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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…
    - 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…
    - 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

  • Has a decimal point error misled millions into believing that spinach is a good source of iron?
    A great cultural epidemiology story by Ole Bjørn Rekdal, "Academic urban legends,"  in  Social Studies of Science (2014, 44(4)) freely available hereAbstract: Many of the messages presented in respectable scientific publications are, in fact,…
    - 16 days ago, 6 Aug 14, 5:05pm -
  • Random choice among the Kantu, swidden agriculturalists of Kalimantan
    An excellent post by Michael Schulson at Aeon magazine entitled "How to choose? When your reasons are worse than useless, sometimes the most rational choice is a random stab in the dark," showing, among other things, how rationality and expectati…
    - 34 days ago, 19 Jul 14, 3:32pm -
  • 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.
    - 65 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…
    - 68 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…
    - 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…
    - 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…
    - 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…
    - 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 -

Scienceblogs: Brain

  • newScaredy snakes? [Life Lines]
    Dr. Greg Byrnes (Siena College, Loudonville, NY) and Dr. Bruce Jayne (University of Cincinnati, OH) discovered that snakes use more force than is necessary to support their weight when climbing.  To climb, snakes rely on friction and repeatedly cont…
    - 5 hours ago, 22 Aug 14, 5:20am -
  • Electroacupuncture prevents the post-meal rise in blood sugar [Life Lines]
    A new study published in  AJP-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology suggests that electroacupuncture to the abdominal region may prevent increases in blood sugar concentrations after a meal by affecting insulin sensitivity and circulat…
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 9:40pm -
  • New study finds link between mass job losses and teen suicide behaviors [The Pump Handle]
    Previous research has documented a link between downturns in the economy and suicide among adults. But how do those downturns ripple throughout families and communities, and in particular, how do massive job losses affect the mental health of teens?…
    - 3 days ago, 19 Aug 14, 8:49pm -
  • Mimicking geckos [Life Lines]
    Researchers at DARPA are using geckos to create biologically inspired methods of scaling vertical walls. Check out this video demonstration of “Geckskin”:
    - 3 days ago, 18 Aug 14, 9:54pm -
  • In honor of shark week… [Life Lines]
    In honor of the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”, check out these shark cams. National Aquarium Reef Shark Cam: Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream SHARK FIN CAM: Video taken from a camera strapped to the dorsal fin of a shark: Broadcast…
    - 7 days ago, 15 Aug 14, 4:38am -

The Inquisitive Mind

Anthropology World News

  • BBC News
    Earliest Evidence of Snail-Eating
    - 1 day ago, 21 Aug 14, 5:00am -
  • Discovery News
    Sphinxes Emerge From Huge Ancient Greek Tomb
    - 1 day ago, 21 Aug 14, 5:00am -
  • Inside Science
    Half The World's Languages May Be Endangered
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 5:00am -
  • Science
    Seals Infected Early Americans with Tuberculosis
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 5:00am -
  • Nature
    Neanderthals: Bone Technique Redrafts Prehistory
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 5:00am -


