All posts in “#GeekReads”

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: partisan media; reading the Constitution; the ideal affect; power of the mind; understanding our social brains.

Spreading disinformation. A recent study suggests that partisan media outlets encourage us to disregard information that fails to support our point of view. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

An American read. If you were ever interested in reading the Constitution, here is a nerdy guide to getting started. From Garrett Epps via The Atlantic.

Affect valuation theory. A study from the American Psychological Association examines the relationship between how we would like to feel and how we actually feel. From Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. via Psychology Today.

Cheering up the world. A clever poem written by a high schooler goes viral with a very inspiring message. From Mark DeNicola via Collective Evolution.

The social brain. Scientists constructed a neurodevelopmental model of a rare genetic disorder that may help explain what makes humans social beings. From University of California at San Diego via PsyPost.

 

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Image: flickr/freyjo7 CC-BY-ND 2.0

Woman in room with yellow wallpaper

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: beauty in the breakdown; environmental impact on well-being; the trouble with “colorblind” racial attitudes; anxieties about death; fostering empathy via Facebook.

The sanity of madness. We are programmed to feel like we always need to be on top of our game but sometimes a “good” breakdown can allow us to reconnect with ourselves. From Alexa Erickson via Collective Evolution.

The world around us. Environments can have a detrimental or beneficial influence on our well-being and decision-making. From Frontiers via Psy Post.

Seeing color. Claiming to be blind to race can discount and alienate those who experience racial inequalities. From University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign via PHYS.

Facing mortality. The fear of death underlies most of our fears and phobias. From Lisa Iverach via The Conversation.

Social interaction. In a new study, adolescents who frequently use social media increased their levels of both cognitive and affective empathy. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

 

 

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Image: flickr/JD Hancock CC-BY-2.0

Vincent Van Gogh painting an iPhone

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: remembering one of music’s great; gender neutral bathrooms at the White House; facing fears; sensing the gist of the world; avoiding empathy burnout.

The loss of an icon. Prince was a symbol for activism and revolution, who called for change and fought for justice, and the steps he took for social justice will not soon be forgotten. From True Activist.

Gender neutral bathrooms. President Obama opens the first gender neutral restroom at The White House. From Maria Caspani via Charisma News.

Scary stories. One author seeks to empower and inspire her young readers through scary stories. From N.D. Wilson via The Atlantic.

The illusion of realitySome neuroscientists argue that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses. From Cell Press via Science Daily.

Empathy burnout. The stress of opening ourselves up to the suffering of others can leave us feeling hardened, but forming a goal to alleviate suffering can make empathy feel less draining. From Jamil Zaki via Nautilus.

 

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Image: flickr/JD Hancock CC BY-2.0

Puppy scared of larger dog

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: political disengagement; Zootopia and “otherness”; refugee resettlement in the United States; fearful possibilities; expectancy-based memory.

Conflict avoidance. A researcher assesses which types of political stimuli might be most stressful to citizens. From The College of William Mary via PHYS.

Predator vs prey. Disney’s latest movie Zootopia shines a line on the politics of fear in the United States. From Scott Lucas via The Conversation.

Refugee resettlement. The U.S. takes in far fewer refugees than its counterparts around the world. Priscilla Alvarez explores complex American responses to refugee resettlement. Via The Atlantic

Uncertainty effect. People are more likely to be stressed out by the possibility of an event than the inevitability of one. From University College London via Science Daily

Memory formation. We are more likely to remember information if there is an expectation that we will need to recall the information in the future. From Penn State via Psy Post.

 

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Image: flickr/Quiddle CC BY-SA 2.0

Handicap accesible parking

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the Nobel Peace Prize for educators; the spectrum of varying ability; empathy through opera; improving customer recommendations through artificial empathy; hardwired for altruism.

Destigmatizing disabilities. In a culture where genetic mutations stand in for entire identities, Sara Hendren wants to change cultural understandings of disability. From Ankur Paliwal via Nautilus.

Building peace. A Palestinian teacher and former refugee who advocates non-violence was honored with the Global Teacher of the Year Award. From Amanda Froelich via True Activist.

A soldier’s tale. A new opera based on the actual experiences of Christian Ellis, a trained opera singer who enlisted in the Iraq War, brings healing and empathy. From Neda Ulaby via NPR.

Artificial empathy. Marketing researcher Shasha Lu is developing software that can infer people’s internal state based on information they emit from facial expressions or responses. From University of Cambridge via Phys.

Inherently prosocial. Recent studies show that the brain is naturally altruistic, and that increasing empathy is possible through noninvasive procedures. From UCLA via Science Daily.

