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While researchers have long known that brothers and sisters teach each other about the world, most of their observations about this have been made in a lab setting. A new study has investigated a step further by observing how children interact in their natural habitat: their homes. Through the study, investigators not only confirmed that teaching occurs naturally and spontaneously, but that both older and younger siblings initiate learning activities. What's more, siblings acting as teachers use a variety of instructional techniques during these informal lessons.
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It has been a long standing discussion whether men and women are wired differently. Recent research suggests that this is actually true, with men wired front to back in both hemispheres, with only some overlapping connections between the hemispheres, whilst women are connected between the left and right hemispheres. This would explain why generally men are better at learning and performing a single task, but tend to fail miserably at multi-tasking, with women being far better equipped to do more than one thing at once. With this proven, what other discussions regarding brain formations could be true? Many people have thought that the brains of artists are different from others in a way which enables them to be more creative, and research reported in Neurolmage suggests that this is true.
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laurie corzett

Social Influence  - 
 
 
IIardi wants us to understand that "Depression is a disease of civilization"  Does anyone disagree?

"Dr. Stephen Ilardi is a professor of clinical psychology and the author of The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duke University in 1995, and has since served on the faculties of the University of Colorado and (presently) the University of Kansas. The author of over 40 professional articles on mental illness, Dr. Ilardi is a nationally recognized expert on depression. His work has been honored by the American Psychological Association's prestigious Blau Award for early career contributions to the field, and his research on the neuroscience of depression has been funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).
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Hi this is my blog about my exp of bullying please feel free to read and share...I am rating to raise awareness of bullying and it's after effects

http://mermaidtailss.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-real-me-part-3-sticks-and-stones.html
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laurie corzett

Cross-Cultural  - 
 
 
The Fires of Hatred

This is one of those posts that I'm not sure I should publish, because it's personal, and the topic is complicated, and I don't feel that I have the historical/political expertise to do this any justice. But staying silent is harder so...here goes.

I am a Sri Lankan citizen, and I am ethnically a Sinhalese. A few years ago, Sri Lanka ended a brutal civil war that some of you may have heard about on the news. Sometimes I get asked about the war in Sri Lanka, and what it was like growing up with it. Answering that question is always hard for me. I suspect it's hard for a lot of people in my position, because the answer, the right answer, consists of a lot of words, and the person asking the question tends to want answers in the form of an easily digestible summary: "well, you have your Nazis on the one side, doing bad things like killing unicorns, and the daring pure-hearted heroes on the other saving those unicorns with their laser-beams" If it took less than five minutes to explain, it's all bullshit, no matter which side of the story you're hearing. Not to mention the fact that the person asking the question usually doesn't have a clue about the ethnic and geopolitical background that led to the whole mess, because who really cares about a tiny island in the middle of the Indian ocean?

But here is a simplified background on what happened, over thirty years ago.

So there is this country, Sri Lanka. Most of the people there are Sinhalese. Less people are Tamil. After becoming a semi-proper democracy back around 60 years ago, the majority Sinhalese began the standard democratic practice of treating the minorities like shit. Not nearly as badly as white America screwed over black America, I mean, we're not barbarians, but still there were some major disparities. So eventually, about 30 years ago, a small group of Tamils decided enough was enough, and made a fuss. A couple of soldiers died in that fuss. The Sinhalese population thought that was rather bad form, and rioted. Much chaos ensued, many Tamil-owned houses were burned to a crisp (sometimes with Tamils in them), and a lot of Tamils had to flee the country for their lives.

In the ensuing 30 years, a war was waged that resulted in a massive loss of life on both sides. It's difficult for me to explain how I feel about this part in an unbiased manner because seeing the results of a suicide-bombing first hand tends to hamper one's sympathy for the cause espoused by the bomber, as I'm sure you'll understand. Either way, the bloody war drew to an end a few years ago, with Sri Lanka declaring loud and proud that they truly 'defeated terrorism'. The loudest and proudest voices were of course, the Sinhalese Buddhists.

