Rival Fantasies: Dungeons & Dragons Players & Their Religious Critics Actually Have A Lot In Common

Joseph P. Laycock, Texas State University

Religion-fueled conspiracy theories continue to pervade our culture.

Today, some claim energy drinks are Satanic plots. Others argue that shape-shifting reptiles secretly rule the world. And musicians from Kanye West to Katy Perry have been accused of conducting occult Illuminati rituals disguised as harmless stage performances.

But one of the strangest – and most persistent – conspiracy theories in American culture is the claim that the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is actually a recruiting tool for Satanism.

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Facebook's Problem Is More Complicated Than Fake News

R. Kelly Garrett, The Ohio State University

In the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, many questions have been raised about Facebook’s role in the promotion of inaccurate and highly partisan information during the presidential race and whether this fake news influenced the election’s outcome.

A few have downplayed Facebook’s impact, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said that it is “extremely unlikely” that fake news could have swayed the election. But questions about the social network’s political significance merit more than passing attention.

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She Phubbs me, She Phubbs Me Not: Smartphones Could Be Ruining Your Love Life

James A. Roberts, Baylor University

The majority of our relationships are in shambles.

The U.S. divorce rate hovers at 40 percent, but that’s not the whole story. Many intact relationships are on life support. According to a survey by the National Opinion Research Center, 60 percent of people in a relationship say they’re not very satisfied. There are some familiar culprits: money problems, bad sex and having kids.

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Corporate Deception: Where Do We Draw The Line On Lying At Work?

Rick Delbridge, Cardiff University and Sarah Jenkins, Cardiff University

Lying is part of everyday life and has been since humans first interacted. Consequently, deception has been a focus for ethical and philosophical debates for many centuries.

There have been those who have perceived all deliberate deception as ethically wrong, such as Immanuel Kant, while others have sought to recognise the subtleties and complexities of human interactions and the ways in which “good” might come from deception. For example, Thomas Aquinas thought all lies were wrong, but that there was a hierarchy whereby some lies were “helpful” and so were pardonable.

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Why Sex Gets Better In Older Age

Miri Forbes, University of Minnesota; Nicholas Eaton, Stony Brook University (The State University of New York), and Robert Krueger, University of Minnesota

Aging is generally associated with improvements in our quality of life: We become more proficient in our work, learn how to manage our finances better and our bonds with loved ones deepen. With time and practice, most of the core domains of our lives improve as we develop skills and strategies to manage our lives with more mastery. An exception to this pattern is the quality of our sex lives, which has consistently been reported to deteriorate with age.

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How Ancient Wisdom Can Help Managers Give Their Employees Better Feedback

Khatera Sahibzada, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Giving feedback is unquestionably one of the most challenging tasks for any leader, as it can be painful to both the giver and receiver. It is nonetheless invaluable: Research has shown that employees recognize the importance of feedback – whether positive or negative – to their career development.

Many even welcome it, provided it’s given well. One study of nearly a thousand employees both in the U.S. and abroad found that 92 percent believed that negative feedback is effective at improving performance – “if delivered appropriately.”

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Marijuana Legalization: Big Changes Across Country

Sam Méndez, University of Washington

This year’s election season was historic in more ways than one. An unprecedented nine states considered liberalizing cannabis laws, and here’s how it broke down: California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada saw their ballot measures pass, bringing the total number of states with legal adult-use cannabis laws up to eight. Arizona’s ballot measure failed to pass.

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