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Menu Psychology

Restaurants use menu psychology to entice diners. (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 23, 2009 - 77 comments

Accept defeat

The Neuroscience of Screwing Up by Jonah Lehrer [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 22, 2009 - 16 comments

he of the weird al hair and santa claus beard

R.Sapolsky on the uniqueness of humans in relation to the rest of the animal world (via)
posted by kliuless on Dec 20, 2009 - 28 comments

Signatures of Consciousness

12 years in the making, a good working hypothesis about the nature of conciousness. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 4, 2009 - 72 comments

You motherf$%&*#rs are all on notice

Facebook Profiles Capture True Personality Online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity, according to new research from psychologist Sam Gosling at The University of Texas at Austin. [more inside]
posted by psmealey on Dec 3, 2009 - 51 comments

The Color of Sin - Why the Good Guys Wear White

When the Chrysler car company released its new model Dodge Coronet in 1967, the theme of its ad campaign was the "White Hat Special," with some ads featuring the "Dodge Girl" in her signature white Stetson, saying that "Only the good guys could put together a deal like this." These ads didn't need any elaboration. Madison Avenue knew the potential buyers had all been raised on film and TV Westerns, and knew the symbolism of white hats. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger — cinematic heroes wore white hats, and bad guys wore black. It was all very simple. The colors white and black have carried layers of moral meaning since long before American infatuation with cowboys and automobiles, and some scientists believe that those associations may be automatic and universal and ancient (abstract). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 10, 2009 - 42 comments

Psychological Science?

"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 - 16 comments

Aaron Beck & Cognitive Therapy

The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.” How Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
posted by Non Prosequitur on Oct 9, 2009 - 53 comments

"Want to play a chord? Try not to die."

Piano Stairs! (Not everyone thinks they're a good idea.) Also see "The Deepest Trash Can". Both videos are from Volkswagon Sweden, whose new English-language website, TheFunTheory is still under construction. But here's the Swedish-language version.
posted by zarq on Oct 9, 2009 - 26 comments

The Anxious Mind

Understanding the Anxious Mind. A good article on the psychology of anxiety and how an anxious temperament at birth can ebb and flow during one's lifetime. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 2, 2009 - 22 comments

The Holy Grail of the Unconscious

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 - 43 comments

the consumption renews the appetite

Seeking - How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 6, 2009 - 40 comments

Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

The Art of the Prank offers insights, information, news and discussions about pranks, hoaxes, culture jamming and reality hacking around the world. Includes topics such as The History of Pranks, The Prank As Art, and the Sociology and Psychology of Pranks. Get pranking. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 24, 2009 - 16 comments

A wife doubts her husband's doubt about their marriage.

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 - 168 comments

Forgiveness

Forgive and Forget? "Rwanda's warring population has a lot to account for, and a lot to reconcile. Can science point the way to understanding?"
posted by homunculus on Jul 20, 2009 - 5 comments

A boy called Sue

A new US study, recently published in Social Science Quarterly, has shown that the more uncommon or feminine a boy's first name is, the greater the likelihood that he will end up in prison. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jul 14, 2009 - 103 comments

King - *uhum* - Prince of Pop

Was Michael Jackson A Pedophile? No! Jackson Was A Homosexual Autohebephile! [more inside]
posted by Sova on Jul 7, 2009 - 121 comments

"Men are born for games."

At the recent Games for Change conference, Brenda Brathwaite debuted her game Train. The WSJ blog Speakeasy interviews her: Players load boxcars with tiny yellow figurines and are asked to move the trains from one end of the course to the other. They pull cards that either impede their progress or free some of the characters. Once a train reaches the "finish line," the game is completed and it is revealed [more inside]
posted by j.edwards on Jun 25, 2009 - 49 comments

Dancing Manias and Mass Hysteria

Dancing plagues and mass hysteria: how distress and pious fear have led to bizarre outbreaks across the ages. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 23, 2009 - 32 comments

Picky picky

Women may not be so picky after all. Researchers at Northwestern University have been finding some interesting things about human mating by holding and studying speed-dating events (pdf). [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Jun 15, 2009 - 33 comments

Wait, wait, I almost have it!

