Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Link dump

Bunch of things I've been wanting to blog, but I need to get home and work on a project that's already behind, so here's a quick round-up:
  • From the world of psychology:

    1. When viewing a videotaped interrogation, most viewers discount the possibility of coercion if they are shown only the suspect's face -- this bias extends even to "professionals" in the legal field, such as judges and law-enforcement types. However, when both the interrogator and suspect are shown, this bias dissipates to a large degree. Encourage your district to shift to dual filming of police interrogations.

    2. PsyBlog lists the Top 10 Psychology Studies that have changed how we understand the human mind and behavior, from memory to response to authority to postulation of the unconscious. Lots of neat stuff for the layman and specialist alike, well explained.

  • Things political:

    1. Markos looks at the cancellation of the Democrats' Fox debate as a grassroots triumph, in which the blogging community served primarily to inspire local activists to believe they could make a difference (and maybe recognize the importance of this choice).

    2. Another DailyKos blogger alerts us to a fair elections bill that's been introduced in the Senate and which would provide public funding to any US Senate candidate who met some threshold level of small individual contributions first. Encourage your representatives to support this idea.

  • From the realm of the wacky trouble-maker:

    Barry Schwartz, of "why too much choice can overwhelm us" fame, comes up with another paradigm-breaker: he suggests a lottery-style admission process for top colleges (among all reasonably qualified applicants), which would reduce the pressure for resume polishing and encourage more exploration of learning for its own merits. A fascinating idea, based on some pretty strong foundations. Just to flip out the ladder-climbers a bit more, he concludes with this little rumination:
    If talented and hardworking people are forced to confront the element of chance in life's outcomes when they (or their kids) fail to get into the "best" college, they may be more inclined to acknowledge the role of luck in shaping the lives of the people around them.
    Now you're really talking crazy, man!
    (via Cognitive Daily)

No comments: