9 posts · 13,987 views
I am a graduate student in political science. I am also interested in sociology and psychology. I write about things I am interested in, and sometimes this includes stories on peer-reviewed research.
What is the relationship between national identity and politicization? In an era of widespread concerns over terrorism and the integration of minorities in Western societies, this is a relevant question. If one's identification with the new home country increases, what is the consequence for levels and types of political activity? Bernd Simon and Olga Grabow have published some interesting new research on the topic. Looking at Russian migrants in Germany (replicating a design that has previously........ Read more »
Simon, B., & Grabow, O. (2010) The Politicization of Migrants: Further Evidence that Politicized Collective Identity is a Dual Identity. Political Psychology, 31(5), 717-738. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2010.00782.x
In Estonia, there is an old saying: "No good deed goes unpunished." Yes, you read that right: folk wisdom warns Estonians about being too unselfish because good deeds do not get rewarded. Instead, the performer of good deeds depletes their own resources but receives, if anything, bad things in return. Does that sound too cynical for you? Well, now this old proverb has a piece of social psychology research to fall back on. A recent article by Parks and Stone in The Journal of Personality and Soci........ Read more »
Parks, C., & Stone, A. (2010) The desire to expel unselfish members from the group. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(2), 303-310. DOI: 10.1037/a0018403
It is a well-known Bismarck quote: "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." In the case of the British anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, this is true... and yet (just like sausage-making, I guess) so fascinating.In a great 1999 article on the development of a political coalition against slavery in late 18th and early 19th century Britain, Kaufmann and Pape discuss the origins and momentum of the anti-slavery movement. The article shows that even movements that i........ Read more »
Kaufmann, C., & Pape, R. (1999) Explaining Costly International Moral Action: Britain's Sixty-year Campaign Against the Atlantic Slave Trade. International Organization, 53(4), 631-668. DOI: 10.1162/002081899551020
Are most people nice, happy, trustworthy and interesting? Or do people usually strike you as cold, grumpy and not to be trusted? How you answer can tell us something about you. In a recent psychology article, Wood et al. explore "perceiver effects", or in other words how your own personality affects your perception of others.They show that our personality affects perceptions of others with respect to one major factor: how positively we view other people. If we see others as relatively happy, we ........ Read more »
Wood, D., Harms, P., & Vazire, S. (2010) Perceiver effects as projective tests: What your perceptions of others say about you. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(1), 174-190. DOI: 10.1037/a0019390
Thanks to Jezebel via Emily, here's a brilliant take on Beyonce's "Single Ladies": "Scholar Ladies". The geek in me approves! "If you learned it then you should have got an A on it." On a related note (as if you needed any more convincing to do your homework), let's bring up a discussion of girls and math performance. Did you know that the gender gap in mathematics is linked tomore general national rates of gender equality? In Iceland, girls outperform guys at math. Here's more:Hyde, J., & Mertz........ Read more »
The BPS Research Digest highlights an interesting piece of research on the speed of free will, or more accurately the speed of volitional control over, in this case, eye activity. Crudely speaking, our actions can be divided into those that are automatic and driven by the environment and those that are initiated volitionally, as an act of will. In an intriguing new study, Todd Horowitz and colleagues claim to have recorded the relatively sluggish time taken for free will to be enacted. Their fin........ Read more »
I originally wrote this short essay to answer an exam question in social psychology, but I think that the topic is important and interesting beyond the small realm of an exam. In other words, I am sufficiently fond of this essay to 'publish' it here. Social psychological research is often motivated by particular values, as in the study of equity, or prejudice and stereotyping. Is this good or bad? Can science be effective when it is directed toward questions for which the scientist may have prio........ Read more »
Haidt, J. (2001) The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108(4), 814-834. DOI: 10.1037//0033-295X.108.4.814
Devine, Patricia G. (1989) Stereotypes and prejudice: their automatic and controlled components. Journal of personality and social psychology, 56(1), 5-18. DOI: http://home.student.uu.se/t/thni9583/pp/8/devine89.pdf
Term is over and it's time for a round-up. I have read what feels like an unbelievable number of articles and book chapters since September, and of course I found some more interesting than others. In fact, as soon as I thought of doing a 'best of fall term' post, two articles came to mind. I couldn't think of a third article that impressed me as much as these two, so here is my 'top two' of fall term 2008:Darden, Keith, Grzydala-Busse, Anna (2006). The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism, and C........ Read more »
Darden, Keith, & Grzydala-Busse, Anna. (2006) The Great Divide: Literacy, Nationalism, and Communist Collapse. World Politics, 59(1), 83-115.
Kuran, Timur. (1991) Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the Eastern European Revolutions of 1989. World Politics, 44(1), 7-48.
The last week of term is not blogger-friendly at all, so this is a quick hit.My social psychology class is working on intergroup relations this week, and one of the readings discusses how our perceptions of reality depend on our ability to sort out significant events from insignificant ones. Which events are considered significant depends, of course, on what socialisation has taught us to notice or ignore. In fact, social occurrences that happen in the 'real world' do not have social signficance........ Read more »
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