Going Vigilante: When You’re Fully Convinced Your Beliefs Are Vastly Superior to Everyone Else’s

the car from Dukes of Hazzard
Image by Engyles / CC BY

Have you ever known someone who really seemed fully convinced that their beliefs were vastly superior to everyone around them? And who not only felt that way but also felt a need to run around making sure to correct everyone?

Someone who seemed completely unable to tolerate the reality that it might be acceptable for other people to have different beliefs than them?  » Read more

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Streisand Effect, or Why Sometimes It’s Best Just to Scroll On To the Next Thing

a 9-coaster set of Streisand's
Image Source by Mary McCoy

Once upon a time, in the magical age of 2003, singer Barbra Streisand was very upset about something. That specific something was the fact that photographs of her Malibu house were on the Internet.

It didn’t matter that the original context of the photograph wasn’t even sensationalistic. Streisand’s home was instead simply one image in a collection of 12,000 photographs of the California coastline as part of the California Coastal Records Project,  » Read more

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Ben Franklin Effect, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Subtle Art of Asking for a Favor

It's a surreal graphic of Benjamin Franklin's US currency portrait stretched over a balloon. Behind it is an electric blue landscape
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

If someone does a favor for you, you like them more, right?

But what about the person doing the favor for you? One would expect that you risk making that person feel put out, surely. Inconvenienced. And they might hold having done that favor against you.

But curiously, researchers have found that they don’t.  » Read more

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Here Comes the Airplane: Sneaking in Growth Like a Spoonful of Peas

a baby spotted flycatcher, a small white and brown bird, being fed food by a hand holding a pair of tweezers
Image by Papooga / CC BY

“You follow the same adorable pattern over and over again,” Skyspook says.

I blush. “I’m sorry.”

“No,” he says. “I mean adorable in a positive way. I’m not belittling you. It really is charming.”

I smile. “What’s this pattern?”

According to Skyspook, it goes a little something like this:

Skyspook: You know what would help you?  » Read more

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The Last Pretzel Bite: The Ins and Outs of Out-Niceing Each Other

close up of several salted soft pretzel bites
Image by LA Foodie / CC BY

“You can have it.”

“No, it’s yours.”

“Just take it already.”

It’s a dance that Skyspook and I do. Each one deferring in turn, the politeness spinning into frustration spinning into rudeness. Our civil selves unravel.

“Alright. Fine,” one of us finally says. The concession to self-serving smooths everything over.  » Read more

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