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October 10, 2015
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Miss Anne in Harlem

Carla Kaplan



Peter H. Diamandis (Author), Steven Kotler (Author)

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Tag: Psychology

64% of Psychology Experiments Fail Replication Test

An international team of experts found that of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, the results of just 25 percent of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies could be replicated in independent trials.

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 READ MORE

How Too Much Electronic Screen Time Is Making Kids ‘Moody, Crazy and Lazy’

Excessive use of electronic devices by children can lead to serious physiological dysfunction, according to a child psychiatrist who argues for an “electronic fast.”

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 READ MORE

Your Boss Wants You to Be Happy. This Might Not Be a Good Thing.

In “The Happiness Industry,” English sociologist and economist William Davies examines the nefarious effects of the “science and measurement” practices that some bosses are using to influence their employees’ sense of happiness.

Posted on Jun 12, 2015 READ MORE

‘Human Experimentation Was a Core Feature of the CIA Torture Program’

If journalists and officials began talking about the tests that CIA psychologists conducted on suspected terrorists at U.S. black sites, would Americans demand the prosecution of those responsible?

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE

Preferences for High Masculinity and Femininity May Be Peculiar to Modern Societies

A new survey of 12 populations around the world challenges the commonly held assumption that human beings naturally prefer highly masculine men and highly feminine women.

Posted on Dec 7, 2014 READ MORE

Truthdigger of the Week: Paul Verhaeghe

The Belgian psychotherapist’s new book considers the impact of 30 years of neoliberal economics on the development of personal identity and cultural character in the West.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE

Melville, Capitalism and Slavery

A new history of the events behind Herman Melville’s 1855 novella “Benito Cereno” takes up the question of how slavery shaped the “psychic and imaginative” dimensions of contemporary capitalism, rather than merely the “social or financial” aspects.

Posted on Aug 3, 2014 READ MORE

Don’t Try to Cheer Me Up, Man

“Those with low self-esteem actually reject the so-called ‘positive reframing,’ or expressions of optimism and encouragement, most of us offer to them,” Dr. Denise Marigold, the lead author of a study into the issue, told

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE

Why Boarding Schools Produce Bad Leaders

Psychotherapist Nick Duffell spent 25 years treating boarding school graduates. He talks about how their upbringing in elite, authoritarian environments cut off from their families make them the poor public servants we observe in British politics today.

Posted on Jun 14, 2014 READ MORE


Posted on Feb 2, 2014 READ MORE

gabork (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Americans Need More Downtime—Seriously

Napping, meditating, anything that gives your mind a bit of respite from the ever-quickening rat race of modern day life are essential to allow your brain to recover. And here’s the kicker (which we all pretty much already know but haven’t quite put into practice): Downtime increases productivity.

Posted on Oct 17, 2013 READ MORE

DeathByBokeh (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Poverty Damages the Mind

There is a strong connection between scarce resources and cognition: The more a person struggles financially, the less he or she can channel brain processes to completing other tasks. When you can’t make ends meet, the weight of worry occupies a large portion of the mind.

Posted on Aug 31, 2013 READ MORE

Images_of_Money (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How Wealth Breeds Narcissism

Though it may already seem obvious that richer people are generally more entitled than poorer ones, a new study reveals there’s psychological evidence to support this assessment.

Posted on Aug 26, 2013 READ MORE

jcdeep08 (CC BY 2.0)

British Psychologists Find Fault With DSM-V

England’s Division of Clinical Psychology, which represents more than 10,000 practitioners, has criticized the latest edition of the field’s leading diagnostic manual for its categorizing of normal behaviors—such as shyness in children and depression after the death of a loved one—as medical problems treatable with drugs.

Posted on May 16, 2013 READ MORE

Republicans Trying to Change

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 READ MORE

smoothdude (CC BY 2.0)

Psychopaths Are Loose on Wall Street (Updated)

One percent of the adult human population qualifies as clinically psychopathic, exhibiting a lack of empathy and a knack for telling lies and getting away with it. That compares with 10 percent of wheeler-dealers on Wall Street, according to a recent study. American critic William Deresiewicz is not surprised. Update: The 1-in-10 figure is unsupported. See here.

Posted on May 14, 2012 READ MORE

Psychological Problems

Posted on Mar 31, 2012 READ MORE

Jon Olav (CC-BY)

Why They Won’t Listen

Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, believes intuition—not reason—guides people’s behavior, and with his new book, “The Righteous Mind,” he wants to teach you how to better sell your politics.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 READ MORE

Flickr / nasa hq photo

The Long Arc of Obama’s Presidency

There are plenty of reasons to shout about Barack Obama’s performance as president, and sharp, strident indictments of his White House failures are in abundant supply. But for those whose ears are ringing, Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen’s gentle dismantling ... (more)

Posted on Aug 7, 2011 READ MORE

Another Failed War

The “war on drugs” is failing; a teen in China sells his kidney for an iPad 2; and “Sesame Street” admits to spreading propaganda. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jun 5, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Jason DeCrow

On Revenge and Jubilation

President Barack Obama’s gesture of closure at Ground Zero on Thursday was a formal and serious show of mourning—quite a contrast from the gleeful outbursts and street parties around the country earlier in the week.

Posted on May 5, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr/Cyn74 (CC-BY)

Studies in Self-Compassion

“No pain, no gain” may have its limits as a personal mantra, according to researchers exploring the idea of self-compassion as a motivating attitude for everything from mood regulation to fitness and weight control—in other words, less stick, more carrot.

