Spite And Forgiveness: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

A recent study finds political differences in how much stock people put in expert evidence versus personal experience. Liberals tend to see evidence from experts as more legitimate, while conservatives place more equal value on both, write the researchers Randy Stein, Alexander Swan and Michelle Sarraf at The Conversation.  This was true even though the scenarios in the study were completely apolitical, the team adds, suggesting that the findings pick up on fundamental differences in worldview between the two camps.

Spitefulness can be antisocial and nasty — but does it also have benefits? At The Guardian, Jamie Waters looks at a new book on the “upside” of spite by Simon McCarthy-Jones.

More this week on the effectiveness — or lack thereof — of unconscious bias training. Companies spend billions on such training every year, writes Allyssia Alleyne at Wired, yet there’s little evidence that it works to change people’s behaviour. And worse, it can allow organisations to appear to be doing something to improve diversity and inclusion, while avoiding putting in the time and resources to achieve real change.

To what extent is our conceptualisation of “forgiveness” held by other people around the world? At BBC Future, William Park has an interesting exploration of the cultural and linguistic differences that determine how we forgive others.

A portion of Covid-19 patients who have recovered report experiencing a mental fuzziness, or “brain fog”. Sara Harrison examines what we know so far about these lingering cognitive effects at Wired.

In the last few years a wealth of evidence has suggested that psychedelic drugs may help to treat particular mental health conditions. At Popular Science, Sarah Scoles reports on work which suggests those effects may be particularly strong when people have a “mystical” experience while on the drug.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattbWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest