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Archive for the ‘Categorization’ Category

A Stereotypical Blog Post

November 27th, 2020 No comments

During my sophomore year of high school, my once favorite teacher, Mrs. Kahler, looked at me and exclaimed, “You’re lucky! God taught you Jews how to handle money well! It’s in your blood.” At the time, I actually didn’t mind. I had heard my fair share of jokes about Jews and, perhaps naturally, something about me—be it my nose, financial status, or diet—always seemed to be the punchline. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but inform her that those “Jews are great with money” jokes aren’t funny—nor are they particularly accurate. Unfortunately, this kind of experience is common. In fact, even Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has to deal with harmful, pejorative stereotypes. Most recently, Harris experienced these stereotypes from President Donald Trump himself, as he appeared to weaponize the classic trope of the ‘angry Black woman,’ labeling her “nasty,” “mad,” and “angry” after an impressive cross-examination of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. More recently, Harris faced public criticismoften from conservative men, and supporters of President Trump—following her debate against Vice President Mike Pence, after she faced repeated interruptions and simply attempted to keep the discussion fair by saying, “I’m speaking.”

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The Space-Time Continuum: How & Why to Space Your Time

November 22nd, 2020 No comments

We’ve all been there, even me. You might even be there right now.  You know the deal – it’s 10pm on a Sunday night.  You promised you would leave yourself time to study for your psychology exam, but you got caught up in weekend plans, the latest election news, and all of the other midterms you have to study for.  And let’s not forget about the two problem sets you also have due in the morning!  It seems that the hope you had when you first made that promise is slipping further and further down the drain.  Now, the exam is mere hours away, and it seems there’s nothing left to do but cram.  You stay up all night, attempting to review every single concept your professor introduced this semester.  You go through the motions of studying: rereading, highlighting, and underlining terms, as if to make up for the hours and days of lost time that you should have devoted to preparing for this exam.  

https://www.newcollege.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/demi-examcram-comic.png
Staying up late the night before an exam to cram is not an effective study strategy.

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A Call to Challenge Categorization (& tune in to When They See Us)

November 22nd, 2020 No comments

If you have not watched Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed production When They See Us, I would tune in now. This four-part series is centered around the Central Park jogger case from April 19, 1989. Five Black and Latino adolescents were wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was running in Central Park in New York City. The four parts present the experiences of the boys from before the accusation, to getting accused and deceived by the police, to the boys falsely confessing to the crimes, to the struggles they experience in prison, and to their eventual release from prison and their lives after prison. After I watched this series, I followed up on another production called Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now. In this show, Oprah Winfrey speaks with the Exonerated Five, Ava DuVernay, and the cast of the original series. This production allowed me to see how the nightmare of experiences faced by these five men affected their lives at the time of being wrongly accused and continue to haunt them to this day. When They See Us and the resulting panel with Oprah Winfrey are by far the best programs I have ever watched on Netflix, as the two productions profoundly opened my eyes to the racist practices of the criminal justice system and the dangers of stereotyping. If you haven’t already watched them, then I would definitely recommend.

Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Ava DuVernay, Antron McCray, and Yusef Salaam at the When They See Us premiere. www.chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2019/6/14/18679622/ava-duvernay-central-park-5-netflix-chicago-jon-burge

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I don’t see a difference. Oh, wait. Now I do!

November 19th, 2020 No comments

It’s Saturday morning. I wake up, have breakfast, listen to some music, and pack my bag for what I am about to do. Like many highschool and college athletes, I am preparing for perhaps the biggest day of the week – Game day! As I arrive at the field, I immediately start eyeballing today’s opponent. What type of team are they? Are they strong? Weak? Fast? Slow? My team I already know well, and I am confident that our different strengths will help us to win this game. As a team player on my college’s rugby team myself, I often find myself viewing the teams that we play against differently and less varied than my own team. My own team, of course, is made up of a diverse group of players with different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Other teams, however, I tend to have a more simple opinion of when we take the field. One cognitive phenomenon may be able to partially explain why this occurs.

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Everything has Feelings – Anthropomorphize with Me Now

April 17th, 2017 6 comments

Image result for pixar lamp

Do you often find yourself talking to things that can’t respond?  What about not wanting to throw things away because you’ll hurt their feelings?  Do you give inanimate objects personalities?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you anthropomorphize!  Also, your amygdala is probably fine and you probably aren’t autistic.

