What’s in a Word? The Fundamental Attribution Error in Verbal Decoding

In a previous post, I discussed the risks in thinking you could read someone’s mind based on their facial expressions and other nonverbal behavior. Indeed, Nicholas Epley (2014), author of Mindwise, referred to nonverbal decoding as an “illusion of insight.” What about someone’s word choices? Certainly we can know what someone is thinking or feeling […]

What the Film “Divergent” Says About Individuality and Post-Traumatic Collectives

In a previous post, I discussed some surprising social implications of the high-tech-based existence in the film Her. Well, the social implications of the faction-based existence in the film Divergent are much more straightforward… Dividing people into factions is bad. It suppresses individuality and breeds prejudice. Well, thinking you “belong” somewhere actually has psychological benefits […]

What the Film “Her” Says About Bystander Apathy: Probably Not What You Think

In the film Her, a lonely soon-to-be-divorced man falls in love with his artificially intelligent operating system. Film critics almost uniformly praised the film, while everyday reviews have been extraordinarily mixed (see Amazon and Netflix). But across all these reviews, a commonly accepted theme in the film was that our advances in technology are desocializing […]