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The Opposite of Scientific: Why People Sometimes Prefer Untestable Beliefs

Image of road sign with the text Affordable Care Act

By Justin Friesen


Science is built on testability, but we find that for some personally important beliefs, such as about God’s existence or a favored politician’s performance, it might be more psychologically useful to hold beliefs that are not testable. Our research offers new insights into how people deal with facts, and offers the intriguing, if not scary, notion that sometimes people don’t want their belief systems to be accountable to facts.

Adaptive Disengagement Buffers Self-esteem from Negative Social Feedback

Image of man looking at his reflection in a framed mirror

By Jordan Leitner

Negative social feedback is an inevitable part of life. Attempts at romance sometimes fall short, some job interviews will not yield offers, and the media bombards us with messages that we lack physical attractiveness. Even highly successful individuals will experience negative feedback from time to time. How do we integrate such negative cues into our self-worth?

Does Money Buy Happiness? A new answer to an old question

Image of businessman sitting down rejoicing with illustrations of money flying in the air

By Johannes Haushofer Jeremy Shapiro and Catherine Thomas

Indecision and the Construction of Self

Woman holding angel version of herself in one hand and devilish version in the other hand

By Daniel Newark

Does thinking about scarcity make people more selfish or generous?

Image of businessman holding a sandwich made of money

By Caroline Roux

As a graduate student, I often felt that money was tight, time was insufficient, sleep was a rare commodity, and food was lacking in the house. Objectively, my stipend provided me with a decent living, I managed my time efficiently most days, I slept a decent amount of hours most nights, and I always had something to eat at home. Subjectively, however, I often thought about these resources in terms of scarcity, or “not having enough.”

Can Lego cars reveal the key to effective communication?

Image of older man and woman and two children playing with toys

By Katharine Greenaway

Miscommunication is often a matter of minor misunderstandings. In 1999 the $125 million Mars orbiter was destroyed entering the planet’s atmosphere because one spacecraft team made calculations in imperial measurements while another used metric. Thirteen years earlier, the Space Shuttle Challenger famously exploded 73 seconds into its flight due to a tragic failure of communication between different departments at NASA. These examples are extreme, but the bottom line is that miscommunication costs time, money, and sometimes lives.

Psychology News Round-Up (April 3rd)

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By Dave Nussbaum

Psychology News Round-Up (March 27th)

Image of newspapers shaped to spell the word News

​By Dave Nussbaum

Psychology News Round-Up (March 21st)

Image of newspapers shaped to spell the word News

By Dave Nussbaum