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.
Diandra Toyos claims that she and her children were nearly victims of human trafficking. In a Facebook post that quickly went viral, she wrote of a recent visit to her local Ikea with her three children: “I noticed a well dressed, middle aged man circling the area, getting closer to me and the kids. At one point he came right up to me and the boys, and instinctively I put myself between he and my mobile son. I had a bad feeling. He continued to circle the area, staring at the kids.” Continuing: “Something was off. We knew it in our gut. I am almost sure that we were the targets
Under what circumstances should speech be prohibited? In a recent op-ed, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett attempted to answer this question, which has long dogged modern democracies.Different societies have different levels of speech restriction. The United States is relatively unique, with freewheeling protections of even the most odious ideas, short of those that directly incite violence. In contrast, most European countries and Canada have injunctions against “hate speech,” which is broadly defined and always subject to expansion. In all instances, the key question is, simply, “What speech
Last week, after I returned home from the grocery store — bags of bacon, lunch meat, and hot dogs in tow — my wife announced, “There’s a documentary you need to watch. It’s all about how this food is bad for us.”The film in question was What the Health, a documentary by Kip Andersen of Cowspiracy fame. Among the film’s central claims is that processed meat — and to a lesser extent, nonprocessed beef — can give you cancer, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, the WHO classifies processed meat in the same carcinogenic category (Group 1) as cigarettes, asbestos,
I’ve received a lot of great, thought-provoking feedback about my recent article on the culture of victimhood. My argument in that post was that many American universities like Yale are descending into a victim culture, in which insults are treated as major, political threats to historically marginalized groups, which require an administrative or legal crackdown. Victim culture threatens to undermine the important modern achievement of a dignity culture, in which insults are treated as minor, personal affronts to individuals, affronts that should be addressed quietly or even ignored. And while
In recent years, campus activists have become an increasingly visible aspect of American life. In 2015, Yale professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis came under fire for encouraging students to critically consider a new policy on Halloween costumes. The controversy reached a boiling point when Nicholas Christakis met student demonstrators in a courtyard and attempted to engage them in discussion: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvIqJIL2kOMefn77xg6-6yrvek5kbNf3Z More recently, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray and Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger were
In 1976, a small video game publisher, Exity, produced Death Race, a “vehicular combat” arcade game that allowed players to deliberately run over a “gremlin” that bore an uncomfortable, monochrome resemblance to a human stick figure. Maybe it was the fact that the game was originally called “Pedestrian,” or the fact that each successful impact was marked with a tombstone, but in the 70s, this was considered a violent video game. It was featured on 60 Minutes and in the National Enquirer. As national media attention grew, arcade owners became reluctant to feature the machine, and it
An explosion of studies over the last couple of decades have claimed that almost everyone is subconsciously a racist, a sexist, or a bigot of some other sort. These studies often rely on a new method of studying bias, called the Implicit Association Test. But now it seems this research method may not have been telling us what we thought after all. Unconscious Biases Among the less controversial insights of Sigmund Freud retained by modern, scientific psychology is the assumption that many important human motivations lie in the subconscious: inaccessible, beneath our awareness, and — perhaps most
Ever since the election, pundits have trotted out a bevy of theories in an effort to explain Donald Trump’s unanticipated victory. CNN commentator Van Jones argued that it was “whitelash” (white backlash to two terms for America’s first black president). At the New York Times, Nate Cohn tied Trump’s victory to support from a wide swath of the working class. At Vox, Emily Crockett attributed it to plain old misogyny. All of these theories may have merit, but some classical liberals have a different take: Perhaps, after eight years of creeping explicit and implicit censorship, Trump’s
One politically-charged topic that has gained national prominence in recent years is income inequality: the fact that there is an ever-widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor. Libertarians have traditionally questioned whether wealth inequality warrants any concern at all — to say nothing of whether government intervention is justified to correct it. 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. Inequality and relative deprivation There is, however, another
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”
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