Year: December 19, 2015

The Fundamental Attribution Error: Who’s to Blame?

Often times, whether in work or family life—or even in politics—when things go wrong, someone usually, as it’s popularly said, “takes the blame.” In psychological terms, attributing blame falls under the large umbrella of attribution theory—or, when one “seek[s] causes for others’ behavior or circumstances.” Attribution appears to be well within the realm of average […]

Social Psychology, Syria and Prejudice

In the wake of the deadliest terrorist attack on western soil since September 11, 2001, a debate has been raging over whether or not western countries should accept refugees from Syria amidst the continued fighting in that country. Although both sides of the debate may have sound arguments, what remains clear is that a seeping […]

Is Behaviorism Still Relevant?

Many people have heard of B.F. Skinner. His name has been referenced countless times in popular television shows and movies. And although the field of psychology, as both a profession and a scientific area of study, has moved on to other paradigms and theories, there remains a kernel of truth in Skinner’s work that is […]

Can a Good Person Turn Bad?

In the discipline of social psychology, there is probably not a bigger, more influential name than Phillip Zimbardo. Zimbardo (who actually attended James Monroe High School in New York with another famous social psychologist, Stanley Milgram) became interested in the claims of abuse that had been occurring throughout America’s prisons. Zimbardo left his mark on the psychology […]

Highlighting the Positive: A Tour though “Positive Psychology”

From its inception, the field of psychology and almost all of its practitioners have focused on mental pathologies—that is, an individual’s psychological problems. For decades, many psychologists have believed that the point of psychology should be to focus on a person’s—to use the parlance of Freud—“neurosis,” in other words, to focus on one’s “mental problems.” […]

Following the Leader: What Would Psychology Say about the Primary Presidential Elections?

Following the Leader: What Would Psychology Say about the Primary Presidential Elections? Since mid-summer, Americans have been treated with a seemingly endless onslaught of political mudslinging among the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. But with the general election more than a year away, and the campaign season in its early stages, there is definitely more […]