619 posts tagged with Psychology.
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seeking sunken ship, shrinks study stories

Two Aussie psychologists studied the 66-year-old testimony of 70 German sailors rescued after their boat sank. The ship which sank it, the HMAS Sydney, also sank ... taking 645 sailors with it.
After analyzing the stories the shrinks - knowledgeable in the vagaries of storytelling - found that the Germans weren't lying. They crowdsourced the stories, sat down together with a map of the Indian Ocean and ...
posted by Twang on Oct 1, 2011 - 21 comments

Doctor Fox's Lecture

Video footage of the legendary Doctor Fox lecture. "The lecture that Myron L. Fox delivered to the assembled experts had an impressive enough title: 'Mathematical Game Theory as Applied to Physician Education'. Those responsible for running the University of Southern California School of Medicine's psychiatry department's continuing education programme had taken themselves off to Lake Tahoe in northern California for their annual conference and a continuing education program. There, Fox - who was billed as an 'authority on the application of mathematics to human behaviour' - presented the first paper. His polished performance so impressed the audience of psychiatrists, family doctors and general internists that nobody noticed that the man standing at the lectern wasn't really Myron L. Fox from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine but Michael Fox a movie actor who though having considerable experience in playing doctors in TV shows didn't know the first thing about game theory." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 23, 2011 - 37 comments

The Nocebo Effect

The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills.
posted by homunculus on Sep 20, 2011 - 69 comments

Scrupulosity

Locke, Johnson, Kierkegaard, Freud, and dozens of other historical figures on the subject of obsessive-compulsive disorder. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Sep 19, 2011 - 8 comments

Carl Jung

Carl Jung: Taking inner life seriously. An eight-part series on the thought of Carl Gustav Jung from the Guardian's How to Believe series (previously.) Jung's relationship with his patient, student, and rumored lover Sabina Spielrein, and his mentor Sigmund Freud is the subject of a new film, "A Dangerous Method." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 16, 2011 - 14 comments

The Marvels and the Flaws of Intuitive Thinking

The Marvels and the Flaws of Intuitive Thinking, an Edge Master Class with Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman. Follow-up discussion with Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, and Steven Pinker. (previously)
posted by AceRock on Sep 13, 2011 - 6 comments

How to Make Smart Decisions in Less than 60 Seconds

How to Make Smart Decisions in Less than 60 Seconds: For each alternative, ask "Is this really me?"
posted by shivohum on Sep 12, 2011 - 168 comments

Transient Man

Transient Man. "Transient is a black comedy about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2011 - 20 comments

Decision Fatigue

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? "The very act of making decisions depletes our ability to make them well. So how do we navigate a world of endless choice?"
posted by homunculus on Aug 20, 2011 - 71 comments

So on the bright side, the poor make for better company anyway

New research shows the Rich truly are different from you and me in one key respect: they feel less empathy (overview of the research here; unfortunately, a full report of the findings is only available behind various pay-walls). Previously, the same team of researchers found that members of the economic upper-class have a harder time recognizing others' emotions.
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 10, 2011 - 118 comments

Second tenor, highest riser, blessed clever compromiser

Drew Westen (discussed previously) has written a heartbreaking piece on the narratives the president has or hasn't told. [more inside]
posted by Wyatt on Aug 7, 2011 - 57 comments

Perspectives on Therapy as a Practitioner and client

Dr. Rob Dobrienski is a Manhattan therapist who blogs with honesty and humor on shrinktalk.net about his practice and topics interesting to both laypersons with an interest in psychology and therapy as well as therapists in current practice. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Jul 31, 2011 - 19 comments

The Medium Chill

"We now have a smallish house in a nondescript working class Seattle neighborhood with no sidewalks. We have one car, a battered old minivan with a large dent on one side where you have to bang it with your hip to make the door shut. Our boys go to public schools. Our jobs pay enough to support our lifestyle, mostly anyway. If we wanted, we could both do the "next thing" on our respective career paths..... Fact is, we just don't want to work that hard! We already work harder than we feel like working. We enjoy having time to lay around in the living room with the kids, reading. We like to watch a little TV after the kids are in bed. We like going to the park and visits with friends and low-key vacations and generally relaxing. Going further down our respective career paths would likely mean more work, greater responsibilities, higher stress, and less time to lay around the living room with the kids. So why do it?" David Roberts in Grist on satisficing, voluntary non-affluence, and the medium chill.
posted by escabeche on Jul 27, 2011 - 179 comments

The Brain on Trial.

