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Community Perspectives

Reaching the Heart by Changing the Mind: Reducing Anti-Muslim hostility Through a ‘Wise’ Socratic Activity

Illustration of a personified heart and brain reaching for each other, swinging from a trapeze

In 2015, Muslim extremists launched an attack in Paris, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds of others. In the days that followed, my social media feed – courtesy of my liberal friends – was ablaze with memes, musings, admonishments and videos that were aimed at countering the anticipated backlash against innocent Muslims that we all knew would follow.

Promoting Open, Critical, Civil, and Inclusive Scientific Discourse in Psychology

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The statement is written by those listed at the end of this post, and has been gathering signatures for the past several days. 

The editors of Character & Context, SPSP's blog, agreed to share the statement with the goal of facilitating a discussion on the topic, which is of clear interest and concern to the community. 

We would like to be clear, however, that this statement does not originate from SPSP Leadership or the blog's editors, nor do we endorse it by posting it. 

An Open Letter to NPR's Invisibilia about "The Personality Myth"

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A recent podcast from NPR's Invisbilia garnered attention from many current personality psychology researchers.  Below is one of the many responses to the creators of the podcast generated on both Facebook and Twitter.

Dear Invisibilia,

Prediction in Psychology

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By Alexander Danvers

What do you want out of your social psychology research?

The obvious—and dominant—answer is to explain how the mind works. The statistical methods typically employed by psychologists are set up to answer questions related to cause and effect.

But this is not the only way to approach science—or statistical methodology. In a preprint paper currently under review, researchers Tal Yarkoni and Jacob Westfall suggest that psychologists should shift their emphasis in the direction of prediction.

Rethinking Race Stereotypes

An abandoned buidling with a faded gas sign, and broken windows. The area around the building has a few borwn plants but is mopstly empty and dusty, like a rural dessert

By Keelah Williams, Oliver Sng, and Steven Neuberg

Since the classic “Princeton trilogy” studies began in 1933, social psychologists have assessed and catalogued White Americans’ stereotypes of Black Americans. The value of this work is clear: if we want to reduce the application of pernicious stereotypes to individuals, it’s useful to know what those stereotypes are likely to be.


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By Christopher R. Chartier and Randy McCarthy

The community of research psychologists has access to a large amount of resources (e.g., time, participants, expertise, etc.) which, collectively, has the potential to make enormous gains in knowledge, shape public policy, and improve human lives. However, these resources may not be currently used as efficiently as possible. With these goals in mind, we introduce a new tool to facilitate coordinated use of collective research resources: StudySwap.

What Neuroscience Says about Free Will

Blue image of a transparent brain with data points marked around the brain on black background

By Adam Bear

It happens hundreds of times a day: We press snooze on the alarm clock, we pick a shirt out of the closet, we reach for a beer in the fridge. In each case, we conceive of ourselves as free agents, consciously guiding our bodies in purposeful ways. But what does science have to say about the true source of this experience?

Intersectionality: How gender interacts with other social identities to shape bias

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By David Miller

Actress Patricia Arquette’s comments at the 2015 Oscars award night drew criticism for implicitly framing gender equality as an issue for straight white women. She insisted that, “It’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

New Directions in Intergroup Contact

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By Tessa Thwaites

In our extremely diverse world, contact between different groups – be they differences in gender identity, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation – is increasingly frequent. In these situations of intergroup interactions, we are faced with a choice: we can react with anxiety and hostility and enact segregation; or we can react with understanding and tolerance and promote positive intergroup contact.