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Studies Show

When is Revenge Most Satisfying?

Vengeance is a goal-driven act, sought out to restore a sense of justice to the universe. But what happens when retaliation is targeted at someone other than the original transgressor?

Under the Tourist’s Gaze

Attempting to appeal to a tourist’s ideas of local culture is inevitably a losing proposition. The traveler’s very presence, after all, is already a mark against a place.

Are Atheists Angrier Than Everyone Else?

On the pervasive stereotype of the militant non-believer.

If You’re Going To Complain, Be Funny—But Not Too Funny

Jokey complaints can make a wronged person more likable, and in turn, easier to support—provided their good humour doesn’t undermine the seriousness of the problem.

The Monstrous Cruelty of a Just World

It’s easy to want to believe that everything happens for a reason, but how does that affect the way we treat the people the universe has punished?

The Language of the Elite, the Language of the Many

How the dominance of English affects the ways other cultures see each other.

The Secret Art of Talking to Other Humans

Whether at a friend’s birthday party or stark naked in the Nicaraguan jungle, our first conversations with strangers require a complex dance of tentative reveals and elisions.

Class Anxiety at the Farmers’ Market

Or: You expect me to pay two dollars for a tomato?

The Schadenfreude Economy

Why do we take such delight in the hilarious, satisfying pain of others?

People Have Too Much Confidence

The most overconfident among us may not be willfully delusional: inherent cognitive laziness or built-in defense mechanisms may be to blame. But even accidentally inflated egos can influence others.