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persuasion

Facts and Stories: Great Stories Undermine Strong Facts

Washington, DC - Some research shows facts are better received when presented on their own. Other studies show facts are more accepted when interwoven with stories; stories can help bridge emotional connections. If someone is trying to persuade or influence others, should they use a story or stick to the facts? According to research from social psychologists at Northwestern University, stories can increase the persuasiveness of weak facts, but actually decrease the persuasiveness of strong facts.

Perceived Scientific Consensus as a Gateway to Bridging the Climate Change Divide

Helicopter view of North Miami Beach condominiums along the ocean

In the United States, climate change is a highly polarizing topic. How can we reduce this political polarization? In our research on attitudes about climate change, we seem to have discovered an answer. When people are reminded that almost all climate scientists believe in climate change, they become much less skeptical about it. 

To Forgive or Not to Forgive? Understanding Self-attitudes After Health Behavior Lapses

Image of checklist with exercise and nutritional goals

Health behavior change is notoriously difficult. If you have ever tried to exercise more often, drink more water, cut back on sweets, or even floss more regularly, you can probably relate to this difficulty firsthand. Some days you get it right and meet your new health-related goals, and on other days you fall short.

A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way: Perspective Takers Are Liked More than Non-Perspective Takers

A woman looks across a telescope in front of a glass building

It may come as no surprise that political polarization is on the rise; liberals are becoming more liberal, and conservatives are becoming more conservative. This is more than simple disagreement; political polarization involves an extreme commitment to one’s ideology and an unwillingness to consider other viewpoints. According to Kristin Laurin from the University of British Columbia, we need to be willing to take the perspective of people with opposing views in order to combat political polarization. But how do people perceive those who engage in such perspective taking?

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI February 2, 2017

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6 more weeks of winter. This week's roundup covers vacations, parenthood, racism, and nostalgia. 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.

On the Blogs

Science March Tip Sheet

Psychology of groups, protests, and beliefs

The March for Science takes place April 22, 2017.  But what inspires people to join marches and protests? What really persuades people to accept information; facts, emotions, beliefs?  The following experts and materials are available to provide details to journalists on the social and personality psychology of groups, persuasion, and beliefs.

Experts

Facts, Beliefs, and Identity: The Seeds of Science Skepticism

From climate skeptics to anti-vaxxers, psychologists are studying what motivates and drives our decisions to pay attention to some facts while ignoring others.

San Antonio, Texas – Psychological researchers are working to understand the cognitive processes, ideologies, cultural demands, and conspiracy beliefs that cause smart people to resist scientific messages. Using surveys, experiments, observational studies and meta-analyses, the researchers capture an emerging theoretical frontier with an eye to making science communication efforts smarter and more effective.

Willpower and Desires: Turning Up the Volume On What You Want Most

San Diego -- Trying to resist that late-night tweet or checking your work email again? The bad news is that desires for work and entertainment often win out in the daily struggle for self-control, according to a new study that measures various desires and their regulation in daily life.