Sean Rife

Sean Rife

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Murray State University

Sean is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Murray State University. Sean Rife’s work focuses on technology and relationships, and the role social media use plays in influencing psychosocial outcomes. Specifically, Rife is interested in social support processes as they occur in different venues (online, through social network services, and in more traditional contexts), and how individual-level and situational factors influence support seeking behavior. Additionally, Rife is developing tools to apply linguistic analyses commonly used in psychological research to large datasets (so-called “big data”), particularly Facebook and Twitter status updates.

Blog Posts

Ugly, senseless, hateful speech — it’s still not violence

The health effects of speech are inherently subjective. So who decides what speech is “harmful”?

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How thinking harder will let you eat more bacon

Let’s debunk the confusion around the “dangerous” carcinogens in processed meat.

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Freaking out over tiny risks: A case study from a moral panic

Cognitive psychologists have long recognized that people overestimate the occurrence of rare events. But these heuristics are not without cost.

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Is victim culture spreading beyond the university?

The disadvantaged are more likely to benefit from a free, open, and peaceful exchange of ideas than to be harmed by it.

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Do we live in a victim culture?

Capitalism insists on results, and is relatively unconcerned with our subjective emotional evaluations of the world.

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Violent video games do not cause real-world aggression

Upon seeing a copy of the (now classic) fighting game Mortal Kombat, Senator Joe Lieberman announced his intention to introduce legislation that would prohibit the sale of such games to minors.

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What if we are not racists after all?

Questions are being raised about a tool commonly used to research bias.

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Did Trump win because of backlash against political correctness?

Perhaps, after eight years of creeping explicit and implicit censorship, Trump’s election can be seen as a broad referendum on political correctness.

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Does inequality make us miserable?

Indeed, classical liberals are usually much more concerned with the alleviation of poverty, rather than hand-wringing about who might have a larger slice of an ever-widening pie.

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Of course your candidate won the debate

On this morning after the third presidential debate, ask yourself: am I assessing my favored candidate objectively, or simply as a function of what I want or expected?

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Videos

What Are Heuristics?

We all use heuristics to make everyday decisions — but sometimes they blind us to the truth. So we need to do something that doesn’t come easy: accept that our…