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Religion and Spirituality at SPSP

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By Linda Nguyen and Joseph Leman

Linda Nguyen and Joseph Leman report from the Religion and Spirituality Preconference at the SPSP annual convention.

Irreligiousness, prejudice and new approaches to psychology of religion research were center stage on February 13th at the 6th annual Society of Personality and Social Psychology Religion and Spirituality Pre-Conference. Researchers from all over the world came to share and discuss the latest in religion and spirituality research.

Psychology News Round-Up (July 4th)

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By Erika Salomon

Being a Negative Nancy Has Its Benefits

Image of a lady holding two balloons with a happy and sad face in front of her own face

By Meredith Wise

“Nobody likes a Negative Nancy,” or so the saying goes. But as it turns out, she may actually have a leg up on the rest of us when it comes to goal attainment and balancing expectations with results. The research was presented during the symposium “The Upsides of Negativity: Surprising Benefits Come from Unpleasant, Aversive, or Problematic Starts” at SPSP’s 16th Annual Convention in Long Beach, California.

What Conference Presentations Should Really Be About: Advancing Science

Image of a room full of seated people looking at a slideshow about to begin

By Troy Campbell

There’s a lot advice out there on how to give the perfect  conference presentation. People say to be engaging, have clean slides, have good graphics, explain your contribution, and champion its relevance. Sometimes sources of advice contradict each other when some say to be funny and others say to be dry and professional.

Yet, regardless of the content of the advice, the motive of the advice is always the same. The advice seeks to help you do one thing: look good and smart.

Overconfidence Could Land You a Date But Lose Your Next Bet

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By Jennider Santisi

An overconfident person is more likely to enter a contest even when the odds are stacked against them, or start a business even if it’s likely to fail. So why is overconfidence prevalent when there’s such a risk associated with having that personality trait?

The Best Time Machine Money Can’t Buy

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By Eric Horowitz

The dimension of time remains an unexplorable frontier and constant constraint. It always moves at the rate of second per second. The silver lining for humans is that we have an imagination that doesn’t face these limitations. We can think about next week, then jump 20 years into the past, then think about what might happen in an hour. Any moment our minds wander to another era we become mental time travelers.

Carrots vs. Cookies: The Struggle Is Real For Students

Image of child reaching for chocolate cake instead of an apple

By Meredith Wise

If you put a carrot and a cookie in front of a child, which do you think most will pick? Self-control in the face of sugary goodness as an adult can be tough. And for kids, it’s even harder.

Childhood obesity is a massive epidemic in the United States―nearly one in three children and teens are overweight or obese. Foundations and others across the country are pouring money into eliminating the issue: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation alone has set aside $1 billion just for that purpose.

Expressing Anger and Altruism on Facebook

Illustration of various emotions

By Jennifer Santisi

Sketches of emotions that were used to create Facebook’s emoticons. Credit: Matt Jones

Charles Darwin described 50 emotional states, such as anxiety, fear, embarrassment and guilt, in his book The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, written in 1872. Darwin’s descriptions were used by a Pixar animator Matt Jones to sketch what each emotional state looks like. Jones’ sketches eventually morphed into the 16 emoticons we recognize today on Facebook.

How Your Boss’s Ethics Can Hurt Your Career

Illustration of Moses and the Ten Commandments at a desk

By Takuya Sawaoka

[This article originally appeared as an Op-Ed on LiveScience here]

Professionals may believe they can maintain an ethical reputation by merely refraining from morally questionable practices: Don’t steal, cheat, or bully others. But this alone is not enough. If a higher-up in your organization is found guilty of unethical behavior, your reputation can become tainted merely because you work at the same place.