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Our Enemies Are Human. That’s Why We Want to Kill Them

Image of two opposing face statues, the left is white the right is red

On Saturday (August 12), James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, injuring 30 people and killing Heather Heyer. Earlier that day, white supremacists nearly beat Dre Harris to death. Throughout the afternoon, violence erupted between white supremacists and counter-protesters.

For a Better “I,” There Needs to Be a Supportive “We”

ANN ARBOR---If you’re one of those lucky individuals with high motivation and who actively pursues personal growth goals, thank your family and friends who support you.

People who view their relationships as supportive may confidently strive for growth, a new study indicated.

Research conducted at the University of Michigan used data from samples from the United States and Japan to determine if personal growth is an outcome of an individual’s traits or the positive relationships they have with others.

Does biology explain why men outnumber women in tech?

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It’s no secret that Silicon Valley employs many more men than women in tech jobs. What’s much harder to agree on is why.

The recent anti-diversity memo by a now former Google engineer has pushed this topic into the spotlight. The writer argued there are ways to explain the gender gap in tech that don’t rely on bias and discrimination – specifically, biological sex differences. Setting aside how this assertion would affect questions about how to move toward greater equity in tech fields, how well does his wrap-up represent what researchers know about the science of sex and gender?

You’re Not Alone in Feeling Alone

Believing you have fewer friends than your peers can contribute to unhappiness

Feel like everyone else has more friends than you do? You’re not alone— but merely believing this is true could affect your happiness.

A new study from the University of British Columbia, Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School has found that new university students consistently think their peers have more friends and spend more time socializing than they do. 

Looking for Similarities Can Bring Marginalized Groups Together

Image of the American flag

When African-American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem in August 2016, he said it was in protest of “a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” Soon after, National Women’s Soccer League player Megan Rapinoe became the first non-Black professional athlete to also kneel during the national anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick. She explained her support by highlighting commonalities between her own experiences as a gay woman and the experiences of racial minorities.

So Many in the West are Depressed Because They’re Expected Not to Be

Image of young woman laying on the floor using her laptop

Depression is listed as the leading cause of disability worldwide, a standing to which it has progressed steadily over the past 20 years. Yet research shows a rather interesting pattern: depression is far more prevalent in Western cultures, such as the US, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand, than in Eastern cultures, such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China.

Rejection, Volunteering, & Morality: Recently Published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Washington, D.C. – From rejection to volunteering and innocence, the following research recently published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Media may contact press @ spsp.org for a copy of any of these studies.

Highlights from the SPSP-Funded University of California Well-Being Conference

Image of attendees of University of California Well-Being Conference 2017

The first ever University of California Well-Being Conference (UCWBC), sponsored in part by a SPSP Small Conference Grant, provided a unique opportunity for researchers across the University of California (UC) system to connect and share their latest findings and insights on the science of well-being. Held at UC Riverside from March 3–5, 2017, and co-hosted by Dr. Ye Li at the UC Riverside School of Business, the conference brought together approximately 70 faculty members, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students from the Riverside, Irvine, Berkeley, LA, and Davis campuses.

Religious Affiliation Impacts Language Use on Facebook

Washington, D.C. - Are you more likely to use words like “happy” and “family” in your social media posts? Or do you use emotional and cognitive words like “angry” and “thinking?” The words you use may be a clue to your religious affiliation. A study of 12,815 U.S. and U.K. Facebook users finds use of positive emotion and social words is associated with religious affiliation whereas use of negative emotion and cognitive processes is more common for those who are not religious than those who are religious.

Beyond the Bystander Effect

Image of hybrid car plugged into a mobile charging station

Imagine a rural Texan who commutes in an F-150 truck to a distant job in the oil industry. Given the cost of gas, he is considering trading in his truck for a vehicle with better mileage. Take a guess: will he choose a Prius® hybrid? It's an economically rational choice. However, the Prius® is less popular in rural Texas than hybrids that look like normal cars (Sexton & Sexton, 2011).

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