What can behavioral science tell us about ourselves – at least in 20-minute bite-sized discussions? Leading psychologists share their perspectives in this Social Science Bites special collection.
Ayelet Fishbach on Goals and Motivation
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,” the poet Robert Browning once opined, “or what’s a heaven for?” […]
Kathryn Paige Harden on Genetics and Educational Attainment
Kathryn Paige Harden, director of the Developmental Behavior Genetics Lab and co-director of the Texas Twin Project at the University of Texas, discusses how much influence our DNA has on our PhD.
David Dunning on the Dunning-Kruger Effect
The Dunning-Kruger Effect, explains David Dunning, comes when “people who are incompetent or unskilled or not expert in a field lack expertise to recognize that they lack expertise. So they come to conclusions, decisions, opinions that they think are just fine when they’re, well, wrong.”
Batja Mesquita on Culture and Emotion
Batja Mesquita, a social psychologist at Belgium’s University of Leuven where she is director of the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology, theorizes that what many would consider universal emotions – say anger or maternal love – are actually products of culture.
Gerd Gigerenzer on Decision Making
Quite often the ideas of ‘risk’ and of ‘uncertainty’ get bandied about interchangeably, but there’s a world of difference between them. That’s a key message from psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer.
Ellen Peters on Numeracy
A lack of ability of numbers is a serious issue in the world, in particular in the developed world, says Ellen Peters. And she’s trying to do something about that.
George Loewenstein on Hot and Cold Affect
The idea of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is often trotted out as a metaphor for understanding empathy. […]
Jennifer Richeson on Perceptions of Racial Inequality
There is inequality in the United States, a fact most people accept and which data certainly bears out. But how bad do you think that inequality is, say, based on comparing the wealth held by the average Black person in America and the average white person?
Olivier Sibony on Decision-Making
In the context of human action, management professor at HEC Paris and former McKinsey senior partner Olivier Sibony defines “noise” as the unwanted variability in human judgment.
Mike Tomasello on Becoming Human
Psychologist Mike Tomasello details how, while higher primates may be quite like humans in many respects, the ability to work together on projects is not one of them.