TED: Laurel Braitman: Depressed dogs, cats with OCD — what animal madness means for us humans - Laurel Braitman (2014)
Behind those funny animal videos, sometimes, are oddly human-like problems. Laurel Braitman studies non-human animals who exhibit signs of mental health issues -- from compulsive bears to self-destructive rats to monkeys with unlikely friends. Braitm…
- 19 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:29pm -
TED: Jarrett Krosoczka: Why lunch ladies are heroes - Jarrett J. Krosoczka (2014)
Children’s book author Jarrett Krosoczka shares the origins of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, in which undercover school heroes serve lunch…and justice! His new project, School Lunch Hero Day, reveals how cafeteria lunch staff provide more…
- 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 3:07pm -
TED: Aziza Chaouni: How I brought a river, and my city, back to life - Aziza Chaouni (2014)
The Fez River winds through the medina of Fez, Morocco—a mazelike medieval city that’s a World Heritage site. Once considered the “soul” of this celebrated city, the river succumbed to sewage and pollution, and in the 1950s was covered over b…
- 3 days ago, 19 Aug 14, 2:56pm -
TED: Tim Berners-Lee: A Magna Carta for the web - Tim Berners-Lee (2014)
Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web 25 years ago. So it’s worth a listen when he warns us: There’s a battle ahead. Eroding net neutrality, filter bubbles and centralizing corporate control all threaten the web’s wide-open spaces. It…
- 4 days ago, 18 Aug 14, 3:18pm -
TED: Clint Smith: The danger of silence - Clint Smith (2014)
"We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't," says slam poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ign…
- 7 days ago, 15 Aug 14, 3:46pm -
TED: Eric Liu: Why ordinary people need to understand power - Eric Liu (2013)
Far too many Americans are illiterate in power — what it is, how it operates and why some people have it. As a result, those few who do understand power wield disproportionate influence over everyone else. “We need to make civics sexy again,” s…
- 8 days ago, 14 Aug 14, 3:42pm -
TED: Dan Pacholke: How prisons can help inmates live meaningful lives - Dan Pacholke (2014)
In the United States, the agencies that govern prisons are often called ‘Department of Corrections.’ And yet, their focus is on containing and controlling inmates. Dan Pacholke, Deputy Secretary for the Washington State Department of Corrections,…
- 9 days ago, 13 Aug 14, 2:47pm -
TED: Nick Hanauer: Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming - Nick Hanauer (2014)
Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our societies into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear his argument about wh…
- 10 days ago, 12 Aug 14, 2:56pm -
TED: Talithia Williams: Own your body's data - Talithia Williams (2014)
The new breed of high-tech self-monitors (measuring heartrate, sleep, steps per day) might seem targeted at competitive athletes. But Talithia Williams, a statistician, makes a compelling case that all of us should be measuring and recording simple d…
- 11 days ago, 11 Aug 14, 3:10pm -
TED: Megan Washington: Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking - Megan Washington (2014)
Megan Washington is one of Australia's premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to t…
- 14 days ago, 8 Aug 14, 2:59pm -
TED: Janet Iwasa: How animations can help scientists test a hypothesis - Janet Iwasa (2014)
3D animation can bring scientific hypotheses to life. Molecular biologist (and TED Fellow) Janet Iwasa introduces a new open-source animation software designed just for scientists.
- 15 days ago, 7 Aug 14, 3:34pm -
TED: Hubertus Knabe: The dark secrets of a surveillance state - Hubertus Knabe (2014)
Tour the deep dark world of the East German state security agency known as Stasi. Uniquely powerful at spying on its citizens, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the Stasi masterminded a system of surveillance and psychological pressure that k…
- 16 days ago, 6 Aug 14, 3:02pm -
TED: Margaret Gould Stewart: How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too) - Margaret Gould Stewart (2014)
Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons are seen 22 billion times a day, making them some of the most-viewed design elements ever created. Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s director of product design, outlines three rules for design at suc…
- 17 days ago, 5 Aug 14, 3:19pm -
TED: Shai Reshef: An ultra-low-cost college degree - Shai Reshef (2014)
At the online University of the People, anyone with a high school diploma can take classes toward a degree in business administration or computer science — without standard tuition fees (though exams cost money). Founder Shai Reshef hopes that high…
- 18 days ago, 4 Aug 14, 3:08pm -
TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)
Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …
- 35 days ago, 18 Jul 14, 3:08pm -
TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)
Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch thi…
- 36 days ago, 17 Jul 14, 3:29pm -
TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)
When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blin…
- 37 days ago, 16 Jul 14, 3:06pm -
TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)
Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical devi…
- 38 days ago, 15 Jul 14, 3:01pm -

