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Our Social World

Reclamation and the Power We Give to Words

Words interest me, which I suppose makes sense given that I do a lot of reading and writing. I’m particularly interested in the power that some words have, how we decide how much power to give them, and what informs our choices about what words to use. The idea of language reclamation seems quite appealing …

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Illusions of Normal: How Well Do We Know What Others Think?

This post explores some of the issues that came up in Todd Rose’s book Collective Illusions, which I reviewed a few months ago. Collective illusions are the social norms and expectations that we think everyone else agrees with, when in reality, most people don’t privately agree with those norms and expectations. Yet we’re hardwired to …

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Exploring of the incel phenomenon: image of male and female genes and a psy symbol

Exploring the Psychology of the Incel Phenomenon

The incel (a portmanteau of “involuntary celibate”) phenomenon, at least in its present incarnation, has emerged in the last decade and a bit. It’s come into the public eye through acts of violence committed by the likes of Elliot Rodger (in 2014 in Isla Vista, California) and Alek Minassian (in 2018 in Toronto, Ontario). Misogyny, …

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Toxic productivity: Graphic of a man trying to do multiple tasks at once

Why Is Toxic Productivity Even a Thing?

I’m generally pretty out of the loop when it comes to pop psychology phenomena, so I just stumbled across the term toxic productivity fairly recently. While I hadn’t heard the term before, I’m at least with it enough to know that productivity talk is all over the internet. What is toxic productivity? Toxic productivity is …

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