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social psychology

How the Political Primary Season Creates Psychological Tribes

Illustration of two groups of people engaged in a tug of war
What the number of dots on a screen, your taste in abstract art, and a boys’ summer camp can tell us about party division and unity.

Would You Lie for Me?

Image of hand holding a spray paint can near a wall

By Dave Nussbaum

Think it would be tough to convince someone to lie for you or to vandalize public property? Think again. 

Superbowl Psychology

Image of American football player outstretched in the air catching the football

By Amy Summervile

Though you may not know it, when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday—especially if you actually watch the game and not just the commercials— you’ll likely be engaging in a lot of what psychological scientists call counterfactual thinking: thoughts about “what might have been,” “at least,” and “if only.”

Research on counterfactual thought explains all kinds of surprising reactions to sporting events, and a couple of ways in which your judgment about the big game may not be as clear as you think.