In the late 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was gripped by an eccentric plan. He gathered three psychiatric patients, each with the delusion that they were Jesus Christ, to live together for two years in Ypsilanti State Hospital to see if their beliefs would change.
Vaughan Bell tells the story
of one of the weirdest experiments in the history of psychology. (via
posted by The Mouthchew
on May 27, 2010 -
"A growing body of evidence suggests that humans have a rudimentary moral sense
from the very start of life... Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone... [But] the sense of right and wrong that [babies] naturally possess diverges in important ways from what we adults would want it to be."
posted by AceRock
on May 10, 2010 -
We Need a General Theory of Individuality
: "One of the unspoken secrets in basic scientific research, from anthropology to zoology (with intervening stops at physiology, political science, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology) is that, nearly always, individuals turn out to be different from one another, and that—to an extent rarely admitted and virtually never pursued—scientific generalizations tend to hush up those differences"
posted by dhruva
on May 5, 2010 -
's 1984 book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
was a seminal work for its discussion of how one might design a system (biological or otherwise) in order to generate behavior like that seen in beings with brains. He embarks on a series of thought experiments in which he creates thirteen "vehicles"
through simple components that (arguably) display intelligent behavior, evolving in a Darwinian fashion to demonstrate what appears to be high-level cognition. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222
on Jan 17, 2010 -
Monogamouse Prairie voles have many vasopressin receptors in the reward centres of their brains. It seems as though these are wired up in a way that causes the animal to take pleasure from monogamy.
posted by kliuless
on Jan 9, 2010 -
"Research has shown that numerous psychological interventions are efficacious, effective, and cost-effective. However, these interventions are used infrequently with patients who would benefit from them, in part because clinical psychologists have not made a convincing case for the use of these interventions ... and because clinical psychologists do not themselves use these interventions even when given the opportunity to do so."
In Psychological Science in the Public Interest
, psychologists Timothy Baker, Richard McFall, and Varda Shoham argue that clinical psychology needs to embrace its status as a science in order to save itself as a profession. If that's too long, Walter Mischel -- yes, the marshmallow guy
-- writes an accompanying editorial. : "The disconnect between much of clinical practice and the advances in psychological science is an unconscionable embarrassment..."
posted by escabeche
on Oct 26, 2009 -
The Red Book
, full of calligraphy and grand illustrations, is Carl Jung's last unpublished book. Written in private and quite possibly never intended to actually be published, it has been called full of "infinite wisdom" and conversely "the work of a psychotic". It has been carefully guarded for the past 40 years by his family, who only recently have been convinced of the importance of its publishing. This is the story of how it happened.
posted by Hackworth
on Sep 17, 2009 -
What would you do if your husband of many years, with whom you had created a family and with whom you led what you considered to be a successful life, suddenly said he thought he no longer loved you? One woman's approach: refuse to believe it.
Not everyone agrees
posted by shivohum
on Aug 4, 2009 -
Test My Brain
was set up by Harvard's Vision Lab and Social Neuroscience and Psychopathology Lab. There are five tests online at the time of this post; take one and maybe you'll learn something about yourself that you may not have known (other than your special ability to slack off on MetaFilter when you should be working). At the same time, you'll be helping researchers collect data from a wide range of subjects. One of the collaborators, Professor Ken Nakayama, is also responsible for creating these online tests
for faceblindness. [previously] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display
on May 21, 2009 -