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Can focusing on the self make you more moral?

Image of woman playing with two dolls - one is an angel, one is a devil
By: Paul Conway
Quick: imagine an orphan asking you to donate to their orphanage charity. Which mindset is more likely to motivate you to donate: focusing on the other person, or focusing on yourself? Or: imagine you faced a moral dilemma where you needed to kill an innocent person to save many other lives.* Which mindset would leave you feeling most averse to performing this (brutal but necessary) action: focusing on the person you could kill, or focusing on yourself? 

Who Belongs in Business? Implications of Organizational Lay Theories of Intelligence for Women’s Experiences in Companies

Image of businesswoman with her feet on the desk reclining

By Katherine Emerson and Mary Murphy

A person surveying the leadership of corporate America would undoubtedly notice that women are still hard to find. According to a recent count, women comprise around 15% of board members and executive officers in the Fortune 500 even though they make up about half of the American workforce (Catalyst, 2012). Yet, gender discrimination has been legally prohibited for decades. So why are women still missing from corporate leadership positions?

Different markers of status predict well-being in Japan and the U.S.

Image of an organizational chart

By Cynthia Levine

What is good for Asahi bank is good for me. I can’t separate myself from Asahi Bank [his employer]: If Asahi bank has high status compared to other banks, I’ll have high status too.  I am what I am because of Asahi bank” (Matthews, 1996) – Japanese man, discussing his employer

Rejecting People is Hard to Do: Why People Fail to Turn Down Unwanted Dates

Image of a man and a woman having a heated discussion

By Samantha Joel

Relationships frequently fall apart due to irreconcilable incompatibilities. Sometimes these incompatibilities are so large that they seem like they should have been obvious from the start (e.g., one person wants children, the other partner doesn’t; one person is deeply religious, the other isn’t). Why don’t such dealbreakers prevent relationships from getting off the ground in the first place? Why do people so frequently wind up with incompatible romantic partners?

Self-Affirmation Promotes Better Apologies

Image of pink roses with an I'm Sorry card

By Karina Schumann

You slipped up. It was your night to take care of dinner, and when your partner asked you why it wasn’t done, you snapped and demanded he or she get off your back. You’ve taken a breather, but now it’s time to face your partner. What will you choose to say?

The Inherence Heuristic in Explanation May Be at the Root of Several Social Psychological Phenomena

Image of a crowd of people stretching their arms in the air to take photos with their phones and cameras

By Erika Salomon

Everyone knows the Mona Lisa. It is, perhaps, the most iconic piece of art in the world. But why is it so famous? If you are like many people, you will begin your search for an explanation of the painting’s fame by recalling what you know about good art and about the Mona Lisa. Good art is masterful, and Leonardo da Vinci is a master. Good art fascinates and challenges us, and the Mona Lisa’s expression is a puzzle for us to unlock.

Making Moral Arguments

Image of two businessmen at podiums debating

By Tamar Kreps

Imagine that you are telling someone else about your views on a policy issue—for example, expressing the view that the death penalty is wrong. What sort of justification should you give for your opinion? You might be tempted to shore up your view using a cost-benefit rationale: “I oppose the death penalty because of the extra financial costs it imposes on our legal and prison systems, and because there is no evidence that it is effective at preventing crime.”