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What Does “Feminist” Mean to You?

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What do you think of when you hear the word “feminist?” To some, this term elicits images of political, social, and economic equality for men and women. To others, this term elicits images of man-hating women plotting to steal power from men. As PhD student Victoria Parker (Wilfrid Laurier University) points out in her talk entitled “Diverging Definitions: How the Conceptualization of “Feminism” Engenders Dislike and Obscures Common Ground Across Party Lines” at the SPSP Annual Convention, these diverging definitions are problematic.

Do Women Enjoy Sex in the Absence of Orgasm?

A lady frolics in the sunshine carrying a dozen colorful balloons

Is sex only pleasurable if we experience an orgasm, or can people still enjoy sex in the absence of an orgasm? Popular media often presents an orgasm as the ultimate goal of sex and the defining feature of a satisfying sexual experience, yet in reality, many women have difficulties orgasming consistently (or at all) during sex. This discrepancy might suggest that many women are not satisfied with their sexual experiences, but it could also suggest that other aspects of sex are pleasurable above and beyond “the big O.”

More is More: Variety in Conceptualizations, Behaviors, and Spending may Boost Happiness

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“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” According to this quote from the Dalai Lama, happiness comes as a result of our behaviors. But what behaviors lead to the greatest happiness and well-being? In the symposium on happiness, “Get Happy: Perspectives on Experiences and Conceptions of Happiness,” researchers shared insights from a number of studies suggesting how specific thoughts and behaviors contribute to happiness and well-being.

Understanding America’s Political Divide: New Methods Using Twitter and Self-Report data

IMage of the US outline with half blue and half red on the outside

Political polarization—the increasing ideological divide between liberals and conservatives—continues to engulf the United States, further inflaming the ongoing culture wars.

Out of Sight, but not Mind: Concealable Identity in Society

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Managing what to disclose and what to conceal has been an integral part of our everyday lives. Think about a time when you feel like you simply cannot trust someone, or perhaps that person is not as accepting as you want him to be, what would be the odds that you would open up to him? On the flip side, you probably are more likely to open up about your secrets with someone who is accepting and trustworthy.

Female friends who (co)ruminate together stay together

Two African-American women hug each other happily

3, 2, 1… Go! Name your best friend. Which special person comes to mind? Perhaps you have more than one best friend. These are people that you feel very close with, that you turn to for help, or when you’re simply looking to spend time with someone that you care about. Do you ever wonder, however, how you came to be so close with this one, or few, special people?

Overestimating the Degree to Which Attitudes are Shared between Self and Ingroup versus Outgroup Members

a green shirt has a hello my name is mind reader sticker on it

In order for humans to thrive in social interactions, there is a demand in understanding how other people think or feel so that we could respond to them accordingly. Research in the past has shown that people use their own mental states as a reference point to understand others. It would be particularly advantageous for us to use this reference point when there is an overlap between how we and others perceive the world.

Researchers have demonstrated that humans tend to think that people who come from the same social backgrounds think, feel, and behave in a similar fashion.


Are You Being More Authentic When You Eat the Cookie or When You Avoid It?

a small child peeks over a counter at a plate of cookies lurking nearby

It’s been a long day at work. You are walking down the street towards home when you are suddenly greeted with the mouth-watering scent of freshly baked cookies from the local store. Immediately, you feel a wave of temptation.

Would avoiding the temptation make you feel like you are aligned with your authentic self, staying the course on your ideal fitness goals? Or, instead, is this temptation trying to tell you something about what you really want, making eating the cookies an authentic act that is in line with your true desires and true self?


Outside the Academy: Forging Meaningful Partnerships for Conducting Field Experiments

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For personality and social psychologists, the entire world can be a laboratory.  Customer-facing businesses represent near unlimited possibilities to apply psychological insights and experimentally test interventions. But how can social and personality psychology researchers form the critical partnerships that allow for such mutually beneficial collaborations?

Gender Segregation: A Matter of Personal Choice or Gender Stereotypes?

A group of girls work on a computer task together

Why are some careers still segregated by gender? Given the political and social equality women have achieved, it is surprising that that there are still so few women in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM), and other high-earning positions. On the surface, this discrepancy suggests that men and women are simply better suited for, and want to work in different fields.