The Ideological Animal. We think our political stance is the product of reason, but we're easily manipulated and surprisingly malleable. Our essential political self is more a stew of childhood temperament, education, and fear of death. Call it the 9/11 effect.
Or the Metafilter effect. [ducks]
posted by gottabefunky
on Jan 9, 2007 -
this body is a prison
(google video link)
Go behind the scenes of media coverage of the West Bank and enter a world where terror is a daily reality. Against the backdrop of this politically tumultuous environment there emerges a deeply layered story of a nation fractured by walls both physical and internalized.
Professor of Psychology Khalil Issa discusses the existential dilemmas faced by Palestinian youth as they attempt to develop a sense of self in a land carved by war.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht
on Nov 30, 2006 -
...Objectives This double-blind study evaluated the acute and longer-term psychological effects of a high dose of psilocybin relative to a comparison compound administered under comfortable, supportive conditions...Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance
posted by y2karl
on Oct 16, 2006 -
Results Psilocybin produced a range of acute perceptual changes, subjective experiences, and labile moods including anxiety. Psilocybin also increased measures of mystical experience. At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers.
Conclusions When administered under supportive conditions, psilocybin occasioned experiences similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences. The ability to occasion such experiences prospectively will allow rigorous scientific investigations of their causes and consequences.
The Human Speechome Project
- "A baby is to be monitored
by a network of microphones and video cameras for 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, in an effort to unravel the seemingly miraculous process by which children acquire language.". Selected video clips
(PDF, 750KB). To test hypotheses of how children learn, Prof Deb Roy's team at MIT will develop machine learning systems that “step into the shoes” of his son by processing the sights and sounds of three years of life at home. Total storage required: 1.4 petabytes
posted by Gyan
on Jul 23, 2006 -
finds that the human brain registers the avoidance of an anticipated punishment in pretty much the same way as it registers a reward. (See this link
for a less technical discussion of the research.) Do these findings suggest that the use of punishment as a deterrent to undesirable behavior in effect actually motivates the undesirable behavior (as opposed to the use of negative reinforcement, or in other words, the withholding of reward)? Do punishment-oriented models of socialization/behaviorial conditioning actually encourage cheating, by in effect selecting for better cheaters?
posted by saulgoodman
on Jul 12, 2006 -
Suppose you were like this guy
and you had devoted nearly a decade of your life to figuring out how to make oil from turkey gizzards. Now suppose this guy
and a bunch of pencil-pushers like these guys
came along and started challenging the long-term viability of carbon-based fuels (whether of the freshly-squeezed variety or not). For sake of argument, suppose they were right. How reluctant do you suppose you'd be to admit it, even to yourself?
posted by saulgoodman
on Jul 10, 2006 -
Graduates of the "school of hard knocks" flunk real life.
A study from the University of Leicester says that, contrary to popular expectation, unpleasant and traumatic life experiences don't make people suspicious and shrewd -- quite the opposite.
Many people who've had a tough life actually turn out more gullible and easily swayed:
"This is because the person may have learned to distrust their actions, judgments and decisions due to the fact that the majority of the time their actions have been perceived to invite negative consequences"
The counter-intuitiveness of this finding fascinates me.
Wait. Maybe I shouldn't be taking it at face value...
posted by AmbroseChapel
on May 27, 2006 -
The Magical Number Seven
Psychologist George A. Miller on the human limits for processing and remembering data. It is a little dramatic to watch a person memorize 40 binary digits in a row without error.
posted by Lanark
on May 10, 2006 -
Everyone in the blue
and the green
loves David Burns
His landmark (and most often recommended) book, "Feeling Good" is available in Small
, and you can even Supersize
it, complete with exercises, questionnaires and expanded section on medications for depression.
"Feeling Good" is a great book, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
is good for lots of stuff besides depression
Like dating, relationship or shyness issues. Solutions that do not involve John Gray
, Dr. Phil
, Dr. Laura
, or heck, even the song "Doctor Doctor"
from the Thompson Twins.
