Articles on Social psychology

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A big discrepancy exists between the actual threat of mass shootings and the way the public perceives that threat. Tatiana Akhmetgalieva/Shutterstock.com

Have we become too paranoid about mass shootings?

You're just as likely to be a victim of a mass shooting as you are to be struck by lightning. So why do nearly 50% of Americans say they're afraid of being caught in the crossfire?
To feel a pang of pleasure at the misfortune of others is to be human. VixCompaNi/Shutterstock.com

Why does it feel good to see someone fail?

Schadenfreude seems to arise out of envy and a sense of justice. But some psychologists believe a darker impulse is at play.
The lies most people tell on dating apps do serve a purpose. Dado Photos

The lies we tell on dating apps to find love

Researchers analyzed troves of messages sent between matches and found that the fibs people tell are usually rational ones that serve a purpose.
Why do people constantly ‘move the goalposts’ when making judgments? JoeNattapon/Shutterstock.com

Why your brain never runs out of problems to find

It's a psychological quirk that when something becomes rarer, people may spot it in more places than ever. What is the 'concept creep' that lets context change how we categorize the world around us?
Say cheese … or not. A woman works a stand at a cheese festival in Moscow, Russia. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Why are Russians so stingy with their smiles?

In the US, smiling is a reflexive gesture of goodwill, but Russians view it as a sign of stupidity. Social psychology research could help explain this cultural contrast.
The prospect alone can make you want to avoid the person altogether. faber1893/Shutterstock.com

Why is it so stressful to talk politics with the other side?

We can disagree with co-workers in meetings. We can argue about sports with friends. A new study explores why politics seems to be an entirely different beast.

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