The Art of Political Persuasion, According to Psychological Science

If you’re among the millions of Americans who have vowed to be more politically active and engaged since the 2016 presidential election, then you might be wondering how best to carry on a conversation with friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues on the other side of the political aisle.

Perhaps you’ve even wondered how – given the hyper-polarized state of American politics today – you might be able to persuade those at the other end of the political spectrum to come around to your point of view, particularly on hot-button political issues, such as President Trump’s recent crackdown on immigration, the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, LGBT rights, and climate change to name just a few. Read more “The Art of Political Persuasion, According to Psychological Science”

Improving Memory through Real-Time Electrophysiological Monitoring: A Glimpse into the Future?

The year is 2115, and you are an undergraduate student hurrying across campus to make it on time to your next class. The class is Elementary Temporal Mechanics, your favorite, so you certainly don’t want to be late.

As you pass through the main quad, you glance at a young woman sitting in the grass and think for a moment she might be someone you know. Quickly, however, you realize her face is unfamiliar. But having already made eye contact, you say hello regardless.

Shortly afterwards, as you proceed on your way up the steps of Zuckerberg Hall, you receive a notification on your new iPhone 107 15GS Plus Jumbo Mini TM. The notification reads, “Female Face Not Fully Encoded into Memory. Probability of Recognition after 24 Hours 32%. Suggest Encoding Further.”

The notification is from Google Lid TM, the inconspicuous knit hat you wear nearly everywhere you go. You’re suddenly reminded of how comfortable the hat is, despite the fact that it contains 256 electrodes for continuous monitoring and recording of your ongoing brain activity.

As you take your seat in the lecture hall, you decide you’ll probably never see the woman again. So you’re not bothered by the fact that you didn’t fully commit her face to memory. With this thought in mind, you casually swipe your phone’s display to dismiss the notification and prepare for another rousing lecture on predestination paradoxes.

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Using Twitter to Predict Heart Attack Deaths

Here’s a question for anyone who is active on Twitter, the popular microblogging website that allows users to share brief messages (called Tweets) with friends and followers: How would you characterize the tone of others in your social network, particularly those who live in your surrounding area?

Based on the Tweets you see in your feed, would you say people in your community are generally happy, depressed, anxious, angry, optimistic?

I ask because, as it turns out, Twitter reveals important information about a community’s psychological and physical health.

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