"When I was a kid, you could leave your door unlocked"

People think there is more violent crime than there used to be, even though violent crime has fallen (see Pew data here). So we should be suspicious when people claim that their neighborhoods used to be so safe that you never had to bother with locks on the doors. Here's a bit of data suggesting that people's neighborhoods are, if anything, safer than they ever were.

The General Social Survey asks folks: "Is there any area right around here––that is, within a mile––where you would be afraid to walk alone at night?". Here's the percentage responding "Yes":

There's lots of reasons why this would be the case, but it's at least a reason to question whether folks are really remembering the world correctly.

There's lots of reasons why this would be the case, but it's at least a reason to question whether folks are really remembering the world correctly.

Summer research training program applications open

Daniel Gilbert's lab, where I work at Harvard, is now accepting applications for our summer research training program. This program is what taught me how to do research as an undergrad, everything from running analyses in R to the subtle nuances of mTurk. Now that I'm a graduate student in the lab, I get a huge kick out of working with talented undergraduates every summer. We spend ten weeks talking about ideas, designing experiments, running them, analyzing data, and putting new true facts into the world. If you like social psychology a lot, and think you might like social psychology a lot a lot, this is a great program for you. 

Official announcement follows:

Daniel Gilbert's lab at Harvard University is accepting applications for volunteer research assistants for summer 2018. The program provides hands-on experience in all aspects of the research process, including idea generation and development, study design, data collection, and statistical analysis. Ongoing research in the lab currently focuses on affective forecasting, altruism, advice, judgment and decision-making, and biases and errors in conversation and social interaction. 

Interns work approximately 35 hours per week from early June to mid-August. The ideal candidate is a motivated undergraduate or recent graduate with a keen interest in social psychology. Previous research experience is an asset, but not a requirement. 

To apply: send a CV, unofficial grade report, a brief cover letter that explains your interest in the program, and your availability between June and August to gilbertlab.summer@gmail.com. Applications are due March 1st. 


One last hurrah in the UK

My visa's up, time to go home.

But in one last fit of comedy, I spent July and August touring the world with the Oxford Imps: South Africa, Swaziland, and Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival. In Edinburgh we brought up Hyperdrive, the all-tech improv show we designed in Oxford, and I also had the pleasure to do stand-up every day in a show called Stand Up History with the stand-up guys from Tight Five.

I also competed in the final of the Chortle Student Comedy Award. I didn't win, but the gig was lovely, even though they misspelled my name. (Who are they, me until age 12?)


UK: hopefully see you soon. US: you're next.