Behavioral Scientist

Behavioral Scientist Original and thought-provoking reports from the front lines of behavioral science. Learn more: behavioralscientist.org
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"Most People Are Bad at Arguing. These 2 Techniques Will Make You Better" by Brian Resnick for Vox, plus more of what we...
12/01/2019

"Most People Are Bad at Arguing. These 2 Techniques Will Make You Better" by Brian Resnick for Vox, plus more of what we're reading this weekend: https://buff.ly/2IeHrG8

You may feel strongly about a policy. But have you considered how it will lead to the outcomes you desire? A new piece t...
11/28/2019
To Fight Polarization, Ask, “How Does That Policy Work?” - Behavioral Scientist

You may feel strongly about a policy. But have you considered how it will lead to the outcomes you desire? A new piece this week discusses why that question could play an important role in reducing political polarization.

When people discover that they don’t know as much as they thought they did, something interesting happens: their political attitudes become less extreme.

Materially False: Q&A with Tim Kasser about the Pursuit of the Good through Goods —From the archives, in time for the ho...
11/26/2019
Materially False: Q&A with Tim Kasser about the Pursuit of the Good through Goods - Behavioral Scientist

Materially False: Q&A with Tim Kasser about the Pursuit of the Good through Goods —From the archives, in time for the holidays

As Madonna astutely noted in her 1984 song, we live in a material world. Cars, cash, clothes - the allure of stuff promises feelings of success and happiness. But do goods really lead to the good life? The work of Tim Kasser, a psychology professor at Knox College, suggests they don't.

Online data collection platforms have been a boon to social science, allowing researchers to collect more data, from mor...
11/26/2019
How to Battle the Bots Wrecking Your Online Study - Behavioral Scientist

Online data collection platforms have been a boon to social science, allowing researchers to collect more data, from more participants. But there are caveats—for one, study-taking bots that hurt data integrity. Learn more about Melissa Simone’s experience and what you can do to protect your surveys.

A word of caution to researchers using digital platforms to run their studies: beware of bots. They’re more sophisticated than you might think.

Could Learning “Untranslatable Words” from Other Cultures Be a Key to Happiness? by Sigal Samuel for Vox, plus more of w...
11/26/2019

Could Learning “Untranslatable Words” from Other Cultures Be a Key to Happiness? by Sigal Samuel for Vox, plus more of what we're reading to start the week: https://buff.ly/2IeHrG8

Programmers are deploying bots to take surveys, and they’re getting pretty sophisticated—like mimicking normal distribut...
11/25/2019
How to Battle the Bots Wrecking Your Online Study - Behavioral Scientist

Programmers are deploying bots to take surveys, and they’re getting pretty sophisticated—like mimicking normal distributions or faking open-ended questions. Here’s what to look out for.

A word of caution to researchers using digital platforms to run their studies: beware of bots. They’re more sophisticated than you might think.

Interested in green tech? "I think the greenest things I do are the things that I don’t buy, honestly," said Kendra Pier...
11/25/2019
Want the Greenest Device? You May Already Own It

Interested in green tech? "I think the greenest things I do are the things that I don’t buy, honestly," said Kendra Pierre-Louis, a journalist who covers the environment, to The New York Times here: https://buff.ly/2KJb0A9. Our recent conversation says buying less and not buying green is better for well-being too. https://buff.ly/33XLsH7

One way to help the planet is not to buy new tech, especially stuff the planet never needed, says Kendra Pierre-Louis, who reports on the environment.

A word of caution to researchers using digital platforms to run their studies: beware of bots. They’re more sophisticate...
11/25/2019
How to Battle the Bots Wrecking Your Online Study - Behavioral Scientist

A word of caution to researchers using digital platforms to run their studies: beware of bots. They’re more sophisticated than you might think.

A word of caution to researchers using digital platforms to run their studies: beware of bots. They’re more sophisticated than you might think.

11/21/2019

"Being politically correct created an illusion that the communicator was persuadable, but it also made the communicator more persuasive in reality." https://buff.ly/2qeQZdP

Whether or not you’re a fan of political correctness has more to do with the group being discussed and less to do with y...
11/20/2019
Reactions to Political Correctness Are Not Inherently Partisan - Behavioral Scientist

Whether or not you’re a fan of political correctness has more to do with the group being discussed and less to do with your political beliefs.

Is political incorrectness just “telling it like it is,” or is it cruel and uncivil discourse? Your answer to this question depends less on your political party and more on how much you care about the group in question.

