warning: this blog may explode

Because of how we are using WordPress.com instead of actual WordPress, annoying aspects to this template cannot be fixed without me blowing up the template entirely. If this happens, the blog will look entirely denuded until I successfully put a new template over it.

This is your only warning. It’s enough of a task that I can’t bear actually to commit to doing or plan for. Instead, if and when, it will be something I embark on spontaneously, in a fit of feeling Finally Fed Up.

the manilow problem for the facebook study

I love this song!  I FEEEL SAD WHEN YOU’RE SAD / I FEEL GLAD WHEN YOU’RRE GLAD. But wait: isn’t that what that Facebook experiment found?  Or at least “I express sad when you express sad / I express glad when you express glad”?

Now consider now a statement from one of the authors of the Facebook study: “we found the exact opposite to what was then the conventional wisdom: Seeing a certain kind of emotion (positive) encourages it rather than suppresses is.”

Wait, what? How do we get to a world where conventional wisdom would say that seeing the display of an emotion suppresses expressing an emotion rather than encourages it? Has conventional wisdom never been to a karaoke bar?

It’s a common cycle in behavioral science: commonsense to counterintuition and back again. Continue reading “the manilow problem for the facebook study”