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West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism…

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Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

By Peter Grear

Our campaign has sought to educate our communities to the point that they would organize and mobilize for a massive voter turnout for the November General Election and beyond. 

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Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Study author Susan R. Fisk

“On the surface, risky situations may not appear to be particularly disadvantageous to women, but these findings suggest otherwise,” 

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Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

By Peter Grear

To properly understand where we are today, we must look to history, to Black Slavery.  Slavery has existed since the time of ancient civilizations and in its inception was based upon conquerors enslaving the conquered without regards to race.  

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Married to a Stranger: Some Couples Communicate No Better than Strangers

Written by Featured Organization on 27 January 2011.

Married to a Stranger: Couples Communicate No Better than StrangersMarried people may think they communicate well with their partners, but psychologists have found that they don't always convey messages to their loved ones as well as they think — and in some cases, the spouses communicate no better than strangers.

The same communication problem also is true with close friends, a recent study has found.

"People commonly believe that they communicate better with close friends than with strangers. That closeness can lead people to overestimate how well they communicate, a phenomenon we term the 'closeness-communication bias,'" said Boaz Keysar, a professor in psychology at the University of Chicago and a leading expert on communications.

Keysar's colleague Kenneth Savitsky, professor of psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., devised an experiment resembling a parlor game to study the issue. In it, two sets of couples sat in chairs with their backs to each other and tried to discern the meaning of each other's ambiguous phrases. In all, 24 married couples participated.

The researchers used phrases common in everyday conversations to see if the spouses were better at understanding phrases from their partners than from people they did not know. The spouses consistently overestimated their ability to communicate, and did so more with their partners than with strangers.

"A wife who says to her husband, 'it's getting hot in here,' as a hint for her husband to turn up the air conditioning a notch, may be surprised when he interprets her statement as a coy, amorous advance instead," said Savitsky, who is lead author of the paper, "The Closeness-Communications Bias: Increased Egocentrism among Friends versus Strangers," published in the January issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

"Although speakers expected their spouse to understand them better than strangers, accuracy rates for spouses and strangers were statistically identical. This result is striking because speakers were more confident that they were understood by their spouse," Savitsky said.

"Some couples may indeed be on the same wavelength, but maybe not as much as they think. You get rushed and preoccupied, and you stop taking the perspective of the other person, precisely because the two of you are so close," he said.

Savitsky conducted a similar experiment with 60 Williams College students. In the study, the students overestimated their effectiveness in communicating with friends, replicating the pattern found with married couples.

Closeness can create 'illusion of insight'

Communication problems arise when a speaker assumes that a well-known acquaintance has all the information the speaker has, removing the need for a long explanation, Keysar said. When people meet a stranger, they automatically provide more information because they don't have a "closeness bias" in that encounter. In the same way, listeners may wrongly assume that a comment or request from a close acquaintance is based on knowledge that the two have in common — a mistake the listener would not make with a stranger.

In order to test that idea, a team at Keysar's lab set up an experiment in which two students would sit across from each other, separated by a box with square compartments that contained objects. Some of the objects were not visible to one of the students. That student, the speaker, would ask the partner to move one of the objects — but the speaker did not know that the request could be interpreted in two different ways. For example, if the speaker asked the partner to move a mouse, the partner would have two options: a computer mouse that the speaker could see, or a stuffed mouse that the speaker could not see.

The study found that when partners were asked to move an object with an ambiguous name, they would hesitate longer if the speaker was a friend. But if the speaker was a stranger, the partner would be faster to focus on the object that the speaker could see, and ignore the object that the speaker did not know about. This showed that the participants were more likely to take an egocentric position when working with a friend, neglecting to consider the possibility that the friend didn't share the same information they had.

"Our problem in communicating with friends and spouses is that we have an illusion of insight. Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding," said co-author Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

"The understanding, 'What I know is different from what you know' is essential for effective communication to occur," Savitsky said. "It is necessary for giving directions, for teaching a class or just for having an ordinary conversation. But that insight can be elusive when the 'you' in question is a close friend or spouse."

Joining the three in authoring the article were Travis Carter, a College graduate of the University of Chicago and a post-doctoral student at Chicago Booth, and Ashley Swanson, a graduate student at MIT.

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