From Biden to climate change, see what you may have missed in the world of personality and social psychology. 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.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has always been a physically affectionate man, but recently that touching has become controversial. We turn to experts in social and personality psychology to help us understand what is going on.
Our experts suggested that at least seven different psychological processes may be at play:
1. Touch signals caring and support: The role of the need to belong
“I am deeply moved if I see one man suffering and would risk my life for him. Then I talk impersonally about the possible pulverization of our big cities, with a hundred million dead. I am unable to multiply one man’s suffering by a hundred million.” —Albert Szent-Györgyi
Women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population and have equal voting rights, yet are politically underrepresented. The country has never had a female president or vice president. Only 3.5 percent of Supreme Court justices have been women, and women make up only 20 percent of Congress.
Much of former FBI Director James Comey’s recent congressional testimony hinged on a single utterance from President Donald Trump: “hope.”
According to Comey, on Feb. 14 President Trump dismissed the other participants from an Oval Office meeting and requested that Comey stay behind for a one-on-one conversation. During this conversation Trump reportedly said:
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
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