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Psychology

This category contains 150 posts

What do you keep but never use?

I wrote before about things that are too nice to use. At the time, I searched for research on this idea and came up dry. But a recent study has started to fill the gap. Kowalski and Yoon (2022) looked at how the reasons that people are attached to different products impact whether those products … Continue reading

How much of a menu needs to be vegetarian?

If you aren’t vegetarian or vegan do you look at the vegetarian section of a restaurant menu? Would you be more likely to choose vegetarian or vegan if those items are mixed in with similar meat based dishes? How about choosing an item from a section called “Environmentally friendly main courses for a happy planet”? … Continue reading

Making commuting by bike appealing

I was a happy three season bike commuter. I was branching out into winter commuting as well. Then I got run off my bike at an intersection when I was riding on a separated bike path. Five surgeries later I was happily a transit commuter. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. I’m now a four season … Continue reading

Walkability and greenery both matter

The neighbourhood I live in isn’t great for walkability. There are sidewalks but they are often close to major roads. There are trees along some of the bike paths, at least the ones that haven’t been torn out, but they do little to shelter you from the noise. It is also definitely easier to make … Continue reading

Communicating the reality of climate change without triggering hopelessness

This was a key theme in my doctoral research. Based on research that existed at the time, messages about climate change that portrayed the devastation occurring elsewhere didn’t really trigger a response. It was both too far away and too overwhelming. As a result, I focused my research on picturing (my participants took photos) climate … Continue reading

Underestimating random acts of kindness

What was the last random act of kindness you were involved in? Was it something you did for someone else or something someone else did for you? Have you ever wondered how much that random act was appreciated? Based on new research by Kumar and Epley (2022), we tend to underestimate the positive impact our … Continue reading

Climate change and nighttime rest

I like to sleep in a cool room. When the temperature goes up during the day I kind of dread nighttime because I know I’ll overheat even with windows open and fans on. I just learned though about all the potential health risks of hotter nights from climate change. I admit, I was surprised. He … Continue reading

What are the benefits of plant based meat alternatives?

I have switched to a number of plant based meat alternatives. Generally, I’ve done this where I’m trying to keep a particular style of meal like a burger (although I also enjoy a portobello mushroom burger). So convenience and familiarity play a role. But I admit to wondering whether these alternatives are actually environmentally better … Continue reading

Too nice to use?

I built a wooden kayak last year. This past weekend I paddled 120 km with it down a river. This makes sense to me. I built it, I used it. But apparently this is not always the response. A lot of people build the boat and then don’t use it because it is too nice. … Continue reading

Paying more to do harm

Carbon taxes? Nope, not what this blog is about. This one is about a new study by Lee and Winterich (2022) that found that when unsustainable goods like individually wrapped foods are more expensive, wealthy people felt more entitled to them and were more likely to make the purchase. That’s right, charge more and you’re … Continue reading

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