psychology

We may recall that Socrates and Plato maintained that in a sense the good person is necessarily happy, whereas Aristotle, holding a more realistic and commonsensical view, acknowledged the possibility that even the most virtuous person can be unhappy due to various misfortunes, i.e., virtue fails to guarantee happiness

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According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, negative feelings are rising around the world—and the United States is particularly hard hit with an “epidemic of addictions.” Tellingly, the report also shows a widening happiness gap, with some people reporting much more well-being and others showing much less within each country. […]

Negative feelings—worry, sadness, and anger—have been rising around the world, up by 27 percent from 2010 to 2018. […]

“The U.S. is suffering an epidemic of addictions.” This includes an addiction to technology, which researcher Jean Twenge largely blames for the worrying mental health trends among U.S. adolescents. In her chapter of the report, she argues that screen time is displacing activities that are key to our happiness, like in-person social contact. Forty-five percent of adolescents are online “almost constantly,” and the average high school senior spends six hours a day texting, on social media or on the internet.

But we’re hooked on more than just technology. According to researcher Steve Sussman, around half of Americans suffer from at least one addiction. Some of the most prevalent are alcohol, food, and work—which each affect around 10 percent of adults—as well as drugs, gambling, exercise, shopping, and sex.

There’s another possible explanation for unhappiness, though: Governments are losing their way. […] According to survey results since 2005, people across the globe are more satisfied with life when their governments are more effective, enforce the rule of law, have better regulation, control corruption, and spend in certain ways—more on health care and less on military.

{ Yes | Continue reading }

is there a role for interoception in self-other distinction?

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In this study, we examine whether perceived loneliness is greater among the Baby Boomers—individuals born 1948–1965—relative to those born 1920–1947, and whether older adults have become lonelier over the past decade (2005–2016). […]

Overall, loneliness decreases with age through the early 70s, after which it increases. We find no evidence that loneliness is substantially higher among the Baby Boomers or that it has increased over the past decade.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

quote { Going at the heart of social cognition: is there a role for interoception in self-other distinction? }

Wanna short synthetic credit volatility?

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Software from Amenity Analytics promises to automate this process by spotting when chief executive officers try to duck tough questions. The software, its makers say, can even pick up on the signs of potential deception that CIA and FBI interrogators look for—including stalling and the use of qualifiers—and can gauge the sentiment of what is said on calls and reported in public filings, issuing a positive or negative numeric score. The goal is to make it easier for investors to wade through information and quickly make trading decisions.

{ Bloomberg Businessweek | Continue reading }

previously { Former CIA Officer Will Teach You How to Spot a Lie }

photo { Laurie Simmons, Blonde/Pink Dress/Standing Corner, 2014 }

The ball is round, the game is long

Two alternative hypotheses have been proposed to explain why grunting in tennis may impede opponents’ predictions, referred to as the distraction account (i.e., grunts capture attentional resources necessary for anticipation) and the multisensory integration account (i.e., auditory information from the grunt systematically influences ball trajectory prediction typically assumed to rely on visual information). […]

our findings provide strong support for the multisensory integration account by demonstrating that grunt intensity systematically influences judgments of ball trajectory.

{ PLoS One | Continue reading }

In order for a proposition to be true (or false) it must have a sense; a nonsensical proposition can be neither true nor false.

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a team of psychology researchers began to challenge his ideas using a technique called “paradoxical thinking.” The premise is simple: Instead of presenting evidence that contradicts someone’s deeply held views, a psychologist agrees with the participant, then takes their views further, stretching their arguments to absurdity. This causes the participant to pause, reconsider, and reframe their own beliefs.

{ Quartz | Continue reading }

acrylic and oil stick on plywood { Jean-Michel Basquiat, Now’s the Time, 1985 }

Structural color in Junonia butterflies evolves by tuning scale lamina thickness

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We have scientifically studied magic tricks to explore the human mind. For example, we use cutting-edge eye-tracking technologies to investigate how magicians misdirect our attention, and this work informs us about why people fail to see things right in front of their eyes. […] Magic works because we are typically unaware of our mind’s limitations, and most magic techniques rely on exploiting these surprising cognitive biases and limitations. Magicians don’t simply manipulate what you perceive – they manipulate your false beliefs about how much you can perceive.

