Cognitive scientist at Harvard.

Boston, MA
Joined January 2010
An important insight ...
Problem-solvers take an issue and cut it up into small, solvable chunks. Problem-sellers do the opposite: bundling various remotely-connected issues together into one big, scary problem. The consequence is that problem-sellers make problems look insurmountable when they're not.
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Science as a source of beauty, wonder, and reflection: The best science images of 2021, from Nature magazine. nature.com/immersive/d41586-… via @nature
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The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) fights both "ruby red state legislatures" who try to stifle academic speech they dislike & Ivy league U's that try to punish speech as "misconduct." thefire.org/penn-caves-to-pr… via @TheFIREorg
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What if there was a chemical that simultaneously made women bolder and men calmer? It already exists on the heads of babies. New WSJ Mind Matters column by Susan Pinker. wsj.com/articles/a-gender-sp… via @WSJ
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My colleagues Tessa Charlesworth & Mahzarin Banaji find that implicit racism & homophobia have declined, but not implicit ageism & reactions to disability. (Not surprising: Being disabled or old involve intrinsic disadvantages.) news.harvard.edu/gazette/sto… via @Harvard
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Original report, by MIT's Ashley Thomas & Rebecca Saxe, my Harvard colleagues Brandon Woo & Elizabeth Spelke, & evolutionary psychologist Daniel Nettle. science.org/doi/10.1126/scie…
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The canard that I "cherry-picked" data in Better Angels & Enlightenment Now is also refuted here: quillette.com/2019/01/14/enl… Ironic coming from non-quantitative journalists & historians. Without datasets counting all instances every year, such work is nothing but cherry-picking.
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Jonathan Gottschall @jonathangottsch is always witty, insightful, and erudite, & one of the deepest thinkers on human narrative. Here he discusses his latest book with @michaelshermer
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Scientific American, after inviting a multiauthor letter replying to their inane posthumous condemnation of EO Wilson, rejected it; here it is. (I suggested edits on a draft, but kept my name off the list of signatories to make room for others) @razibkhan razib.substack.com/p/setting…
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Modern Wisdom podcast: Steven Pinker - The Problem With Trying To Be Rational podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcas…
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Really good advice on teaching by my former collaborator (and student -- a long time ago!) Paul Bloom.
new semester, so here is my (sometimes controversial) Informal Teaching Advice for new college and university profs. Additional suggestions welcome. paulbloom.net/TeachingAdvice…
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And reprint request cards!
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For a long time, "eugenics" has been a boo-word, almost always misapplied and misunderstood. Freddie deBoer (My Favorite Marxist) explains how this has recently gotten even worse: Perhaps Not Everything is Eugenics, by @freddiesubstack freddiedeboer.substack.com/p…
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