Social Psychology

Predictors of Long-Term Opioid Use

An increase in opioid use disorders and fatal overdoses has resulted in a public health crisis in many regions of the United States and Canada. At the same time, as Thielke and colleagues (2017) pointed out, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of the long-term use of opioids to treat chronic pain. Thus, [...]

Using Implicit and Explicit Social Pressure to Increase Voter Turnout

Although get-out-the-vote mailers are frequently used in political campaigns to increase voter turnout, Matland and Murray (2016) point out that they are fairly ineffective. One particular type of mailer using explicit pressure has been shown to increase voter turnout. These “self-mailers” include information about the recipient’s voting history and implies that the sender will be [...]

Using Social Norms to Enhance Pro-environmental Behavior

This study built on previous research (e.g., Goldstein, Cialdini, & Griskevicius, 2008) demonstrating that social norms could be used to increase pro-environmental behaviors. One of three types of messages were posted in hotel rooms in Central European alpine resorts: (1) towel reuse protects the environment (no social norm information), (2) most guests in this hotel [...]

Racial Profiling May Increase Transgressions by Whites

There is much evidence of racial profiling in the United States, targeting African Americans and Latino/as in particular. According to Hackney and Glaser (2013, p.1), racial profiling occurs when members of specific groups are “subjected to stops and searches by police at rates disproportionate to their representation in the population and their rates of offending.” [...]

Native Land Reclamation: Predicting Motivation to Participate in Collective Action

In order to predict whether individuals will join in collective action, most psychological studies turn to social identity theory. According to this approach, people are more likely to join in collective action if they have a strong collective identity, particularly if their group is perceived as threatened in some way. Giguère, Lalonde, and Jonsson (2012) [...]

Psychological Barriers to Climate Change Action

Robert Gifford (2011) proposed that while some of the barriers to taking action about climate change are structural (e.g., buying solar panels is not affordable or riding a bike to work is impractical), many are psychological. He identified seven categories of “dragons of inaction”: (1) Limited cognition – the human brain has difficulty grasping threats [...]

A Social Cognitive Model of the Digital Divide

In a world where educational and employment opportunities are increasingly tied to computer use, unequal access to information technology – known as the digital divide – is a significant public policy issue. Efforts to address this problem often focus on increasing access to public computers in schools and libraries. Yet, little is known about the [...]

Racism in the Electronic Age: Online Forum Comments on Native-Themed Mascots

According to Steinfeldt (2010) and colleagues, as public expression of racism has become less socially acceptable, online forums have become an alternative venue for voicing racist sentiments. The authors focused this study on a content analysis of comments in a forum dealing with Native-themed sports mascots. This particular forum originated in response to a series [...]

The Effect of Jury Deliberation on Juvenile Offender Stereotypes

Although jurors are instructed to focus on the evidence presented and to remain open-minded, pre-existing stereotypes may influence jurors’ attention, encoding and recall of evidence, and ultimately their judgments about the case. Haegerich and colleagues (2012) investigated the impact of pre-existing and experimentally activated juvenile offender stereotypes on the decisions of mock jurors who heard [...]

The Denial of Mind to Animals Used for Human Consumption

Bastian and colleagues (2012) identified a form of cognitive dissonance they termed the “meat paradox” in which people’s concern for animal welfare conflicts with their meat-eating behavior. They proposed that individuals reconcile this conflict by mentally separating meat from animals and by denying that animals possess the mental qualities (such as the capacity for fear [...]