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No need for tinfoil hats.

Mind control revealed. Derren Brown, magician turned hypnotist, performs amazing feats of mind control and then gives away the basic psychological tricks he uses. The link is to the video clips from England's Channel 4, an article is here. Via boingboing.
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 29, 2005 - 31 comments

Why Smart People Believe Weird Things

On Cognitive Dissonance
"As a behavioral psychologist, I have studied people's reactions to contradiction and inconsistency. We are capable of convincing ourselves of something, and the more evidence that builds up to contradict us the more we believe it.

For more than 40 years, social psychologists have studied the phenomenon of "cognitive dissonance" - what happens when people have pieces of information on the same subject that are inconsistent. The presence of contradictions is psychologically unpleasant, and people do whatever it takes to resolve the inconsistency."

Many in the field posit that tension between contradictory thoughts and feelings are what constitutes consciousness. It doesn't seem to me this qualifies as it appears to be highly dysfunctional and not a natural and normal tension. What say you who are more qualified?
posted by nofundy on Jun 21, 2004 - 31 comments

Zzzzzzzz...

Effectiveness of 'sleeping on it' scientifically confirmed. You are now permanently excused for coming into work late.
posted by badstone on Jan 22, 2004 - 2 comments

It couldn't happen here, you say?...

As one, the students shouted, "Strength through discipline!" - "The Third Wave", A Dangerous Experiment. More disturbing even than the "Milgram Experiment": "When Ron Jones started teaching at Cubberley High School in the fall of 1968, it was considered the most innovative of Palo Alto's high schools. ....His methods were experimental and his goal was to bring social studies to life.....Jones turned his class into an efficient youth organization, which he called the Third Wave. Some students were informers, and some were told they couldn't go certain places on campus. He insisted on rigid posture and that questions be answered formally and quickly....."It was strange how quickly the students took to a uniform code of behavior. I began to wonder just how far they cold be pushed," Jones wrote....But soon the experiment began spinning out of control.... five days into the experiment, Jones announced, "We can bring (the nation) a new sense of order, community, pride, and action. Everything rests on you and your willingness to take a stand." As one, the students shouted, "Strength through discipline!" ". Ron Jones wrote about it in No substitute for Madness, which is out of print in English but required reading in German public schools. As Umberto Eco notes in "Eternal Fascism", this is a timeless tale of human nature.
posted by troutfishing on Mar 22, 2003 - 40 comments

Thoughts on the origins of violence

Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence. If this 1975 article from the The Bulletin of The Atomic Sciences were written today, the "Body Pleasure" bit would have probably been left out. But that doesn't mean this article isn't worth the time to read. Also see this cite of James W. Prescott's work in Carl Sagan's bestselling book and PBS series in chapter 13: Who Speaks for Earth?
posted by crasspastor on Mar 2, 2003 - 12 comments

Bush anything but moronic, according to author

Bush anything but moronic, according to author According to the author Bush may be sociopathic. I find this scary, but I am also very skeptical about it. What do you guys think? Any psychologist out there that know anything about this?
posted by tljenson on Nov 29, 2002 - 51 comments

Overcome Depression: The New Computer -Cognitive Treatment

Overcome Depression: The New Computer -Cognitive Treatment Overcoming Depression is the world's first self-educative computer program for understanding, dealing with, and preventing depression using a unique dialogue mode that allows you to express yourself freely in your own words and that responds in meaningful every language characteristic of a therapeutic context. So much for the personal therapeutic process. My question is - can this program prescribe meds??!??
posted by gloege on May 20, 2002 - 18 comments

Utah Leads Nation in Rate of Anti-Depressant Use.

Utah Leads Nation in Rate of Anti-Depressant Use. It is interesting (to me) in that the people doing the study credit a "Mother of Zion" syndrome of married Mormon women putting on the happy face regardless of how happy they truly are. My state is up at the top also. Could be all the rain I guess. . .*sigh*
posted by Danf on Feb 20, 2002 - 45 comments

At Northwestern University, psychologists are paying women to be aroused by porn. It's more fun than looking at ink blots.

At Northwestern University, psychologists are paying women to be aroused by porn. It's more fun than looking at ink blots. "Last spring, [the two scientists] were involved in a similar study that tested Chicago-area men for their reaction to straight and gay porn. The results were fairly definitive — straight men [were aroused by] watching a man and a woman have sex; gay men [were aroused by] watching two men have sex. Neither had much crossover. But when Chicago-area women [were exposed to] both stimuli...? 'It appears that women, regardless of sexual orientation, respond to everything.' This is science at its steamiest." (from Jim Romenesko's Obscure Store)
posted by verdezza on Nov 30, 2001 - 22 comments

This interesting mini-series

This interesting mini-series about the human face on TLC (via BBC), claims that technology and the Internet are replacing face-to-face contact, but without much needed facial expressions that play a crucial role in communication. No doubt, this is why we THINK OF CAPITAL LETTERS as "yelling" and use :) and :P in online communication. Where do you see online communication in 10 years?
posted by canoeguide on Aug 27, 2001 - 17 comments

shades of microserfs:

shades of microserfs: man locked himself in his parents bathroom two years ago and refuses to come out. is fed by flat food slipped under the door.
posted by palegirl on Jan 5, 2001 - 35 comments

The war continues

The war continues over people against the ever-dreaded video game! It's a long article, but definitely worth a read (later on they talk about people giving noiseblasts to other people just to see them squirm, teehee).
posted by starduck on Apr 24, 2000 - 1 comment

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