Category: Psychology Today

Political science

I have another post up over at Psychology Today, which has been included in a special feature on ‘The Science Behind Politics.’

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This time I’m talking about negative political campaigning:

…The US Presidential Primaries have been widely maligned as a parade of interpersonal nastiness, the UK referendum is accused of being awash with scaremongering, and in the Irish case, one political leader denied engaging in negative campaigning even when unveiling a poster depicting his direct opponent as a threat to health and a champion of the rich elite.

Why does this always seem to happen? Surely this type of schoolyard mudslinging risks alienating voters?

…[A] newly published study—based on actual voting behavior, rather than opinion poll responses—shows that citizens are clearly influenced by negative campaigning, and reward politicians for using it.

What makes this particular study intriguing was its experimental design…

Feel free to read the rest here.

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On alcohol guidelines and social desirability

I’ve posted a piece at Psychology Today on the methodological problems surrounding Britain’s new alcohol consumption guidelines:

The UK government has published new guidelines on healthy alcohol consumption and, yes, as might be predicted, they are controversial. According to the new advice, adults — male or female — should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. That approximates to around 6 glasses of beer or 7 glasses of wine. Beyond this, the UK Department of Health argue that the risk of alcohol-related death, especially cancer, is significantly increased.

To say that folks were unhappy about the new guidelines would be putting it mildly. 

Feel free to read the rest of the piece here, if you are sober enough.

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One year in: The Science Bit’s greatest hits

I am generally nonplussed by birthdays. And I realise that blog posts about blog posts can sometimes be boring. However, as I’m an obsessive hoarder and a data geek, in this case I am going to make an exception. You see, The Science Bit is one year old today.

That’s right, it has reached the big ‘1’.

*Cue music* There have been highs, and there have been lows; vivid memories and lots of stuff that I’ve forgotten. Readership has waxed and waned, but gradually grown. Some people have been happy. Others have been bored. Millions of people have completely ignored me. But rather than dousing you with further personal reminiscences, I thought I would instead simply feed back to you a countdown of the five most read posts of the past twelve months.

A special item that I like to call…’REELING IN THE YEAR

Continue reading “One year in: The Science Bit’s greatest hits”

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