Posted on Mar 2, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Jorge Saenz

Freedom May Come With Challenges for Chilean Miners

The 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for two months were pulled out of their predicament one by one Wednesday, and hopefully their ordeal is truly over, but Chilean officials are giving them the option of leaning on expert help if adjusting to life above ground proves difficult.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010 READ MORE

IMDB / Warner Brothers

‘Inception’s’ Suicidal Tendencies

Christopher Nolan’s epic and ambitious new blockbuster is a fascinating, skillfully made brain twister that gives Philip K. Dick a run for his existential money. But at the core of Nolan’s film is a troubling idea that won’t go away. (Spoilers!)

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 READ MORE

Bright Sided

Carol Tavris on Barbara Ehrenreich’s Crusade

In her recent book, Barbara Ehrenreich takes on the excesses, delusions and unsupported promises of the positive-thinking movement, tracking both its naive and its corrupt manifestations in the worlds of health, business, religion and psychology.

Posted on Jun 4, 2010 READ MORE

Centers for Disease Control

Can Seeing an Illness Protect You From It?

Researchers in Canada showed young adults photos of obviously diseased people and found that the subjects’ immune systems were significantly more aggressive when later exposed to a glop of bacteria. Test subjects got a negligible boost from similarly upsetting, but not disease-y, images.

Posted on Apr 5, 2010 READ MORE

neon brain
Flickr / dierk schaefer

Where Neuroscience Meets Literature

How about a little cognitive psychology with your English literature? Professors who normally spend their time thinking about Virginia Woolf’s characters and story structures are taking a page from scientific texts to add a new dimension to their exploration of fiction.

Posted on Apr 1, 2010 READ MORE

Tiger Woods
U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess

Is Sex Addiction Just a (Convenient) Myth?

Here we go again: Just as the question was raised during the latter phase of the Bill Clinton era, Tiger Woods’ recently revealed indiscretions have prompted questions of whether there is such a thing as “sex addiction,” or whether it’s just code for “boys will be boys” ... until those boys get busted, that is.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE

mother and baby
Flickr / ECohen

Are We Wired for Compassion?

When the term human nature gets thrown around, it’s sometimes used in a derisive fashion, as if to boil all the complex motivations, biological drives and psychological quirks that comprise our makeup down to some simplistic, base formula. However, there are some who might cast the concept in a brighter light. ... (continued)

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE

woman with suitcase

Top Psychologists Analyze Themselves

Psychologists are people too, and they’re prone to having quirks and neuroses despite their extensive training on the various facets of the human psyche. The British Psychological Society prodded 23 top psychologists to fess up to their own curiosities and inconsistencies on the organization’s blog. Analyze away.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

Colbert and Pinsky

Psychology, Metaphors and You

Can you tell your metaphors from your synecdoches? These terms may trigger bad freshman English flashbacks, but at least when it comes to metaphors, they’re more important than you might think; in fact, they might just be intrinsic to how you think.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE


Hitler’s Delusions of Artistic Grandeur

It’s well known that Adolf Hitler dabbled in watercolor and that the Führer and his Nazi underlings amassed vast stashes of ill-begotten works of art, but according to art historian Birgit Schwarz, Hitler’s artistic streak ran deeper into the dark zones of his psyche than most people realize.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Mark Lennihan

Happiness Consultants Won’t Stop a Depression

Positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness, is a quack science that justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Not With a Bang but a Twitter

Can plugging into online social networks via Twitter or Facebook lead to some kind of computer-aided moral decline en masse? A study out of the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute seems to suggest that this may be an imminent side effect of living in information-overloaded societies.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Milgram Experiment Revisited

A new study mirroring the infamous 1963 Milgram experiment has suggested that humans will still follow authority’s beckon, even to the point of killing another person. The new report, timely considering the current debate around torture in the U.S., argues that it’s not that humans are bad, but that “a massive social influence [is] going on.”

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE

Easter Bunny

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 READ MORE    

A Torture Debate Among Healers

The American Psychological Association is in the midst of its own heated presidential campaign. The central issue is whether APA members should be banned from participating in “harsh interrogations.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE

Reverse Psychology

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE    

Psychologists in Denial About Torture

Last weekend, the American Psychological Association rejected a moratorium that would have prevented its member psychologists from participating in interrogations at U.S. detention centers at places like Guantanamo Bay and secret CIA “black sites” around the world.

Posted on Aug 21, 2007 READ MORE

Illustration by Karen Spector

Why We ‘Do It’

Granted, social science must always be consumed with caution. Still, papers about people’s sex lives are entertaining if not always illuminating. Here, we’ve taken the 10 most frequent reasons cited by participants of a sex study conducted by the University of Texas psych department in which people were asked to select motivations for having sex from a list of 237 choices. The choices ranged from “I realized I was in love” to “I was slumming.”

Posted on Jul 18, 2007 READ MORE

Hypocritical Oath: Psychologists and Torture

First, do no harm. This tenet of medicine applies equally to psychologists, yet they are increasingly implicated in abusive interrogations, dare we say torture, at U.S. military detention facilities like Guantanamo.

Posted on Jun 5, 2007 READ MORE

‘Mentally F’ed Up’ in Baghdad

In this episode of the outstanding Web documentary series “Hometown Baghdad,” Adel interviews his young brother and cousin, both of whom had just witnessed a gruesome killing. He is convinced the two young Iraqis already show signs of the psychological trauma that comes from growing up in a war zone.

Posted on Apr 13, 2007 READ MORE

Dan Gilbert

The Misguided Pursuit of Happiness

In this TED conference speech, Harvard super-psychologist Dan Gilbert explains why we humans are so notoriously bad at predicting what will make us happy. Fascinating stuff. Also: The TED page has a wealth of other great talks.

Posted on Jan 16, 2007 READ MORE

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