This Thursday, Thijs Bouman will defend his doctoral thesis in which he explains the influence of foreign news on how we perceive groups within our nearby surroundings. Generalizations from global to the local situations seem to specifically occur for negative news and rely on often trivial and unconscious associations between the foreign and nearby groups.
Did you ever find yourself drinking another beer when you actually had to stop at the previous one? Then you can imagine how this automatic behavior might be involved in the development of substance abuse and addiction. Illuminating this relationship is the very reason Madelon van Hemel-Ruiter started her PhD research.