, Lindsey Dougherty, unraveled the mystery of this party-like effect. The clams actually have tiny silica spheres (340…
    - 3 days ago, 11 Jul 14, 5:13am -
  • Implications for a hippocampal role in promoting obesity [Life Lines]
    A recent article published in the American Journal of Physiology reviewed how the brain regulates feeding behaviors. Humans are not the only species to eat food in spurts we like to call meals. Research suggests that this behavior may actually aid…
    - 3 days ago, 11 Jul 14, 4:26am -
  • Venomous ticks?? [Life Lines]
    Ticks are blood-sucking arthropods that can act as vectors for various diseases in both animals and humans. A recent article published in Frontiers in Zoology summarizes findings that suggest ticks may also be considered venomous ectoparasites. F…
    - 8 days ago, 6 Jul 14, 10:01pm -

The Inquisitive Mind

  • Smartphones: A threat to well-being?
    Nowadays, smartphones appear to play an inevitable role both in our work and private life. However, when it comes to work-related use, smartphones can hamper recovery and thus, pose a threat to our well-being. In this blog-post, I review recent studi…
    - 5 days ago, 9 Jul 14, 7:43pm -
  • Why Are We Still Spanking Our Kids?
    In this blog post we discuss legal, attitudinal and motivational factors that explain why we use physical punishment with children, specifically: (1) the United States, unlike most other countries, does not legislate against it, (2) attitudes condoni…
    - 9 days ago, 5 Jul 14, 7:57pm -
  • Keeping the Spark Alive: The Role of Sexual Communal Motivation
    In new relationships, feelings of sexual desire for a partner come relatively easily. But, over time, partners’ sexual interests often change and it can be difficult for couples to keep the spark alive. In the beginning stages of relationships when…
    - 13 days ago, 1 Jul 14, 7:36pm -
  • An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology. Proccesses and Disorders
    When I started incorporating cognitive paradigms into my research, I was looking for a book that would allow me to quickly navigate through cognitive theories and refresh my knowledge acquired in undergraduate cognitive psychology course. I was glad…
    - 13 days ago, 1 Jul 14, 1:25pm -
  • From candidate genes to genome-wide association studies
    In my last post I asked where the genes for psychological traits are, and argued that over the last two decades candidate gene studies have failed to identify genes that are reliably associated with complex behavioral phenotypes. In this post, I will…
    - 18 days ago, 26 Jun 14, 8:51am -

Anthropology World News

  • EurekAlert
    Urban Aboriginal People Face Unique Health Challenges
    - 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 5:00am -
  • EurekAlert
    Mobile Phone Bling May Be a Personal, But Also Cultural Thing
    - 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 5:00am -
  • Nature
    Chimpanzee IQ Starts in the Genes
    - 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 5:00am -
  • Discovery News
    200-Year-Old Bottle of Seltzer Found in Shipwreck
    - 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 5:00am -
  • LiveScience
    Korean Mummy's Hernia Diagnosed 300 Years Later
    - 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 5:00am -


