Character  &  Context

The Science of Who We Are and How We Relate
Editors: Mark Leary, Shira Gabriel, Brett Pelham
Jun 22, 2015

Psychology News Round-Up (April 11th)

Image of newspapers shaped to spell the word News

By Dave Nussbaum

  • Congratulations to Maria Konnikova (@mkonnikova) who is taking up residence as a blogger at The New Yorker. Maria writes consistently engaging and insightful pieces about social psychology, and published her first book, , last year. She has written for the New Yorker blog before, but here’s her first piece in residence on the psychology of eating.
  • launched this week with a lead article by co-found Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) on motivated reasoning in politics, including a thoughtful interview with Yale’s Dan Kahan (@cult_cognition), titled “How politics makes us stupid.

But the More Information Hypothesis isn’t just wrong. It’s backwards. Cutting-edge research shows that the more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become.

  • Adam Grant (@adammgrant) has an Op-Ed in the New York Times’ Sunday Review on how to raise kind and giving kids (if you’re into that sort of thing) featuring a ton of great studies on what parenting approaches seem to work best.
  • Also in the New York Times, Gary Marcus (@garymarcus) and Ernest Davis write about some of the limitations on the promise of big data:

Big data is here to stay, as it should be. But let’s be realistic: It’s an important resource for anyone analyzing data, not a silver bullet.

  • Joe Cesario and Kai Jonas weigh in on the priming debate with some thoughts on direct replication and some practical advice: “stop calling everything priming.”
  • David Myers and Nate DeWall  (@myersdewall) have a new site at, you should take a look. Here’s what the site is aiming to do:

Voila!  Here begins an effort to share fruits from psychological science.  With daily reports and reflections, we will share what fascinates our minds, challenges our thinking, or tickles our funny bones.  We aim to “give psychology away” to

  • teachers seeking to freshen their classes with cutting-edge ideas and discoveries,students eager to learn insights beyond what’s in their textbooks, andany curious person who finds human beings fascinating, and who delights in psychological science efforts to expand our minds and enlarge our hearts.
  • We also aim to offer our reflections in simple prose, believing with Thoreau that “Anything living is easily and naturally expressed in popular language.”
  • Welcome aboard, and please do feel free to invite your students, colleagues, and friends to join us for the ride, and to join the conversation.

We also aim to offer our reflections in simple prose, believing with Thoreau that “Anything living is easily and naturally expressed in popular language.”


Psychologists treat other peoples’ theories like toothbrushes—no self-respecting person wants to use anyone else’s | — Jay Van Bavel (@jayvanbavel) April 6, 2014


About our Blog

Why is this blog called Character & Context?

Everything that people think, feel, and do is affected by some combination of their personal characteristics and features of the social context they are in at the time. Character & Context explores the latest insights about human behavior from research in personality and social psychology, the scientific field that studies the causes of everyday behaviors.  

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