Why do we get "tip of the tongue" moments?? We’ve all experienced the tip of the tongue moment where we wanted to say something but just couldn’t remember the word. But what causes this momentary lapses in vocabulary?
posted by CaptKyle on Jun 12, 2009 - 43 comments

neuroscience and behavior videos

At Psychoanalyst TV, we aggregate psychology and neuroscience videos, and put them on our own TV channels. Its companion site, Neurological Correlates, A Neuroscience Tabloid of Dysfunctional Behavior - Mostly Psychopaths, Narcissists, Obesity and Addiction. Includes such gems as Visualizing Desire and Sadobabies - Runaways in San Francisco.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 4, 2009 - 10 comments

Happy Stabbiversary!

Fourteen years ago I was stabbed in the throat.
posted by william_boot on Jun 3, 2009 - 47 comments

Thought Suppression

Why Thought Suppression is Counter-Productive: How pushing a thought out of consciousness can bring it back with a vengeance. [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 22, 2009 - 39 comments

Gleaming the Time Cube

Pascal Boyer explores the field of crackpottery in his article How I found glaring errors in Einstein's calculations. "For some time now, I have been an avid reader and collector of webpages created by crackpot physicists, those marginal self-styled scientists whose foundational, generally revolutionary work is sadly ignored by most established scientists. These are the great heroes, at least in their own eyes, of alternative science." [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on May 22, 2009 - 46 comments

test your your brain

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 - 69 comments

Metafilter: If I wanted a long, boring story with no point to it, I got my life

When does making fun of yourself make you more attractive? Suppose, in an initial conversation, you say:
I hate this “to be continued” on TV. I was watching this show with a friend of mine the other day and I felt it was coming. We were into the story and when there was 5 minutes left you realize they can’t make it! There is no way to wrap it up in 5 minutes. The whole reason to watch a TV show is because it ends. If I wanted a long, boring story with no point to it, I got my life.
Would this make you seem more attractive? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on May 20, 2009 - 67 comments

Keep your hands to yourself.

Jonah Lehrer in The New Yorker profiles Walter Mischel, whose recent research indicates a child's ability to delay gratification can predict the child's academic success. Mischel was previously mentioned in a thread on behavorial economics. He is best known for the marshmallow experiment in the 1960s. (via)
posted by shadytrees on May 11, 2009 - 25 comments

Cooking the Books on Sexual Orientation

Teh gay can be cured. So declared the most influential sexologists of the late 20th century, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, in 1979, providing much-publicized scientific backing for the "conversion" theory, and dozens of right-wing efforts to prove that homosexuality is a psychological aberration that can be fixed. Or were those case studies fabricated? In his new biography of the couple who helped spark the sexual revolution, Thomas Maier uncovers the truth and the cover-up.
posted by digaman on May 6, 2009 - 108 comments

Why you're probably not named Tricia

What leads cultural tastes and practices to be abandoned? (.pdf) A new PNAS paper by marketing professor Jonah Berger and organizational psychologist Gael Le Mens argues that the faster a trend rises, the faster it's likely to fall, at least as regards longitudinal data of first names given to American children. (Via the Baby Names Blog.) Berger has written before on the drive to non-conform; a 2007 joint paper with Emily Pronin and Sarah Molouki (.pdf) shows that "people see others as more conforming than themselves.... placing more weight on introspective evidence of conformity (relative to behavioral evidence) when judging their own susceptibility to social influence as opposed to someone else's."
posted by escabeche on May 5, 2009 - 42 comments

Morality and context.

How wrong is it to use a kitten for personal sexual pleasure? Depends on whether you've washed your hands.
posted by limon on Apr 26, 2009 - 96 comments

Enlightenment Therapy

Enlightenment Therapy: How a Zen master found the light (again) on the analyst’s couch. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2009 - 39 comments

Why Minds are Not Like Computers

Why Minds are Not Like Computers: an in-depth analysis.
posted by jon_hansen on Apr 19, 2009 - 95 comments

A Psychologist Analyzes the Increasing Pervasiveness of Snark.

A Psychologist Analyzes the Increasing Pervasiveness of Snark. From the Psychology Today blog site comes this article about snark, Gawker, and David Denby's definitions of "snark" versus "Satire." [more inside]
posted by crazyray on Apr 12, 2009 - 49 comments

play-acting

Look around you. On the train platform, at the bus stop, in the car pool lane: these days someone there is probably faking it, maintaining a job routine without having a job to go to.
posted by plexi on Apr 8, 2009 - 49 comments

Animal behaviour: Grape expectations

Revealing how we are just a bunch of monkeys... (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 28, 2009 - 15 comments

