Group texts, eco-shopping, and birth order all feature in this week's edition. Read on for the latest in social and personality psychology news and research. Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews.
Holding a sign she couldn’t read, Megan Phelps-Roper stood at her first picket line at age 5, and for the next twenty years joined her Westboro Baptist Church family in spreading hate against groups from Catholics to Muslims to LGBT people. To most people, what Phelps-Roper did sounds biased, and it can be tempting to think of her as a irredeemable.
Elvis counsels, “Before you abuse, criticize, and accuse … walk a mile in my shoes.” Dylan wishes, “For just one time, you could stand inside my shoes.” Paul McCartney asks us once again to try to see it his way. If you are The King, a Nobel laureate, or a knight—not to mention a rock star—perhaps it is reasonable to expect that everyone else should take your perspective. For the rest of us, if we hope that “we can work it out,” it seems vital for us to try harder and try smarter to understand others—especially these days.
Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus a few news stories and tweets that might be worth a look. If you have an item you'd like us to consider, use the hashtag #SPSPblog or tweet us directly @spspnews.
When it comes to prejudice, it does not matter if you are smart or not, or conservative or liberal, each group has their own specific biases. In a recent study, psychologists show that low cognitive ability (i.e., intelligence, verbal ability) was not a consistent predictor of prejudice. Cognitive ability, whether high or low, only predicts prejudice towards specific groups. The results are published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
When I came out as gay in my sophomore year of college, I absolutely loved going to Tigerheat – a kitschy 18-and-over gay club in Los Angeles. I mostly remember my nights there as frivolous fun, but they also had deeper meaning. That’s where I first learned how to openly and unabashedly celebrate being gay.