We're back, and publishing every other week here on Character and Context. This week's digital edition is extra full, since it's capturing two editions in one. See what you may have missed in the world of personality and social psychology in this week's ICYMI roundup.
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Washington, DC - Some research shows facts are better received when presented on their own. Other studies show facts are more accepted when interwoven with stories; stories can help bridge emotional connections. If someone is trying to persuade or influence others, should they use a story or stick to the facts? According to research from social psychologists at Northwestern University, stories can increase the persuasiveness of weak facts, but actually decrease the persuasiveness of strong facts.
In the United States, climate change is a highly polarizing topic. How can we reduce this political polarization? In our research on attitudes about climate change, we seem to have discovered an answer. When people are reminded that almost all climate scientists believe in climate change, they become much less skeptical about it.
Health behavior change is notoriously difficult. If you have ever tried to exercise more often, drink more water, cut back on sweets, or even floss more regularly, you can probably relate to this difficulty firsthand. Some days you get it right and meet your new health-related goals, and on other days you fall short.
It may come as no surprise that political polarization is on the rise; liberals are becoming more liberal, and conservatives are becoming more conservative. This is more than simple disagreement; political polarization involves an extreme commitment to one’s ideology and an unwillingness to consider other viewpoints. According to Kristin Laurin from the University of British Columbia, we need to be willing to take the perspective of people with opposing views in order to combat political polarization. But how do people perceive those who engage in such perspective taking?