ScienceDaily: Anthro

  • newNeanderthals 'overlapped' with modern humans for up to 5,400 years
    Neanderthals and modern humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years, according to a new article. For the first time, scientists have constructed a robust timeline showing when the last Neanderthals died out.
    - 17 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 4:37pm -
  • newOldest metal object found to date in Middle East
    A copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East, has been discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf. The awl dates back to the late 6th millennium or the early 5th millennium BCE, moving back by several hundred years the da…
    - 20 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:15pm -
  • Paleolithic diet may have included snails 10,000 years earlier than previously thought
    Paleolithic inhabitants of modern-day Spain may have eaten snails 10,000 years earlier than their Mediterranean neighbors. Snails were widespread in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, but it is still unknown when and how they were incorporated into h…
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 8:46pm -
  • Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans
    Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins. New research shows that tuberculosis likely spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions that brought the disease to South America and transmitted it to Native people there befor…
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 6:00pm -
  • 500-million-year reset for immune system
    A single factor can reset the immune system of mice to a state likely similar to what it was 500 million years ago, when the first vertebrates emerged. The model, researchers report, could provide an explanation of how the immune system had developed…
    - 4 days ago, 18 Aug 14, 5:51pm -
  • Embalming study 'rewrites' key chapter in Egyptian history
    Researchers have discovered new evidence to suggest that the origins of mummification started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.
    - 9 days ago, 13 Aug 14, 9:41pm -
  • Our ancestor's 'leaky' membrane answers big questions in biology
    All life on Earth came from one common ancestor -- a single-celled organism -- but what it looked like, how it lived and how it evolved into today’s modern cells is a four billion year old mystery being solved by researchers at using mathematical m…
    - 10 days ago, 12 Aug 14, 4:17pm -
  • Climate change and drought in ancient times
    The influence of climate on agriculture is believed to be a key factor in the rise and fall of societies in the Ancient Near East. An investigation into archaeological finds of grain has taken place in order to find out what influence climate had on…
    - 11 days ago, 11 Aug 14, 7:15pm -
  • Western Wall wearing away? Discovery of extreme erosion process could guide new preservation techniques
    Researchers have investigated erosion in the different kinds of limestone in the Western Wall at the foot of Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Stones made up of large crystals were almost unchanged in 2000 years, while limestone with small crystals eroded mu…
    - 11 days ago, 11 Aug 14, 4:46pm -
  • Fundamental plant chemicals trace back to bacteria
    A fundamental chemical pathway that all plants use to create an essential amino acid needed by all animals to make proteins has now been traced to two groups of ancient bacteria. Researchers describe in a new article how they traced the phenylalanine…
    - 15 days ago, 7 Aug 14, 4:18pm -

Sociological Images

  • newPeach Panties and a New Pinterest Board: Sexy What!?
    @zeyneparsel and Stephanie S. both sent in a link to a new craze in China: peach panties.  I totally made the craze part up — I have no idea about that – but the peach panties are real and there is a patent pending. I thought they were a great…
    - 20 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • Bathing Suit Fashion and the Project of Gender
    I came across this ad for bathing suits from the 1920s and was struck by how similar the men’s and women’s suits were designed.  Hers might have some extra coverage up top and feature a tight skirt over shorts instead of just shorts but, com…
    - 2 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • OKCupid Experiments on Its Users, Makes Us Hate Ourselves
    In the aftermath of the revelation that Facebook has been manipulating our emotions – the one that prompted Jenny Davis to write a post titled Newsflash: Facebook Has Always Been Manipulating Your Emotions – the folks at OkCupid admitted that th…
    - 3 days ago, 19 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • Who Are Habitats For? Electrified Nature in Zoo Exhibits
    What do you see? While it hasn’t always been the case, most well-funded zoos today feature pleasant-enough looking habitats for their animals.  They are typically species-appropriate, roomy enough to look less-than-totally miserable, and in…
    - 4 days ago, 18 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • Sunday Fun: The Best Thesis Defense…
    …is a good offense. Congratulations to all the August thesis and dissertation defenders out there! And thanks to xkcd for the ongoing higher ed humor. Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas…
    - 5 days ago, 17 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • Saturday Stat: The Invention of the “Illegal Immigrant”
    Citing the immigration scholar, Francesca Pizzutelli, Fabio Rojas explains that the phrase “illegal immigrant” wasn’t a part of the English language before the 1930s.  More often, people used the phrase “irregular immigrant.”   Instead o…
    - 6 days ago, 16 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • What Does It Mean to be Authentically Cajun?
    Flashback Friday. The term “Cajun” refers to a group of people who settled in Southern Louisiana after being exiled from Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) in the mid 1700s.  For a very long time, being Cajun meant…
    - 7 days ago, 15 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Attacks Portrayals of Black Men Killed by Police
    This has been a hard week.  Another young, unarmed black man was killed by police. The Root added Michael Brown’s face to a slideshow of such incidents, started after a black man named Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by officers…
    - 8 days ago, 14 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • Why Can’t Conservatives See the Benefits of Affordable Child Care?
    Ross Douthat is puzzled. He seems to sense that a liberal policy might actually help, but his high conservative principles and morality keep him from taking that step. It’s a political version of Freudian repression – the conservative superego fo…
    - 9 days ago, 13 Aug 14, 2:00pm -
  • Julie Chen Explains Why She Underwent “Westernizing” Surgery
    Eyelid surgery is the third most common cosmetic procedure in the world.  Some are necessary for drooping eyelids that interfere with vision, others are undertaken in order to enable people to look younger, but many people choose these surgeries to…
    - 10 days ago, 12 Aug 14, 2:00pm -

