The Psychology of 2014: Understanding Protests, Ice Buckets, Taylor Swift and More


From the silly to the serious, Troy Campbell of Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight discusses five highlights of 2014 in no particular order with the “advanced hindsight” of psychology science.

#1: The Birth of Modern Charity

It dominated Facebook feeds for weeks — everyone from your high school girlfriend to your college roommate to your extended family seemed to join in. The trend swept the nation, yet the question remains: why was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge so successful?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge shows that with successful charity more than just altruism is involved. Social pressure to donate can be extremely motivating and so can self-serving desires to seem clever, cool or in some cases even sexy on social media.

This viral phenomenon vividly demonstrated how most charities succeed: through a cocktail of altruism, social pressure and selfishness. Anonymous donors, donors induced by guilt and donors wooed by the promise of having their name prominently display on a wall have always existed. For the social media inclined, some donors may be tempted to donate or promote in order to have their face posted on Facebook.

So how should we react to the Ice Bucket Challenge’s success? With praise or backlash?

It’s definitely —> Read More Here


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