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How Do Robots and Humans Interact?

Image of robot in foreground, blurred female in background

To what extent do people place identity with or against robots? Can we take a robot’s perspective? Do we see robots as moral beings?

Xuan Zhao, who studies perspective taking, empathy, and prosocial behaviors, launched the session by highlighting the theoretical and practical relevance of examining human-robot interaction.

How Do Dispositional Tendencies Shape How We Assign Blame?

Illustration of mutlicultural jury

Accidents happen, and when misfortunes occur we tend to look for someone or something to blame.

When such accidents lead to court cases, it often falls upon a jury to determine fault. How does an individual’s attributional tendency impact how they assign blame?

Creating Diverse Schools and Workplaces Requires Inclusion, Not Just Numbers

Atlanta, GA - New research shows when it comes to successfully engaging and including minorities in the workforce and schools, organizations need to focus on inclusion. Several social psychology researchers will share details of their results at the SPSP Annual Convention on March 2nd.

“Institutions tend to overemphasize numerical diversity to the exclusion of inclusion” says Erika Hall (Emory University), one of the presenters and co-chair of the symposium.

Inclusive Businesses

Smartphone Use Undermines Enjoyment of Face-to-Face Interactions at Dinnertime

Atlanta, GA - While “Take your elbows off the dinner table,” is a common refrain for many families, people may soon add, “take your phone off the table” to the list, too.  According to research being presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention, people with smartphones present during dinner time report less enjoyment than those who kept their phones away.

There’s been the assumption that engaging in phone use during social interactions would dampen happiness, but this is the first field experiment to gather empirical data to prove the point.

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI February 23, 2017

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We're here with another weekly roundup. Next week keep we will take break for convention coverage. Keep an eye out for new posts from our cadre of science writer interns covering the meeting. Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews.

On the Blogs

After 50 years of explaining conservatism as flaw, new study suggests it's cultural

Image of person running in front of a city skyline

Social psychologists are overwhelmingly liberal. Most people would probably say that if 90% of a field are liberal, that would be pretty skewed, but a recent survey suggests the real number is 12 liberals to 1 conservative.

College Roommates Underestimate Each Other’s Distress, New Psychology Research Shows

College roommates are sensitive to their roommate’s distress but tend to underestimate the level of distress being experienced by others, finds a newly published study from New York University psychology researchers.

The work, which appears in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests that roommates’ perception of each other’s distress could be useful for monitoring the mental health of college students, but there are ways that students could be trained to be more accurate.

When do humanlike virtual assistants help - or hinder - online learning?

Image of robot toy pointing to "Artificial Intelligence" written on a chalkboard

Online learning is an increasingly popular tool across most levels of education. Currently, all 50 states in the United States offer online learning at the K-12 level, and about 74% of K-8 teachers use educational software as a classroom tool. About 5.8 million higher education students are taking at least one online course, and revenue from mobile learning products in North America is predicted to rise steadily, reaching $410 million by the end of 2018.

An Illness by Any Other Name: Could a Name Change Improve Perceptions of Gout?

Image of feet on a weighing scale with a tape measure curled up on the floor

The beginning of a new year is a time of resolution setting and recovery from the festive season. We enjoyed plenty of ham, turkey, Christmas pudding and maybe a few alcoholic beverages. But merriment has consequences. In fact, the head of the Royal College of General Practitioners has asserted that due to poor diet and lifestyle habits, Santa Claus probably has a few health problems, one of which being gout.

The dangerous belief that white people are under attack

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In August, the Justice Department decided to investigate instances of bias against whites in university admissions. Since then, campuses have been flyered with “It’s okay to be white,” and in November, violence erupted at the University of Connecticut during a speech about discrimination against whites.

Are white people actually under attack?

After all, in the U.S., whites have historically been viewed as perpetrators of bias, and racial minorities as the victims.

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