The Brain on Trial. Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania."
[more inside]
posted by Eideteker on Jul 15, 2011 - 99 comments

The Menace Within

The participants in the Stanford Prison Experiment are revisited 40 years after their experience.
posted by reenum on Jul 11, 2011 - 57 comments

Gelotology

The Mad Music Archive and the Colorectal Surgeon Song as gelotological recommendations | Gelotology.com | Laugh Sounds | Laughter and the Brain | Gelotology: A laughing matter | Gelotology, the study of laughter | The Science of Laughter | What’s So Funny? Well, Maybe Nothing | The science of laughter - Humour may play a vital role in children's development, reports Alastair Clarke. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 10, 2011 - 4 comments

Prozac? Nope, just take a bath!

Do you feel lonely or isolated in your 21st century life? Have you considered taking a hot bath? How hot baths can help dispel feelings of loneliness... [more inside]
posted by Kronur on Jun 27, 2011 - 70 comments

Objectophilia

Married To The Eiffel Tower is a documentary that tells the stories of three females who are sexually and emotionally attracted to inanimate objects. (Previously)
posted by gman on Jun 25, 2011 - 77 comments

Marsha Linehan speaks out about DBT

"I decided to get supersuicidal people, the very worst cases, because I figured these are the most miserable people in the world — they think they’re evil . . . and I understood their suffering." Marsha Linehan, the founder of dialectical behavior therapy, one of the only successful treatments for borderline personality disorder, reveals how her own struggles influenced her work.
posted by liketitanic on Jun 24, 2011 - 19 comments

You all need to have your heads examined

The epidemic of mental illness plaguing the Americans and the overmedication of psychiatric patients are in part artifacts of the diagnostic method. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Jun 22, 2011 - 50 comments

Better than an extra-strength placebo?

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have published a new study (behind paywall - summary) on the effects of "magic mushrooms". Volunteers were given 4 doses of psilocybin spaced one month apart. The study built on previous work and attempted to optimize the experience for long-lasting positive effects:
61% of volunteers considered the psilocybin experience during either or both the [highest dosage] sessions to have been the single most spiritually significant of their lives, with 83% rating it in their top five. Consistent with this, 94% and 89% of volunteers, respectively, indicated that the experiences on those same sessions increased their well-being or life satisfaction and positively changed their behavior at least moderately.
[more inside]
posted by crayz on Jun 18, 2011 - 172 comments

"Here, eat this root."

The Triumph of New-Age Medicine "Medicine has long decried acupuncture, homeopathy, and the like as dangerous nonsense that preys on the gullible. Again and again, carefully controlled studies have shown alternative medicine to work no better than a placebo. But now many doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well, and at a much lower cost, than mainstream care—and they’re trying to learn from it." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2011 - 278 comments

The Social Psychological Narrative

It's not the objective environment that influences people, but their constructs of the world. You have to get inside people's heads and see the world the way they do. You have to look at the kinds of narratives and stories people tell themselves as to why they're doing what they're doing... Many policy makers, if they're thinking about a problem turn to economists... When economists think about how to solve a problem such as closing the achievement gap in education, or reducing teenage pregnancy, their inclination is to use incentives... To a social psychologist, it is a little naïve to think that adding external incentives is all you have to do. Not to say that incentives can't work, but they can sometimes backfire if you look at it through the eyes of the person who is getting that incentive.
Pioneering investigator of the unconscious Timothy Wilson on the state of social psychology and its practical applications – including government attempts to shape public behaviour, and the futility of the self-help industry. [via]
posted by AceRock on Jun 15, 2011 - 21 comments

I am large, I contain multitudes

"How is one to know which aspect of a person counts as that person’s true self?" Does it lie "precisely in our suppressed urges and unacknowledged emotions, while our ability to reflect is just a hindrance that gets in the way of this true self’s expression?" Or is "the most distinctive and essential to a human being is the capacity for rational reflection?" Or is the authentic self "the ideologically-validated self"?
posted by AceRock on Jun 9, 2011 - 51 comments

Are psychoactive drugs fueling an epidemic of mental illness?