Since the End of the War, the Sinhalese Buddhists have become even more xenophobic than before. A few of them, led by Buddhist monks no less, have organised themselves into Sri Lanka's version of the Ku Klux Klan known as The Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS). They are on the brink of instigating yet another civil war. History is repeating itself, except this time it is the Muslims that are being targeted, since the 'Tamils' have already been 'defeated'. 

Why am I writing about this now? Last weekend, Aluthgama, a small town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka witnessed riots. Several people have been killed, and many more injured. The town is burning, and a curfew is in place. The people are running out of food because of the curfew, and the BBS is blocking any food parcels being sent in. The police are apathetic observers at best, because they are mostly Sinhalese Buddhists. Ignoring the violence is a matter of policy. The politicians are staunchly pro-Buddhists and racists against the Muslims. It is a jungle out there, and the violence is escalating. This incident is but one in a long series of events that rarely get reported on because of the atmosphere of silence. But disturbing snippets leak out. YouTube has a speech in which the leader of the BBS (a Buddhist monk) is heard saying that if even one 'marakkalaya' (a derogatory Sinhala word for Muslim) so much as laid a hand on a Sinhalese, that it would mean the end of all of them (Bodu Bala Sena Meeting - Aluthgama). The speech, in Sinhalese, makes me shiver because it is so reminiscent of the type of rhetoric that precedes communal and ethnic war. The sort of people who listen to racist priests and politicians.

The media in Sri Lanka is predictably silent. The 'adults' are predictably silent. The old hatred runs deep. But it is heartening to see commentary on social media condemning these incidents. I have seen many of my Sri Lankan friends, speak out against these events. Perhaps there is still hope. To paraphrase another article on this topic, it feels like "the war never ended, we just took some time off" (http://goo.gl/jpZFFe)

Image: Fire services struggling to control another Muslim shop on fire in #Aluthgama   (via http://goo.gl/X0hmeY)
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Mark Rubin
owner

Online Research Studies  - 
 
New crowdsourcing platform enables researchers to run online studies and people to get paid for participating in them! Check it out!
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Jill Abramson’s firing from the NY Times had people asking: Would she have been perceived as “pushy” and “bossy” if she were a man? Research shows that we want assertive and competitive leaders, but penalize women for behaving more aggressively. 
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uugala buugala

Self and Identity  - 
 
 
Exactly! :) We Can Do Anything They Do....But 10 Times Better ;) 
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Suresh PB

Attitudes and Persuasion  - 
 
Looking for tips to improve managing eye contact to a healthy social relationship (boy of 12 years with very high functioning autistic features)
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Try using the TV as practice.You don't even have to start with real people. When you're watching TV try to make eye contact with all the characters on the screen the way you'd focus on a conversational partner in real life. News shows where the presenter looks and talks right to you tend to be the best. Discussion shows with multiple guests can also be useful because it can get you used to switching your attention from speaker to speaker. This can all give you a good approximation of what it's like to do it in real life. You can also study the various ways people use their eyes to communicate.
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It seems an ingrained part of life – increasingly frustrated adults shouting at seemingly brain dead teens and children who pay no attention to them. Well, now experimenters might have found an explanation as to why children just don’t pay attention – especially when they are engaged in other activities. It is not simply the case that children ignore everything around them, it is actually due to brain development resulting in a lower peripheral awareness than adults.

Throughout childhood and the teenage years is the best time for children to learn and develop, with the brain acting like a sponge soaking up new knowledge and abilities. We can see our children develop before our eyes, and are often amazed at how they are growing up so fast. But, why is it still so hard for them to pay any attention to anything, or follow a simple instruction like turning the TV down or listening in class? It is now thought that inattentional blindness plays a large part in the inability of children to be fully aware of what is going on around them, an inability to perceive something that is within a person’s direct perceptual field because that person is attending to something else.
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About this community

