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Your (Future) Car’s Moral Compass

a smart car drives on a virtual road. Several hazards exist in different color boxes inclding a pedestrain in a crossswalk, people on the side of the road and way finding signs that might have useful information

Picture a driverless car cruising down the street. Suddenly, three pedestrians run in front of it. The brakes fail and the car is about to hit and kill all of them. The only way out is if the car crosses to the other lane and swerves into a barrier. But that would kill the passenger it’s carrying. What should the self-driving car do?

Would you change your answer if you knew that the three pedestrians are a male doctor, a female doctor, and their dog, while the passenger is a female athlete? Does it matter if the three pedestrians are jaywalking?

Psychology News Roundup: ICYMI March 15, 2019

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Group texts, eco-shopping, and birth order all feature in this week's edition. Read on for the latest in social and personality psychology news and research. Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews. 

Smartphone Use Undermines Enjoyment of Face-to-Face Interactions at Dinnertime

Atlanta, GA - While “Take your elbows off the dinner table,” is a common refrain for many families, people may soon add, “take your phone off the table” to the list, too.  According to research being presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention, people with smartphones present during dinner time report less enjoyment than those who kept their phones away.

There’s been the assumption that engaging in phone use during social interactions would dampen happiness, but this is the first field experiment to gather empirical data to prove the point.

In Case You Missed it April 7, 2017

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Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus a few news stories and tweets that might be worth a look. If you have an item you'd like us to consider, use the hashtag #SPSPblog or tweet us directly @spspnews.

Can a Brief Pause Get in the Way of Toddler Learning?

Teacher and toddler doing therapy using emoji emotions
The ability of toddlers to learn new words may be affected by how often their interactions with parents and other caregivers are interrupted by modern technology.

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI October 26, 2018

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In the news this week, a look at machine intelligence making moral decisions. See what else you may have missed online.

Recently in the news, written a post, or have selections you'd like us to consider? Email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews.

Psychology News Round-Up: ICYMI September 22, 2017

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Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus news stories and tweets worth a look. We welcome suggestions for inclusion. If you have an item you'd like us to consider, email us, use the hashtag #SPSPblog, or tweet us directly @spspnews.

For Understanding Family Structure to Trauma: New Technology is Yielding Bigger Data

Austin -- Social media can do more than just entertain us and keep us connected. It also can help scientists better understand human behavior and social dynamics. The volume of data created through new technology and social media such as Facebook and Twitter is lending insight into everything from mapping modern family dynamics to predicting postpartum depression.