Essential Reads

52 Years Later: The Distortion of Martin Luther King's Dream

How the "Colorblind" and "Melting Pot" Nightmares Prevent Justice and Equality

Attitudes Toward Asexuals (ATA) Prejudice Scale

New scale taps prejudice toward a now-recognized sexual minority, asexuals.

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

What fantasies move a man to ambush an elderly tourist lion?

Stars, Bars, and Embryos

Confederate flag and genetic testing issues are more alike than one might think

Recent Posts on Race and Ethnicity

Between the World and Me: Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Mental Mishaps
To understand someone else, the advice is to walk a mile in that person’s shoes. Putting on shoes isn’t the way into another person’s existence. I need to get inside that person’s experiences. But how can I walk a mile inside someone else’s skin? I know one way to move inside someone’s experience – and it isn’t by putting on shoes.

Limiting Abortion to Healthy Fetuses?

By Marty Klein PhD on August 24, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
To make a point, states are criminalizing abortions that don't exist.

Six Ways to Reduce Your Biases and Stereotyping

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in In Practice
How to break down your own prejudices.

Food, Water, Shelter

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on August 18, 2015 in Minority Report
Food, water, and shelter are considered the essentials for survival in the wilderness. But some Asians believe this same mentality can work in raising children (i.e. give their children food, provisions like clothes and a college fund) will suffice. To even consider the child's emotional world is viewed as an anathema to their Asian culture and tradition of stoicism...

9 Tips to Help You Interact Well in a Diverse America

Nowadays we are seeing advice articles that try to help us interact better in today's America. “Never say this to a gay person.” “Never say this to an interracial couple.” “Never say this…” Those kinds of advice articles are showing up all over the place. But what is going on that makes this kind of advice necessary? Here's why and ways to improve your social life.

Believing Is Seeing

You probably think that you can see with your own two eyes what is right in front of you. Wrong! Your brain has learned to invent most of it and to fill in the blind and blank spots

Psychology, History and Social Justice

This special issue of the Journal of Social Issues focuses on different ways that social history and psychology--always co-constructing each other--matter.

Race in America: The Invisible Hand of the Implicit Mind

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in The Violent Mind
A fascinating dialogue between two psychologists about the fascinating work that Anthony Greenwald is doing to uncover "the hidden biases of good people."

52 Years Later: The Distortion of Martin Luther King's Dream

By E. J. R. David Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 in Unseen and Unheard
Having a "colorblind" and "melting pot" society are popular ideas that many have automatically regarded as consistent with MLK's dream of a just and equal society. The research literature, however, suggests that such "catchy" concepts have merely hidden prejudices and preserved oppressive systems, operating as barriers to truly achieving MLK's dream. Let's break them down.

How Important Is It to Look Competent?

University students in Korea can look at the faces of two unknown political opponents in the U.S. and choose the winner about two-thirds of the time, yet they can’t accurately predict what happens in their own country. What’s going on here?

Is the Death Penalty Dying Out?

Is there still a need to continue studying the death penalty?

Evidence-Based Policy: Can Psychologists Go It Alone?

In a column in the New York Times last January, Justin Wolfers discussed the dominance of economists in public policy discussions. He noted that expert opinion invoked by government and other policy makers usually comes from economists, with sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists having relatively little voice.

Women We Love to Hate—and Why We Hate Them

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
When a pretty, young, white woman is charged with premeditated murder it creates intense curiosity because their alleged crimes violate sacred norms of gender, race, and even motherhood. Their trials become media events because the public is shocked and outraged by the actions of these norm violating females.

Donald Trump Has Finally Gone Too Far

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Social Studies
Trump mixed sexism with menstrual blood and hubris. The result of this toxic stew may have finally ended his run for the Republican nomination. But not because Conservatives suddenly care about gender equity, but because they care about protecting white femininity.

Attitudes Toward Asexuals (ATA) Prejudice Scale

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on August 06, 2015 in Without Prejudice
In a past post I discussed bias against asexuals (those without enduring sexual attraction directed toward men or women). Here I discuss a newly validated scale that captures prejudice toward asexuals, providing a more nuanced understanding of biases against sexual minorities and the challenges such individuals face.

Are All Women Quiet and Sometimes Nude? Hollywood Thinks So

Myths of gender and race are not made on the screen, but they are incessantly reinforced there

Hate Crimes Are A Global Epidemic

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 in Time Out
Hate crimes and terrorism have reached epidemic levels around the globe. As with other epidemics, social, political and behavioral factors are involved.

The American Discussion of Race Is Ethnocentric

The American "discussion of race," prevents new insights and limits proposals to a few alternative courses of action. It is as if the only place that exists is the United States today; the only ways of thinking about race are American ways; and there is nothing we can learn from other cultures that could contribute to our understanding.

Not Even Murderer Dylan Roof Is An Island

Dylann Roof is not insane. Dylann Roof is not a lone wolf. Dylann Roof was not socially isolated. Although he had friends who gave him a place to stay, his so called friends did not really engage him in social interaction. Not insane, not a lone wolf, but Dylann Roof was social disconnected.

Depression and Suicide in Black Youth

Depression is a serious mental health issue that significantly impacts the lives of many youth. Among Black youth 3.2% report suicidal thoughts and 1.4% report attempting suicide. Given the serious risk, it is important to learn early warning signs.

What's the Matter With "All Lives Matter"

Some white folks have responded to the phrase "Black Lives Matter" with the phrase “All Lives Matter.” While this is a seemingly more empowering and diversity affirming response, it is neither. Here's why.

You Don’t Need to Have Racism in Your Heart to be a Racist

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in More Than Mortal
In order to combat racism people need to understand that racism can exist without deeply held racist beliefs. Racist behavior is not always the result of conscious deliberation.

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
What would motivate a dentist to spend $55,000 to kill an elderly tourist lion? The answer takes us on a psychological safari looking at recent themes in American life that incite and reward fantasies of the mighty hunter.

Stars, Bars, and Embryos

By Elliot Hosman J.D. on July 28, 2015 in Genetic Crossroads
The ideas of "choice" and "intent" have arisen in debates about both the confederate flag and prenatal genetic testing. But are these concepts insufficiently nuanced for these tough topics?

Emotions, Culture, and Heart Disease

The relationship between expressing hostility and heart disease is a strong candidate for a psychological universal. Or is it?

Fundamentalist Masculinity

There is a fundamentalist American form of masculinity that is dangerous and misogynist. At the very same time, it is weak and shaky, fragile and demands constant proof in order to Trump more civilized forms.

Understanding Conspicuous Consumption (Via Race)

By Jesse Marczyk on July 27, 2015 in Pop Psych
Highlighting the accuracy of some racial stereotypes, different racial groups tend to spend more of their income on highly-visible luxury goods. Understanding why presents us with an interesting puzzle to solve.

Why Female Celebrities Get Stuck in Public Feuds

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on July 23, 2015 in Insight Is 20/20
Three music superstars - Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry - recently acted out what happens on playgrounds between females far and wide. Why do they do it? It has to do with what's called "relational aggression."

Failing to Protect Sandra Bland

Many legal issues surrounding Ms. Sandra Bland’s arrest and death entail further investigations, including whether existed the illegal arrest and abuse of authority by the officer who stopped her for an alleged traffic violation and whether her death at a jail cell in Waller County, Texas was suicide or murder. One thing is certain that the jail authority violated the law.

Re-thinking Gender, Part 1

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on July 22, 2015 in Rethinking Men
The Ups, Downs, and Sideways of Gender Politics