Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

Why independent cultures think alike when it comes to categories

In discovering how groups categorize unfamiliar shapes, research out of Annenberg’s Network Dynamics Group finds that intrinsic social experiences are at the root of problem solving, rather than the human brain itself.

From Annenberg School for Communication

Engaging in the election

In a collaborative English course taught by Lorene Cary in the fall, students shared their experiences with civic engagement by writing for publication, partnering with nonprofits like Vote That Jawn to share non-partisan information with other young first-time voters.

Louisa Shepard

Rogers Smith on the heart and soul of America

As a scholar, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science is perhaps best known for challenging the view that the U.S. is fundamentally, “in its heart and soul,” a liberal democracy.

From Omnia



In the News


Philadelphia Inquirer

From the fashion to the flags, Joe Biden’s inauguration presents a vision of a unified America

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on some of the outfits seen at President Biden’s inauguration. “There was a real conscious choice not to wear polarizing colors,” she said. “There was a sense of merging red and blue into one to visualize the bringing together of the country. These two hues have been used to politically separate us into tribes. This was a visual end to that.”

FULL STORY →



The Washington Post

On conservative talk radio, efforts to tone down inflammatory rhetoric appear limited

Brian Rosenwald of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on how conservative talk radio hosts will address the incoming Biden administration. “A Democratic administration equals a new boogeymen to focus on,” said Rosenwald. “You might have offhand references or conversation about Biden being an illegitimate president, but the focus won’t be on the ‘stolen election’ unless and until there is fresh news on the topic.”

FULL STORY →



The Washington Post

The Trump presidency was marked by battles over truth itself. Those aren’t over

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center said people can be primed to believe false information through repetition. “What Trump did was take tactics of deception and played to confirmation biases that were already circulating in our culture and embodied them in somebody who is president of the United States. He didn’t change what was available, but he changed its accessibility,” she said. “That crazed content has always been there. But it becomes dangerous when it is legitimized and when it has the power of the state behind it.”

FULL STORY →



The New York Times

Go ahead. Fantasize

Martin Seligman of the School of Arts & Sciences said dreaming about the future can help people live well in the present. “Imagining the future—we call this skill prospection—and prospection is subserved by a set of brain circuits that juxtapose time and space and get you imagining things well and beyond the here and now,” he said. “The essence of resilience about the future is: How good a prospector are you?”

FULL STORY →



Huffington Post

Trump supporters’ main problem was never the economy

Research by Diana Mutz of the Annenberg School for Communication and School of Arts & Sciences found that people who voted for Trump in 2016 did so because of racial anxieties, not economic distress. “It’s the same old same old. White males have been the group with the most power in our country for a long, long time,” she said. “Change is hard.”

FULL STORY →