All posts in “Social Norms”

old victorian children's books

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: diversifying books; trusting others; new brain technologies; deviating from gender roles; predicting feelings.

Multicultural characters. Author, Dashka Slater, examines the lack of color and diversity in children’s literature. From Dashka Slater via Mother Jones.

Linking causes. New study finds trust is a key motivator in movement participation. From American Sociology Association via Science Daily.

Neuroethics. Scientific advances in brain technologies come with ethical questions. From Andrew Maynard via The Conversation.

Sexism in society. Journalist, Peter Beinart, evaluates why some fear women in positions of power. From Peter Beinart via The Atlantic.

Affective forecasts. Personal prejudice directly affects how empathetic we are towards others. From Association for Psychological Science via Psy Post.



Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/pettifoggist CC BY-SA 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.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/JD Hancock 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

Walkie talkie tin cans

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: learning through communication; compassionate meditation; the fear of going to the movies alone; habits of emotionally intelligent people; justifying cheating.

Talk to me. While humans learn from statistical associations between events and objects, sharing information by communication is just as important for learning. From International School of Advanced Studies via PsyPost.

Refocus. This study suggests that meditation focused on compassionate thoughts for oneself and others can help focus a wandering mind. From Clifton B. Parker via Futurity.

All by myself. Judgment from others is one reason why most people fear doing things alone, but research suggests they often enjoy themselves as much as someone who has company. From Natalie Shoemaker via BigThink.

Office EQ. Learn from the habits that help emotionally intelligent people achieve success in their personal and business relationships. From Eric Schiffer via Business Insider.

Gray areas. People are apt to violate ethical principals to serve their self-interest but only when cheating is easy to justify and not too obvious. From Association for Psychological Science via PsyPost.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Sebastien Wiertz, CC BY 2.0

Darth Vader reflects on his emotions in the mirror

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: emotional feedback loops; modifying fearful memories to treat PTSD; bonding over anxiety; motivation in the face of uncertainty; measuring the way we make others feel.


Emotional mirror maze. Although negative emotions such as fear and anxiety are natural and functional, it is humans’ reflective sense that makes these emotions more complicated. From Gregg Henriques via Psychology Today.

Memory modification. Research on the gradual modification of fearful memories could have an impact on the treatment of PTSD. From Samuel Gershman via Business Insider.

Stress buddies. Friendships are often built on shared interests, but does a shared sense of social anxiety also bring people together? From Melissa Dahl via The Science of Us.

The great unknown. New research has found that uncertainty creates a more exciting experience than certainty and motivates people to increase time and effort in pursuing rewards. Via Coglode.

Contagious enthusiasm. The way you make others feel could be a stable and consistent part of your disposition, in the same way as other personality traits. From Melissa Dahl via The Science of Us.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Pascal, CC BY 2.0

Workers harvest strawberries

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the social science behind cooperation; our brains on movies; defining emotions; bridging cultural divides; making sense of irrational decision-making.


There’s no “I” in team. Why do we make cooperative decisions that benefit the wider group, when selfish choices could get us ahead in the short term? From University of Nottingham via PsyPost.

Is this real life? From tear-jerkers to action flicks, movies trick our brains into believing that what we see on the screen is real. Neuroscientist Jeffrey Zacks explains. From Gerry Everding via Futurity.

No hard feelings. How would you explain emotions to a robot? Julie Beck explores the origins of emotions and the challenges of defining them. Via The Atlantic.

Mind the gap. For polyculturalists, rethinking our approach to cultural difference can foster interconnectedness in the global economy. From Columbia Business School via PsyPost.

Reckoning with irrationality. Human decision-making is often irrational, but that doesn’t mean our thought processes are “wrong.” What businesses and government can learn from human psychology. From David Berreby via Nautilus.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/JD Hancock, CC BY 2.0

frightened computer D.A.R.Y.L.

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: when good men and women do nothing; a healthy dose of wonder; how personality affects perceptions of time; the stress of social exclusion; safety in an age of fearful overreaction.


From anonymity to action. How often do bystanders take the opportunity to help a stranger? Do social norms pressure people to look the other way? From Dwyer Gun via Aeon.

What a wonderful world. Research suggests that feelings of awe and wonder may be correlated to good health. From Melissa Dahl via The Science of Us.

Time is relative. Personality helps explain why some individuals are more punctual than others. By Orion Jones via Big Think.

Longing to belong. Studies show that social exclusion can be especially stressful for people from individualistic cultures. From Eric W. Dolan via PsyPost.

Be not afraid. In a hyperalert society that anticipates danger, we distrust reports that we’re safer than ever. Are American perceptions distorted?  From Jonathan Rauch via The Atlantic.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Daniel Oines, CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads (+1 Video) that Made Us Smarter (Dec 4)

Given everything going in the world, there’s lots of deep thinking in this week’s #GeekReads including how to reform our bigoted brains and how to find and foster deeply meaningful relationships. This week, we even throw in a #GeekWatch on the neuroscience of social conflict.


The science of why cops shoot young black men. Mother Jones examines implicit racism and what we can do to reform our bigoted brains.

Do social norms determine if laws work? The unwritten rules that govern our behavior may influence which laws work and which don’t.

Why do we make unproven assertions when we are wrong? When facts threaten our psychological security, we’ll shift our thoughts to rely on untested statements.

The psychology of how to connect deeply with anyone. According to this #GeekRead, how we meet the most important people in our lives – personally and professionally – is not random. How to find them and create deep connections.

The sunk cost effect. When we put time and effort into something, we’re motivated to make it work, even if it brings us losses.

The neuroscience of social conflict. In his TEDX Talk, Tim Phillips of Beyond Conflict explains the brain science of social conflict – and how excluding people from equal participation in society fuels conflict.

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @WonderForGood.


Image: flickr/Gerry Lauzon, CC BY 2.0

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