No Nonsense Self-Defense

No Nonsense Self Defense is a website that features many great essays about violence and self-defense, including “High Risk Behavior And Knowing Where You Are,”“Are Martial Arts Self-Defense?,”“The Best Way to Get Attacked,”“The Economy And Stress Violence,”and “Who's Going To Rob You?." But my absolute favorite section is "Psychology and Survival." If I can convince you to read only one of these links, please let it be that last one.
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 24, 2009 - 73 comments

X-Phi

Philosophy’s great experiment. "Philosophers used to combine conceptual reflections with practical experiment. The trendiest new branch of the discipline, known as x-phi, wants to return to those days. Some philosophers don’t like it." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 4, 2009 - 45 comments

I can even see his legs

THE BUGS ARE CRAWLING UNDER MY SKIN
posted by baphomet on Mar 4, 2009 - 48 comments

Neuroscience of Nostalgia

Neuroscience and Nostalgia. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 23, 2009 - 19 comments

The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination

"The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination was established to promote an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of creativity and the imaginative process." To this end they hold regular roundtable discussions, streaming videos of which are available online. Some past highlights include: [more inside]
posted by jrb223 on Feb 22, 2009 - 6 comments

Long-term effects of ecstacy

Ecstasy's long-term effects revealed. "Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 12, 2009 - 94 comments

Rat Park and Other Children's Stories

Addiction: thousands of studies have been done claiming that it is a disease, often using rats in isolated cages with a bar-press system of delivery, showing they will repeatedly get high even if it means starving to death. Bruce Alexander was a skeptic, questioning the ecological validity of all such results: "They were said to prove that these kinds of dope are irresistible, and that’s it, that’s the end of the addiction story right there," and after delivering one particularly fruitless seminar in 1976, he decided to build Rat Park to conduct his own studies... [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Feb 12, 2009 - 47 comments

Q. Would you like tea OR coffee? A: Yes.

What real-life bad habits has programming given you? "This has actually really happened to me. I was trying to hang a glass picture frame on the wall and accidentally dropped it. And in the shock of the moment, I loudly yelled 'Control Z!' Then the glass hit the floor and smashed."
posted by grumblebee on Jan 30, 2009 - 170 comments

Studies In Getting Smacked

Three psychology experiments that raise ethics questions because of the danger they posed to the research assistants. (via) [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jan 17, 2009 - 38 comments

Extending the Mind

How Google Is Making Us Smarter: Humans are "natural-born cyborgs," and the Internet is our giant "extended mind."
posted by homunculus on Jan 15, 2009 - 50 comments

Anti-Love Drug May Be Ticket to Bliss

“It would be completely unethical to give the drug to someone else,” he said, “but if you’re in a marriage and want to maintain that relationship, you might take a little booster shot yourself every now and then. Even now it’s not such a far-out possibility that you could use drugs in conjunction with marital therapy.”
posted by badego on Jan 13, 2009 - 42 comments

"Our whole approach is based on the idea that science matters at the FDA"

The Economist on Drugs -- Scientists in North America, Europe and Israel are studying the use of MDMA, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and other banned psychoactive substances in treating conditions such as anxiety, cluster headaches, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They are supported by private funds from a handful of organisations: the Beckley Foundation in Britain; the Heffter Research Institute and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in America. [related]
posted by kliuless on Dec 28, 2008 - 43 comments

Obama elevate my soul

How the president-elect tapped into a powerful—and only recently studied—human emotion called "elevation." Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Berkeley, studies the emotions of uplift, and he has tried everything from showing subjects vistas of the Grand Canyon to reading them poetry—with little success. But just this week one of his postdocs came in with a great idea: Hook up the subjects, play Barack Obama's victory speech, and record as their autonomic nervous systems go into a swoon....It was while looking through the letters of Thomas Jefferson that Haidt first found a description of elevation. Jefferson wrote of the physical sensation that comes from witnessing goodness in others: It is to "dilate [the] breast and elevate [the] sentiments … and privately covenant to copy the fair example." (via Geek Press) [more inside]
posted by caddis on Dec 20, 2008 - 50 comments

Are fortification and foreign aid making Kabul more dangerous?

The Archipelago of Fear. "International surveys show that the more people trust their neighbours, strangers, and their government, the more likely they are to help strangers, to vote, and to volunteer. If better streets, sidewalks, walls, and buildings all improve the ways people engage with one another, then the reverse should also be true: antagonistic architecture can corrode trust and fuel hostility. Kabul just might be a laboratory of toxic urbanity."
posted by homunculus on Dec 5, 2008 - 20 comments

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