Social Science Bites: Psychology

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.

Headshot of Deborah Small

Deborah Small on Charitable Giving

In this Social Science Bites podcast, Deborah Small, the Adrian C. Israel Professor of Marketing at Yale University, details some of the thought processes and outcomes that research provides about charitable giving.

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Hal Hershfield in blue pullover against brick background

Hal Hershfield on How We Perceive Our Future Selves

On his institutional web homepage at the University of California-Los Angeles’s Anderson School of Management, psychologist Hal Hershfield posts one statement in big italic type: “My research asks, ‘How can we help move people from who they are now to who they’ll be in the future in a way that maximizes well-being?”

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Carsten de Dreu in office setting

Carsten de Dreu on Why People Fight

Trained as a social psychologist, Leiden University social psychologist Carsten de Dreu uses behavioral science, history, economics, archaeology, primatology and biology, among other disciplines to study the basis of conflict and cooperation among humans.

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Shinobu Kitayama on Cultural Differences in Psychology

Psychologist Shinobu Kitayama explores the cultural differences between Asia and America, the possible origins of those differences, and how the brain and body may reflect those differences.

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Petter Johansson

Petter Johansson on Choice Blindness

We are “less aware of the reasons for our choices than we think we are,” Petter Johansson and his partner Lars Hall have determined, and reasoning, as we call it, is often conducted post hoc.

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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?” That’s not […]

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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.

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David Dunning giving a talk

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.”

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Headshot of Batja Mesquita

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.

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Gerd Gigerenzer in blue suit

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.

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Ellen Peters posing outdoors

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.

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George Loewenstein

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. The act […]

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Jennifer Richeson

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?

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Olivier Sibony

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.

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Mike Tomasello

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.

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