Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Posts Tagged ‘social psychology

Social psychology finding role in government

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Vaughan at Mind Hacks notes that social psychology is actually being used in public planning:

The Times has a brief article noting the growing influence of social psychology in government thinking and economic policy, mirroring the popular interest in a slew of new books on behavioural economics.

It’s interesting that the article lists various ways in those close to the British political establishment are increasingly bringing ideas drawn from empirical social sciences in their thinking, mirroring the murmurings about the Obama team’s interest in behavioural economics.

And, as we’ve noted here, there’s now an increasing interest, causing an ongoing controversy, about the use of social scientists in the occupying military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We hear a great deal about interest and initiatives in these areas, but very little about outcome studies (although its possible that the military keep theirs secret) so I wonder whether the success of these approaches will depend on the maturity of the science in terms of how well it actually predicts changes in the real world.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 July 2008 at 10:33 am

10 brilliant studies in social psychology

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Read them all (and then you can vote at the link for the best). I’ve blogged a couple of these earlier, but here is the entire series:

1. The Halo Effect: When Your Own Mind is a Mystery

The ‘halo effect’ is a classic finding in social psychology. It is the idea that global evaluations about a person (e.g. she is likeable) bleed over into judgements about their specific traits (e.g. she is intelligent). Hollywood stars demonstrate the halo effect perfectly. Because they are often attractive and likeable we naturally assume they are also intelligent, friendly, display good judgement and so on.

» Read on about the halo effect -»

2. How and Why We Lie to Ourselves: Cognitive Dissonance

The ground-breaking social psychological experiment of Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) provides a central insight into the stories we tell ourselves about why we think and behave the way we do. The experiment is filled with ingenious deception so the best way to understand it is to imagine you are taking part. So sit back, relax and travel back. The time is 1959 and you are an undergraduate student at Stanford University…

» Read on about cognitive dissonance -»

3. War, Peace and the Role of Power in Sherif’s Robbers Cave Experiment

The Robbers Cave experiment, a classic study of prejudice and conflict, has at least one hidden story. The well-known story emerged in the decades following the experiment as textbook writers adopted a particular retelling. With repetition people soon accepted this story as reality, forgetting it is just one version of events, one interpretation of a complex series of studies.

» Read on about Sherif’s Robbers Cave experiment -»

4. Our Dark Hearts: The Stanford Prison Experiment

The famous ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’ argues a strong case for the power of the situation in determining human behaviour. Not only that but this experiment has also inspired a novel, two films, countless TV programs, re-enactments and even a band.

» Read on about Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment -»

5. Just Following Orders? Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment

What psychological experiment could so be so powerful that simply taking part might change your view of yourself and human nature? What experimental procedure could provoke some people to profuse sweating and trembling, leaving 10% extremely upset, while others broke into unexplained hysterical laughter?

» Read on about Milgram’s obedience studies -»

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

16 November 2007 at 10:27 am

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