Center News

To Win Against False Information, We Must Play Offense

Posted: April 7, 2017

What should strategic communication in the public and social change sectors look like in a time marked by extreme political polarization and false information? Science suggests the key may be playing offense, rather than defense.

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Who Are You Calling Anti-Science?

Posted: April 7, 2017

Those who reject vaccines or the climate consensus often embrace other legitimate areas of research.

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Why Each Side of the Partisan Divide Thinks the Other is Living in an Alternate Reality

Posted: January 20, 2017

If someone sees or hears something they don't want to believe...they probably won't believe it.

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Why Do Science Issues Seem to Divide us Along Party Lines

Posted: October 18, 2016

Social scientists investigate when and why liberals and conservatives mistrust science. The apparent split may be more about cultural and personal beliefs than feelings about science itself.

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Every Little Bit Counts: How to increase blood donations

Posted: July 1, 2016

As the nation’s eyes turn toward Orlando, many are left searching for ways to help. For people living in Florida, donating blood has been a way to show support and unity with those impacted by this terrorist hate crime. Donating blood is massively important during times of emergency, but it’s just as important on days not following a national crises. Indeed, even before Sunday’s horrific events, blood banks in Florida were at critically low levels, which means that patients who need transfusions are sometimes unable to get them. Attracting blood donors that have never given before is especially important for…

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What You See May Affect What You Eat

Posted: June 27, 2016

Research suggests you can creatively and strategically use psychology, visuals and people’s everyday surroundings to curb overeating.

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Psychology Helps Explain Why People Are Prejudiced

Posted: June 23, 2016

How’s your head feeling? We ask because we assume you’ve probably banged it against a wall a few times in bewilderment at the prejudiced attitudes people continue to hold despite our best efforts to drive change. We’re all collectively yelling why at our phones and computers when we read or hear about another person doing another terrible thing to someone because of their “personal beliefs.” We haven’t yet figured out how to stop people from having terrible prejudices toward our fellow humans, but new research sheds light on the psychological roots of prejudice. Psychologists Michael E. Levin and his colleagues…

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The Politics of Mental Illness

Posted: May 24, 2016

Mental illness is stigmatized in America, leaving many unwilling to seek treatment. New research suggests that stigmatization is a political matter. People who are more conservative are more likely to hold negative attitudes toward people with mental illness. However, knowing someone with a mental illness can reduce stigmatization. These findings were published in the February 2016 issue of the International Journal of Social Psychiatry. Researchers Joseph S. DeLuca and Philip T. Yanos surveyed 505 participants on their attitudes toward people with mental illness. Participants were asked how much they agreed with statements like, “I believe a person with mental illness is…

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Moving Climate Change Skeptics to Believers

Posted: May 18, 2016

Moving climate change skeptics to believers is fundamental if we are going to address the growing threat of global warming. Researchers are now studying strategies for reaching climate deniers. Emphasizing the scientific consensus on climate change can increase belief in the science and support for policy, according to new research published in the February 2015 journal PLOS One. Over 1,100 participants were asked to estimate what percentage of scientists agree that climate change is real and caused by humans. They were then asked questions about their political ideology, how much they worry about climate change and whether they believe we should be…

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When Charity Isn’t Selfless

Posted: May 12, 2016

Charity is often seen as a selfless act, but new research tells us otherwise. We’re more likely to give when we believe that a charity is working to fix a problem that we are susceptible to, according to communications scholar Xiaoxia Cao. This finding comes from a study published in the February 2016 issue of the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. The study involved 159 participants who were asked to read one of two charitable appeals for St. Jude Research Hospital. Both advertisements told the story of Lisa, a 21-month-old child diagnosed with a deadly form of…

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