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Science in Society

Superbowl Psychology

Image of American football player outstretched in the air catching the football

By Amy Summervile

Though you may not know it, when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday—especially if you actually watch the game and not just the commercials— you’ll likely be engaging in a lot of what psychological scientists call counterfactual thinking: thoughts about “what might have been,” “at least,” and “if only.”

Research on counterfactual thought explains all kinds of surprising reactions to sporting events, and a couple of ways in which your judgment about the big game may not be as clear as you think.

Finding Meaning and Ambiance: Preview of “Psychology in Action” at Austin meeting

"What gives you meaning" in graffiti text over a brick background

By Lisa M.P. Munoz

My office recently underwent a makeover – replacing open and unwieldy shelves with sturdy drawers to conceal my clutter, and ditching my tiny desk for a spacious one with lots of open space for me to organize my projects. Throughout this renovation, my thought kept coming back to two major themes: productivity and storage.

Why Belief in the Supernatural is Only Natural

Image of Tarot cards

By Lisa M.P. Munoz

“Collect seven red apples directly from an apple tree. In the morning, before eating anything, peel the apples, eat them and save the peel. Right before going to bed, make a tea with the peel.” 
– Brazilian remedy for quitting smoking

A Council of Psychological Advisors

Image of cartoon nondescript people sitting around a circular table

For all you psychologists out there, there's a fantastic opportunity to put your research to good use, but you'll have to be quick about it, the deadline's on Friday. Perspectives on Psychological Science has put out a call for proposals for what you would do if the President had a Council of Psychological Advisors, and you were tasked with writing a memo to use psychology to design or improve policy.

Does a group have a mind of its own?

Image of American flag flying in a cityscape with skyscrapers
“[…] a corporation is an abstraction. It has no mind of its own any more than it has a body of its own.”

- Viscount Richard Haldane, Lennard's Carrying v Asiatic Petroleum, 1915