Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fun: Psychology at the Movies III
It's been a few months since we last discussed movies on PYM. Since my spouse and I moved to Chambana, we have had a lot of time to enjoy $5.50 movie nights at the local cinema. Yeah, you read that right, movie tickets are sold on the cheap out here in the Midwest!

As in my previous posts examining psychological constructs in movies, I'll proceed by describing what happens in a film--roughly from my own memory--and then I will link those events to a construct studied now in psychological research. There may be some spoilers, so don't say I didn't warn you! ONWARD!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Objectification Is a Choice

In a recent interview, actress Cameron Diaz controversially said "I think every woman does want to be objectified." Given that decades of research has documented the many ways that objectification can be harmful, why would anyone voluntarily choose to objectify themselves?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What is Charisma?

Did charisma win the 2012 election?
Today on PYM we are pleased to bring you the second guest blog from Emily Plutov, advanced undergraduate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In some of PYM’s election coverage, Amie cited an example of the incredible influence television has over voters’ conceptions of political figures: the famous debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960. In this debate, Kennedy was the clear victor; not only was he calm and collected, but he also was said to have displayed “charisma,” an attribute that people widely believe makes politicians into effective leaders.

What is charisma?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Your Thanksgiving Table - The Political Metaphor

This week, I'd like to follow up on Michael's post about the ways that our parents' attitudes shape our political ideals. 

A recent study (Fraley, Griffin, Belsky & Roisman, 2012) has found that parents who tend to believe in authoritarian parenting raise kids more likely to become conservative. Those that have egalitarian parenting attitudes tend to have kids who become liberal.

As you fly home and think about your parents' strict or relaxed styles, I'd like to ask how it is that parents help shape our core values. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Can Mindfulness Make You Happier?

Today's guest post comes from Sarah Roberts, Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at the University of Quebec in Montreal and blogger at Psychobabble for Normal People.

Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are hot trends in clinical psychology right now. What's all the buzz about?

Mindfulness refers to a state of mind characterized by awareness and attention in the present moment, and by an accepting, curious, and non-judgmental attitude. A Buddhist concept now integrated into secular psychology and medicine, mindfulness is being cultivated by everyone from chronic pain patients to stressed out executives, often through courses in mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another Lay Theory of Success in Graduate School

My first semester as a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (referred to affectionately as Chambana) is coming to an end. Arriving with the Winter, is an important time in my new job--the time for graduate school applications. As a new faculty member, this will be my first chance guide the academic future of a new research career, from admission to dissertation. That's heavy!

This event made me think: What the heck am I looking for in a graduate student? I'm glad you asked that question interwebs. I'll try to provide an answer in what follows.

Monday, November 5, 2012

An Emotional Election

Politics and emotions are deeply intertwined. Think of the last political conversation you had and how you reacted to it emotionally. Was your blood boiling with anger? Were you paralyzed with anxiety and worry about what might happen? Were you bouncing with enthusiasm and motivated to go get out the vote?

Bigger picture, how do these emotional-political experiences (specifically, of anger, anxiety, and enthusiasm) affect the ways we seek out and interpret political messages and engage in political behavior?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Why don't people evacuate before storms?

As a Manhattan resident, this past week my life has been dominated by one event: Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, unlike tornadoes or earthquakes, hurricanes allow time for people to prepare. In the hours leading up to this hurricane, government officials issued mandatory evacuations for residents of coastal areas that were likely to be hit hardest. Residents were urged to seek shelter with friends and relatives or utilize one of numerous shelters opened (some with transportation included). Despite government officials pleading with citizens to evacuate dangerous areas, many decided to stay.

For some during Hurricane Sandy, the decision to stay had tragic and costly consequences. At least 14 of the people who died in Staten Island were found in evacuation zones. In areas such as Long Island’s South Shore, some people panicked as the storm got worse, putting volunteer first responders in harm’s way. And in the hours after the storm, rescue workers ventured into some of the most devastated areas to retrieve residents who had been stranded.