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Groups of individuals often have more in common in terms of values and other psychological qualities than imagined. Bringing attention to those commonalities, such as between men and women, can assist to break down prejudices. It addresses unexpected ramifications this has for how we react to others' grief and tragedy, as well as our own. Discussions will be held concerning how a profound concern for justice, which frequently leads to sympathy and assistance, may drive us to blame victims, discount ourselves, or make implausible connections between lucky outcomes and previous moral behaviour.
People often assume that people with different political beliefs or a different gender, for example, are different to their own group. However, this is usually incorrect. I show that groups of people are more similar in their values and other psychological characteristics than it is commonly assumed. Highlighting those similarities, for example between women and men, helps to reduce stereotypes.
Just in mind: the darker side of our desire for justice
Dr Rael Dawtry (Psychology Lecturer at University of Essex)
Research suggests that we are motivated to believe that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get, and adapt our perceptions of people and events to support this ‘belief in a just world’. My talk will discuss some of the surprising consequences this has for how we react to others, and our own, suffering and misfortune. I will present research showing how a deeply-rooted concern with justice, which often leads to sympathy and helping, can also lead us to blame victims, devalue ourselves, or draw impossible links between fortuitous outcomes and past moral behaviour.
Don't you take that tone with me!
Professor Silke Paulmann (Head of Department - Department of Psychology, University of Essex)
It's long been known: your voice speaks volumes. The moment you open your mouth to say what's on your mind, people start making inferences about you: where is that accent from? Why do they sound sad? Do I like them? Many of those judgements are made within milliseconds, often without conscious awareness. In this talk, I will outline how this process works, what effects our voices have on others, and why some voices sound more likeable than others.
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