Free associations

Free associations

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White men have committed more mass shootings than any other group. EPA/Paul Buck

Are mass shootings a white man’s problem?

In the terrible aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre people have been urgently trying to explain it. Some have put race at the centre of their explanations. Mass shootings, they argue, reveal something…
Central elements of the self are understood variously as being relatively deep, authentic, intrinsic or essential. pixabay

Is there such a thing as a ‘true self’?

“To thine own self be true”, the saying goes. It is often taken as sage advice, a remnant scrap of Elizabethan life coaching, but Shakespeare may have meant it to be heard as a stale platitude. He puts…
Most people think they’re above average intelligence. But we can’t all be above average. from pixabay.com

The strange links between intelligence and prejudice

People tend to hold inflated impressions of their own intelligence: most people think they are above average.
What does it say about our loose use of the term ‘bullying’ if the most powerful man in the world can claim to be a victim? OLIVIER DOULIERY / POOL/EPA/AAP

Do we claim ‘bullying’ too often?

June was a banner month for bullying. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump was in the thick of it. His offensive tweets about MSNBC co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough are Exhibit A. Adrienne Watson…
Should we celebrate the multicultural rainbow, or look away? pixabay

Cultures fuse and connect, so we should embrace polyculturalism

Cultural diversity is an inescapable fact of modern life. How we should think about it is less obvious. Should we celebrate the multicultural rainbow, merge its colours into one – like a colour wheel spinning…
Social psychologists and sociologists have spent decades understanding how values are best assessed. pixabay

Australian values are hardly unique when compared to other cultures

There has been much talk recently about “Australian values”. The new citizenship test will require aspiring Australians to demonstrate they possess them, or can at least reproduce them under exam conditions…