Social Science Insights

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Enjoy some fun & interesting facts on various social issues.  The Boston Globe took the time to compile these short but very interesting insights on why we like what we like and do what we do!!

Trusting Faces:

How long does it take us to judge the trustworthiness of a person we just met? According to the article, science and brain scans apparently not long. In fact the article mentions that within 33 milliseconds , we have already decided if we initially trust a person just by judging their face.

The Empowerment & Music:

Listening to music can make people think and act like they are more powerful;  according to researchers who tested this theory in several experiments.  The findings shown that people were inclined to think more abstractly, want to be the one to go first more often and want more control.

Racism & Prison Policy:

According to the article, America incarcerates much more of its population in comparison to the rest of the world. Research from Stanford University noted that our toughness on crime may be driven by racism. In one of Stanford’s experiments, white California voters were less likely to sign a petition to weaken California’s three-strikes law after viewing a series of mug shots of which 45% were black men, compared to viewing a series of mug shots of which 25% were black men. In another experiment, white residents of New York City were significantly less willing to sign a petition against the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy after being told that the prison population was 60% black, compared to 40% black.

Money Buries Emotions:

Many know the saying money doesn’t buy happiness and according to this report, money doesn’t buy any emotions either.  In multiple experiments, people who were exposed to pictures or words related to money subsequently thought it was less desirable to express emotions, expressed less anger in a customer complaint, expressed less emotion after watching a comedy movie, judged emotional expressions in public (but not in private) to be more intense, and were less interested in interacting with someone who displayed an emotional expression.

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