Discussion of research and teaching in social psychology. Posts will be deleted if they include profanity or offensive views, if they are commercial in nature, or if they are not clearly related to social psychology. Short link to this page: http://bit.ly/googlesocpsyc Twitter hashtag: #GgleSocPsy

laurie corzett

Social Influence  - 
 
"Ramprasad: India is collectivistic culture and the Indian family can either be a fortress or a prison. When the "enemy" is mental illness, it is often a prison. Not because of a lack of love. But, because of a lack of understanding. As a culture, there are many myths and misperceptions about mental illness, and tremendous shame and stigma associated with it. If I would have been diagnosed with depression as a teenager when my symptoms started, my life would have been over. Perhaps, I would have never finished school or gotten married and I would have brought such shame onto my family, my sister might not have gotten married either. I want to point out, however, that once my family was educated about depression, they became the greatest support system I ever had."
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Hi all :)  I'm wondering whether anyone has some interesting resources on the topic of technology impacting social structures or the like?  I'm writing a session on how technology impacts society more generally, but am having little luck finding useful materials on the sociology space.  Thanks, if you can help! :)
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William Wright's profile photoKristy de Salas's profile photo
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Thanks William :)
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laurie corzett

Political  - 
 
 
Germany admits “austerity policies failed” - unemployment, poverty & exclusion is driving social instability

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=28174
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Footnote

Applied  - 
 
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains how social science research can help us make better decisions. 
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Expressions such as green with envy and red with anger may well be good adjectives for how a person is feeling, but it can disguise how important our psychological state is in the way we feel and appear. Progressively it is becoming more and more apparent how a bad state of mind or mental illness can cause skin conditions to flare up, but if this is a psychological problem is there a psychological solution?
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Muhammad Talha Bin Yousuf

Attitudes and Persuasion  - 
 
 
Why do we behave so oddly in lifts?

Many of us use them several times a day without really noticing. And yet the way we behave in lifts, or elevators as they are known in the US, reveals a hidden anxiety.

See following link for a very interesting article By William Kremer for the BBC.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19846214
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laurie corzett

Cross-Cultural  - 
 
"In collaboration with Behavioral Scientist and Professor Paul Dolan of the London School Economics, we have compiled a list of insights to help individuals and organizations answer this question. Think: M.A.C.H.O. M.A.N.

Messenger: Men’s trust is motivated by group affiliations. For example, men trust men that went to their university even if they have no personal connection. This mirrors the way men organize in the military or sports—a clear distinction between “us” and “them.” Initiatives aimed at changing old macho behaviors should make sure that the targeted men see the messengers as part of their “in-group.”

Affect: Emotion is a powerful force in decision-making, but we often focus on appealing to men’s rationality. When we do invoke emotions to address old macho behaviors, we frequently focus on negative feelings such as fear, shame, or guilt, provoking self-defensive biases. It’s important to offer emotional carrots too, appealing to qualities such as hope and gratitude. What’s the emotional cost of perpetuating the old macho? How will he feel by transitioning to the new macho? Be explicit.

Commitment: Public commitment is important in behavioral science. Strategies need to encourage men to make public commitments in line with the new macho. This act should be a sign of strength and power, helping tap into an “honor code” that is already closely tied to traditional conceptions of manliness.

Honor: Don’t repudiate the honor code that influences men’s social behaviors— use it. Make the behaviors we want to change come into contradiction with it. With honor comes integrity and selflessness—we need to invoke these traits under the auspices of honor to drive positive social change.

Opportunity: Well-framed messages are not enough to change behavior. Men also need to practice. As the old macho is still the dominant norm, it’s important to manufacture opportunities to practice new macho behaviors. Provide “channel factors”—convenient opportunities for men to act the new macho and experience the rewards.

Motivation: Understand what incentives men have to act the old macho—a desire for respect, power, friendship, sex? Work toward situations where old macho behaviors put these outcomes at risk. As men are highly averse to loss, this strategy creates the need to reconcile desired outcomes with a new ideal of manliness. It will help generate demand for new macho alternatives.

Abilities: If we tap into men’s emotions and motivate them to change, we must also understand how they process this information.  For example, a campaign may trigger an empathic reaction, but the male brain may then shifts gears and problem-solve until it can “fix” the situation.  ‘Fixing’ the situation will then cause the brain circuits to register victory – a satisfactory resolution.  This means helping men learn new skills such as negotiation and mindfulness to deal with familiar problems such as conflict and anger.

Norms: In his 2004 study, “The Social Norms Approach,” Alan Berkowitz asserts: “What men think other men think is one of the strongest determinants of how men act,” but “these perceptions and beliefs are [often] mistaken.” Making new macho men more visible in society helps shift perceptions that drive behavior by establishing the new macho as the salient norm. This is why role models such as Detective Carnochan and Don McPherson are so important."

http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/accelerating_the_new_macho
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The Abiline Paradox

I found this gem while reading through the answers to a question posed on Quora. The question that was asked is this:

What are some of the most awesome psychological facts?

I didn't see a way to link to specific answers so I'll copy/paste one in its entirety. Really, though, I've read through several answers so far and, collectively, they offer fascinating insights into how much of our behavior may be (and often intentionally is) influenced without our awareness.

The answer, below, is the one I chose to share here because of it's insight & relevance into the degree and nature of participation we might experience here in the Conversation community:

"the innate desire of people to belong to a group and minimize dissonance."

Any one of us might easily identify with this duality and perhaps we'll do well to recognize it when it comes to our attention and then to summarily ignore it: dissonance be damned, full speed ahead!

:)

Enjoy!

http://www.quora.com/Psychology/What-are-some-of-the-most-awesome-psychological-facts



THE ABILENE PARADOX

On a hot afternoon visiting in Coleman, Texas, a family of four- a guy, his wife and father and mother-in laws, is comfortably playing dominos on a porch, until the father-in-law suggests that they take a trip to Abilene, a restaurant 53 mile north, for dinner. The wife says, "Sounds like a great idea." The husband, despite having reservations because the drive is long and hot, thinks that his preferences must be out-of-step with the group and says, "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go." The mother-in-law then says, "Of course I want to go. I haven't been to Abilene in a long time."

The drive is hot, dusty, and long. When they arrive at the cafeteria, the food is as bad as the drive. They arrive back home four hours later, exhausted.

One of them dishonestly says, "It was a great trip, wasn't it?" The mother-in-law says that, actually, she would rather have stayed home, but went along since the other three were so enthusiastic. The husband says, "I wasn't delighted to be doing what we were doing. I only went to satisfy the rest of you." The wife says, "I just went along to keep you happy. I would have had to be crazy to want to go out in the heat like that." The father-in-law then says that he only suggested it because he thought the others might be bored.

The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably, but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon.



The above anecdote is an example of Abilene paradox, a term introduced by management consultant Jerry B. Harvey which refers to situations wherein groups take actions in contradiction to what they really want to do and therefore defeat the very purposes they are trying to achieve.

Since it's development, this concept has gained increasing importance in social psychology and organisational management and is explained by theories of Conformity and Social influence which talk about the innate desire of people to belong to a group and minimize dissonance. When members mistakenly believe that their own preferences are counter to the group's and do not raise objections, the group is steered towards a situation incompatible to it's goals.

The Abilene paradox manifests itself in big and small organisations, firms and on a larger scale, even nations.

For example, Harvey cited the Watergate scandal as a potential instance of the Abilene paradox in action. The Watergate scandal occurred in the United States in the 1970s when many high officials of the administration of then President Richard Nixon, a Republican, colluded in the cover-up and perhaps the execution of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. Harvey quotes several people indicted for the cover-up as indicating that they had personal qualms about the decision but feared to voice them. For one instance, campaign aide Herbert Porter said that he "was not one to stand up in a meeting and say that this should be stopped", a decision he then attributed to "the fear of the group pressure that would ensue, of not being a team player"

Further reading-
1. Abilene paradox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abilene_Paradox
2. The Abilene Paradox - Abilene Paradox Video - Abilene Paradox Films http://abileneparadox.com/
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Hi!
Participants are needed for a study on the psychology of politics.
There are no country restrictions, the only requirements are you have to speak english and be legally an adult. Also, you need to be on a Windows PC (sorry Mac users!).
People who participate will have a chance to win an Amazon gift card.
More details can be found at this link: http://cfp.cc/55YCAY
Thank you for your time!
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