Tag Archives | Psychology

An Odder Science

Laboratory specimens for Morgellons Research. Photo by Nicole Lupardus

Laboratory specimens for Morgellons Research. Photo by Nicole Lupardus

This article was originally published on This Land Press.

I pulled up behind Dr. Randy Wymore’s pickup right as he pulled up in front of Sidney Presley’s house.

“Sorry I don’t look like a journalist,” I apologized, explaining I’d smeared bike grease on the button-up I’d laid out for the evening.

“Oh, that’s okay,” Wymore half-laughed. “Do you think I look like a scientist?” In slim-fit denim jeans, a sleeve-rolled dress shirt, and pierced ears, the shaggy-headed doctor wasn’t advertising his occupation. “I’ve been growing my hair out for a while,” he said as we walked up the cobbled path. “I’m going as Woody Harrelson’s character from The Hunger Games this weekend.”

Tall, twisting, dark trees lined both sides of the walkway, their leaves the color of the ripe jack-o-lanterns dotting the neighborhood. The front door of the broad, two-story home opened just up the trail from us.… Read the rest

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White Fragility

Georgie Pauwels (CC BY 2.0)

Georgie Pauwels (CC BY 2.0)

Robin DiAngelo writes at the Good Men Project:

I am white. I have spent years studying what it means to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet is deeply divided by race. This is what I have learned: Any white person living in the United States will develop opinions about race simply by swimming in the water of our culture. But mainstream sources—schools, textbooks, media—don’t provide us with the multiple perspectives we need.

Yes, we will develop strong emotionally laden opinions, but they will not be informed opinions. Our socialization renders us racially illiterate. When you add a lack of humility to that illiteracy (because we don’t know what we don’t know), you get the break-down we so often see when trying to engage white people in meaningful conversations about race.

Mainstream dictionary definitions reduce racism to individual racial prejudice and the intentional actions that result.

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Because there’s a convention for everything: Ouijacon 2015

You’ve been to the Renaissance Fair(e), Comic Con, assorted and sundry Fandom Conventions, the Psychic Festival (hey, nice Aura!), Bill Goodman’s Gun n’ Knife/Huntin’ n’ Killin’ Show, seen Hot Rods and Lowriders… even Bronies vs. Furries.

There’s nothing new under the sun, you say. You’ve seen it all. Been there, done that.

Not so fast, Smuggy Buggy!

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Yes Yes Yo and You Don’t Stop.

Welcome to the first spiritualist convention based around that Mysterious Occult Device which has a unique place in modern culture…and the games aisle at Toys R Us: The Ouija Board.

Fundamentalist Christians hate and fear it, skeptics sneer at it, horror movie producers have done it to death and Occultists, well, depends on who you talk to.

Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay it would seem and the much maligned Talking Board is about to celebrate a major milestone: the 125th anniversary of its creation, in the city where it all started, Baltimore, Maryland.… Read the rest

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The Truth about Lying

Tristan Schmurr (CC BY 2.0)

Tristan Schmurr (CC BY 2.0)

John Turri writes at Experimental Philosophy:

Lying is an important social and moral category. We react negatively to liars and their lies. But what is it to lie? The standard view in philosophy and social science is that a lie is a dishonest assertion. This view goes all the way back to at least the 4th century, when Augustine wrote, “He may say a true thing and yet lie, if he thinks it to be false and utters it for true.” On this view, lying is a purely psychological act: it does not require your assertion to be objectively false, only that you believe it is false.

About two years ago, my son Angelo came across an expression of the standard view of lying. He wondered whether it fit the ordinary concept of lying. (You might be able to imagine the sort of dinnertime conversations that could lead a twelve-year-old to become curious on this point.) In particular, Angelo was interested in whether, on the ordinary view, lying was a purely psychological act.

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Hal Hefner’s “They Live” Inspired “Consume” Series

Artist and storyteller Hal Hefner has created a gorgeous series of poster style art pieces called “Consume” inspired by the 1988 John Carpenter film “They Live,” which, as each commercial break passes, seems to be more of a prescient (and depressingly accurate) warning of the totalitarian conformist consumer dystopia to come, much in the vein of “Network” or “1984,” than some mere sci-fi, space, alien slugfest starring wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper and a host of everyman character actors.

Channeling pop culture icons, ad campaigns that have been scratched into the surface of all of our brains by endless repetition, the aforementioned alien overlords and graffiti artist gone good Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, Hefner has given us each a pair of those special sunglasses that we can’t just take off and ignore anymore.

