Why the presumption of good faith can make our lives civil again

Taking time for thoughtful consideration has fallen out of fashion, writes Emily Chamlee-Wright. How can we restore good faith and good judgement to our increasingly polarized conversations?

  • The clamor of the crowd during a heated discussion can make it hard to tell who is right and who is wrong. Adam Smith wrote that the loudness of blame can stupefy our good judgment.
  • Equally, when we're talking with just one other person, our previous assumptions and knee-jerk reactions can cloud our good judgment.
  • If you want to find clarity in moments like that, Emily Chamlee-Wright recommends practicing the presumption of good faith. That means that we should presume, unless we have good evidence to the contrary, that the other person's intent is not to deceive or to offend us, but to learn our point of view.
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Working for Harvey Weinstein was a 'brutal experience'

In 1998, former New Yorker editor Tina Brown went into business with Harvey Weinstein. That was a colossal mistake.

  • Tina Brown was never sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein, however in 1998, she began a business partnership with Weinstein founding a new magazine following her success rebooting The New Yorker.
  • She describes the experience as a "colossal mistake" and Weinstein as a brutal bully who abused and humiliated his staff and left Brown shell-shocked. The venture was dropped, and Brown's regret is that she didn't pull the plug as soon as she learned what Weinstein was like behind closed doors.
  • Before you get into business with anyone, get to know who they are, advises Brown. Make phone calls to people who have worked with them in the past, and draw a line in the sand so you do not become roped into a bully's world.
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Photo by Tore F on Unsplash

When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms.

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The psychology of infidelity: Why do we cheat?

Infidelity, an inherently selfish behavior, has been analyzed by researchers to help us understand why people cheat in relationships.

Photo by Tero Vesalainen on Shutterstock
  • Results of a 2005 study show that there is a significant difference between cheaters and non-cheaters when it comes to the Big Five model of personality traits.
  • Poor self control, selfishness, anger, boredom, and attention-seeking are the most common reasons a person is unfaithful in their relationship.
  • However, a 2018 study suggests that even infidelity, which is inherently a selfish behavior, is more than it seems - requiring an in-depth look at both the personality traits in each person in the relationship as well as the dynamic between them.
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How often do couples have sex? 10 questions to ask your partner about your sex life

Are you and your partner happy with your sex life?

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  • Americans are having sex an average of 62 times per year - with people in their 20s having sex around 80 times per year, people in their 40s having sex around 60 times per year and people 65+ having sex about 20 times per year.
  • According to a 2019 study, 55% of women reported being in situations where they wanted to communicate with a partner about what they like (and didn't like) about their sex lives but ultimately decided not to say anything.
  • There are ten questions you can use to create a safe and positive discussion about sex, letting you gauge how sexually satisfied you (and your partner) are in the relationship.
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