 

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Image: flickr/Shawn Campbell CC BY 2.0

Blue and yellow beach umbrellas

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: lucky loyalty effect; the youngest published author; problem solving across ideology; the effects of housing segregation on health; brain mechanics behind fear.

The Lucky Loyalty Effect.  New research suggests that consumers believe the more loyal they are to a brand, the more likely they are to receive preferential treatment. Via Cognitive Lode.

Young minds. Nine-year-old Anaya Lee Wullabus is the youngest person in the U.S. to publish a chapter book. From Taryn Finley via The Huffington Post.

Different folks.  Conservatives and liberals don’t differ in their capacity to solve problems; they differ in the processes used to solve them. From Northwestern University via Psy Post.

Drawing lines. A recent study examines the adverse health effects of racial segregation. From Olga Khazan via The Atlantic.

Fear-provoked decisions. Fear and anxiety can over-engage entire brain circuits and disengage brain cells, interfering with decision making. From The University of Pittsburgh via Science Daily.

 

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Image: flickr/Ed Dunens CC BY 2.0

Mural of people's faces

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

In this week’s #GeekReads: the surge of singlehood; hashtag activism; moral flip-flopping; universal story structure; irrational preferences.

Families of choice. There has been a shift in the traditional form of family, from marriage and nuclear families to more of an emphasis on individualism. From Bella DePaulo via Nautilus.

#Change. New research from American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact examines the power of hashtags to ignite movement in social change. From American University via PsyPost.

Moral flip-flopping. Research suggests that, for most individuals, moral character is very stable and not so likely to change. From Gerry Everding via Futurity.

From exposition to denouement. Professor Paul Zak discusses the effects of the classic dramatic arc on our brain chemistry, and ultimately on our decisions and actions. From Future of Storytelling via Aeon.

Rationalizing being irrational. A new study examines how our irrational choices go hand in hand with making better choices overall. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.

 

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Image: flickr/Garry Knight CC BY 2.0

Books stacked

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

In this week’s #GeekReads: Chris Rock takes on Oscar diversity; fighting for public health; The Great Migration; taking a hard look at racial assumptions in publishing; how books can keep us on the edge of our seat.

Exclusion at the awards. Oscar host Chris Rock used comedy to address the reality that people of color are often underrepresented in film and television. From Eric Deggans via NPR.

Empowered by science. One team of researchers and scientists helped to educate and rally the people of Flint, Michigan. Via The Conversation.

The Great Migration. A short film shines light on the migration of six million African Americans from the rural South to the North over a hundred years ago. From Carlos Javier Ortiz via The Atlantic.

Disparities in publishing. New York Times Magazine editor Chris Jackson discusses how editors’ assumptions can shrink writers of color to a sliver of their identity. From Brandon Tensley via Pacific Standard.

“Not all was as it seemed.” A team of Stanford grad students examine where emotions like suspense come from when we read. From Clifton B. Parker via Futurity.

 

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Image: flickr/Moyan Brenn CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: brain size and extinction risk; chocolate on the brain; impulses towards retribution; the online spread of Ebola fears; the legacy of Harper Lee.

Extinction vulnerability. Surprisingly, animals with larger relative brain sizes may face greater risk of extinction. From Stanford University via Futurity

A chocolate a day. Regularly eating chocolate may help the brain retain mental sharpness. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Crime & Punishment. A philosopher offers a different vision for our country’s justice system, less based on punishment, and more on rehabilitation and empathy. From Neil Levy via Aeon.

Snowballing stress. With the help of the Internet, stress and fear have the ability to spread faster and further than other emotions. From Adrienne Berard via Nautilus.

Take a walk in someone else’s skin. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird reflects a respect not just for the arc of history, but for the hope that it does indeed bend toward justice. From Megan Garber via The Atlantic.

 

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Image: flickr/Ken Teegarden CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Viewmaster

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: replaying rewarding memories; writing the good and bad; cross-language brain interaction; animating the immigration debate; beyond “victimhood.”

Memory loop. Our brain replays memories of rewarding situations as we rest. From University of California, Davis via Psy Post.

Escaping “likability.” Author Tony Tulathimutte talks about getting away from writing “good,” morally upstanding protagonists. From Joe Fassier via The Atlantic.

Bilingual brains. Learning two languages reshapes the structure and networks in the brain. From Penn State via Psy Post.

Bordertown. A new animated show, set in the fictional Southwest, uses satire and comedy to explore opposing sides of the immigration debate. From Mandalit del Barco via NPR.

Transcending the “victimhood” narrative. One migrant shares his story of prolonged, painful initiation that shaped the man he is today. From Sarah Menkedick via Aeon.

 

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Geof Wilson CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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