Revisiting: Scapegoats and self-blame

Scapegoating is “the act of blaming and often punishing a person or a group for a negative outcome that is due, in large part, to other causes.” Scapegoating is alive and well in the United States and many other countries. It’s not a new phenomenon.  Scapegoating has been going on for centuries–think of the witch hysteria and trials in Europe and America that lasted into…

See more

Crowds: behavior, social change, movement, collective action, social media, context, identity

Humans often gather into large groups–crowds. As part of crowds, do we act and think differently than we would if we were isolated or in a smaller group? Do large crowds represent dangerous and unstable situations? Is there actually such a thing as “mob rule”? Or, do crowds actually bring about social change? What about virtual crowds? Social media creates large virtual gatherings of individuals….

See more

The benefits of kindness

Be kind to others; it’s good for you and for them. “Doing good is, in fact, good for you.” There have been many supporting studies. Kindness of different kinds has “been related to increased life satisfaction, decreased depression, lower blood pressure”, a longer life, and more. Both the givers and the receivers of kindness see the benefits. Quick bibliography: Recent research about the benefits of…

See more

What is linked to autism?

Autism represents a wide spectrum of disorders that impact how a person relates to and communicates with other people. Effects include a variety of social difficulties, “atypical” uses of language, and “restricted or repetitive behaviors.” Autism is not new; examples of individuals can be found throughout history. In recent years, there has been controversy over the causes and antecedents of autism spectrum disorder. What does…

See more

Integrity and honesty: do they really matter?

Are integrity and honesty important? Do they actually mean enough that they can cause engagement, action, a change of behavior in other people? Are they a fundamental core in humans? Something that remains and is strong enough to rise above greed, corruption, narcissism, and dishonesty? Quick bibliography: Articles–classic and recent–on the impact of integrity and honesty. Andrews, M. C., Kacmar, K. M., & Kacmar, C….

See more

Is there a “tipping point” for public opinion?

How and when does an established viewpoint of a society change? What does it take for a society (a very large group of people) to alter its collective opinion? Is there a “tipping point” for public opinion? A recent study using a naming game discovered that when a minority viewpoint became held by “at least 25% of the population,” that viewpoint “was likely to rapidly…

See more