Character  &  Context

The Science of Who We Are and How We Relate
Editors: Mark Leary, Shira Gabriel, Brett Pelham
Dec 01, 2017

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI December 1, 2017

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In this week's roundup we catch up from the Thanksgiving weekend, with posts on giving, happiness, and persuasion.  Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews.

On the Blogs

Cass Sunstein covers research on nudges, governments, what works, and what doesn't, in this week's post.
How to Persuade People That Climate Change Is Real via The Monkey Cage
Alex Maki, one of SPSP’s Op-Ed Training Grant recipients, writes on climate change and persuasion in the Washington Post.
"We found that the donors didn’t support the species that had the greater need for conservation – but those rated the 'cuter' animals," writes Yvetta Simonyan.
5 Reasons Why People Give Their Money Away – Plus 1 Why They Don’t
Sara Konrath and Femida Handy look at what’s behind the urge to donate.
Ashley Whillans and Frances Chen cover their recent work on social media, perception, and happiness. 

Help You Help Me via The Behaviorist
Nichola Raihani covers why doing good deeds doesn't always make someone seem like a good person.

Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire discuss p-values, statistical significance, and incentives.

In the News

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude via Time

Very Intelligent People Make Less Effective Leaders, According To Their Peers and Subordinates via Research Digest

Chronic Feelings of Powerlessness Spur Men to Engage In Sexual Harassment via Pacific Standard

Why Fear Motivates both Altruists and Psychopaths via The Washington Post

Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself? via The New York Times

The Weird Science of Homophobes Who Turn Out to Be Gay via The Daily Beast

What Turns Black Friday Shoppers Into Raging Hordes? via The New York Times

There's a Simple, Selfless Genius to Gifts That Don't Aim To Surprise or Impress via Quartzy

Why Ageism Never Gets Old via The New Yorker

The Emotional Benefits of Small Talk Outweigh Your Fear of Being Awkward via Quartz

Nice Brains Finish Last via Scientific American

Brexit Strongly Linked To Xenophobia, Scientists Conclude via The Independent

We Have Friends On Facebook And Everywhere Else, But Are They The Kind We Need? Via The Washington Post

How Segregation Leads To Racist Voting By Whites via Vox

Our Personalities Are Shaped By the Climate We Grew Up In, New Study Says via The Washington Post

Belief in Our Moral Superiority Is the Most Irrational Self-Enhancing Bias of All via Research Digest

All Muslims Are Often Blamed For Single Acts of Terror. Psychology Explains How to Stop It. via Vox

Podacast: Not by Chance Alone with the Legendary Social Psychologist Elliot Aronson via The Psychology Podcast

Podcast: Stereothreat via RadioLab


What did we miss? Did you recently complete a media interview or have your work featured in the news? Want to be in the next edition? Drop us a note and a link at Your contributions keep us engaged.

On Twitter

Recently in the news, publishing research you want to share with the media, or interested in writing for our blog? Email Annie Drinkard, SPSP's Media and Public Relations Manager to get started.


About our Blog

Why is this blog called Character & Context?

Everything that people think, feel, and do is affected by some combination of their personal characteristics and features of the social context they are in at the time. Character & Context explores the latest insights about human behavior from research in personality and social psychology, the scientific field that studies the causes of everyday behaviors.  

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