Archive for “August, 2015”

Frosted cupcakes on display

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: gratitude’s sweet side effects; how coming out increases empathy; biases about biases; how segregation leads to hate; the social impact of suppressing emotions.

Sweet talk. Flavor classifications are used as metaphors for emotions, but research has found that feelings of gratitude can actually lead to increased consumption of sweets. From Ed Kromer via Futurity.

The empathic impact of coming out. A study finds that white gay and bisexual men are more empathetic toward other minority groups than white heterosexual men. From University of Houston via PsyPost.

Bias blind spot. Since biases operate unconsciously, we are quick to see biases in others but have trouble noticing them in ourselves. From Jim Davies via Nautilus.

Segregation’s toll. Read civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph’s perspective on the emotional chain reactions of social segregation. From Big Think Editors via Big Think.

Fake it ’til you make it? Social psychologists study the negative ramifications of suppressing emotional responses. From Jesse Singal via Science of Us.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Martin Kirkegaard, CC BY-ND 2.0

Behind the Mask

#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Watch that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: unlocking our unconscious memories; relating to characters; an optimistic view of behavioral economics; gender normativity; talking about race in a “color-blind” world.

Unlocking the unconscious. New research has identified a region of the brain that has the ability to hide fear-related memories in the brain, as well as the ability to retrieve them. From Christopher Bergland via Psychology Today.

What’s in a word? Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany talks about how one word in a Dostoyevsky novel captures the empathy-inducing potential of literature. From Joe Fassier via The Atlantic.

Irrational you. A behavioral economist argues that it’s not pessimistic to say that humans are often irrational; sometimes acknowledging irrationality creates room for improvement. From Dan Ariely via Big Think.

Gender essentialism. While gender definitions are expanding, gendered norms still trump many other social norms that structure our agency and lived experiences. From Charlotte Witt via Aeon.

The “color-blind” bind. Research explores the impact teaching “racial color-blindness” could have on identity formation for children of color. From Jesse Singal via Science of Us.

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/JD Hancock CC BY 2.0

Porcupines cross the road

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: prickly people; oral storytelling among African-American preschoolers; imaging emotions; the art of persuasion; the stories we tell ourselves.

The porcupine problem. As much as humans feel a drive for companionship, our different natures and qualities often repel us apart. From Michael Fitzgerald via Pacific Standard.

Show and tell. A study of African-American preschoolers finds a unique link between oral storytelling skills and reading development. From Dave Shaw via Futurity.

The brain’s signature. Advances in brain imaging allow researchers to accurately predict and read human emotions. From Dartmouth College via PsyPost.

Natural smooth-talkers. Research has found that we regularly underestimate our ability to persuade other people. From Melissa Dahl via Science of Us.

Story of my life. According to narrative psychologists, the stories we tell ourselves become important aspects of our personality. From Julie Beck via The Atlantic.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Denali National Park, CC BY 2.0

Fearful Statue

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: how fear distorts perception; why so many social psychologists are liberal; how character traits affect future social decisions; standing up against racism; introvert-extrovert hybrids.

Panicked populace. New research suggests that we tend to exaggerate threats when fear is involved. From Michael Todd via Pacific Standard.

No man is an island. A social psychologist discusses the alluring but incomplete theory of the radically independent homo libertus. From The Conversation via Psy Post.

Character judgment. When it comes to future social decisions, our impressions of another person’s character may trump our assessment of how they might benefit us. From James Devitt via Futurity.

Bystander action. We as a community have a powerful role in mitigating the harm caused by “everyday racism.” From Emma Thomas & Anne Pedersen via Business Insider.

Ambivert. Somewhere between an introvert and extrovert lies a hybrid, the ambivert, who embodies characteristics from both groups. From Jesse Singal via Science of Us.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Kristian Dela Cour, CC BY 2.0

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