Who do you unconciously hate?
The Harvard University implicit bias tests
allow you to discover your own implicit stereotypes: age, gender, religion, race -- even politics and presidents. Each test takes about ten minutes, and the results are sometimes surprising. Perhaps announcing your biases should this be the equivalent of the geek code
for policy threads.
posted by blahblahblah
on Apr 2, 2005 -
"Eventually it could help economists design incentives that gently guide people toward making decisions that are in their long-term best interests
in everything from labor negotiations to diets to 401(k) plans." Note the ambiguous use of the pronoun "their"--are we talking about the long-term interests of people in general or of economists?
posted by all-seeing eye dog
on Mar 22, 2005 -
"An autopoietic system
is one organised to respond to the world. Prod it and it will react homeostatically, striving to reach a new accommodation that preserves its integrity. There is a global cohesion - a memory of what the system wants to be - that reaches down to organise the parts even while those parts may be adding up to produce the functioning whole."
posted by all-seeing eye dog
on Mar 17, 2005 -
Cognitive Daily reports nearly every day on fascinating peer-reviewed developments in cognition from the most respected scientists in the field.
posted by srboisvert
on Mar 11, 2005 -
SexID Some researchers say that men can have 'women's brains' and that women can think more like men.
Find out more about 'brain sex' differences by taking the Sex ID test, a groundbreaking experiment designed by a team of top psychologists:
posted by srboisvert
on Mar 8, 2005 -
'Yep, life'll burst that self-esteem bubble' says USA Today
This article can't seem to decide whether it wants to discuss Gen Xers or Millenials. And it quotes Neil Howe (Of The Fourth Turning) toward the end, about the characteristics of Millenials (people born after 1982).
What may be the most interesting aspect of this article is that the author seems uncomfortable speaking negatively about the millenials. The writer is hesitant to criticize the Millenials, and so she initially suggests that the cry babies finishing college who are now entering the workforce were born in the 70s and early 80s. Of course, if that were true, those recent college grads would be in their late twenties to mid-thirties.
And I particularly like that improved self esteem is bad because it leads to "enhanced initiative, which boosts confidence, and increased happiness."
posted by schambers
on Feb 16, 2005 -
Once, i had a secret
lovelife.... The urge to act out an entirely different persona is widely shared across cultures as well, social scientists say, and may be motivated by curiosity, mischief or earnest soul-searching. Certainly, it is a familiar tug in the breast of almost anyone who has stepped out of his or her daily life for a time, whether for vacation, for business or to live in another country.
On secret lives, for good and bad. We're in this too: "I think what people are doing on the Internet now," she said, "has deep psychological meaning in terms of how they're using identities to express problems and potentially solve them in what is a relatively consequence-free zone."
Yet out in the world, a consequence-rich zone, studies find that most people find it mentally exhausting to hold onto inflammatory secrets - much less lives - for long.
posted by amberglow
on Jan 11, 2005 -
The Ethics of Deep Self-Modification.
What will happen when machines gain the ability to modify their own psychology? Do we have a responsibility to step in? What happens when we have the ability to modify ourselves
? Philosopher Peter Suber
has dedicated himself to issues of self-modification... not just in psychology, but also in constitutional law
. Small wonder that this is the guy who invented Nomic
. His site is littered with great stuff; he now is primarily involved with the open access movement. Check out his open access primer
posted by painquale
on Jan 3, 2005 -
"Things just happen, he had decided;
they happen and they happen again, and anybody who tries to make sense out of it goes out of his mind."
For this reason, Tom Rath, the hero of Sloan Wilson's 1955 novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,
decides not to "make sense" of the the atrocities to which he bears witness during World War II. Instead, he accepts that war is in itself irrational, and that he must simply forget its horrors before returning to civilian life. This New Yorker article
contrasts Wilson's 1950's stoicism with today's veneration of the grieving process and suggests that this change in attitude has led us to vastly underestimate our own capacity for coping with trauma. The author also draws some interesting parallels with a controversial study
in which victims of childhood sexual abuse were found to be no more likely than others to suffer from mental health problems as adults. Intriguing stuff, to say the least, and as I read it, I can't help but think of Johnny Cash's "The Man Who Couldn't Cry"
(Note: Having thankfully never been subjected to war or sexual abuse myself, I am in no way attempting to demean the anguish of those who have. Rather, I'm more interested in the idea that people are stronger than they give themselves credit for, and how different upbringings affect our experience of trauma.)
posted by idontlikewords
on Dec 28, 2004 -
Predicting who'll benefit from anti-depressants
From the study's abstract: "There are well-replicated, independent lines of evidence supporting a role for corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in the pathophysiology of depression." The NY Times has a bit more readable explanation
(reg-free link) of a recent investigation of into whether there is a genetic explanation for why some people get more from their drugs than others.
posted by billsaysthis
on Dec 18, 2004 -
How often does the average person lie? First, it's important to point out that lying is normal, and more often spontaneous and unconscious than cynical and coldly analytical. Our minds and bodies secrete deceit. That said, Robert Feldman, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts, suggests that there are three lies for every ten minutes of conversation. I think that's plausible. And bear in mind that his research measured only the frequency of narrow, explicit, verbal lying. The real rate of deception, which includes our movements and expressions, must be considerably higher.
