The Little Albert Experiment: The Perverse 1920 Study That Made a Baby Afraid of Santa Claus & Bunnies

≡ Category: History, Psychology, Science |Leave a Comment

The field of psychology is very different than it used to be. Nowadays, the American Psychological Association has a code of conduct for experiments that ensures a subject’s confidentiality, consent and general mental well being. In the old days, it wasn’t the case.

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We Are Wired to Be Kind: How Evolution Gave Us Empathy, Compassion & Gratitude

≡ Category: Psychology |1 Comment

Empathy, compassion and gratitude — these traits don’t usually spring to mind when you think about Darwinism and natural selection. No, your mind more immediately drifts toward anti-social characteristics like competition, survival of the fittest, and selfishness (as in the “selfish gene”).

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John Cleese on How “Stupid People Have No Idea How Stupid They Are” (a.k.a. the Dunning-Kruger Effect)

≡ Category: Psychology |8 Comments

I often say that, if you want to vastly overestimate your own capabilities, you need only do one of two things: (a) get coked out of your mind, or (b) get behind the wheel of a car.

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Why You Do Your Best Thinking In The Shower: Creativity & the “Incubation Period”

≡ Category: Creativity, Psychology |5 Comments

“The great Tao fades away.”
So begins one translation of the Tao Te Ching’s 18th Chapter. The sentence captures the frustration that comes with a lost epiphany.

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Are You a Psychopath? Take the Test (And, If You Fail, It’s Not All Bad News)

≡ Category: Psychology |2 Comments

We’ve all heard the old philosophical scenario known as the trolley problem: as the runaway vehicle of the name careens out of control toward the edge of a cliff, you must choose whether to pull the lever to switch it to another track.

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Sigmund Freud Writes to Concerned Mother: “Homosexuality is Nothing to Be Ashamed Of” (1935)

≡ Category: Letters, Psychology |Leave a Comment

Hank Green, hosting his Crash Course on Psychology, put it best: when we think of the study of the mind, we think of an old, bespectacled bearded man puffing on a pipe. We think, in other words, of Sigmund Freud, whether we know anything about him or not.

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A Crash Course on Psychology: A 30-Part Video Series from Hank Green

≡ Category: Psychology |Leave a Comment

Novelist, educator, and vlogger John Green has drawn a lot of press lately, including but not limited to a New Yorker profile by Margaret Talbot, in the wake of the film version of his popular young-adult novel The Fault in Our Stars.

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Salvador Dalí Creates a Chilling Anti-Venereal Disease Poster During World War II

≡ Category: Art, History, Life, Psychology |2 Comments

As a New York City subway rider, I am constantly exposed to public health posters. More often than not these feature a photo of a wholesome-looking teen whose sober expression is meant to convey hindsight regret at having taken up drugs, dropped out of school, or foregone condoms. They’re well intended, but boring.

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The Art of Structured Procrastination

≡ Category: Life, Philosophy, Psychology |3 Comments

If you’re one of our philosophically-minded readers, you’re perhaps already familiar with Stanford professor John Perry. He’s one of the two hosts of the Philosophy Talk radio show that airs on dozens of public radio stations across the US. (Listen to a recent show here.) Perry has the rare ability to bring philosophy down to earth.

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Steven Pinker Uses Theories from Evolutionary Biology to Explain Why Academic Writing is So Bad

≡ Category: Education, English Language, Harvard, Psychology |1 Comment

I don’t know about other disciplines, but academic writing in the humanities has become notorious for its jargon-laden wordiness, tangled constructions, and seemingly deliberate vagary and obscurity.

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