Could Google Rig the Election? Law Enforcement’s 21st Century Stockade, plus more weekly links


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

  • Could Google rig the 2016 election? According to psychologist Robert Epstein, “Google now has the power to flip upwards of 25 percent of the national elections in the world with no one knowing this is occurring.” (Aeon)

Image: Google Politics

  • Innocent until proven guilty does not hold true in the land of the internet. Law enforcement groups around the country are using the web to create a twenty-first century stockade, publishing names and mugshots online, often regardless of an individual’s guilt or innocence. (New Republic)
  • You’re already glued to your smartphone, so why not just implant it in your body? Implantable technology is a field with an interesting history and an even more intriguing, if not unsettling, future. Frieda Klotz reports from the “world’s first cyborg fair.” (Mosaic).
  • One of psychology’s most influential theories of self-control—ego depletion—is coming under fire, forcing the many in the field to reconsider the idea that willpower is a limited resource. (Slate)
  • It’s a right-handed world and some of us are getting left out. Psychologist Daniel Casasanto explains how right-hand bias influences how we vote, what we buy, and who we research. (The Atlantic)
  • If a baseball umpire calls a few strikes is he more likely to call the next pitch a ball? In a recent working paper, Daniel Chen and his colleagues report a small effect that “MLB umpires call the same pitches in the exact same location differently depending solely on the sequence of previous calls.”  They also examine how asylum judges and loan officers can fall victim to the same “gambler’s fallacy” as the baseball umps. (National Bureau of Economic Research)
  • Have you ever wanted to see Milgram’s original shock box or Freud’s home videos? You may have your chance if David Baker realizes his dream of a National Museum of Psychology. (Association for Psychological Science)


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