Humans have historically become tribal and bigoted towards others during times of peril. As much as we lament how ugly we behaved in hindsight, we are doing it again toward Syrian refugees. The psychology of risk perception explains why this behavior is so instinctive.
Excellent models of protest movements exist such as those conducted by Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Mahatma Gandhi. Perhaps our current college students might take a page from their playbooks and model them in their efforts to assist in righting previous and current wrongs and to do so ethically so that their desire for change is consistent with ethical behavior.
When people experience a loss to their sense of personal significance—for example, through humiliation or disrespect—they seek out other outlets for creating meaning. Extremists know and exploit these vulnerabilities, targeting Muslims whose sense of significance is low or threatened.
Soon after the attacks on Paris, I received this question: "Dr. Nacoste, I have read/heard black students and professionals say that ‘I can't stand with France because there are issues impacting black students in America that people aren't talking about.’ Dr. Nacoste, help me unpack this..." Oh my...was only the beginning of my response.
A response to recent Atlantic articles about campus unrest and the supposed "coddling" of the American mind. We can't tell students they're "too sensitive" and that they should "lighten up and get over it." The moment calls for more than just free speech or intellectualizing. We need empathic inclusion.
This posting is dedicated to the many immigrants and families who suffered any form of cultural oppression, ethnic intolerance, social injustice, human rights abuses, persecution, and spiritual suffering
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.
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.
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.
I just appeared in a BBC debate about whether future genocide is inevitable. I said that it wasn't, especially if we utilize knowledge about human nature. Here's why I'm so optimistic about our evolved psychology and potential for peace.
We who are sighted can be the blindest of all. We can confuse what we see with what is really there, but what we see has to be taught to our eyes/minds. Actually there are monkeys all around us. You just have to learn to see them I will tell you how.
The gay marriage struggle, modern racism, and the disregard for the poor shown in the opposition to Obamacare all have a common root. We are wired for empathy, but not for a sense of common humanity and emotional openness. The challenge is not that we do not care: it is that we do.
Society’s awareness of microaggressions and its many expressions have increased over the past few years. The internal dialogues and psychological struggles that microaggressions cause marginalized people, however, are rarely discussed and remain largely “Unseen and Unheard” by the general public. I hope this helps.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been giving their children some of the same freedom that they themselves enjoyed as children, in a world that is safer than the one in which they grew up. As a consequence, they have been visited by police, and the county Child Protective Services have threatened to take their children away. Here is my interview with Danielle.