Conformity And Truth

An oft-cited experimental finding demonstrated: Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Untangling The Language Of Racists Who Deny They’re Racists

Sendai Anonymous pointed me to a really interesting sociological study by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva which attempts to shed light on the various contortions that “color blind” racists go through in an incoherent attempt to evade their racism while expressing their views.   First, I document how whites avoid direct racial language while expressing their racial views. [Read More...]

The Predictive Power Of Game Theory

In this clip from The Daily Show, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita discusses predicting world affairs using models based on game theory to an extraordinarily high degree of accuracy (twice that of the CIA by their own estimation). It’s really exciting stuff: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Bruce Bueno [Read More...]

On Failing To Grasp How Competition Can Be Cooperative And How Cooperation Can Be Counter-Productive

Robin Hanson responds to work such as Frans de Waal’s which emphasizes the invaluable role that empathy and cooperation played in natural selection of humans by stressing that as good as cooperation might be, we are prone to making serious errors about what genuinely helpful cooperation entails in specific instances: The unstated moral behind most [Read More...]

On Fulfilling Religious Impulses Both Within And Without Religion

Peaceful Atheist is a richly written blog by a Wheaton grad who deconverted from Christianity while a student at the devoutly Evangelical school.  Here are provocative thoughts which she formulated through the process of reviewing biological-anthropologist Barbara King’s Evolving God: In this broadest definition of religion, King includes the transcendent awareness that can be stimulated [Read More...]

Character As Fate And Environment As Variability

In reply to this post from late last night in which I took a first pass at trying to sketch out my views on fate, George writes: Dan, Again I find myself thanking you for this blog. Good blogging is all for naught without good readers (and especially without good readers who contribute excellently and [Read More...]

Are Sex and Morality Merely “Evolutionary Tricks”?

Francis Collins trots out a familiar old argument against atheism.  The argument is that if there is no God then our morality is an illusion.  Collins’s presentation of this argument features an unusual and suspicious spin.  Collins knows that arguments can be made from evolutionary psychology that broadly moral thinking seems to have evolved in [Read More...]

An Argument For Gay Marriage And Against Traditionalism

I am puzzled by appeals to history to oppose gay marriage because history is only the story of what people have done and never of itself directly tells us anything about right or wrong.  Results of history can serve as warnings about effective and uneffective approaches to goal x or goal y but what people [Read More...]

10 Basics Of Group Dynamics

Go here for the explanations of each of the 10 basic “psych 101″ points and also to find further articles on the topic.  I found point 6 most interesting and so included it in full below: 1. Groups can arise from almost nothing 2. Initiation rites improve group evaluations 3. Groups breed conformity 4. Learn [Read More...]


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