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Psychologists confront impossible finding, triggering a revolution in the field

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Psychologists confront impossible finding, triggering a revolution in the field

In 2011, an American psychologist named Daryl Bem proved the impossible. He showed that precognition — the ability to sense the future — is real. His study was explosive, and shook the very foundations of psychology. University of Toronto psychologist Michael Inzlicht was shocked to find that research papers in his own area of research no longer held water. They could not be replicated under the filter of more rigorous methodology.

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A Revolution Is Happening in Psychology. Here's How It's Playing Out.

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A Revolution Is Happening in Psychology. Here's How It's Playing Out.

In the last decade, behavioral scientists concluded that their field had taken a wrong turn. Efforts to root out false findings and bad practices spurred a crisis now poised to transform the landscape of psychology. Psychology Today profiles four scientists who are leading the charge.

"[Pre-registration] is really gratifying. It's frustrating, too, because you realize how hard science is," Michael Inzlicht says. "There are a lot of null results out there. I've got a lot of bad ideas, it turns out. But because I want the results I publish to lean toward the truth, I'm happy with that."

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People avoid feeling empathy toward others because it is too mentally taxing

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People avoid feeling empathy toward others because it is too mentally taxing

The Independent covers a new paper from the lab examining empathy's intrinsic costs. Our study suggests that people avoid feeling empathy because they think it requires too much mental effort. Defined as the ability to understand the feelings of another person, empathy can facilitate positive social or helpful behaviours in an individual. However, our research suggests that people often don’t want to feel empathy, even if the feelings it produces are positive.

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Stereothreat

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Stereothreat

Back in 1995, Claude Steele published a study that showed that negative stereotypes could have a detrimental effect on students' academic performance. But the big surprise was that he could make that effect disappear with just a few simple changes in language. In this podcast, Radiolab revisits the topic of stereotype threat in light of the roil of replications and self-examination in the field of social psychology. Radioab speaks to Michael Inzlicht about his own experiences with the topic, including why he now has doubts about the robustness of the phenomenon.

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How rituals could help you win

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How rituals could help you win

Outside Magazine discusses some of the latest research from the lab, specifically focusing on the work by former lab members, Nicholas Hobson and Devin Bonk, and Michael Inzlicht. The Outside Magazine article details how pre-performance rituals can soothe the anxiety of poor performance.

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The Edge of Restraint

The Edge of Restraint

Michael Inzlicht talks with Psychology Today magazine about his research on self-control, suggesting that effortful control is not based on some finite resource, but is instead determined by people's priorities and motivations. 

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Empathy Is Actually a Choice

Empathy Is Actually a Choice

Psychologists Daryl Cameron, Michael Inzlicht, and William Cunningham believe the “limits” of our empathy “can change, sometimes drastically, depending on what we want to feel.”

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The Paradox of the Free-Market Liberal

The Paradox of the Free-Market Liberal

Ariel Malka and Michael Inzlicht write in The New York Times about their cross-national research examining the influence of personality characteristics on cultural and economic attitudes.

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