TED: David Kwong: Two nerdy obsessions meet -- and it's magic - David Kwong (2014)
David Kwong is a magician who makes crossword puzzles -- in other words, a pretty nerdy guy. And for his next trick ...
- 3 days ago, 11 Jul 14, 3:21pm -
TED: Karima Bennoune: When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism - Karima Bennoune (2014)
Karima Bennoune shares four powerful stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities — refusing to allow the faith they love to become a tool for crime, attacks and murder. These personal stories humanize one of the…
- 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 3:19pm -
TED: Renata Salecl: Our unhealthy obsession with choice - Renata Salecl (2013)
We face an endless string of choices, which leads us to feel anxiety, guilt and pangs of inadequacy that we are perhaps making the wrong ones. But philosopher Renata Salecl asks: Could individual choices be distracting us from something bigger—our…
- 5 days ago, 9 Jul 14, 2:51pm -
TED: Nicholas Negroponte: A 30-year history of the future - Nicholas Negroponte (2014)
MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of tech. The consummate predictor highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today. A…
- 6 days ago, 8 Jul 14, 3:00pm -
TED: Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a "now-ist" - Joi Ito (2014)
“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the mom…
- 7 days ago, 7 Jul 14, 3:27pm -
TED: George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me - George Takei (2014)
When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of…
- 10 days ago, 4 Jul 14, 3:05pm -
TED: Paul Bloom: Can prejudice ever be a good thing? - Paul Bloom (2014)
We often think of bias and prejudice as rooted in ignorance. But as psychologist Paul Bloom seeks to show, prejudice is often natural, rational ... even moral. The key, says Bloom, is to understand how our own biases work -- so we can take control wh…
- 11 days ago, 3 Jul 14, 3:00pm -
TED: Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world? - Simon Anholt (2014)
It's an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advi…
- 12 days ago, 2 Jul 14, 2:58pm -
TED: Sara Lewis: The loves and lies of fireflies - Sara Lewis (2014)
Biologist Sara Lewis has spent the past 20 years getting to the bottom of the magic and wonder of fireflies. In this charming talk, she tells us how and why the beetles produce their silent sparks, what happens when two fireflies have sex, and why on…
- 13 days ago, 1 Jul 14, 2:56pm -
TED: Chris Domas: The 1s and 0s behind cyber warfare - Chris Domas (2013)
Chris Domas is a cybersecurity researcher, operating on what’s become a new front of war, "cyber." In this engaging talk, he shows how researchers use pattern recognition and reverse engineering (and pull a few all-nighters) to understand a chunk o…
- 14 days ago, 30 Jun 14, 3:18pm -
TED: Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen - Julian Treasure (2013)
Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with emp…
- 17 days ago, 27 Jun 14, 2:38pm -
TED: Ge Wang: The DIY orchestra of the future - Ge Wang (2014)
Ge Wang makes computer music, but it isn’t all about coded bleeps and blips. With the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, he creates new instruments out of unexpected materials—like an Ikea bowl—that allow musicians to play music that’s both beautiful…
- 18 days ago, 26 Jun 14, 2:47pm -
TED: Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists - Naomi Oreskes (2014)
Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists -- but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitud…
- 19 days ago, 25 Jun 14, 3:26pm -
TED: Lorrie Faith Cranor: What’s wrong with your pa$$w0rd? - Lorrie Faith Cranor (2014)
Lorrie Faith Cranor studied thousands of real passwords to figure out the surprising, very common mistakes that users -- and secured sites -- make to compromise security. And how, you may ask, did she study thousands of real passwords without comprom…
- 20 days ago, 24 Jun 14, 3:04pm -
TED: Shaka Senghor: Why your worst deeds don’t define you - Shaka Senghor (2014)
In 1991, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was, he says, "a drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol." Jailed for second degree murder, that could very well have been the end of the story. But it wasn't. Instead, it was the b…
- 21 days ago, 23 Jun 14, 2:57pm -
TED: Billy Collins: Two poems about what dogs think (probably) - Billy Collins (2014)
What must our dogs be thinking when they look at us? Poet Billy Collins imagines the inner lives of two very different companions. It’s a charming short talk, perfect for taking a break and dreaming …
- 24 days ago, 20 Jun 14, 3:12pm -
TED: Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English - Jamila Lyiscott (2014)
Jamila Lyiscott is a “tri-tongued orator;” in her powerful spoken-word essay “Broken English,” she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As…
- 25 days ago, 19 Jun 14, 3:00pm -
TED: Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices - Ruth Chang (2014)
Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up -- or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way…
- 26 days ago, 18 Jun 14, 3:00pm -

