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Freaks, Geeks, Norms and Mores: Why People Use the Status Quo as a Moral Compass

By Christina Tworek

The Binewskis are no ordinary family. Arty has flippers instead of limbs; Iphy and Elly are Siamese twins; Chick has telekinetic powers. These traveling circus performers see their differences as talents, but others consider them freaks with “no values or morals.” However, appearances can be misleading: The true villain of the Binewski tale is arguably Miss Lick, a physically “normal” woman with nefarious intentions.

Morality When the Mind is Unknowable

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By Rita A. McNamara


How White People Perceive The Purpose Of Diversity

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The purpose of diversity can seem different for different people. At the SPSP 2018 Annual Convention Justice and Morality Pre-conference, Dr. Stacey Sinclair from Princeton explored the motives underlying diversity in “Why Diversify: Framing Diversity as a Moral Versus Instrumental Good.”

How people frame the benefits of diversity, according to Dr. Sinclair, can be more moral–motivated by fairness and justice–or more instrumental—motivated by usefulness, like broadening horizons.

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI September 29, 2017

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Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus news stories and tweets worth a look.
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.

Psychology 2016: A Year in Review

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By Dave Nussbaum
In 2016 I’ve had the good fortune to work with a talented and endlessly interesting group of psychologists to help them share their research with the public. As the year winds down I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite articles of the past year.

Media Perspectives at #SPSP2017

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Character & Context Editor-in-Chief Dave Nussbaum is moderating “Want to be More Journalistic and Media Savvy? Media and SPSP Members Offer Perspectives, Advice, and Warnings” at the 2017 SPSP Annual Convention and invited Emily Esfahani Smith to share the following message on the blog:

Dear SPSP Community:

July Tip Sheet: Psychology & Politics

Before the political conventions kickoff and general election season moves into full force, stay ahead of the story by familiarizing yourself with leading social and personality psychology experts and studies. These experts have made themselves available for relevant media inquiries. 

There is less ‘I’ in teams

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By Mina Cikara

Mina Cikara, Anna Jenkins, and Rebecca Saxe discuss their new research about how moral behavior changes when we’re part of a group. 

Gender Difference in Moral Judgments Rooted in Emotion, Not Reasoning, Study Finds

If a time machine was available, would it be right to kill Adolf Hitler when he was still a young Austrian artist to prevent World War II and save millions of lives? Should a police officer torture an alleged bomber to find hidden explosives that could kill many people at a local café? When faced with such dilemmas, men are typically more willing to accept harmful actions for the sake of the greater good than women.

From the Bystander Effect to Political Ideologies: Excellence in Personality & Social Psychology

When you pass by a stranger in need of help, do you stop to lend a hand? Maybe not... A landmark 1973 study found that seminary students in a hurry were less likely to help someone in distress, even when they were on their way to deliver a talk on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. A co-author of that study and several other distinguished researchers are the recipients of the 2013 annual awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).