psychology

‘A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth.’ –Thomas Mann

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A disproportionate share of people choose spouses, places to live, and occupations with names similar to their own. These findings, interpreted as evidence of implicit egotism [the liking of things connected to the self], are now included in most modern social psychology textbooks and many university courses. […]

This paper re-evaluates evidence that seemed to show that implicit egotism can influence marriage, occupation, and moving decisions, finding that all existing evidence appears to be spurious.

{ NPR | Continue reading }

art { Lawren Harris, Mount Thule, Bylot Island, 1930 }

You don’t shoot down every fighter plane launched against you, you blow up the platform they’re being launched from

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Although genius has been defined in the dictionary as requiring an IQ above 140, this definition depends on an arbitrary methodological decision made by Lewis Terman for his longitudinal study of more than 1500 intellectually gifted children, a study that occupies four of the five volumes of Genetic Studies of Genius. […]

[T]he actual relation between IQ and genius is small and heavily contingent on domain-specific assessment, the operation of traits like persistence and openness to experience, and the impact of diversifying experiences, including both developmental adversity and subclinical psychopathology. Hence, the dictionary definition of “genius” has minimal, if any, justification.

{ Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Continue reading }

image { Details | PDF }

A mood comes neither from ‘outside’ nor from ‘inside,’ but arises out of Being-in-the-world, as a way of such being

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We present a case with excessive Internet use, with a particular focus on phenomenology and psychiatric comorbidities. Fifteen-year-old girl with childhood onset attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, adolescent onset trichotillomania, and disturbed family environment presented with excessive Facebook use. Main online activity was creating profiles in names of mainstream fictional characters and assuming their identity (background, linguistic attributes, etc.).

{ Journal of Behavioral Addictions | Continue reading }

art { thedatadrive.com }

related { After learning to identify with someone else’s face, do people think their appearance has changed? }

unrelated { Punk Parents Blame Child’s Terrible Taste in Music on Vaccinations | Thanks GG }

‘I experimented with marijuana a time or two and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale.’ —Bill Clinton

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Most of us think that friendship is a two-way street — but that’s true only half the time, according to research from Tel Aviv University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Their new joint study says only half of your friends would consider you their own friend. People have a very poor perception of friendship ties, and this limits their ability to influence their “friends,” according to the research, published in PLoS One on March 22, 2016.

If researchers can understand this limitation, companies and social groups that depend on social influence for collective action, information dissemination and product promotion could improve their strategies and interventions.

“It turns out that we’re very bad at judging who our friends are,” says Dr. Erez Shmueli, who conducted the study with Dr. Laura Radaelli, both of TAU’s Department of Industrial Engineering, in collaboration with Prof. Alex Pentland and Abdullah Almatouq of MIT. “And our difficulty determining the reciprocity of friendship significantly limits our ability to engage in cooperative arrangements.”

{ Tel Aviv University | Continue reading }

oil on canvas { Kei Imazu, Berlin 1943-1945, 2014 }

Cause we’re the party people night and day

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The Devil looks you in the eyes and offers you a bet. Pick a number and if you successfully guess the total he’ll roll on two dice you get to keep your soul. If any other number comes up, you go to burn in eternal hellfire.

You call “7” and the Devil rolls the dice.

A two and a four, so the total is 6 — that’s bad news.

But let’s not dwell on the incandescent pain of your infinite and inescapable future, let’s think about your choice immediately before the dice were rolled.

Did you make a mistake? Was choosing “7” an error?

In one sense, obviously yes. You should have chosen 6.

But in another important sense you made the right choice. There are more combinations of dice outcomes that add to 7 than to any other number. The chances of winning if you bet 7 are higher than for any other single number.

The distinction is between a particular choice which happens to be wrong, and a choice strategy which is actually as good as you can do in the circumstances. If we replace the Devil’s Wager with the situations the world presents you, and your choice of number with your actions in response, then we have a handle on what psychologists mean when they talk about “cognitive error” or “bias”.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

‘The trust in life is gone: life itself has become a problem. Yet one should not jump to the conclusion that this necessarily makes one gloomy. Even love of life is still possible, only one loves differently.’ —Nietzsche

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Stressful, busy days have been linked with increases in angry and withdrawn marital behavior. The process by which stressors in one domain, such as work, affect an individual’s behavior in another domain, such as the marital relationship, is known as spillover.

{ Journal of Family Psychology | Continue reading }

‘We have psychologized like the insane, who aggravate their madness in struggling to understand it.’ —Beaudelaire

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According to film mythology, the Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted an experiment in which he combined a close-up of an actor’s neutral face with three different emotional contexts: happiness, sadness, and hunger. The viewers of the three film sequences reportedly perceived the actor’s face as expressing an emotion congruent with the given context.

It is not clear, however, whether or not the so-called “Kuleshov effect” really exists. The original film footage is lost and recent attempts at replication have produced either conflicting or unreliable results.

The current paper describes an attempt to replicate Kuleshov’s original experiment using an improved experimental design. In a behavioral and eye tracking study, 36 participants were each presented with 24 film sequences of neutral faces across six emotional conditions. For each film sequence, the participants were asked to evaluate the emotion of the target person in terms of valence, arousal, and category. The participants’ eye movements were recorded throughout.

The results suggest that some sort of Kuleshov effect does in fact exist.

{ Perception | Continue reading }

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten

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[Researchers found that] when one is actively looking for an event with loose probabilistic and temporal expectancies on its occurrence, the awareness of otherwise unnoticed events improves.

This finding provides new insights on the attentional mechanisms behind the initial stages of serendipity.

{ Elsevier | Continue reading }

Excuse me but I need a mouth like yours

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Consuming alcohol, for example, really can make everyone else appear more physically attractive. […]

Also, playing hard-to-get almost never works. […]

Despite what many people think, opposites very rarely attract. In fact, decades of research has shown that attraction is most likely to be sparked when two people perceive themselves as being very similar to each other.

{ Quartz | Continue reading }

One world, ready or not

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Many situations in our lives require us to make relatively quick decisions as whether to approach or avoid a person or object, buy or pass on a product, or accept or reject an offer. These decisions are particularly difficult when there are both positive and negative aspects to the object. How do people go about navigating this conflict to come to a summary judgment? […]

We demonstrate […] that when positivity and negativity conflict, the valence that is based more on emotion is more likely to dominate.

{ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin | Continue reading }

‘Tu as été rêvée (ouïe) dans mon rêve sans l’avoir voulu. Mais cela ne t’autorise pas à y rêver à ton tour pour me déposséder encore. Je ne connais pas les soins pour que tu ne souffres plus. Le son, la musique sont partout.’ —Jean Palomba

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Researchers at Brigham Young University and Colorado State University have found that the noise your food makes while you’re eating can have a significant effect on how much food you eat.

The “Crunch Effect,” as they call it, suggests you’re likely to eat less if you’re more conscious of the sound your food makes while you’re eating. Therefore, watching loud TV or listening to loud music while eating can mask eating sounds that keep you in check.

To be clear, the researchers are not talking about the sizzle of bacon, the crack of crème brulee or popcorn popping. The effect comes from the sound of mastication: chewing, chomping, crunching.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

The mirror up to nature. (He laughs.) Hu hu hu hu hu hu.

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Organization members who engage in “moral objection” by taking a principled stand against ethically questionable activities help to prevent such activities from persisting. Unfortunately, research suggests that they also may be perceived as less warm (i.e., pleasant, nice) than members who comply with ethically questionable procedures.

{ Journal of Applied Psychology | Continue reading }