Each week, we recap featured posts from Character & Context and other blogs around the cyberspace, plus news stories and tweets worth a look. If you have an item you'd like us to consider, use the hashtag #SPSPblog or tweet us directly @spspnews.
In a series of studies social psychologists examined group forgiveness and found that individuals are astute perceivers of political process. For an apology to be sincere, the process must show that the offenders are in agreement about the apology and that the person(s) saying sorry for the group represents the whole group.
Though they meet thousands of new people in their lifetime, what underlying psychological factors might couples use to stay committed to their partners? According to a recent study, people in relationships actually see tempting people outside of their partnership as less attractive. This perceptual bias could represent a non-conscious method of self-control that assists in overcoming temptations in order to facilitate long term goals of staying with a romantic partner.
It may come as no surprise that political polarization is on the rise; liberals are becoming more liberal, and conservatives are becoming more conservative. This is more than simple disagreement; political polarization involves an extreme commitment to one’s ideology and an unwillingness to consider other viewpoints. According to Kristin Laurin from the University of British Columbia, we need to be willing to take the perspective of people with opposing views in order to combat political polarization. But how do people perceive those who engage in such perspective taking?
“Hate” – the term is becoming an all too familiar. “Hate group” members and sympathizers use “hate speech” and commit “hate crimes.” Recent events on the worldwide sociopolitical landscape have revealed the often intensely visceral reactions people have when they see actions that they consider to be hate. The three little words – “I HATE you” – can damage interpersonal, intergroup, and international relationships in ways that “I am angry at you” or “I dislike you” cannot begin to match.