Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis?
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Tools to keep our biases in check
Daniel R. Stalder Ph.D.
From the Supreme Court nomination to Covid-19 claims, high-profile political hypocrisy seems to be spiking. How can cognitive dissonance theory help us to understand it?
Helicopter parenting carries risks, but the correlational research is limited. Also, there’s a difference between learning from mistakes and mistakes being the only way to learn.
Racism is a crisis made worse by white silence and biases against peaceful protesters. But there are biases against silence too, and addressing them might help reduce racism.
Why are some of us not social distancing? And why are many of us so quick to call the non-distancers selfish and stupid? The answers may be more complicated than we realize.
Physical attraction is about more than just looks. There are five major factors, and biases play a role both in pursuit of and commitment to that special someone.
If you’re losing an argument and feeling defensive, name-calling your adversary can feel helpful. But it’s a logical fallacy, hides facts, and worsens bias and divisiveness.
How can we combat misleading tweets, out-of-context quotes, and the compulsion to share such misinformation? A multitude of recommendations all boil down to two words: Slow down.
Some surprising findings undercut the idea that Democrats and Republicans grossly misperceive and hate each other.
The perpetrator in a mass shooting is responsible and to blame. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be other contributing causes like guns, culture, and dehumanizing rhetoric.
The notion of safety in numbers was abandoned after the Kitty Genovese story and bystander research. Now new revelations and research may suggest we were right in the first place.
The positive-thinking movement is thriving. But is it really a panacea to better mental health? Is negative self-talk always a bad thing?
Look before you leap. Don’t judge a book by its cover, even if the cover is written by an attorney general. What are the psychological factors behind this classic advice?
Wealthy parents allegedly bribed and lied to get their kids into preferred colleges. If true, it’s an injustice. But we may not want to shame all snowplow parents.
Political tribalism is worse than ever. The government shutdown is a consequence. What are the psychological mechanisms? And what is our way out?
There’s a lot of anger and misjudgment between drivers on the road. The consequences can be deadly. Why is driver bias so common? How can we stop it?
Many of us are big hypocrites, and when we are caught, we defend ourselves in biased ways. Are there unbiased ways to handle embarrassment?
A new study suggested trigger warnings might harm students. But several caveats have been missed. The results even reveal that warnings might be helpful.
Eating ice cream correlates with crime but doesn’t cause it. The underlying lesson is applicable in surprising domains and can even reduce discrimination.
It’s easy to read people’s nonverbal cues, tell what they’re feeling, and know if they’re flirting, right? Not really. Verbal communication is a better choice.
Support the wall or you’re for open borders. Silence is betrayal. These are persuasive talking points. Are they also illogical?
Political leaders' rhetoric can take some blame for recent spikes in tribalism. But what else causes it? And what can we do about it?
Racism is still a problem in America, and it seemed to show itself again in the recent Starbucks story. But is implicit-bias training the best remedy?
Look before you leap. Haste makes waste. Good suggestions to avoid mistakes, but how exactly do we make ourselves slow down?
Many areas of social science cover biases. They include social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. But is knowledge from these areas enough to reduce bias?
Daniel R. Stalder, Ph.D., is a social psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and author of The Power of Context.