Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, October 14th, 2017 - 160 comments
Every morning, as the waiting for Winston to decide continues to fray my fragile psyche, I can look at myself in the mirror, contemplate my own frenzied speculative hopes for an Ardern Prime Ministership, and immediately think of a host of strong social-methodological reasons why all such speculation is futile.
Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, July 8th, 2017 - 17 comments
There’s a very good / depressing long read in The Guardian on the dangerous “weaponising” of cynicism by climate change deniers. One of the most interesting sections was a discussion of the way that voters are more forgiving of lies than hypocrisy.
Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, November 6th, 2012 - 17 comments
Among the many failures of human cognition, we’re very poor at taking account of warnings of future risk and consequence. We’ve seen two particularly clear and strong examples of ignoring the warnings in NZ politics in the last two weeks. There are many other cases ongoing…
Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, May 8th, 2011 - 62 comments
George Monbiot on the psychology of political debate (and why we’re all screwed).
Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, March 28th, 2010 - 19 comments
Anyone who has been involved in debating issues has probably come to suspect that facts don’t matter. Facts don’t change people’s minds, there are other, stronger influences that shape opinions.
A recent article by George Monbiot in The Guardian reviews some of the psychological evidence for this fact blindness in the context of the climate change debate.
Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, November 22nd, 2009 - 6 comments
No, I haven’t abandoned my resolution to be less political on Sundays quite so soon. This post is about smells. Specifically, the effect of certain smells on behaviour. How’s this for fascinating: Clean Smells Promote Moral Behavior, Study Suggests People are unconsciously fairer and more generous when they are in clean-smelling environments, according to a […]
Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, September 5th, 2009 - 54 comments
Diffusion of responsibility means that the bigger the group the less chance that anyone in the group will take action. In a typical experiment people are left to wait in a room, which is rigged so that smoke starts coming in under a door. A person who is alone will usually leave the room and […]