New course in social psychology

As I, fingers crossed, wind down my graduate work in economics, I am looking for new hobbies. I was thinking about getting back into baseball. I loved baseball when I was a kid and now, thanks to Moneyball and Baseball Prospectus, there is a “scientific” sub-culture where I would fit nicely. Plus, I’d finally have a reason to get cable.

Or maybe the stock market. Lots of easily accessible data. Check. Interesting theory. Check. Lots of amateurish dabbling. Double check. The only problem is I can’t get excited about trading stocks. The data crunching has moved analysis so far away from the fundamentals that unless you think winning at zero-sum games is fun it’s hard to maintain excitement about it. I’ll probably dabble.

Then there’s social psychology. There’s some data and amateurs abound. Methodologically, the field is familiar to economists but they have done what economists are only starting to do; they’ve dropped the assumption of context independent behavior. The field is young enough that it still has a multi-disciplinary feel and every new finding seems revolutionary. Will Wilkinson is teaching an introductory course in it at his new blog (partial syllabus here). I’ve signed up.

3 thoughts on “New course in social psychology”

  1. Just out of curiosity, if you are not going into academia, are you headed to a policy think tank?

  2. HI- Communal farming as a complement to industrial agriculture will give a more sustainable vibe to our society.

    Further education has to spread for the psychological health of our society ( is something i was pleased by). The need for our comforts require a good source of enery, and right now nuclear don’t seem to be THE solution, Yet innovation and improvement could lead to a water turbine sys with minimal negative externalities.( just letting my imagination run – water rushing down Himilayas plausibly can be controlled in a manner that the need for dams is no more, then the solar and wind – why are not the smartest mind working on this).

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