If I switch to buying sustainably-made products, I can get the happiness jolt of buying something new without hurting th...
11/20/2019
The False Promises of Green Materialism - Behavioral Scientist

If I switch to buying sustainably-made products, I can get the happiness jolt of buying something new without hurting the planet, right?

Buying less, and not buying green, is associated with greater well-being and lower psychological distress.

"We thought originally that…buying green and buying less should have a positive impact on well-being…We did not see that...
11/19/2019
The False Promises of Green Materialism - Behavioral Scientist

"We thought originally that…buying green and buying less should have a positive impact on well-being…We did not see that emerge with green buying, but we did see that emerge with reduced consumption."

Buying less, and not buying green, is associated with greater well-being and lower psychological distress.

The Dark Psychology of Social Networks by Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell for The Atlantic, plus more of what w...
11/19/2019

The Dark Psychology of Social Networks by Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell for The Atlantic, plus more of what we're reading this week: https://buff.ly/2IeHrG8

11/19/2019

Do you stand by or bemoan political correctness? New research reveals why you feel the way you do. https://buff.ly/2qeQZdP

11/19/2019

It might seem like a partisan issue, but the urge to appear politically correct can cross the political divide if the target of the conversation moves from, for example, liberal LGBT issues to that of conservative Christians. https://buff.ly/2qeQZdP

"We were able to make conservatives bemoan the political incorrectness that they often praise, and liberals praise the p...
11/18/2019
Reactions to Political Correctness Are Not Inherently Partisan - Behavioral Scientist

"We were able to make conservatives bemoan the political incorrectness that they often praise, and liberals praise the political incorrectness that they frequently disdain."

Is political incorrectness just “telling it like it is,” or is it cruel and uncivil discourse? Your answer to this question depends less on your political party and more on how much you care about the group in question.

Shifting our consumerist ideal from “buy more” to “buy more, but buy green” is not likely to improve our well-being. Rea...
11/18/2019
The False Promises of Green Materialism - Behavioral Scientist

Shifting our consumerist ideal from “buy more” to “buy more, but buy green” is not likely to improve our well-being. Read out latest conversation on the false promises of green materialism.

Buying less, and not buying green, is associated with greater well-being and lower psychological distress.

Is political incorrectness just “telling it like it is,” or is it cruel and uncivil discourse? Your answer to this quest...
11/18/2019
Reactions to Political Correctness Are Not Inherently Partisan - Behavioral Scientist

Is political incorrectness just “telling it like it is,” or is it cruel and uncivil discourse? Your answer to this question depends less on your political party and more on how much you care about the group in question.

Is political incorrectness just “telling it like it is,” or is it cruel and uncivil discourse? Your answer to this question depends less on your political party and more on how much you care about the group in question.

Empathy Is Tearing Us Apart by Robert Wright for Wired, plus more of what we're reading this weekend:
11/16/2019
What We’re Reading Archive - Behavioral Scientist

Empathy Is Tearing Us Apart by Robert Wright for Wired, plus more of what we're reading this weekend:

November 11, 2019 A Prisoner Who Briefly Died Argues That He’s Served His Life Sentence By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs The New York Times

What is the problem of "obviousness" and can systematic predictions of research results help solve it? Our latest articl...
11/13/2019
Solving the Problem of “Obviousness” with Prediction Platforms - Behavioral Scientist

What is the problem of "obviousness" and can systematic predictions of research results help solve it? Our latest article takes a look at the prediction platform launched by economists Stefano DellaVigna, Devin Pope, and Eva Vivalt (as they described in Science) and some of the other research prediction initiatives like Replication Markets.

In the fall issue of Public Opinion Quarterly in 1949, sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld pulled one of my favorite social science head fakes of all time.

Rebecca Ratner authored the latest piece in our Ask a Behavioral Scientist series. She replied to the question below...R...
11/13/2019

Rebecca Ratner authored the latest piece in our Ask a Behavioral Scientist series. She replied to the question below...Read her answer here: https://buff.ly/36WRCJ9

The internet is often derided as the place productivity and well-being go to die. But if it can democratize expertise th...
11/12/2019
Expertise in the Age of YouTube - Behavioral Scientist

The internet is often derided as the place productivity and well-being go to die. But if it can democratize expertise that judgment might start to look premature.

The internet is often derided as the place productivity and well-being go to die. But if it can democratize expertise that judgment might start to look premature.

"Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids" by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant, plus more of what we're reading this week:...
11/11/2019

"Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids" by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant, plus more of what we're reading this week: https://buff.ly/2IeHrG8

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