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Special Articles — Behavior & Belief

A column by Stuart Vyse

Behavior & Belief

P-Hacker Confessions: Daryl Bem and Me

P-Hacker Confessions: Daryl Bem and Me

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
June 13, 2017

Daryl Bem is unquestionably one of the world’s most fascinating psychologists. He represents the rare combination of an accomplished mainstream psychologist who is also a believer in ESP.

Can Anything Save Us from Unintended Consequences?

Can Anything Save Us from Unintended Consequences?

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
April 17, 2017

Better policy outcomes will be achieved only when decision-makers are motivated to use the best modes of thinking and deciding.

Your Unlearning Report: The Trouble with Empathy, Implicit Bias, and Believing in Luck

Your Unlearning Report: The Trouble with Empathy, Implicit Bias, and Believing in Luck

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
January 27, 2017

For a skeptic, there is nothing more satisfying than discovering that some previously cherished truth has been overturned by new evidence.

The Parable of the Power Pose and How to Reverse It

The Parable of the Power Pose and How to Reverse It

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
December 15, 2016

Some things sound too good to be true, and on closer examination, they are—even in science.

Consensus: Could Two Hundred Scientists Be Wrong?

Consensus: Could Two Hundred Scientists Be Wrong?

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
September 2, 2016

Scientists have a unique and important role in the public dialogue. They are trusted—or should be—to have special skills of analysis achieved after long study and practice. There are many important social issues to which scientists can and should contribute. Unfortunately, when it comes to evolution, climate change, and the benefits of vaccination, scientists are too often ignored.

Kitty Genovese: Revising the Parable of the Bad Samaritan

Kitty Genovese: Revising the Parable of the Bad Samaritan

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
July 21, 2016

The Kitty Genovese case became a troubling symbol of bystander apathy in the United States. According to the Times report, thirty-seven people witnessed Genovese being stabbed to death in three separate attacks over a period of thirty minutes, and none of them called the police or attempted to intervene.

Fate: Inventing Reasons for the Things that Happen

Fate: Inventing Reasons for the Things that Happen

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
June 10, 2016

You might guess there wouldn’t be much psychological research on belief in fate, destiny, or purpose, but you’d be wrong.

Syracuse, Apple, and Autism Pseudoscience

Syracuse, Apple, and Autism Pseudoscience

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
April 28, 2016

April is Autism Acceptance Month, and as it turns out it is the occasion for Apple Inc. to align itself with pseudoscience.

Good News for Grouches: Happiness is Overrated

Good News for Grouches: Happiness is Overrated

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
March 7, 2016

The pursuit of happiness is one of the inalienable rights established in the Declaration of Independence, and in recent decades an enormous happiness industry has risen up to help you succeed in your personal pursuit.

Nudging People to Save the Planet

Nudging People to Save the Planet

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
January 29, 2016

It is difficult enough to get people to cut back on French fries, floss their teeth, or stop smoking—all of which have more direct effects on their lives—and much harder still to convince people to take immediate action for the benefit of other people in the murky future.

Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe

Guns: Feeling Safe Does Not Equal Being Safe

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
December 16, 2015

Sadly, buying a gun does not make you safer. To the contrary, the evidence suggests that bringing a gun into your home increases the chances you will be killed.

Psychology’s CAM Controversy

Psychology’s CAM Controversy

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
November 23, 2015

Poor psychology. Times have been tough lately for both psychological science and for the profession of clinical psychology.

Welcome to the Season of Conspiracy Theories

Welcome to the Season of Conspiracy Theories

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
October 8, 2015

The 2016 Presidential campaign is well underway, and perhaps because fear mongering is such a popular political strategy (see Donald Trump on immigration), conspiracy theories are back in season. Coincidently, several new studies have emerged to shed more light on why people endorse conspiracy theories.

Hanging Out at the Café: Cultures of Skepticism and Belief

Hanging Out at the Café: Cultures of Skepticism and Belief

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
September 4, 2015

Whereas Chris Mooney’s 2005 book detailed an organized conservative campaign against science, my California experience was something quite different—a fairly coherent culture that includes both pro- and anti-science viewpoints.

Neuro-Pseudoscience

Neuro-Pseudoscience

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
July 29, 2015

As the population ages, concerns about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have created a demand for anything that might stave off the course of mental decline. Brain training programs have a kind of simple plausibility. They sound scientific, and the analogy to physical exercise makes intuitive sense.

Has Science a Problem?

Has Science a Problem?

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
June 18, 2015

For science to stand as a shining alternative to the unending waves of irrationality, its reputation must be strong. Unfortunately, science’s reputation has taken a bewildering number of blows in recent years.

Facilitated Communication: The Fad that Will Not Die

Facilitated Communication: The Fad that Will Not Die

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
May 11, 2015

Many readers will remember facilitated communication (FC). Back in the early 1990s, a new treatment came rushing onto the scene making promises that were enormously attractive to parents of children with autism.

Ideology Versus Public Health

Ideology Versus Public Health

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
April 10, 2015

Indiana has been in the news lately, and most of what we’re hearing isn’t good.

The Politics of Science and the Science of Politics

The Politics of Science and the Science of Politics

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
March 4, 2015

Or: What Do Bill Maher, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Rand Paul, and Chris Christie Have In Common?

Anti-Science Trends at Mid-Decade

Anti-Science Trends at Mid-Decade

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
January 23, 2015

What successes and failures have we encountered in the decade since Controversial Therapies first came out? It seems to me that the results have been decidedly mixed.

Happiness, Religion, and the Status Quo

Happiness, Religion, and the Status Quo

by Stuart Vyse
Behavior & Belief
December 4, 2014

The emotional benefits that accompany many superstitious, paranormal, and supernatural beliefs undoubtedly make them more difficult to discard.