People Don’t Actually Want Equality. They Want Fairness Bernie Sanders talks about economic inequality all the time, and it’s a message that resonates. You don’t need to be a socialist to worry about the divide between rich and poor in … Continue reading A wish for fairness
Status Check: What Does It Mean to Be Popular? What does it mean to be popular?” In 2015 The Atlantic posed that question to a group of middles schoolers in its “Ask a Tween” video series. “It doesn’t necessarily mean … Continue reading Are you status-obsessed?
Skin-whitening creams reveal the dark side of the beauty industry Skin-whitening cosmetics are a multi-billion dollar industry pushing the idea that beauty equates with white skin and that lightening dark skin is both achievable and preferable. The cosmetics industry has … Continue reading The skin colour bias
This is Your Brain on Patriotism If you want to understand how patriotism works in the United States, a good place to start is a swim meet in southern California, near the University of California, Irvine campus. It’s hot, and … Continue reading The psychology of patriotism
Why Your Brain Hates Other People As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing … Continue reading Us Versus Them
Much Ado About Nudging In their provocative paper, “Putting Nudges in Perspective”, George Loewenstein and Nick Chater attempt to correct what they perceive to be a serious problem in the research agenda of applying behavioral economics to public policy. The … Continue reading Are prohibitions ineffective?
Behave Yourself: Moral Behavior and Conformity As kids we were often nudged by our parents to be conventional: “look at your behavior- why don’t you behave like everyone else?” is a sentence I’ve been hearing from mum too often as … Continue reading A moral rule of thumb