No worries, because Dr. Burns has a book for that too
, and it rocks. It will get you off the couch, and get you out
and smooching in no time.
There are others out there
also working with CBT to help you make your life all it can be.
posted by willmize
on Mar 21, 2006 -
The Johari Window
was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingram in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness. By describing yourself from a fixed list of adjectives, then asking your friends and colleagues to describe you from the same list, a grid of overlap and difference can be built up. To start, pick the five or six words that you feel best describe you. Your results will be saved, under a name of your choosing, so that you can send your friends and colleagues directly to your Window.
posted by airguitar
on Feb 15, 2006 -
humans are dumber than chimps. These guys
show (at the NY Times level) that human kids will over-imitate every ritualized nuance modeled for them, whereas chimp kids just wanna get the damn cookie out of the box. Their website also describes more
of their studies.
posted by Eothele
on Dec 13, 2005 -
Having sweated over the origins of the universe and split the atom, academics have finally tackled the question that has perplexed mankind since the dawn of time: what are the best chat-up lines?
A study from psychologists at the University of Edinburgh
tested 205 people for reactions to 40 vignettes of a woman approached by a man using "verbal signals of genetic quality" in different categories
, and found the best rated approaches to be those revealing character qualities, wealth and culture, although the puzzling winning line proved a flop in real life tests. Unsurprisingly, a direct request for sex received a low score. Previous findings by the Japanese proved equally dubious
. But there's still hope, as the code seems to have been cracked in Dublin, where since last year "there is definitely more pulling"
. The secret? A smoking ban, a lot of crowded pubs, and "smirting"
, an unexpected side effect of the health measure.
posted by funambulist
on Nov 6, 2005 -
Why do we always seem to expect the worst from some people?
By now, it's common knowledge that media reports of widespread looting, violence and sexual assault in the wake of Katrina's strike on New Orleans were grossly exaggerated, but why? Some might attribute such distortions to unconscious bias
, offering up some hope of alleviating racial tension by bringing unexamined racial biases to light; still others see the problem of racial tension as an intractable one, leading inevitably to an all-out clash of cultures--even finding "evidence" of the inevitably of such a conflict in the unlikeliest of places.
Still others seem especially eager
to bring all these tensions to a head. What's really going on these days? Is racial tension ultimately a political problem or, as some suggest, a psychological one
posted by all-seeing eye dog
on Oct 21, 2005 -
"Without any particular training or background, this patient, just prior to his enlistment, enthusiastically embarked upon the writing of novels. He sees nothing unusual in this activity
." Who was the patient? A 21-year-old seaman named Jack Kerouac
, who would become the author of On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Dr. Sax, Visions of Cody
and many other great novels that you should be reading instead of these gaddam websites. (The diagnosis from the Navy doctors, "schizoid personality," earned Kerouac a discharge.) A hilarious and poignant find from The Smoking Gun
posted by digaman
on Oct 2, 2005 -
The New York Times is offering Katrina reporters trauma counselling.
Reporters covering warzones in Iraq, Chechnya and the Sudan were not offered near-mandatory trauma counselling by the newspaper of record.
Journalists in Lousiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast were.
"In fact, the circumstances were so shocking to reporters that according to one staff member, The New York Times e-mailed information about dealing with trauma to reporters in the field, outlining warning signs; employee-assistance counselors also placed calls to reporters."
posted by huskerdont
on Sep 7, 2005 -
"Almost half the children committed one or more of these mistakes. They attempted with apparent seriousness to perform the same actions with the miniature items that they had with the large ones. Some sat down on the little chair: they walked up to it, turned around, bent their knees and lowered themselves onto it. Some simply perched on top, others sat down so hard that the chair skittered out from under them. Some children sat on the miniature slide and tried to ride down it, usually falling off in the process; others attempted to climb the steps, causing the slide to tip over.
(With the chair and slide made of sturdy plastic and only about five inches tall, the toddlers faced no danger of hurting themselves.)"
posted by Tlogmer
on Aug 18, 2005 -