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Being Extremely Good-Looking Benefits You – the Halo Effect

April 17th, 2017 3 comments

Abercrombie & Fitch models

You must have seen these charming male models in front of some Abercrombie and Fitch stores, right? Did you stop for a picture with them? Did they successfully allure you to walk in the store and carry a huge shopping bag on your way out? Well, if these two scenarios sound familiar to you, then you probably should have known the power of looking good. It is not hard to find comparable examples besides Abercrombie and Fitch in the real life. The faces of attractive Hollywood celebrities have invaded everywhere such as on posters and televisions. Why? Because their pretty faces are worth millions of dollars and they can lead you to buy anything! One evidence from a report on Fashionista shows that Puma has successfully increased its sales by 7.6 percent just because it invited Rihanna to be its brand ambassador and women’s creative director. Although you might be immune to the commercials and argue that “a book should not be judged by its cover”, you cannot deny that these good-looking people can at least please your aesthetic taste. Therefore, let me remind you again – be extremely good-looking – because it is highly possible that your attractiveness gets rewarded.
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Pleasure from your pain: how the empathy bias makes us kinda shitty people

April 17th, 2017 9 comments

Notice the girl wearing a white sweater in the background smiling as she walks by? Her reaction could be a perfect example of the empathy bias. (https://giphy.com/search/mean-girls

Remember in high school when there was that clique (or whatever the boy-version of a clique would be called) that you absolutely loved to hate and got a sense of personal pleasure when something went wrong for a member of the group? For example, when the fourteen-year-old you watched that annoyingly pretty girl drop her lunch in the cafeteria all over her side-kick best friend, you laughed and felt a swell of happiness. I might not be able to claim that you’re not still a slightly shitty person for feeling that way, but cognitive psychology research may have some reasoning behind those feelings and it’s called the empathy bias.

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How to Become More Adaptive to Negative Outcomes in Life

April 17th, 2017 3 comments

An Unfortunate Event

Sometimes life feels like a progression of unfortunate events. You go and get ice cream and right before you take a bite the cone slips out of your hand, falls and then oozes on the pavement. You go back to the end of the ice cream line and by the time you get to the front they are out of your favorite flavor. It is easy to feel this way when you are having a bad day or if you are incredibly stressed by an overbearing workload. People also tend to feel this way around deadlines especially if nothing is going their way. For example, as a student you may have had a day like this. You walk into class and realize you left your assignment in another notebook. After class you check your phone and see a rejection email from the summer internship you had your heart set on. Just as you are putting your phone away you drop it and the screen cracks. Meanwhile the kid standing next to you asks how your final paper is going. In that moment you realize you wrote the due date incorrectly on your planner. A minute later you get a text from your lab partner (on your shattered phone) saying that tonight is the only night she can meet to work on the final project. It feels as if every possible thing in your life has gone wrong.

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Either you’re in or you’re out: The power of in-group bias

April 16th, 2017 1 comment

Have you ever seen someone wearing a shirt with a political candidate you don’t like, and automatically assumed the worst about him or her? Or perhaps you have been at a sporting event, and felt a strong connection towards fans cheering for your team. Why do we make judgments about people we know nothing about based on their group identification? Why do we assume good things about strangers who are more similar to us, or bad things about anyone who differs? What justifies this behavior?

In-group biases 

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I knew it! The effect of hindsight bias and why you probably did not actually know it.

April 16th, 2017 1 comment

There is a cold crispness to the air, but the sun in the cloudless sky gives you the little bit of warmth you need to feel comfortable. It is an early November day, and it is time for the U-12 soccer championship. Maybe you are a player, a parent, a friend, even a referee here today. There are four teams here with the same goal in mind, to win all their games so that they get crowned champion. The Cheshire Rams are the ones you are hoping to win today. You do not know how the day is going to go because all of the teams here have had great records this season and are all very competitive for the title. Hours later, the Cheshire Rams have done it. They are champions! You are in the car riding back, and all you can think to yourself is “wow, I knew it would happen!”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-26/news/ct-x-0626-keilman-column-20130626_1_more-kids-score-childhood-obesity

 

What is Hindsight Bias?

Did you actually know that the outcome would happen as it did? The truth is, most likely not. Read more…