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Psychology 2016: A Year in Review

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By Dave Nussbaum
In 2016 I’ve had the good fortune to work with a talented and endlessly interesting group of psychologists to help them share their research with the public. As the year winds down I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite articles of the past year.

Psychology News Round-Up (September 23rd)

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This Week on the Blog

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Is it too late for Trump and Clinton to become more likable?

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By Melissa J. Ferguson

According to the old adage, one never gets a second chance to make a first impression. Might that hold true for the presidential candidates?

There would seem to be plenty of opportunities between now and Election Day – including nonstop coverage of the horse race, policy statements, debates and live campaign events – for the candidates to share their views and values and for voters to analyze them in order to make an informed choice.

#SPSP2016 In the News

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Media Highlights of 2016 SPSP Annual Convention

Take a look at some of the research covered at this year’s Convention!

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.”

Embrace the Data

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By Alex Danvers

What words can classify a movie review as positive? What words classify it as negative?

In the symposium Big Data: Vast Opportunities for Psychological Insight from Mining Enormous Datasets at the SPSP Annual Convention, Harvard economist Sendil Mullainathan threw up some obvious candidates, like “dazzling” or “gripping”—words that researchers brainstormed would do a good job. Using these “theory-grounded” words, a team of computer scientists was able to classify reviews with 60% accuracy—not much of an improvement over 50/50 guessing.

Men and women biased about studies of STEM gender bias – in opposite directions

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By David Miller

In 2012, an experiment on gender bias shook the scientific community by showing that science faculty favor male college graduates over equally qualified women applying for lab manager positions. Though the study was rigorous, many didn’t believe it.

Hidden Brain

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By: Dave Nussbaum

Implicit Anti-Gay Bias Has Decreased – and the Change is Accelerating

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By: Erin Westgate and Rachel G. Riskind

Imagine it’s 2004. Martha Stewart has just been sentenced to prison, details of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal are beginning to emerge, and Massachusetts has become the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriages. Would you believe that in just 11 years, the federal government – and all fifty U.S. states and territories – would recognize same-sex marriage?