Updated: In-group bias is ingrained in humans

Adults and children–even children as young as three–“are really quick to sort themselves into … social groups and to form a preference for their in-group.” This tendency has been found in people–again, even children–across “gender, race or ethnicity, language, nationality, and religion.” Decades of research indicate that in-group favoritism occurs even when the group is based on very superficial criteria; the group does not have…

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

Tribalism in our society

Tribalism is the possession of an identity (cultural, ethnic, national, etc.) that divides a member of one group from members of another group. The identity can be based on residence, membership in political parties, skin color, ethnic background, religion, occupation, income level, mental health status, gender, age, health status … all the way to support of different sports teams. There are in-groups and out-groups. We…

See more

Fear — impacts on decision-making and behavior

Fear is corrosive whether caused by events outside our immediate control or if purposefully used (for example, by politicians trying to gain or consolidate power). Fear impacts the decisions we make and the actions we take. We do things we would not do if the fear was not present. We believe things we normally would not. We act against our own best interests. Quick bibliography:…

See more

Stop being manipulated! Take charge of the information in your life: Seek information, not affirmation

Seek information, not affirmation; what does that mean? If you use Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp to get news and learn about current events, you are being manipulated. The algorithms that drive these platforms create “bubbles” within which people are grouped together based on their social media use, product preferences, and other digital choices current and past. Within a bubble, you find yourself amid other users…

See more

Stop being manipulated! Take charge of the information in your life.

Disinformation and propaganda are not new; they have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years. With algorithm-driven social media platforms, however, they have become a lot easier to do; these days, it has even been automated. Those comments on Facebook that got you all riled up? Maybe it’s a bot … and perhaps it’s even a bot being used by another country let…

See more