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Category Archive: psychology

Jul 12 2012

The unbearable whiteness of TVing

A table from the study showing study outcomes (white vs. black and boys vs. girls)

There have been few times in my life where I have had a single-race group of friends. Living when and where I have, there have even been few examples where I was the only person of colour (PoC) in my immediate social circle. Part of it came, to be sure, from the fact that my …

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Jun 19 2012

Changing my tune

Oh neat! It’s time for one of my rare (but fun) retractions! Last Monday, I put the boots to James Croft for a conversation we had over Twitter. To summarize, I thought that his advocacy for increasing the use of song as part of humanist gatherings was a) offputting, and b) dangerous. A, because there …

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Jun 11 2012

Songs in the key of H(umanism)

As you may know (and should certainly know if you followed my Blogathon Songathon yesterday), one of the many hats I wear is that of musician. I am no great talent, to be sure, but I’ve got some moderate game. I’ve been a musician as long as I can remember – somewhere there exists a …

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May 11 2012

Movie Friday: RCA, Sony, and big black cocks

Name three stereo types… No? Not even a little? All right then, let’s move on. One of the things that stuck out for me when I was studying cognitive psychology is the extent to which our brains are happiest when they have the least amount of work to do. We have a wide variety of mechanisms …

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May 03 2012

Does being an atheist make you more charitable?

Saslow Table 1

So it’s entirely possible that you’ve heard the latest ‘groundbreaking’ finding in the religious/atheist culture war, suggesting that religion is negatively associated with compassionate prosocial behaviour: “Love thy neighbor” is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when …

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Apr 19 2012

Cognition, conservatism, and “common sense”

A figure from the study

If there is one phrase I would like for people to stop using, at least in approving tones, it’s “common sense”. What I’m sure is meant by the term, when used to praise someone’s rationality, is that someone exercising good “common sense” is making a decision based on good, clear thinking as opposed to convoluted and …

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Mar 21 2012

Good for the goose, bad for the gander

So this morning we looked at the ways in which our judicial system is seemingly set up to disappoint those in greatest need of justice, particularly black people. Our racist biases (which, I believe, we are all subject to regardless of how “non-racist” we like to fancy ourselves) find the cracks in our institutional frameworks, causing …

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Mar 15 2012

Ethics, wealth, privilege – pulling it all together

Looking back at this morning’s post, it may have seemed a bit atypical for me to highlight a study that has nothing to do with politics, religion, racism, or any of the other usual suspects for this blog. In the early days of the Manifesto I realized that it was important to have a focus …

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Mar 15 2012

Morality? Oh THAT’S rich…

Now I have no idea how many people actually believe this, and maybe I’m late to the party, but it seems that the criminal justice system is set up in such a way that people on the lowest socioeconomic rungs bear the brunt of the punishment. Sure, part of it is the fact that the …

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Feb 02 2012

Stupidity, conservatism, and racism: more than meets the eye

Racist Starscream sez: I'm not Racist, I just think Autobots need to be taught to value work instead of energon stamps

So this morning I scrutinized a study by Hodson and Busseri that purports to show that the link between low cognitive ability and prejudice is moderated largely by political ideology; namely, that stupidity makes you conservative, and conservativism makes you racist. They conducted two experiments to test their model, and the results of their study …

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