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Credit:  Ding Yuin Shan
Can Marijuana Reduce Social Pain?

August 27, 2014
-- Marijuana use is hot topic of debate recently. With states legalizing recreational use, more states putting medicinal use up for referendum, and even the NFL reconsidering its disciplinary policy on the issue, it is important for researchers (and data) across specialties to be a part of this debate. The study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, focuses marijuana’s ability to dampen social pain among the lonely.

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Credit: Anderson Mancini
Can Fiction Stories Make Us More Empathetic?

August 20, 2014
-- Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, discussed how exposure to narrative fiction may improve our ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling in his session at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

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Credit: Anderson Mancini
How We Form Habits and Change Existing Ones

August 14, 2014
-- Studies show that about 40 percent of people's daily activities are performed each day in almost the same situations. "We find patterns of behavior that allow us to reach goals. We repeat what works, and when actions are repeated in a stable context, we form associations between cues and response," Wendy Wood explains in her session at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

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Credit: iStockPhoto
What Does 'Diversity' Mean to You? The Answer May Depend on Your Race

August 8, 2014
-- Researchers from the University of California at Irvine, the University of Virginia, and the University of California at Los Angeles collaborated to study how whites, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans evaluate diversity. The research included three studies, and participants were asked to rate the diversity of various groups of people that were presented as a team at work.

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Credit: Lauren Human
Accurate First Impressions Leave a Lasting Impression

August 1, 2014
-- Everyone knows first impressions are important. They can potentially determine whether you get the job, a second date, or develop a friendship. But what does it really mean to make a good impression? Of course, to make a good impression you need to be seen positively, but could there be more to it than that? Lauren Human discusses the research behind answering these questions on SPSP's blog.

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