The Psych List: The rise of emotionally intelligent software and more weekly links

A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • At 12, a debilitating disease put Martin Pistorius in a coma and left him without the use of his body. His parents and doctors thought he was brain dead. But at 14 or 15 years old Pistorius remembers “waking up.” He spent the next 12 years trapped in his body, fully aware, but unable to communicate. NPR’s Lulu Miller tells his story and interviews Pistorius himself. (NPR: All Things Considered and Invisibilia)
  • An interview with Jennifer Eberhardt—2014 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient and Stanford Psychologist—on her research examining implicit bias, racism, and the criminal justice system. (New York Times)
  • Businesses, especially advertisers, are excited about using new software that can read human emotions. The potential applications—to capture real-time emotional reactions during commercials and negotiations—offer new opportunities for companies, but questions of privacy loom. (The New Yorker)
  • In the same week that the UK’s Department of Education launched a program to award schools who excel at teaching character traits like resilience, perseverance, and grit, Anna North asks “Should Schools Teach Personality?” in the opinion pages of the New York Times. (The Telegraph and New York Times)
  • Mandy Len Catron writes a beautiful essay about falling in love with the help of a near two-decade-old psychology study by Arthur Aron and colleagues. (New York Times)
  • The world’s religions have long espoused the virtue of forgiveness, and there’s also empirical research supporting its value. However, neither scripture nor science has made forgiving easy. Amy Westervelt visits a forgiveness course at Stanford University and reports on how psychologists are now plotting paths to forgiveness. (Aeon)

 

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