Universities Not Immune to Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is evident across academic departments, including in the sciences, where one might be tempted to believe that applications are more likely to be evaluated objectively.

Psychologists and the U.S. Military: Then and Now

In the United States the discipline of psychology, through the leadership of the American Psychological Association (APA), has stood alone in its refusal to firmly acknowledge the ethical incompatibility of its mission to promote human mental health and healing and its members’ involvement in the military’s and the CIA’s abusive interrogation and detention practices.

Ferguson: Why Is It so Hard for Us to Agree on the Truth?

It's not just that we don't all interpret the facts in the same way, we tend to not even agree on what is "true". Here are four cognitive illusions that help us understand why we don't all see the same social reality, in Ferguson and elsewhere.

Obama Shields 5 Million Undocumented. Should We Worry?

Economic and social science data suggest little need for concern about immigration reform.

What not to Wear: 5 Most Racist Halloween Costumes This Year

Even if only for a day, there is no denying it's fun to be someone else. For some, part of the fun is to be as different as possible. Perhaps that's why some men put on drag, why some demure women get their sexy on, and... why some white folks are drawn to blackface.

Parenting Without Threats, Coercion, Part 2

Is it possible to parent nonviolently? Ana Joanes's new documentary follows three families as they try to parent without threat or coercion, yet with the general philosophy that everyone's needs (both their children's and their own) matter.

Is It Possible to Parent Without Threats or Coercion?

Is it possible to parent nonviolently? Ana Joanes's new documentary follows three families as they try to parent without threat or coercion, yet with the general philosophy that everyone's needs (both their children's and their own) matter.

Racism Insurance Promo for Dear White People: A Critique

The Racism Insurance skits are laugh-out-loud funny, and most of us can use more laughter in our lives. But they are not just funny. They also shed some light on real-world racial dynamics. There is content in these clips worth examining more closely.

Robin Williams and the Mask of Humor

Don't let the humor fool you: The comedic mask can cover up darkness and pain.

This Lady Refused to Sit Next to a "Negro," The Full Story

The behavior in the "Despicable" PSA is deplorable, but just because we don't stoop to that level doesn't mean we're off the hook for being racist. The problem is much more serious and insidious and requires a great deal more honesty, both with ourselves and each other. Oversimplified depictions of racism stand in the way of self-responsibility and restorative actions.

A Racial Analysis of Sterling's Comments, NBA's Response

There is much to celebrate about the NBA's stand against Sterling but also much to be concerned about. Classic studies in psychology suggest that any one of us could have been in Sterling's place. Do we have a greater responsibility as a society than just removing the bad apple?

Undocumented Migrants Hurt American Economy, Or Do They?

In his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of his desire for a day when all Americans could peacefully coexist as equals. 51 years later our society is still in many ways divided, not only by race, the primary focus of King’s efforts, but also by immigration status. Here we summarize key findings from a study of undocumented immigrants.

Social Health: A Mandate for Our Time

Social health is our deepest resource in a global age. With the transition into the 21st century, we are seeing a vast and growing worldwide surge to tap into this resource, even as it is not yet fully understood.

Is Nonviolence Effective?

The evidence for the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance is mounting. In the past 100 years, nonviolent campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as were violent campaigns and the advantage for nonviolent campaigns held even when controlling for the authoritarianism of the regime.

A Reading of the Letter From Birmingham Jail: A Review

Though not as universally known as the "I Have a Dream" speech delivered just a few months later, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, which King started to write on the margins of a newspaper, is the source of many of his most well-known words. A new film gives these words screen time, much to the benefit of anyone who takes the time to watch.

What If We Choose To Do It With Love?

We tend to think of love as an emotion, which of course it is, but it is also a choice. It is a choice we can make in regard to not only a romantic partner but also a friend, a stranger, and even someone we regard as an enemy. Unlike emotional love, this kind of love is not fleeting. soft or irrational. Rather, it is an orientation toward justice and healing.

Restorative Justice for Trayvon Martin

Two cities. Two people of color fatally shot by those charged with security and law enforcement. Two communities torn apart across racial lines. One city reacts conventionally with criminal charges and court proceedings. The other additionally engages in a Restorative Circle, a restorative process designed to create conditions for mutual understanding and repair of harm.

A Story of Slavery From the Deep North

What would it be like to discover that your ancestors were not just involved in the slave trade but built a fortune buying and selling other human beings, not just before but even after the legal prohibition of the slave trade? Traces of the Trade follows Katrina Browne as she discovers her own New England family's history and takes some family members along for the ride.

The Health Outcomes of a Racist Society

Residential segregation and other societal racist structures increases health risks and mortality. David Williams and other scholars empirically illustrate the problem...and the potential interventions.

America Healing Requires a Certain Kind of Love

When it's dark, when our superficial differences are not directly in front of our eyes, it is possible to see each other’s humanity. I think this is what the taxi driver meant, or perhaps he was just recalling the sensation of skin on skin and lips on lips. In any case, when it’s too dark to see difference, we all look the same. But what happens when the light comes on?

Three Recommendations for Joe Biden's Gun Task Force

Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) sees school attacks such as Newtown in the context of a broader culture that endorses force and violence as the way of resolving disputes, including war, urban violence and a harsh, punitive criminal justice system. Here are three recommendations for reducing violence in our country.

Poverty and Difference Through the Eyes of a 10-Year-Old

Guest Blogger: "I believe that my motivation for activism to fight the structures of injustice is grounded in my personal experience of subjugation as well as bearing witness to the suffering of others. Let me now tell you about my introduction to Jim Crow."

The Dark Side of Positive Stereotypes

While it may seem charitable to promote Lin’s heritage as the key to his success and thus extend praise of Lin to the entire Asian American community, this latter storyline has a dark side to it.

Studies of Unconscious Bias: Racism Not Always by Racists

Research shows that when people hold a negative stereotype about a group and meet someone from that group, they often treat that person differently and honestly don't even realize it.

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About White Privilege Today

Thinking about privilege — the unearned benefits that we enjoy in society as a result of being White or male or Christian — may not seem crucial, but the potential payoff is the ability to make sense of our relationships, connect across differences, and make the world better in the process.

How Super Is Superhero Justice?

Like speculative fiction in general, superhero stories are ultimately about ourselves. The fictional universes allow the writers to manipulate the circumstances to better examine the most complex aspects of the human experience, none more so than the issues of morality and justice.

The Meaning of Whiteness

Recently, I was invited to contribute a short section for a book on race and ethnicity that defined "whiteness". I couldn't resist, in part because I was quite sure that there would be no similar entries for "blackness" or "Asian-ness". Whiteness, you see, is a unique concept and explaining it poses unique challenges. Here is my attempt, in 500 words.

Are Stereotypes Unfairly Stereotyped?

Think you know what stereotypes are? If you're relying on definitions from mainstream dictionaries, you're probably, well...guilty of stereotyping. But don't worry. That might not be a bad thing.

The Cost of Vengeance: The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Part 2

Nietzsche observed (about those who fight monsters), "If you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Is Lisbeth Salander really safer as a result of taking vengeance? Are the rest of us?

The Cost of Justice: The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Part 1

Lisbeth Salander's anger is righteous. Her violence apparently justified. After all, we neither mourn for the monsters that heroes kill, nor question their choice to kill them. But is there anything she might have done that might have served both her and society better?

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