Why Every Racist Mentions Their Black Friend

When a person's moral identity is threatened, they are motivated to defend it. This can lead them to overestimate the degree to which past actions are a sign of their morality.

The Connection Between Conspiracy Theories and Ambivalence

Having conflicting emotions can be unpleasant because it presents the world as a disorderly place. People may then be driven to seek order by finding connections among potentially unrelated events.

The Offensive Nature of Cheap Crime

A new study illustrates how people who do bad things for small rewards can be judged more harshly than those who do bad things for large rewards. While such judgments are often perfectly rational, they may always lead to justice being served.

A Theory About Why the Powerful Don't Care For the Powerless

People sometimes derogate victims in order to maintain a belief in a just world. A new study suggests that this kind of cold-heartedness could also help people focus on the long-run.

Why Does the GOP Hate Food Stamps But Love Farm Subsidies?

A new study shows that seeking help causes you to be viewed in a positive light if you're high-status, but a negative light if you're low status.

The Plight of Being a Boycotter

When you refuse to do something for a moral reason, it poses a threat to the moral standing of those who have chosen not to refuse to do it. In order to mitigate the threat, they may respond by viewing you in a more unfavorable light.

How Stop-and-Frisk Affects White People

The debate on racial profiling rightly focuses on those who are being profiled. However, a new study reveals how racial profiling can also have a detrimental effect on those who aren't being profiled.

Ask Again, and You Shall Possibly Receive

When people ask for help and are turned down, they think the potential helper is unlikely to consent to another request. But a new study shows that's actually not the case.

Does Poverty Influence the Perceived Impact of Education?

A new study finds that students without a college educated parent don't alter their occupational aspirations even when they increase expectations about their level of education.

Are We Losing the War on Climate Change Cinema?

Both environmentalists and climate change skeptics continue to produce waves of films in a effort to bolster their cause. Unfortunately, a new study suggests that the films made by skeptics are more effective at changing attitudes than films made by environmentalists.

The Hazards of Debating Race and Inequality

Attempting to persuade people about inequality can be tricky. Go too easy on those who you deem to exhibit racial prejudice and you can weaken your own beliefs, but attack them too harshly and you can strengthen their belief in the legitimacy of an inequitable system.

The Trouble With Politicians Who Always Talk About Values

Political disagreements are increasingly being framed as conflicts over values rather than conflicts over resources. Unfortunately, people are less likely to make concessions when their values are at stake.

How Knowledge Can Make You Stupid

By the age of 5 most children have developed the ability to understand that other people can hold beliefs that are different from their own. However, new research shows that even adults are unable to completely keep their own knowledge from biasing how they perceive the beliefs of others.

How Pharmaceutical Ads Distort Healthcare Markets

Patients persuaded by pharmaceutical ads can become unsatisfied if doctors don't prescribe the drugs they ask for. The result is that doctors may have to choose between patient satisfaction and patient health.

Apology Not Accepted

Humans tend to be forgiving creatures, but psychology researchers have found that there are certain situations where it's hard to let bygones by bygones.

Are Imaginary Social Norms Increasing School Violence?

New research suggests that 6th graders overestimate the degree to which their classmates condone aggression.

Why Are People Bad at Evaluating Risks?

Using evidence or data to communicate risk to the American public can be a fool’s errand.

The Only Problem With Your Argument Is You

A new study suggests that when somebody belongs to a different group, the quality of the argument they make may not matter.