Social Sciences

Terror Management Theory (TMT) states humans have an unconscious existential anxiety arising from awareness of morality. In an attempt to buffer ourselves from this anxiety we create cultures to give life meaning. Our contributions to these cultures (e.g. inventions, novels, …

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The Worm at the Core

The Denial File | June 12, 2015

Of Recent Interest… is the new book The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life, by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski (Random House 2015). In his brilliant multidisciplinary synthesis, The Denial of Death (1974), …

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Some Thoughts on Reading “Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist,” Part 3

Dan Liechty | August 27, 2013

Now that I am sitting down to write my third blog on my reactions to this book, it is pretty clear that the book engaged me at a fairly deep level. Although I didn’t plan it this way, part 1 …

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Clifford’s Law

Phil Hansten | June 27, 2013

Some people find Clifford’s Law disturbing and counterintuitive. Its inventor, William Clifford, doesn’t care what you think. Clifford’s Law, for example, leads to the startling conclusion that the 2003 invasion of Iraq would have been a terrible decision even if …

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Guns and “Mental Illness”

Dan Liechty | March 27, 2013

I think it may have started with Wayne LaPierre’s infamous press conference a week after Sandy Hook. In any case, we now here it as a common refrain of the no-holds-barred gun crowd – that the big problem is inadequate …

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Cornell psychologist Thomas Gilovich has made a career out of studying the cognitive processes that sustain dubious beliefs. There is something about flu season that makes me wish I could combine his work with that of Becker and enlist their …

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AT&T and the Yang Complex

Bill Bornschein | January 10, 2013

Have you noticed the recent AT&T commercials that feature an adult asking leading questions to children, questions that have “obvious” correct answers? Which is better, big or small? Which is better, fast or slow? These questions serve the purpose of …

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