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Half a Century Later, Psychology Researchers Remember Kitty Genovese

Fifty years ago today, a young woman was killed walking home from work in a quiet neighborhood of Queens, New York. Over the span of an excruciating half hour, she cried out for help as her killer maimed and stabbed her. And though there were people around who heard her calls, no one came to her aid and the police weren’t notified until it was too late.

This is the story of Kitty Genovese’s death, perhaps the most well-known parable in psychology to emerge in the last century. Her tragic death in the early hours of March 13, 1964 marked the beginning of what would become one of the most studied of psychological phenomena – that is, the bystander effect, in which people tend not to help a victim if there are other people present.…


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Work Engagement: Ironing Out the Details

Disaffected workers are so common in television and movies that they’ve become something of an archetype. Almost every show about working life includes at least one member of the team who would, quite frankly, rather be doing something else. The fact that audiences empathize — or identify — with these characters so much seems to suggest that disengagement is widespread.

This problem hasn’t been lost on the business community — or on psychologists. The field of engagement study is still relatively new, but over the past decade, research on the topic has increased exponentially. In 2011, APS Fellow Arnold A. Bakker, Simon L. Albrecht, and Michael P. Leiter published the article “Key Questions Regarding Work Engagement” in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology


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Dehaene, Robbins, and Rizzolatti Receive Largest International Brain Prize


Stanislas Dehaene will be a keynote speaker at the March 2015 ICPS in Amsterdam.

Two renowned European psychological researchers, both of whom focus on cognitive neuroscience, have been awarded the world’s largest prize for brain research. APS Fellows Stanislas Dehaene and Trevor W. Robbins, along with Italian neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, are receiving the Brain Prize of €1 million for “pioneering research on higher brain functions.” The Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize Foundation is making the award.

Dehaene, Chair of Experimental Cognitive Psychology at Collège de France and Director of the INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, will be a keynote speaker at the inaugural International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS) in March 2015 in Amsterdam. ICPS, organized under the auspices of APS, is a showcase for world-class integrative science of the kind exemplified…


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Money and Morality: Lack of Resources May Lead to Harsher Moral Judgments

Material resources, specifically income, have a sustaining impact on our lives. They dictate fundamental aspects of life, like where we live, and more peripheral aspects, such as whether we can go to the office happy hour.

But research reveals that material resources can also influence how we judge other people.

The findings, published in Psychological Science, suggest that individuals with lower incomes are more likely to issue harsher judgments of harmful behavior, like lying or physically attacking someone. Global factors, like the economy, as well as individual factors, such as mood, influence this effect.

Using the 2009 World Values Survey, researchers Marko Pitesa of Grenoble École de Management and Stefan Thau of INSEAD examined data regarding individual’s moral judgments, income, and inflation. Their analyses revealed that a lack of material…


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In Diversifying Neighborhoods, How Do Attitudes Shift?

Almost half a century after the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, many American cities – including New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; and Houston – are still vastly segregated by neighborhood. White people tend to group in certain areas, Black people in another, Asian people in another still.

And yet, changes to local demographics, housing policies, lending practices, and real estate markets over the last 50 years are increasing the sociocultural diversity of many city neighborhoods.

How will individuals living in these neighborhoods react to the changes? Will greater integration promote more contact and trust between groups?

A recent study published in Psychological Science examined just that, surveying more than 1,500 people in 224 neighborhoods throughout England.

About half of the participants were White British people — the majority group members in these…


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