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True Lies: How Letter Patterns Color Perceptions of Truth

People today constantly encounter claims such as “Advil kills pain,” “coffee prevents depression,” or “Hilary promises amnesty” as brands, news outlets and social media sites vie for our attention–yet few people take the time to investigate whether these statements are true. Researchers have now uncovered one of the subtle psychological variables that influences whether people...

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Why Bill Maher Is Wrong About Fat-Shaming

On a recent episode of his Friday evening talk show, Bill Maher proposed that society combat obesity by body-shaming overweight individuals. He argued that “fat shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback” to deter people from overeating. Obesity is a national epidemic that is placing a significant burden on our health...

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The Problem of Living Inside Echo Chambers

Pick any of the big topics of the day – Brexit, climate change or Trump’s immigration policies – and wander online. What one is likely to find is radical polarization – different groups of people living in different worlds, populated with utterly different facts. Many people want to blame the “social media bubble” – a...

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Weinstein May Be a Monster, but the Lawyers Who Enabled Him Are the Real Villains in #Metoo Takedown ‘She Said’

In the greater arc of the #MeToo movement, lawyers have lurked in the shadows, unnamed scribes formalizing agreements meant to stay secret. But in “She Said,” the behind-the-scenes story of how Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey brought down Harvey Weinstein, the lawyers finally come into view. And it’s not a pretty picture. As a professor...

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Not in Gotham Anymore: Bioethics of Treating a Torturer’s PTSD Explored in Comic Book Form

Those who study and treat disorders of the mind – such as neuroscientists, psychiatrists and therapists – are in a position of influence. Their decisions and actions have the potential to impact individuals at the deepest levels by affecting our memories and even how we see ourselves. Such professionals “…occupy positions of intellectual authority” as...

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Share Your Goals — but Be Careful Whom You Tell

If you want to achieve a goal, make sure you share your objective with the right person. In a new set of studies, researchers found that people showed greater goal commitment and performance when they told their goal to someone they believed had higher status than themselves. It didn’t help people at all to tell...

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Empathy for Perpetrators Helps Explain Victim Blaming in Sexual Harassment

Men’s empathy for other men who sexually harass women may help explain why they are more likely to blame victims, new research suggests. The research, based on two studies, compared people’s reactions after reading about an incident of sexual harassment. In the first study, men and women showed equal levels of empathy for the female...