Is the contemporary epidemic of mental illness fueled by useless or even harmful anti-depressants and other psychoactive drugs? A review of books by Irving Kirsch, Robert Whitaker, and Daniel Carlat, notes that per Kirsch, "[a]n active placebo is one that itself produces side effects...there was no difference between the antidepressant and the active placebo" (new research claims very severe cases are different). Whitaker argues that psychoactive drugs may actively "disturb neurotransmitter function" and cause mental illnesses which a mounting cascade of drugs are then needed to manage. (previously, previously)
posted by shivohum on Jun 6, 2011 - 113 comments

Why Can’t More Poor People Escape Poverty?

Psychologists are now theorizing that humans have a depletable reservoir of self-control, and that this is why poor people remain poor.
posted by reenum on Jun 6, 2011 - 118 comments

Early to Ripe, Early to Rot

Why did William James Sidis - the reclusive boy genius fluent in Latin at 2, accepted to MIT at 8, conceptual physicist at 11 - spend so much time thinking about public transit transfers? [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on May 27, 2011 - 24 comments

The Amoral Maze

Jon Ronson - How to spot a psychopath
posted by Artw on May 21, 2011 - 151 comments

Anger and anxiety

Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty - "If there's somebody or even some institution to blame, it turns out people are much more likely to get angry... anger tends to inspire individuals to engage in more political activities than they would otherwise... Without someone to blame, respondents mostly just grow fearful and anxious... A particular danger of anger seems to be closed-mindedness. Research finds that when citizens get angry, they close themselves off to alternative views and redouble their sense of conviction in their existing views. Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, seem to promote openness to alternative viewpoints and a willingness to compromise." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 18, 2011 - 18 comments

The Wonder of God in Nature

Die Wunder Gottes in der Natur (1744) illustrates astronomical, meteorological, geological, spiritual, and psychological visions, based on the work of 16th century Alsatian encyclopedist Conrad Lycosthenes.

The cover and title page.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 5, 2011 - 7 comments

The Argumentative Theory of Reasoning

Reasoning was not designed to pursue the truth. Reasoning was designed to help us win arguments. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on May 5, 2011 - 61 comments

Germany is never so happy as when she is pregnant with war.

"In the course of researching my book The Emotional Life of Nations, I discovered that just before and during wars the nation was regularly depicted as a Dangerous Woman. I collected thousands of magazine covers and political cartoons before wars to see if there were any visual patterns that could predict the moods that led to war, and routinely found images of dangerous, bloodthirsty women."

Sociologist, political psychologist, and founder of The Institute for Psychohistory (no not that one) Lloyd deMause has written eight books and 90 articles on the link between warfare and parenting practices. With thousands of references to psychological and anthropological studies, deMause makes the case that outbursts of nationalist violence are reenactments of childhood experiences common to large groups.

His book The Origins of War In Child Abuse is available as a ten-part, free audiobook; read by Stefan Molyneux. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on May 3, 2011 - 151 comments

Avoid the News

Avoid the News: Towards A Healthy News Diet. (large-ish PDF) Go without news. Cut it out completely. Go cold turkey. Make news as inaccessible as possible . . . . After a while, you will realize that despite your personal news blackout, you have not missed – and you’re not going to miss – any important facts. If some bit of information is truly important to your profession, your company, your family or your community, you will hear it in time – from your friends, your mother-in-law or whomever you talk to or see. When you are with your friends, ask them if anything important is happening in the world. The question is a great conversation starter. Most of the time, the answer will be: “not really.”
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 20, 2011 - 113 comments

Are We There Yet?

Zerosomethings are adorable: angst-free, energetic, usually related to me. They will grab onto one my legs to get a free ride, and I will always give it to them. A precocious twentysomething's artful musings on the series of life-stages most of us have passed, are passing, or will pass through in the course of ordinary survival. Reading "-Somethings" I am reminded of Gail Sheehy's classic Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life (read a portion here), a thought-provoking and somewhat more academic investigation of how we change over time.
posted by fernabelle on Apr 10, 2011 - 30 comments

The Psychopathology of Extreme Heroism

SciAm takes a look at the fine line between clinical pyschopaths and real-life superheroes. Related: Addicted to Being Good
posted by saulgoodman on Mar 31, 2011 - 46 comments

Age of Pedagogy

Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like School by Alison Gopnik [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Mar 17, 2011 - 42 comments

"Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink." Charles Bukowski

Full Bladder, Better Decisions? Study says controlling your bladder decreases impulsive choices.
posted by Fizz on Mar 7, 2011 - 34 comments

It's an intense thing, but it's a small thing.

