The latest news about social psychology and sociology research
What makes something funny? Philosophers have been tossing that question around since Plato. Now two psychological scientists think they’ve come up with the formula: humor comes from a violation or threat to the way the world ought to be that is, at the same time, benign.
President Obama’s campaign brought millions of new voters to polls during the 2008 elections, but the decisions of former Bush voters had a substantial effect on the outcome. A new University of Michigan analysis indicates that several million formerly Republican voters chose not to support party nominee John McCain, either staying home during the elections or opting for Barack Obama.
The language a person speaks may influence their thoughts, according to a new study on Israeli Arabs who speak both Arabic and Hebrew fluently. The study found that Israeli Arabs’ positive associations with their own people are weaker when they are tested in Hebrew than when they are tested in Arabic.
Getting angry might help you get your way if you’re negotiating with European Americans, but watch out – in negotiations with East Asians, getting angry may actually hurt your cause. That’s the conclusion of a new study on how people from different cultures react to anger in negotiations.
Politicians’ gestures can reveal their thoughts, according to a new study published July 28, 2010, in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. “In laboratory tests, right- and left-handers associate positive ideas like honesty and intelligence with their dominant side of space and negative ideas with their non-dominant side,” says Daniel Casasanto of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
Confronting someone who makes a prejudiced remark can be a good thing—but not everyone does it. Researchers at Stanford University studied how and when targets of bias will speak up, and found that they’re more likely to do so if they hold a particular belief: that people’s personalities can change.
Liberals and conservatives have different moral foundations, according to research published in Personality Processes and Individual Differences in 2009.
Here’s a way to tell a romantic relationship is going to fall apart: find out what people really think about their partners. The researchers in a new study used a so-called implicit task, which shows how people automatically respond to words – in this case, whether they find it easier to link words referring to their partner to words with pleasant or unpleasant meanings.
Personalities come in all kinds. Now psychological scientists have found that the size of different parts of people’s brains correspond to their personalities; for example, conscientious people tend to have a bigger lateral prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain involved in planning and controlling behavior.
Today’s college students are not as empathetic as college students of the 1980s and ’90s, a University of Michigan study shows. The study, presented in Boston at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, analyzes data on empathy among almost 14,000 college students over the last 30 years.
Although in the dating world the phrase “nice guys finish last” has become something of a truism, according to a study published in Sex Roles, the majority of women prefer “nice guys” to “macho men.”
According to research published in Psychoanalytic Psychology in 2010, attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety are associated with differences in how past information is recalled.
Can you infer a man’s personality based on whether he prefers certain parts of a…
According to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, self-esteem moderates the psychological and hormonal response to interpersonal rejection.
According to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, being involved in a romantic relationship reduces levels of testosterone in men, but only if they are committed to monogamy in that relationship.