Saturday, August 8, 2015

Why are mass shootings in the US on the rise?

An interesting take on the increase in mass shootings in the US:

Research shows that when an identity someone cares about is called into question, they are likely to react by over-demonstrating qualities associated with that identity. As this relates to gender, some sociologists call this “masculinity threat.” And while mass shootings are not common, research suggests that mass shooters experience masculinity threats from their peers and, sometimes, simply from an inability to live up to societal expectations associated with masculinity (like holding down a steady job, being able to obtain sexual access to women’s bodies, etc.) – some certainly more toxic than others.

The research on this topic is primarily experimental. Men who are brought into labs and have their masculinity experimentally “threatened” react in patterned ways: they are more supportive of violence, less likely to identify sexual coercion, more likely to support statements about the inherent superiority of males, and more.

This research provides important evidence of what men perceive as masculine in the first place (resources they rely on in a crisis) and a new kind evidence regarding the relationship of masculinity and violence. The research does not suggest that men are somehow inherently more violent than women. Rather, it suggests that men are likely to turn to violence when they perceive themselves to be otherwise unable to stake a claim to a masculine gender identity.

Note that this is merely an excerpt. Make sure to read the rest.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Growing up in a pornified culture

This is the video of Gail Dines' TED talk. When we ask ourselves about how one's worldview is cultivated by contemporary mass media, the mainstreaming and ready availability of pornographic imagery and videos must be part of that conversation, especially when we consider what is known about the antisocial effects of violent content in pornography that have been well-documented by Dolf Zillmann, Neil Malamuth, and a number of other behavioral and social scientists who study media violence. With that in mind, this video is well-worth your time and consideration.

Monday, August 3, 2015

ICPS and Open Science Framework

One of the cool things about the information age is that the ability to communicate and share findings is more immediate than ever. In the past, conference presentations have often fallen through the cracks. Often, once the presentations are over, there's often no good way to contact participants for copies of handouts, PowerPoint presentations, or anything data related beyond the hope that maybe the participants in question will answer their email. This year, the ICPS conference made available the opportunity for its participants to upload their posters and PowerPoints to an OSF site, making them available to anyone interested. You can find at least a subset of those presentations under the title International Convention of Psychological Science 2015 Posters & Talks. Obviously, this is not the first time that OSF has been used in this capacity by conference organizers. It is an emerging and welcome trend to the extent that it facilitates openness and communication among scientists sharing common research interests, and facilitates George Miller's dictum of giving away psychology in the public interest.