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Why Can’t We Be Friends? The Joy of the Political Fight

Journalists, businesses, comedians, and the rest of us have been crying out to politicians, “Why so much fighting?” and asking, “Can’t we all just get along?” Despite these calls for bipartisanship and peace in Washington, the quarrels rage on. Why? Although politicians say they wish the fighting would end, they may actually take pleasure in…

Truth Bending: Why Politicians are Such Comfortable Liars

Today many Americans find themselves thinking: how are politicians so comfortable lying? The answer may be found in the important element of how they lie. Specifically, politicians rarely lie straightforwardly; instead, they bend the truth. Because “truth bending” is rooted in some version of the truth, it creates enough wiggle room for politicians to maintain the…

Partisans Don’t Know How the Middle Feels

Ten minutes into the Presidential debate, my democratic friends were sure it was a failure. They tweeted, “Nothing he is saying is making me feel anything.” A lot of Democrats have walked away from Romney’s monologues unaware of how moving Romney’s comments can be. They have felt absolutely secure that an Obama victory is in…

Community Color at the Carrack Modern Art

Our very own Dan Ariely will be hosting an art auction for a local Durham Art Gallery, the Carrack Modern Art, on October 13th as a part of their first annual fundraiser. Community Color is a weeklong series of events, a fundraiser and a celebration that will feature an exhibit of original artwork by Carrack artists…

Call for Artists to Respond to Research on Self-control

Artists from around the world are invited to attend a discussion on self-control entitled “Restraining Order: The Art of Self-Control” as the next part of the “Artistically Irrational” exhibition series on Wednesday, September 26th at 7 PM EST. (Artists who do not live within driving distance of Durham, NC will be able to watch online.) Interested artists should RSVP to…

Part 3: The Amorality of Drunk Driving

Over the past week I have blogged about the amorality of drunk driving and critiqued some of the policies attempting to curb drunk driving. Drawing from behavioral economics research and the comments I received, I have drafted 4 ways to combat Drunk Driving. Finally, I included a one-way caveat about why this problem will remain…

Part 2: The Amorality of Drunk Driving

I want to share with you what appears to me like one of the most ill-advised anti-Drunk Driving campaigns ever created. Ironically, I was walking across the Duke quad on my way to the social psychology building when I passed these ads that so blatantly disregard basic social psychology. The anti-Drunk Driving ads featured famous…

Just Pay a Fine and Move Along: The Amorality of Drunk Driving

Recently, the “choose-your-ride” car (pictured here) has been roaming around downtown Durham and Duke University. The car seeks to reduce drunk driving by posing a choice between a $20 taxi or $1,000 fine. At first glance, this seems like a good strategy and it may indeed do some good. However, the car seems to missing…

Please Don’t Steal the Charmin

A Chinese tourist destination decided to experiment with offering free toilet paper, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rather than the usual procedure in China, where people bring their own toilet paper, in Qingdao they now encounter a toilet paper dispenser when they enter the public restroom (and, naturally, pass it again on the way out).…

No Longer Gaga for Gaga?

Our very own Troy Campbell presents his research on desensitization via repetition, and (naturally) uses Lady Gaga as his experimental stimuli.