Static Hopelessness or Hope and Change we can actually Believe in?

BUY MORE STUFF. BE HAPPY. YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT.… Read the rest

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A Tale of Psychological Weed Addiction

How I feel. Photo via Flickr user Rachel Baranow

How I feel. Photo via Flickr user Rachel Baranow

Kitty Gray writes about her weed addiction and what lead her to quit over at Vice.

via Vice:

For the past six years or so, I’ve started my day with the same mantra. I peel my eyes open after an extended battle with the snooze button and pledge, “I’m not going to smoke weed this morning.” The mantra is usually followed by a heartfelt promise to myself that I will spend my day writing, as opposed to floating through the world in a weed haze.

I repeat the mantra steadily as I drag my ass out of bed and over to the staple white Ikea shelf that houses my dearest treasures. A black-and-gold witch medallion that belonged to my grandmother hangs there. A small bejeweled elephant perches on top of the shelf—my best friend acquired him for me during her travels. He has a secret compartment, and housed within is a piece of red jade.

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Study: Internet Searches Causing Us to Think We’re Smarter Than We Really Are

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Andrew Moran via Career Addict:

The next time you perform a web search on Google or Yahoo be sure to remember that you’re not actually as smart as you think you are. Internet searches are convincing us that we’re smarter than we are, says a new study by Yale University psychologists.

According to the latest study, surfing the Internet for various tidbits of information gives people the false impression, or “widely inaccurate view,” that they’re intelligent. The experts warn this could generate over-confidence and a false sense of self-esteem, which could then lead to the bad decisions down the line.

The Google Generation

Researchers came to this conclusion when they performed a series of experiments on study participants. More than 1,000 students had taken part in the research study. In one test, an Internet group had been provided with a link to a website that explains “how does a zip work?” and the other group was given a print-out sheet with the same information.

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Lori Nelson: Are You There, God? It’s Me, Monster.

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Are You There, God? It’s Me, Monster, 2015 Oil on wood with resin finish 20 x 20 in.

Credere Volo (I Want to Believe)

In my current series, Credere Volo (I Want to Believe), the imagery recalls the almost fetishistic religious works from the past of beautiful young children with rapturous gazes in the throes of fervent supplication.

This is the sort art that fascinated me as a Mormon child growing up in a religious -and somewhat artless- household. I would find the reproductions of devotional art and photography in the family Bible and other religious texts, and gaze into them, falling into them hard. Such beauties! These wonderful children were appealing to me for their purity while all the time also being shame-inducing because I knew I would never believe so fully and gorgeously.

Searching, I could not leave them alone. I would return to them over and over, pleasing my parents with an apparent interest in the Word.… Read the rest

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Chilean artist Cecilia Avendaño’s strange and evocative portraits

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Cecilia Avendaño Bobillier. Santiago, Chile 1980.

Cecilia Avendaño Bobillier graduated from University of Chile where she studied visual arts and photography. Cecilia began exhibiting her work in 2002, participating in numerous group exhibitions in Chile and abroad. She’s participated in outstanding one person shows including Sala Cero at Animal Gallery, National Museum of Fine Arts, as well as BAC! Festival in Barcelona’s MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Chile, Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires Argentina. Her most recent work includes digital post production operations on photography where she composes images that become portraits, but operates with different concepts related to identity construction. She has been selected twice for the National Fund FONDART, plus obtaining the second place in the art contest “Artists of the XXI Century” organized by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and Banco Santander. She currently lives and works in Santiago, Chile.

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Portrait by Tomas Eyzaguirre

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EMERGE / CECILIA AVENDAÑO.Read the rest

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Psychopaths and Moral Blame: Empirical and Philosophical Issues

Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions

They are glib and superficially charming. They have a grandiose sense of self worth. They are often pathological liars and routinely engage in acts of cunning and manipulation. If they do something wrong, they are without remorse. Their emotional responses are typically shallow, and they commonly display a high degree of callousness and a lack of empathy. They are impulsive, irresponsible, parasitic and promiscuous. Some of them torture cats. Who are they? Psychopaths, of course.

Psychopaths fascinate the public. Although they are relatively uncommon within the general population, they are often overrepresented in prison populations, and are more likely to be responsible for the most heinous violent crimes, such as repeated acts of predatory violence and serial killings. They are also said to be overrepresented in the upper echelons of corporate and political life. If nothing else is true, they appear to have a significant impact on social life.… Read the rest

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