{ The Psychologist | Continue reading }

related { we report a series of studies investigating the “paranormal potential” of magic performances }

who’s that peeping in my window, wow, the Feds on me now

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Paranoia is the most common symptom of psychosis, but paranoid concerns occur throughout the general population. […]

We suggest that paranoia should not solely be viewed as a pathological symptom of a mental disorder but also as a part of a normally-functioning human psychology.

{ Nature Human Behaviour | Continue reading | PDF }

screenprint on Perspex { Bridget Riley, Untitled [Fragment 5/8], 1965 }

But she caught me on the counter (It wasn’t me)

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many people will reject their own arguments – if they’re tricked into thinking that other people proposed them.

{ Neuroskeptic | Continue reading }

set of 10 woodcuts in ultramarine blue, on Okawara paper { Donald Judd, Untitled, 1988 }

Change my name in NY, they don’t know where I be

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The first cluster, or factor, of psychopathy is Fearless Dominance, which is characterized by social and physical boldness, adventurousness, and immunity to stress. The second factor of psychopathy is Self-Centered Impulsivity, which is is characterized by a narcissistic, callous and impulsive lifestyle and a willingness to take advantage of others without experiencing guilt. Note that those who score high in psychopathy tend to score high on both factors. In fact, if you just score high in Fearless Dominance, that might be an indication of a healthy personality! It’s the combination of these traits in a single package that makes it psychopathy. […]

In general, people did not find psychopathic characteristics particularly attractive for any form of relationship — whether it was a date, a short-term relationship, or a long-term relationship. […]

[T]hose with higher levels of psychopathic characteristics were more attracted to those with psychopathic characteristics. […] It wasn’t just psychopathy that predicted attraction to psychopathy. Many personality disorder features– such as histronic, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, schizotypal, passive-aggressive, self-defeating, antisocial, paranoid, borderline, avoidant, dependent, and sadistic features– were correlated with a preference for psychopathic characteristics.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

formica and industrial paint on wood { Lygia Clark, Planes in Modulated Surface 4, 1957 }

‘Ne nous prenons pas au sérieux, il n’y aura aucun survivant.’ –Alphonse Allais

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Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70 percent of personal happiness.

{ Murray & Peacock, A model-free approach to the study of subjective well-being, 1996 }

related {  Having Poor Quality Relationships Is Associated With Greater Distress Than Having Too Few }

photo { Janice Guy }

I’ll take a rusty nail, and scratch your initials in my arm

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Leveraging popular social networking sites, individuals undertake certain forms of behavior to attract as many likes and followers as they can. One platform that symbolizes people’s love for strategic self-presentation to the utmost degree is Instagram. […]

Narcissism is characterized by grandiose exhibition of one’s beauty and pursuit of others’ admiration. Posting selfies/groupies is associated with narcissism and need for popularity. […]

Instagram selfies and groupies symbolize social media users’ public display of narcissism. From an evolutionary psychological perspective on the renovated hierarchy of fundamental human motives and needs, this study examined the interaction effects of Instagram photo types (selfies, group selfies, long-shot photos taken by others, and neutral photos) and Instagram peer viewers’ individual difference factors (intrasexual competition [ISC] for mates, need for popularity [NfP], loneliness, and need to belong [NtB]) on intersexual attraction. […]

The findings confirmed the assumption that a potential mate who posts selfies and groupies is perceived by opposite-sex viewers to be more narcissistic compared to a potential mate who posts neutral photos.

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Thierry Mugler, Monster Show, Elle US, November 1991 }

This is very surprising and it is a really bad news for CoCos, specially for those that have low coupon for the first call

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Revising things makes people think they are better, absent objective improvement. We refer to this phenomenon as the revision bias. […]

We propose that the fact that revisions typically are intended to be improvements over their originals gives rise to an overgeneralized heuristic that revisions necessarily are improvements over their originals. Yet, as any author responding to editorial reviews knows, not every revision turns out better than before. […]

Things that are objectively unchanged (or even made worse) in the revision process may nonetheless be adopted, so long as observers believe they possess a “revised” version.

{ Harvard Business School | PDF }

images { Sculpture by Yoan Capote | Barbara Kruger-annotated photo of Eliot Spitzer for New York magazine, 2008 }