“The situation” refers to causally significant features around us and within us that we do not notice or believe are relevant in explaining human behavior. “Situationism” is an approach that is deliberately attentive to the situation. It is informed by social science—particularly social psychology, social cognition, cognitive neuroscience and related fields—and the discoveries of market actors devoted to influencing consumer behavior—marketers, public relations experts, and the like. The Situationist is a forum for scholars, students, lawyers, policymakers, and interested citizens to examine, discuss, and debate the effect of situational forces – that is, non-salient factors around and within us – on law, policy, politics, policy theory, and our social, political, and economic institutions. The Situationist is associated with The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School. To visit the Project’s website, click here.
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It is heartbreaking to read the details that are emerging concerning the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Various theories have been advanced to explain how Trayvon, an unarmed African-American teenager, was shot in the chest by a neighborhood watch captain in a gated community. Some...
Professor Pat K. Chew recently posted her article, “Judges’ Gender and Employment Discrimination Cases: Emerging Evidence-Based Empirical Conclusions” (Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Vol. 14, pp. 359-374, 2011) on SSRN. Here are several paragraphs from the article’s...
From Huffington Post and Cornell Sun (By Sebastian Deri): As someone who was better at English and history than math and science in high school, what I chose to study in college was partly an effort to shy away from the latter fields and take refuge in “softer” subjects. “Leave...
Harvard Law School just published an interview with Jon Hanson. We’ve posted it in full below. Director of the Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School (PLMS), Professor Jon Hanson has long combined social psychology, economics, history, and law in his scholarship. After PLMS...
From Miller-McCune: That’s the implication of a newly published study, which found wearing a white lab coat — a piece of clothing associated with care and attentiveness — improved performance on tests requiring close and sustained attention. Importantly, the effect was not found when the garment in...
Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, speaks about the evolutionary origins of today’s obesity epidemic. For more on the situation of eating, see Situationist contributors Adam Benforado, Jon Hanson, and David Yosfion’s law review article Broken Scales:...
From theRSAorg: Neuroscientist Tali Sharot visits the RSA to explain the biological bias of optimism, and its effect on our lives and societies. Related Situationist posts: Dan Gilbert at HLS on The Situation of Good Decisions Missing the Situation Leads to Optimism Among Powerful Neural Origins...
On his blog, The Natural Unconscious, Situationist Contributor John Bargh has posted a long response to an article written by a group of social psychologists who were unable to replicate one of Bargh’s classic studies. Here’s the opening paragraph of Bargh’s post: Scientific...
Five years ago Jon Hanson and Michael McCann wrote and published the following post about Joseph Kony as part of a series on the the situational source of evil. In light of the attention Kony is now getting (see Youtube video, “Kony 2012,” here or at bottom of this post), we thought it...