ScienceDaily: Anthro

Sociological Images

  • Sunday Fun: Beyond the Gender Binary
    Thanks to Holly Robin at The Robin Head for this great comic on our obsession with a gender binary. Click over to read the whole thing or enjoy these two excerpted panels: Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-auth…
    - 1 day ago, 13 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • Saturday Stat: Who’s Having Babies Out of Wedlock?
    Everyone! Well, almost. Andrew Cherlin and his colleagues report that 64% of women and 63% of men have had at least one child out of wedlock.  The dominance of non-marital births is true for everyone, except people with four-year college degrees.…
    - 2 days ago, 12 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • A Simple Lesson on the Social Construction of Race
    Flashback Friday. The images below are all screen shots from the fantastic American Anthropological Association website on race.  They are designed to show how we take what is in reality a nuanced spectrum of skin color and turn it into racial cate…
    - 3 days ago, 11 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • U.S. Jobs Are Back, but They’re No Match for Population Growth
    Last week CNN triumphantly reported that the job market has recovered to its 2008 peak.  Here’s the headline: Not so fast, though. Sociologist Philip Cohen observes that the real news is hidden in the fourth paragraph. There the author of the piec…
    - 4 days ago, 10 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • A Way for Feminism to Overcome its “Class Problem”: Unions
    The Nation sparked a robust discussion last week with its incisive online conversation, Does Feminism Have a Class Problem? The panelists addressed the “Lean In” phenomenon, articulating how and why Sheryl Sandberg’s focus on self-improveme…
    - 5 days ago, 9 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • The Hidden Culprit Behind Rising Tuition: Wall Street
    In the lasts 15 years, student debt has grown by over 1,000% and the debt held by public colleges and universities has tripled.  Where is the money going? The scholars behind a new report, Borrowing Against the Future: The Hidden Costs of Financin…
    - 6 days ago, 8 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • One Hundred Years of the Fridge
    Since their invention in 1913, and since this Kelvinator ad first ran in 1955, refrigerators became bigger, better, and went from a luxury to a necessity. It’s nearly impossible to imagine life today without having somewhere to store your vegetable…
    - 7 days ago, 7 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • Sunday Fun: Man Gum
    Thanks to Kris Straub at chainsawsuit. Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
    - 8 days ago, 6 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • Saturday Stat: Main, Mean, and Median Street
    Mean and median are two measures of “average.”  The mean is the average as we typically think of it: the sum of things divided by the total number of things.  The median, in contrast, is literally the number in the middle if we align all the q…
    - 9 days ago, 5 Jul 14, 2:00pm -
  • Banal Nationalism
    Flashback Friday.   In his book by the same name, Michael Billig coined the term “banal nationalism” to draw attention to the ways in which nationalism was not only a quality of gun-toting, flag-waving “extremists,” but was quietly and rat…
    - 10 days ago, 4 Jul 14, 2:00pm -

ScienceDaily: Brain

Social Evolution

  • Is Social Trust a Cultural Trait?
    Yesterday’s blog proposed that the most useful approach to understanding the evolution of large-scale complex societies is to view them through the lens of Cultural Evolution. To make this discussion more concrete, let’s look at a particular cult…
    - 2 days ago, 13 Jul 14, 2:05am -
  • Progress, Memes, and Cultural Evolution
    As the readers of this blog know, one of the central directions in my research has been understanding the evolution of large-scale, complex societies. Actually, it is the main question motivating this Forum. Now that I am back from my travels, I have…
    - 3 days ago, 11 Jul 14, 3:56am -
  • The Pazyryk Kurgans: a Glimpse into the Amazing World of Central Asia in the Iron Age (I millennium BCE)
    I am back from my last travels within the fair island of Ireland. A lot of impressions, ideas, and topics to blog about. Unfortunately, experience shows that while I travel I simply don’t have the leisure to post. As a result, this blog has been sa…
    - 7 days ago, 7 Jul 14, 3:54am -
  • A Tour of Sacred Places in Moscow
    As I more-or-less expected, my trip to Toulouse, Moscow, and St. Petersburg was too intense (and the internet connection too iffy) for me to be able to blog. Lots of new ideas, impressions, and topics to blog about, however. One of these is a walk I…
    - 24 days ago, 20 Jun 14, 2:58am -
  • War! What Is It Good For?
    I’ve just returned from California, where I spent last two weeks. I dislike long-distance air travel, and when I do it, I try to hit as many birds with the same stone, so to speak. This means bunching up as many talks and visits as possible. On thi…
    - 42 days ago, 2 Jun 14, 4:41am -

Cultural Psychology

  • Recent
    Read my latest articles:Interview with a former CIA Clandestine Service officer - Pursuit MagazineWhy political difference shouldn’t threaten friendship – Huffington Post 
    - 2 Apr 14, 2:41am -
  • Detecting Deception
    My newest article has been published in Pursuit Magazine on detecting deception during an investigative interview. For this article I asked three world class scholars of deception,  ”how do you catch a liar?” See it at:…
    - 2 Dec 13, 11:32pm -
  • News for November
    Hello! OK—so I still have a few dedicated subscribers; this message is for you. 1st I am now a Huffington Post blogger.2nd Pursuit Magazine (a publication for professional investigators) has asked me to become a regular contributor.3rd I’…
    - 18 Nov 13, 7:57pm -
  • Expanding Elijah Anderson’s Theory of Bling to the Board Room & Beyond
    Sociologist Elijah Anderson influenced criminology with his descriptive theory of the code of the street. In a nutshell the code contends that social economic conditions isolate poor inner-city neighborhoods giving rise to the code of the street—no…
    - 13 Nov 13, 3:09am -
  • The Virtual Criminal Underworld
    Nope, I haven’t disappeared but my personal blog is no longer a priority. Rather, I’m spending my free-time investigating stories worth telling and writing them well. My latest story is titled The Dark Net: The New Face of Black Markets and Organ…
    - 1 Oct 13, 8:52pm -

New Scientist