In strange reversal of conventional wisdom, four fifths of enrolled undergrads skip out on optional Fucksaw presentation. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Mar 2, 2011 - 240 comments

"What do I have to plant inside their heads?"

Army Psy Ops Units Targeted American Senators
posted by empath on Feb 24, 2011 - 77 comments

The Supercommuter

Joe Simonetti is a 57-year-old psychotherapist who lives with his wife in Pound Ridge, New York. His commute takes him from the northern reaches of exurban Westchester County to his office just south of Central Park. It's about three and a half hours each way. By bike. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 22, 2011 - 72 comments

Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Fox, Storm

Bullestorm is a rather silly FPS from People Can Fly, focusing irreverance, violence, points for ridiculous achievments and fun fun. It's marketing campaign has included the meta-game "Duty Calls", which savagly skewers it's equally violent but far more self-serious competition such as Call of Duty: Black Ops. Naturally, Fox news has freaked out and started a campaign against it, including a claim that it will cause rape. Rock, Paper Shotgun responds. FOX responds to the response. RPS responds to the response to the response, with a summary of the debacle so far.
posted by Artw on Feb 21, 2011 - 119 comments

MDMA vs. PTSD

Can a Single Pill Change Your Life? Oprah Magazine examines recent studies on the use of MDMA (the main ingredient in Ecstasy) to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
posted by mannequito on Feb 15, 2011 - 104 comments

The Exact Opposite of Countercultural

The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior writes on prescription drug (ab)use among soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Feb 15, 2011 - 50 comments

Watching you watch There Will Be Blood

"The result is almost unprecedented in film studies, I think: an effort to test a critic’s analysis against measurable effects of a movie." - Watching You Watch There Will Be Blood [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Feb 14, 2011 - 41 comments

The Soul Niche

Swimming around in a mixture of language and matter, humans occupy a particular evolutionary niche mediated by something we call 'consciousness'. To Professor Nicholas Humphrey we're made up of "soul dust": "a kind of theatre... an entertainment which we put on for ourselves inside our own heads." But just as that theatre is directed by the relationship between language and matter, it is also undermined by it. It all depends how you think it.
posted by 0bvious on Feb 4, 2011 - 17 comments

more of the same

Life after Capitalism - Beyond capitalism, it seems, stretches a vista of... capitalism: [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 25, 2011 - 33 comments

Nefarious Notoriety: a Study of the Thoughts Behind Assasination Attempts on Public Figures

In 1999, psychologist Robert A. Fein and Executive Director of the US Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center, Bryan Vossekuil, published a study of 83 persons who had attempted or succeeded to assassinate a public figure (Google HTML view of pdf). Those 83 were all the people who were known to have attacked, or approached to attack, a prominent public official or public figure in the United States since 1949. The goal was to better understand the motives behind such actions, and included interviews with some of the subjects. NPR covered the report today, interviewing Fein and discussing the findings. The summary was that the attacks were not political in motive, but attempts at gaining fame. "They experienced failure after failure after failure, and decided that rather than being a 'nobody,' they wanted to be a 'somebody,' " Fein said. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 14, 2011 - 31 comments

Anxiety and test-taking

A study just published in Science finds that students who briefly write about their testing anxieties do better on the subsequent test. The abstract at Science, and a podcast interview with Sian Beilock, one of the study authors.
posted by OmieWise on Jan 14, 2011 - 14 comments

Cryptoforestry: Inner City Reforestation in Utrecht and the G/Local Amazon; Psychogeography is involved

Cryptoforestry is a heady blog that covers cryptoforests of all sorts, from feral forests that thrive next to heavily developed urban environments without human assistance, land in limbo and "states of vegetation for which lay-language has no name", incognito forests that hide in plain view, precognitive forests that are about to become forest or are forest Fata Morgana, and unappreciated forests that are considered wastelands. The scope of the blog covers local Utrecht sites to the "g/local" Amazon basin, and lands in-between. All this is filtered through the lens of psychogeography, emphasizing "the psychological effects of a forest rather than canopy cover or land use as of importance for classification." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 12, 2011 - 24 comments

The E-Persona

Separation Anxiety: "Now that there's no escaping the digital world, research is getting more serious about what happens to personalities that are incessantly on."
posted by zarq on Jan 12, 2011 - 42 comments

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