All posts in “Identity”

Martin Luther King Jr mural in classroom

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: lessons on social justice; generational shifts in thinking; how experiencing pain can increase empathy; non-verbal communication; catching friendly germs.

More than “a Dream.” Educators and activists advocate a fresh, more comprehensive approach to teaching about the black civil-rights movement and Martin Luther Kings, Jr.’s life. From Melinda Anderson via The Atlantic.

Cultural psychology. A study of British Bangladeshi migrants finds that migrant thinking styles can shift toward non-migrant thinking styles after just one generation. From Alex Mesoudi and Kesson Magid via The Conversation.

I feel your pain. Experiencing personal pain makes us more likely to feel sympathetic and understanding towards others’ suffering. From Danielle Levesque via Psy Post.

Ugh. Our brains recognize emotions conveyed through non-verbal vocalizations faster than emotions conveyed through words. From McGill University via Psy Post.

Community microorganisms. A new study found that the more chimpanzees interacted socially, the more their gut bacteria resembled each other’s. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Joe Goldberg CC BY 2.0

Female scientist legos

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: female pioneers in STEM; what lies under the hood of our brains; a pop culture website uniting young Muslims; behind the scenes with Charlie Brown and Snoopy; why we “miswant.”

Women of science. In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day (October 13th), Futurity honors the achievements of pioneering women in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. From University of Melbourne via Futurity.

Our inner cosmos. David Eagleman’s new PBS documentary explores the ways “objective reality” is shaped by our subconscious. From Big Think Editors via Big Think.

Mozzies. Mozzified, a Muslim pop culture website, provides a light-hearted space for young Muslims to come together in community. From Leah Donnella via NPR.

Good grief. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, outwardly simple, laid out a complex drama of social coping that depended on readers’ empathy. From Sarah Boxer via The Atlantic.

Miscalibrated expectations.Miswanting” is the name given for the scrambled logic behind our wants, and our tendency to poorly align those wants with what we’ll actually enjoy. From Michael Fitzgerald via Pacific Standard.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Maia Weinstock, CC by 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: variations in what makes us human; empathy’s ability to bridge racial divides; a brief history of groundbreaking television; the neurobiological underpinnings of empathy; debunking anti-immigration myths.

Uniquely human. Scientists release new data from the 1,000 Genomes Project that quantifies the DNA variations of 2,500 people from across the globe. Despite millions of differences in human DNA, we are more alike than different. From Francie Diep via Pacific Standard.

Empathy and race. Can empathy help us to transcend racial divisions? President Obama and Ta-Nehisi Coates offer different perspectives on empathy and race. From John Paul Rollert via The Atlantic.

Learning the Facts of Life. Recent studies suggest that diversity in television combined with the power of storytelling can positively shape attitudes toward people of color, LGBT people and working women. From Lori Chandler via Big Think.

I can relate. A new study helps close the gap in our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of empathy. From University of Vienna via PsyPost.

State of immigration. A new report debunks anti-immigrant myths and makes the case for collecting broader and better data on immigrants and their children. From Yasmin Anwar via Futurity.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/MsSaraKelly, Public Domain 


Sleepy eyes

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the impact of sleep deprivation; misunderstanding fear and anxiety; brain structure and emotional instability; diverse stories of African-American life; mothers’ empathic influence.

Tired eyes. Research suggests that a lack a sleep negatively affects how well we are able to distinguish facial expressions of others. From Natalie Shoemaker via Big Think.

Misunderstanding fear. Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux says we conflate instinctive threat responses with more consciousness-based feelings of fear and anxiety. From Casey Schwartz via Science of Us.

Emotional continuum. A recent study shows correlation between brain volume in the lower frontal lobe and the ability to regulate emotions. From Karolinska Institutet via Psy Post.

Multitudes of stories. In the second of a series of posts discussing Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me, sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom reminds readers of the many strands of black life in America. From Tressie McMillan Cottom via The Atlantic.

The (mental) lives of others. A study shows that when mothers tune-in to their babies’ thoughts and feeling early on, it help their children empathize with the mental lives of others later in life. From Saskia Angenent via Futurity.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Lauren Garza, CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

This week’s #GeekReads: communication victories in the Internet age; the chaotic origins of public consensus; controlling the brain’s reactionary prejudice; when science and politics clash; inspiration through storytelling. 


We need to talk.  Before the Internet, some foundations and nonprofits viewed external communications as secondary to the “real work.” In today’s sea of information, innovative digital strategies are essential to make your organization heard. From Andrew Sherry via Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The people have spoken! New research explores how popular consensus—on everything from public policy to baby names—can arise out of chaos. From Orion Jones via Big Think.

“You’re either in or you’re out.” We make snap judgments about strangers in a fraction of a second. Amygdala activation and the frontal cortices of the brain may be key to understanding (and controlling) our reactionary prejudice. From Caitlin Millett via Business Insider.

Ideology before science. Most Americans care about scientific opinion when it comes to public policy issues, but what happens when scientific findings clash with political world views?  From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Living by the book. From Homer to Anne Frank, powerful stories trigger empathy and identification and can shape our thought processes as though we lived the experiences ourselves. From Elizabeth Svoboda via Aeon.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Rob McDonaldCC BY 2.0


#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Quick Watch that Made Us Smarter (Jan 24)

This week’s #GeekReads: contagious emotions; the problem with absolute truths; achieving more by doing less; the importance of staying true to ourselves; and how identity influences our habits.


What if 2 +2 ≠ 4? If you’re in search for the truth, a belief in absolute truthfulness may be your biggest obstacle. From David Deutsch via

Human see, human do. Do mirror neurons make emotions contagious? From Braincraft via

Doing more by doing less. There are often days we wish for an extra hour, but what if a new clock isn’t what’s needed to deal with a lack of time, energy, or patience? From Lisa Evans via

New habit, new identity. A change in our everyday behavior may first require a change in the way we perceive ourselves. From Melissa Dahl via The Science of Us 

“My blackness is not a secret.” A woman’s story of suppressing her true self in order to ensure the comfort of others. From Priscilla Ward via

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.


Image: flickr/MorganCC BY-SA 2.0

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