ScienceDaily: Brain

  • newPrimary care physicians can be critical resource for abused women in rural areas
    Many primary care physicians in rural communities do not routinely screen women for intimate partner violence, according to public health researchers. Rural women who are exposed to such violence have limited resources if they seek help. However, the…
    - 16 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 6:16pm -
  • newImpact of race, ethnicity in motor complete spinal cord injury
    Researchers have examined racial and ethnic influences in the outcomes of patients with motor complete spinal cord injury (SCI). Findings included small but significant differences in self-care and mobility at discharge.
    - 16 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 5:26pm -
  • newDifficulty assessing effort drives motivation deficits in schizophrenia, study finds
    Individuals with schizophrenia often have trouble engaging in daily tasks or setting goals for themselves, and a new study suggests the reason might be their difficulty in assessing the amount of effort required to complete tasks. The research can as…
    - 17 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 4:48pm -
  • newChildren with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis
    Children and adolescents with autism have a surplus of synapses in the brain, and this excess is due to a slowdown in a normal brain “pruning” process during development, according to a new study. Because synapses are the points where neurons con…
    - 17 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 4:47pm -
  • newReading 'Fifty Shades' linked to unhealthy behaviors
    Young adult women who read 'Fifty Shades of Grey' are more likely than nonreaders to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner, finds a new study. Further, women who read all three books in the blockbuster "Fifty Shades" e…
    - 18 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 3:59pm -
  • newFeeling bad at work can be a good thing (and vice versa)
    Contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes, researchers say. The commonly-held assumption that positivity in the workplace produces positive outcomes, while…
    - 19 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:24pm -
  • newSmartphone-loss anxiety disorder
    New research outlines the possible coping mechanisms that might be needed following loss or theft of one's smart phone or other digital devices and the security problems that the user might face.
    - 19 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:23pm -
  • newLearning to play the piano? Sleep on it!
    According to new research the regions of the brain below the cortex play an important role as we train our bodies’ movements and, critically, they interact more effectively after a night of sleep. While researchers knew that sleep helped us the lea…
    - 20 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:15pm -
  • newEmergency department nurses aren't like the rest of us
    Emergency department nurses aren't like the rest of us -- they are more extroverted, agreeable and open -- attributes that make them successful in the demanding, fast-paced and often stressful environment of an emergency department, according to a ne…
    - 21 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 1:06pm -
  • newCounseling has limited benefit on young people drinking alcohol, study suggests
    Counseling techniques used to help young people with drinking problems may be of limited benefit, a new study suggests. Researchers found that an approach known as motivational interviewing did not substantially reduce drinking or alter alcohol-relat…
    - 21 hours ago, 21 Aug 14, 1:06pm -

Social Evolution

  • Could human band and tribal scale cooperation have arisen without warfare? A Commentary by Peter J. Richerson
    I can imagine one scenario under which war would have been rare or absent in the Pleistocene. W.C. Allee in the 1930s described a demographic phenomenon later called the Allee Effect. We often think of intraspecific competition in terms of the logist…
    - 3 days ago, 19 Aug 14, 4:49am -
  • The War over War, Part II
    In the first installment I argued against extreme positions about the prevalence of warfare in the Pleistocene. One problem underlying the controversy over warfare in the early human history is that different people use different definitions of war.…
    - 4 days ago, 18 Aug 14, 4:12am -
  • The War over War
    I periodically get asked, what do I think about the controversy over Steven Pinker’s Better Angels? Truth is, I did not find anything particularly new in the book. For those of us interested in the role of war in social evolution most of the empiri…
    - 9 days ago, 13 Aug 14, 3:16am -
  • The Cultural System Dysfunction Hypothesis
    Recent decades have witnessed a dawning awareness that many diseases are caused by a mismatch between our immune systems and our modern environments. A mini-lesson on adaptive phenotypic plasticity will help to set the stage. Consider a snail species…
    - 11 days ago, 11 Aug 14, 4:23pm -
  • Paleo Diet and Fire
    It’s been a while since my last update on the Paleo diet (perhaps a better name for it is ‘Post-Neolithic diet’). Here are the links to previous blogs on this theme:…
    - 15 days ago, 7 Aug 14, 4:34am -

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