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The Secret to Easy Theory

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By Kurt Gray

We all know Kurt Lewin’s aphorism “there is nothing so practical as a good theory.” Unfortunately there is a divide between knowing theory’s importance and knowing exactly how to do it.  How should one represent the structure of science—the nomological net of ideas? This post explores a new and simple way to depict theory: theory mapping.

In Case You Missed It March 31, 2017

Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus a few news stories and tweets that might be worth a look. If you have an item you'd like us to consider, use the hashtag #SPSPblog or tweet us directly @spspnews.

When Social Status is Bad for Health

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By Cynthia Levine

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Conducting the Milgram Experiment in Poland, Psychologists Show People Still Obey

A replication of one of the most widely known obedience studies, the Stanley Milgram experiment, shows that even today, people are still willing to harm others in pursuit of obeying authority.

The title is direct, “Would you deliver an electric shock in 2015?” and the answer, according to the results of this replication study, is yes. Social psychologists from SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Poland replicated a modern version of the Milgram experiment and found results similar to studies conducted 50 years earlier.

How to Overcome Unconscious Bias

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By Jordan Axt

We all have prejudices we're not even aware of—but they don't have to govern our behavior

How Our Morals Might Politically Polarize Just About Anything

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By Randy Stein

When news breaks about wrongdoings of our favorite politician, the other side inevitably argues that we have a scandal on our hands. We like to think that our superior grasp of logic is what enables us to reason through and reject the other side’s concerns. The Conversation

How Marriage Gets “Under the Skin” to Benefit Health

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By Brian Chin

Research shows that married people tend to be healthier than both people who have never been married and people who were previously married (i.e., divorced, widowed, or separated). But it’s less clear how or why married people are in better health. Are there biological and psychological advantages of marriage?

Does Living in Crowded Places Drive People Crazy?

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You may be thinking: yes—living under crowded conditions surely drives people crazy. And the reason why may be traced back to some unfortunate rats.

Showcasing Immigrant Excellence

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By Joel E. Martinez, Lauren A. Feldman, and Mina Cikara

A social-media campaign to counter negative stereotypes shows enormous promise—but it’s still a work in progress

Why Your Identity Matters

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“Black people don’t go to therapy, Joan; we go to church.” So says one woman to her struggling friend on the TV sitcom Girlfriends after her friend admits that she wants to find a therapist. This moment captures an important insight: Identities, like race, gender, and socioecomonic status, are linked to health behaviors. The behaviors that people choose to engage in to promote their health are shaped by what identities come to mind and the strategies for improving health that are linked to those identities.

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