The Bystander Effect and George Floyd

The Bystander Effect, included in every introductory psychology textbook and course, refers to the consistent finding that individuals are less likely to help in the presence of others than when they are alone. The more bystanders present, the less likely an individual is to help. This is commonly attributed to a diffusion of responsibility, meaning that an individual in a […]

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It takes two to give

My mom was supposed to come visit me this past week while I have been teaching in Paris. She was scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning and in a reprisal of our fabulous time together in 2015 (see picture above), we planned to pack our afternoons with art museums and our evenings with concerts. Then, a few days before she was due […]

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IFL eye movements

Whenever I teach eye movements, I am reminded of how exciting they are. I like that eye movements appear mundane, common, and perhaps even uninteresting. They fly under most people’s wow-o-cool-o-radar, giving all the appearance of a nuts-and-bolts system without lofty aspirations. Despite this unpretentious appearance, eye movements are incredibly interesting and also of the utmost importance to our social selves. There is so much more to […]

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From Brian Williams to Vincent Van Gogh to Hellen Keller to you and me

Here are my two cents on Brian Williams and the malleability of memory. Let’s start by fully acknowledging the limitations of perception. Perception of the world outside is very different from the record produced by a camera or audio record. Perception of our innards is even farther from accurate: is that a knife in my stomach or gas? So the information coming in to the brain, information […]

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Can you read this?

I am hoping that you play my game and try to read the text above. Go ahead and try before you read the answer below. How’d you do? I am betting that you did just fine. Maybe you had some problems with neocortex, or maybe not. Here is the un-substituted text: How did you read the scramble? Are you aware of how you […]

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We help because it feels good

A friend sent me a link to this video in which one tortoise rights another tortoise that is on its back. Watching this video, I sensed that the helping tortoise really wanted to help the upside down tortoise. I was rooting for the helping tortoise to succeed and wholly relieved when s/he successfully rolled the other tortoise onto its feet. I say “s/he” […]

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