- David Livingstone Smith, author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind
, is a liar. And he explains why you are too. ( More Inside
posted by y2karl
on Nov 18, 2004 -
No pain, no gain, they say, and when it comes to real pain, the inverse is true as well
now have research indicating there's a memory of chronic pain,"
said Dr. Doris K. Cope, director of chronic and cancer pain for the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It changes the genic code
sometimes, it changes the biochemistry, and it causes new proteins to
Or in other words, the more pain you have, the more pain you have. (More on this
.) It's no wonder, then, that more money is spent on pain relief than any other medical problem, and that there has been so much pain research
and so many clinical trials
revealing such painful facts as redheads feel more pain
, men feel less pain
, and that there's a genetic difference
between tough guys and wimps. (Much more pain inside.)
posted by taz
on Sep 20, 2004 -
You stink, therefore I am.
Philosophers and psychologists have been studying
, and its proper place in the law. Leon Kass, the chairman of the president's council on bioethics
, cites "the wisdom of repugnance"
in arguing against cloning. More recently, Martha Nussbaum
has written a new book, "Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law,"
which rejects disgust as a moral guide. She has also written on the role of disgust in the mutilations of women in Gujarat
posted by homunculus
on Jul 17, 2004 -
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 -
The McCollough effect
is a visual illusion somewhat similar to regular color aftereffects, but the working mechanism is different, and despite a wealth of theories
, not entirely explained. Once the effect is established, it does not seem to go away and can last for days or even weeks. Proceed at your own risk.
posted by ikalliom
on Apr 10, 2004 -
Seven Deadly Sentiments
- Psychology Today explores seven "guilt-provoking, squirm-inducing, I'm-such-a-lousy-person thoughts... At worst, they remind us that we're not quite as nice as we'd like to believe we are. And at best, they may be able to help us understand the deeper reasons behind our wicked thoughts--and forgive ourselves our own trespasses." A long, but interesting read.
posted by Irontom
on Jan 12, 2004 -
Anger management therapy in prison.
Does it work? Is it ethical?
Prisoners who state "If I had had a better education, I would have a good job, and wouldn't need to commit crime"
have "distorted thinking"; and one prisoner claims therapy helped him premeditate an attack on an informer. Should prison therapy be effectively compulsory?
aims to find out what makes people happy.
posted by TheophileEscargot
on Nov 19, 2003 -
"All Things Considered" had a great piece on the anger management industry today and it's increasingly ubiquitous presence in many strata
of American society. This
is the most well known anger management company in the biz, while programs like this
promote less orthodox techniques of trumping stressors.
Had any network rage lately?
posted by moonbird
on Oct 28, 2003 -
Monkeys down tools
. - Demand fair pay for a fair day's work
" Researchers taught brown capuchin monkeys to swap tokens for food. Usually they were happy to exchange this "money" for cucumber.
But if they saw another monkey getting a grape - a more-liked food - they took offence. Some refused to work, others took the food and refused to eat it.
posted by Blue Stone
on Sep 22, 2003 -
The Futile Pursuit of Happiness.
''Things that happen to you or that you buy or own -- as much as you think they make a difference to your happiness, you're wrong by a certain amount. You're overestimating how much of a difference they make. None of them make the difference you think. And that's true of positive and negative events.''
posted by Tin Man
on Sep 5, 2003 -
Interview with Profiler Roy Hazelwood.
Enough to make you feel a little less safer, and to marvel at both the "the infinity of darkness," the depths of potential monstrosity, and the ability of some to understand broken minds and bent hearts. "'If I were to give you each a test, could you take it the way you think this offender would take it?' We said yes.... Both of us came out as paranoid schizophrenics. The psychiatrist was astounded. We sat there and tried to take the test as we thought the guy we had in mind would take the test. "
posted by namespan
on Aug 2, 2003 -
You are your record collection.
If you really want to get to know someone, try rummaging through their CD collection. "I don't think anyone who's really passionate about music just 'listens' to it. This research is positive confirmation of the fact that songs are emblematic of people's characters. I've always believed that people's musical taste says a lot about them. If you like Avril Lavigne, for example, you probably need to have your ears syringed."
posted by eyebeam
on Jul 11, 2003 -
- Does Frontier Psychology drive America in a direction that the rest of the world cannot comprehend? Roughly defined as "the effort on the part of Americans to come to grips with untamed elements of nature and, by taming them, to reorganize their society
" We see it everywhere, even in Buffy
. Europe appears to value stability over mobility and change, in opposition to America. Prof. Richard Slotkin
has written extensively about these concepts. An interiew with audio clips is here
Are America's recent domestic and international policy decisions attempts to tame "untamed elements" around it?
posted by Argyle
on Apr 30, 2003 -
...implants a device in his body that delivers agonizing pain at the push of a button, and over the course of many days attempts to wear him down through a disturbingly simple process of psychological warfare. He is seated in a chair with four bright lights shining in his face, and the captor attempts through painful coercion to make him say that there are, in fact, five lights. Every time he refuses to say there are five lights, he is drilled with pain. In essence, he is expected to deny the reality described by his own eyes, and surrender the will of his mind to the definition of reality offered by his captor. Four Lights, a thesis
posted by holloway
on Mar 31, 2003 -
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 -