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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

Image of black and white chess pieces on a chessboard

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.

Coming Out vis-à-vis Identification with Symbols: Exploring the Affirmative Role of Gay Icons

Illustration of group of people celebrating and waving Gay Pride flags

My maternal grandmother, Mimi, outwardly presented as a composite of gay icons. She lived her life as the ingénue in a John Waters film, but—like most things camp—was completely genuine and self-assured. It was Mimi who, via rented VHS tapes, introduced me to splashy movie-musicals starring Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and others. Before his death when I was twelve, I remember my grandfather cautioning Mimi against showing me those films, or else I might “turn out like” a family friend known to be gay.

The Caveman and The Bomb: Does Trump Grasp the Horror of His Threat to “Totally Destroy” North Korea?

Image of missiles lined up aimed towards the sky

“I am deeply moved if I see one man suffering and would risk my life for him. Then I talk impersonally about the possible pulverization of our big cities, with a hundred million dead. I am unable to multiply one man’s suffering by a hundred million.” ­—Albert Szent-Györgyi

Entitled People Don’t Follow Instructions Because They See Them as “Unfair”

From job applications to being in line at the DMV, instructions, and the expectations that we follow them, are everywhere. Recent research found people with a greater sense of entitlement are less likely to follow instructions than less entitled people are, because they view the instructions as an unfair imposition on them. The results appear in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Reaching the Heart by Changing the Mind: Reducing Anti-Muslim hostility Through a ‘Wise’ Socratic Activity

Illustration of a personified heart and brain reaching for each other, swinging from a trapeze

In 2015, Muslim extremists launched an attack in Paris, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds of others. In the days that followed, my social media feed – courtesy of my liberal friends – was ablaze with memes, musings, admonishments and videos that were aimed at countering the anticipated backlash against innocent Muslims that we all knew would follow.

How to Combat Racial Bias: Start in Childhood

Image of young children's faces

Racial bias can seem like an intractable problem. Psychologists and other social scientists have had difficulty finding effective ways to counter it – even among people who say they support a fairer, more egalitarian society. One likely reason for the difficulty is that most efforts have been directed toward adults, whose biases and prejudices are often firmly entrenched.

In The Blink of an Eye: People Perceive Sex Ratio and Threat of Group in Less Than a Second

In almost as quickly as it takes to blink an eye, we make assumptions about a group of people. New research from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) shows people perceive the sex ratio of a group, and decide if the group is threatening or not, in half a second. The perceptions of the number of men in the group are accurate, according to the research.

Nicholas Alt (UCLA), Brianna Mae Goodale (UCLA), David J Lick (New York University) and Kerri Johnson (UCLA) conducted the research. The results appear in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Are Men Seen as ‘More American’ Than Women?

Image of men and women standing in front of an American flag

Women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population and have equal voting rights, yet are politically underrepresented. The country has never had a female president or vice president. Only 3.5 percent of Supreme Court justices have been women, and women make up only 20 percent of Congress.

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