Video and Multimedia
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Video 1: What is Social Psychology?
Description: In this video, get the scoop on what social psychology is and what kinds of topics social psychologists study. An excellent overview of the field.
Video 2: Human Nature and the Blank Slate
Description: Steven Pinker knows a lot about the “nature vs. nurture” debate. In fact, he’s written books about it. In this TED talk, he shares insights from his book, The Blank Slate, where he argues that all humans are born with some innate traits. He talks about his thesis, and why some people found it incredibly upsetting. A must watch to be informed about the ongoing debate in psychology.
Video 3: Science Can Answer Moral Questions
Description: Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But in his TED talk, Sam Harris argues that science can--and should--be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
Audio 1: Objectivity and the Scientific Impotence Excuse
Description: Can science study love? Are we able to scientifically determine what romance is all about? There seem to be times, particularly when people hold strong beliefs, that we just don’t want to hear what scientists have to say. We talk a lot these days about the importance of objectivity, but are people--even scientists--capable of being objective? In this episode I’ll talk about the scientific impotence excuse. Another interesting cognitive bias we seem to carry around with us. From The Psych Files podcast.
Audio 2: How Different Cultures Handle Personal Space
Description: Our perspectives on personal space--the distance we keep between the person in front of us at an ATM, the way we subdivide the area of an elevator--are often heavily influenced by the norms of the places we inhabit. To give you a picture of how these norms play out differently in different corners of the world, here are accounts from two NPR international correspondents of what they've observed in two different cities (note that these were written as audio essays, so for the full experience, listen to the segment above). From National Public Radio (NPR).
Audio 3: Motivated Reasoning: A Philosopher on Confirmation Bias
Description: Here, we talk about why people seem willing to believe or at least tolerate assertions that may or may not be grounded in truth. Social scientists call this confirmation bias. That's when we are drawn to information that aligns with our world views and when we hold onto these beliefs, even in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary. This nicely addresses our Big Question #9: Do we think logically or intuitively? From National Public Radio (NPR).