Character  &  Context

The Science of Who We Are and How We Relate
Editors: Mark Leary, Shira Gabriel, Brett Pelham
Jun 19, 2015

Psychology News Round-Up (2/28)

Image of newspapers shaped to spell the word News

By Dave Nussbaum

“Controlling our impulses might be difficult, but we are able to curate our surroundings to prevent temptations from derailing our long-term goals. My inner slacker would much rather be perusing Facebook than writing this article — but thanks to my internet-blocking software, I just made my deadline.”

  • Eric Horowitz in Pacific Standard on the psychological case for raising the estate tax: “At some point in the not-too-distant future we’ll need to revamp our tax system. When that time comes it would be wise to have a few decision-making researchers in the room.”
  • In this Sunday’s Gray Matter section of the New York Times, Lisa Feldman Barrett makes the casethat despite widespread assumptions to the contrary, “human facial expressions, viewed on their own, are not universally understood.”
  • On the Data Colada blog, Joe Simons (@jpsimmonsettles a debate about bathing habits of hotel guests by collecting data. I learned only to take baths in really nice hotels.
  • Science of Relationships (@ScienceOfRelsexplains the “Marriage Hack.” Using emotional reappraisal to consider their marital conflicts through the eyes of a third party, married couples were able to improve the health of their relationship, compared to couples in a control condition who did not use the technique.

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Why is this blog called Character & Context?

Everything that people think, feel, and do is affected by some combination of their personal characteristics and features of the social context they are in at the time. Character & Context explores the latest insights about human behavior from research in personality and social psychology, the scientific field that studies the causes of everyday behaviors.  

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