Inspiration and spiritual challenges every day! “Princess Leia and Her Rebel Wreath” image courtesy of Clinton Lugert of THEY-design.com.
Disney and Marvel’s Big Hero 6… lives up to its pedigree on both sides — it delivers
It’s easy to get caught up in the preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, but let’s not forget the spiritual side to this important day for giving thanks. This year, add prayer to your Thanksgiving prep routine…
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In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.
Common phrases I hear from my students:
That exam was so gay.
Oh, come on, dude, don’t be gay about it.
… and then she totally queered the deal.
In a recent discussion about social changes in minority acceptance, I assigned a reading by C. J. Pascoe, author of Dude, You’re a Fag.
It prompted an interesting discussion: Saying someone or something is “gay” – in a specific tone of voice – is describing that person or thing in a negative context.…
I’m a big fan of dark humor. So this headline
Family Gets In The Way Of Work For Materialistic Individuals
seemed right on the money.
The more materialistic individuals are, the more likely they are to view their family as an obstacle to work, finds a Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology study published online recently.
Can’t buy me love? Right… because it might get in the way of making more money.
(Academic side note: It’s a small study…
Here’s some weird research from the Face Research Laboratory at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Nearly 5000 women, most of whom were in their early 20s, were asked to participate in a quick online survey where they choose which male face they found to be most attractive. The photos were very similar – but one was made to be more “masculine” with a stronger jawline and bushier eyebrows – while another was given slightly finer features. …
Slate offers an interesting spin on the “contagiousness” research that I’ve been writing about recently, including a history of the concept of contagions. Yes, you are more likely to act in ways of virtue and vice depending on the behavior of friends and family.
Writes Dave Johns:
Perhaps the only thing more irresistible than these social germs is the contagion meme itself-in September, Christakis and Fowler’s work was featured on the cover of the…
One more to add to the series of social network studies out there: If your friends drink a lot, you will, too.
After a statistical analysis of social connections and alcohol consumption patterns, the researchers found that, like so many other things, drinking habits can be contagious: if a close connection (friend, relative, coworker) drank heavily-defined as an average of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men-participants were 50% more …
According to a recent working paper presented at Brookings, Garey Ramey and Valerie A. Ramey of the University of California at San Diego report that
Parents are spending more time with kids, even when both parents work outside the home
College-educated parents are now spending twice as much as time with their children than less-educated parents
The gap between well-educated and less-educated parents providing childcare is widening
Why the change-especially among college-educated…
I totally missed when it came out a few months back… and in case you, did, too, check out this Economix blog about whether the bad economy might reshape our collective morality.
My colleague Jesse McKinley has a fascinating article today about how legal-marijuana advocates are promoting the fiscal virtues of their cause. Not coincidentally, another banned substance was legalized in the wake of major economic upheaval: alcohol, during the Great Depression. The “Noble…
“If everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other,” sang Groove Armada. Are we in danger of that happening?
Photographer Zed Nelson thinks so. In a series of photographs, he documents what he sees as a world-wide spike in plastic surgery to make everyone look alike.
He told The New York Times:
“Globalization hasn’t just given us Starbucks in Beijing and shopping malls in Africa… It is also creating an eerily homogenized…
In the Wall Street Journal and then featured again on their terrific blog, The Juggle, there’s a great discussion about financial lessons children should learn. Here’s the list (see graphic) of 15 Money Rules parents should teach children.
These are terrific, and ones that big kids should (re)learn, too.
Millennials are a generation of young-adults raised during a time when the savings rate for households dipped below zero and where credit card debt spiked. …
In an excellent piece by David Brooks in the New York Times a while back, he mentioned the plethora of research that says that happiness comes from our relationships, not our material possessions or economic wealth.
Most of us pay attention to the wrong things. Most people vastly overestimate the extent to which more money would improve our lives. Most schools and colleges spend too much time preparing students for careers and not enough preparing them to make social decisions.…
Interesting piece on PsychCentral about the “trust gap” in America: In lab settings and in opinion polls, we tend to report thinking that other people are less trustworthy than we are. But a recent study in Psychological Science suggests that we just don’t have enough practice trusting people because we’re stuck in a vicious cycle of cynicism.
Write authors Fetchenhauer and Dunning of their study:
Participants saw short videos of other people and…
A team of neuroscientists claim that it’s possible to alter a subject’s moral judgments using a large magnet to temporarily disrupt normal brain activity, according to new findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers, led by Rebecca Saxe, MIT assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and lead author on this paper, Liane Young, a postdoctoral associate, find that subjects make different decisions about…
I recently came across a fascinating piece on NPR from a few months back in which Alix Speigel interviewed Larry Nucci, a research psychologist at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley about what rules children believe are good, and what rules they think are stupid.
Rules can be broken down into four categories, Dr. Nucci says:
Moral rules: Don’t hit, do share.
Safety rules…: Don’t cross the street alone, don’t run with
OK, I know I’m a little obsessed with self-control research (see my recent posts on Dogging Self-Control and Commitment Strategies 101) but PsyBlog recently posted a fascinating tidbit: Positive affirmations can replenish your self-control.
In a study published last year in the Journal of Personal Social Psychology, participants were asked to write a short essay about something that was important to them-their core values, their relationships etc. But half of …
In a recent issue of Psychological Science, researchers find that man’s best friend reacts just like we do when posed with a challenge of self-control: If a dog is tired, or has been asked to exert self-control for a long time in a previous test, it is less likely to succeed in the next test of self-control.
These findings provide the first evidence that self-control relies on the same limited energy resource among humans and non-humans.
We’ve seen similar findings…
A round-up of oddly compelling bits of news:…
Us heathen college professors aren’t as devoid of faith as some might think: According to a new article in the Sociology of Religion, three-quarters of college professors report some belief in a higher power. Ten percent of professors are atheists and 13% are agnostic. As the good folks at Contexts.org report, that’s more than the 4% that told the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life researchers that they were atheist
Trust is a crucial element of a successful relationship, experts tell us. But sometimes, as President Ronald Reagan said, “trust but verify.”
According to a new nationally representative study of nearly a thousand British married couples, nearly half the time, at least one member of the couple is snooping on the other’s internet and email activities.
Reports PsyBlog, respondents told researchers it was unacceptable if…
their partner fell in love online
It’s been nearly a year since three people died and dozens more were injured during a self-help retreat led by the now-infamous James Arthur Ray. At the time, I wrote a piece in The Washington Post and was outspoken about the fact that, although we’d like to write them off as New Age wackos, the folks who stayed in a steamy sweat lodge well past when it was physically safe were just like you and me: Seekers who were smart, educated and interested in pushing themselves to achieve …
Are Shoppers Fairer? asked John Tierney in his New York Times column and blog.
Do markets and morality – as we like to definite fairness in modern societies – reinforce one another? Does shopping at Wal-Mart, as the fair-minded people in Missouri do, strengthen one’s tendency to follow the golden rule in dealing with strangers?
Turns out that in a multi-country anthropological experiment, Americans shoppers scored higher in a test of fairness toward strangers…
Are college students today more narcissistic than their peers from previous generations?
Based on the results of the narcissistic personality inventory, a standardized test that has been given to students at the University of South Alabama over the last 15 years, the answer is a resounding yes.
“I’m extremely confident,” San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge told Discovery News. “I think these analyses end the debate completely.…