The Guardian examines gun violence data at the census tract level

Those interested in solution-oriented research and data analysis will want to read this new article in The Guardian. Using newly available data, The Guardian examines gun violence data at the census tract level. The article contains data visualizations that sharpen perspectives on the issue of gun violence. You can find the article here -- Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local.

From the article --

  • “We can’t do much about crime prevention of homicide if we try to attack it as a broad, global problem, throwing money at it in a sort of broad, global way,” said David Weisburd, a leading researcher on the geographic distribution of crime at George Mason University.
  • "Half of America's gun homicides in 2015 were clustered in just 127 cities and towns, ... [which] contain less than a quarter of the nation’s population."
  • "Geographically, these neighborhood areas are small: a total of about 1,200 neighborhood census tracts, which, laid side by side, would fit into an area just 42 miles wide by 42 miles long."
  • "Though these neighborhood areas contain just 1.5% of the country’s population, they saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides."
  • "Gun control advocates say it is unacceptable that Americans overall are '25 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries.' People who live in these neighborhood areas face an average gun homicide rate about 400 times higher than the rate across those high-income countries."

Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local.
By Aliza Aufrichtig, Lois Beckett, Jan Diehm and Jamiles Lartey
The Guardian


Resources for Teaching

Resources for Teaching on
Linden Nelson, PhD

In this post I want to highlight some of the materials on the that I believe might be useful for creating lectures and class activities about peace and conflict for a wide variety of courses. There are a number of slide presentations in the section Presentations that could be used as lecture material. Conflict and Violence - 2009 – APA Division 48 is a presentation that describes the goals of APA Division 48 and basic concepts of peace psychology. The presentation includes topics such as the causes and levels of conflict, responses to conflict, conflict resolution methods, direct and structural violence, moral exclusion, and social justice. The slide presentation Groupthink Prevention describes the symptoms of groupthink, how it has affected decision making in various international conflicts, and how it can be prevented. There are two slide presentations in this section on conflict and conflict resolution: Conflict – Dan Christie and Understanding and Managing Conflict – 2005 – Burn. While these overlap to some extent, each covers some concepts that are not mentioned by the other.

I also want to call your attention to some of the resources in the section Resources For University Teaching.  There are two lecture outlines on the social psychology of war and peace which I developed for an introductory psychology course, but they could also serve as examples of a lecture for a social psychology course. The first, Lecture Outline - 2008 - Nelson is a rather generic example of how some basic social psychology concepts can be applied to war and peace issues.  The second, Lecture Presentation - Nelson is offered as an example of how teachers might apply certain general principles for lecturing to large classes (see also, Lecture Suggestions for Large Student Audiences - 2011); it applies psychological principles to terrorism and to the threat of nuclear war. There are short outlines for 17 possible peace psychology lecture topics in Part II of Teaching Peace Psychology Courses: Rationale & Suggestions - 2012 - Marsella

The section Resources For University Teaching also offers some resources for class activities and assignments.  For a list of films, videos, and video games with links for finding them, see Media Resources for Teaching Peace Psychology Courses – 2014 – Hansvick.  An activity I developed for illustrating how competitive thinking can interfere with cooperative problem solving  Cooperation Exercise – Nelson is the most successful class activity I have ever used, and I have used it with over 100 classes.  Another activity Empathy Exercise – Nelson provides a structure for each student to practice perspective taking and to understand why another student disagrees with them on a controversial issue. 

An article in this section Self-assessment Tools for Teaching – 2007 suggests that assessment instruments can be used in class to make conflict resolution principles more personal and to help students understand their own peacemaking tendencies and examples of relevant instruments are either provided in the article or citations are given for finding them.  A list of possible assignments for peace psychology courses is available in Part IV of Teaching Peace Psychology Courses: Rationale & Suggestions - 2012 - Marsella and many other examples of course assignments and lecture/activity schedules can be found in the syllabi that are in the Peace Courses section of the website.

If you are a teacher, I hope that you will find some of these resources useful and that you will experience satisfaction and success in teaching peace.  Please share with us additional resources that you have found useful.

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally -- Members Reflections

Violence and hurt happen every day, but some days it is more "in our face" provoking us to reflect and to act. Peace is more than the absence of violence, but the first step of peacemaking is to stop the violence then find the way forward to peace. The media focuses our attention globally, but we know change does not happen one world at a time. It happens one person, one neighborhood, one community at a time. So with violence in our face these last few weeks, acting locally, what are you doing, what can you do, what can you inspire others to do to stop violence and find a way forward? Share your personal peacemaking, personal advocacy, projects, and your imagination with us? You can share your reflections in the Comments. 

If you don't see the Comment box click on the title of this post.

AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award goes to Division 48 member Jean Maria Arrigo

From AAAS press release --

Jean Maria Arrigo, who confronted systematic efforts by the American Psychological Association (APA) to allow and conceal the involvement of psychologists in the torture and abuse of detainees following the September 11 attacks, has been awarded the 2015 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Arrigo, an independent social psychologist and oral historian focusing on ethics and national security issues, was honored by AAAS "for her courage and persistence in advocating for ethical behavior among her fellow psychologists, the importance of international human rights standards, and against torture."

Add your comments in the Comments box below the post.

Teach Peace -- Linden Nelson

This is the first of several blogs that I plan to write in order to introduce and encourage use of the “Teach Peace” resources. I will offer suggestions for how teachers might use these materials, and I also welcome your comments and suggestions. Please join us in this important mission to Teach Peace.
Those of us who are psychology professors have an opportunity to have a positive influence on the war and peace attitudes of a large proportion of the future decision-making citizens in the world, and we have a responsibility to help our students understand the application of psychology for their personal well-being and for the survival and well-being of life on earth. 

RACHEL MACNAIR -- Thoughts on The Experimenter and Stanford Prison Experiment

I bring to your attention two movies that are worth seeing for peace psychologists and worth using for classes for those of us who teach --  “The Experimenter” (trailer) and "The Stanford Prison Experiment" (trailer)
One thing that was left out that peace psychology teachers would want to add instruction on is the experiments that showed what increased non-compliance with the demands of destructive authority.