Tag Archives | Psychology

The Hunting of the SNARC

In 2010, a group of scientists discovered that they could tell what random number a person was thinking from the movement of their eyes.

…But this might not work on people who have never learned to read, whose first language was Arabic, or who have recently looked at a clock.

This is all part of one of the strangest things ever seen in psychology – A phenomenon called The SNARC Effect.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Liberals Are More Emotion-Driven than Conservatives

dscn2877

Via ScienceDaily:

Emotions are powerful motivators of human behavior and attitudes. Emotions also play an important role in guiding policy support in conflict and other political contexts. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya have studied the interaction between emotion and political ideology, showing that the motivating power of emotions is not the same for those on different ends of the ideological spectrum. Their research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Design of the study

The researchers conducted six studies to examine emotions, ideology, and how they act together to affect support for policies. The first two studies focused on intergroup empathy, while the third study examined the interactive influence of ideology and despair on support for policies. Participants self-identified as being at different points of the right-left ideological spectrum.

Specific scenarios were selected for the six studies relating to current events in Israel, mainly surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and possible steps towards its resolution.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

What Architecture Is Doing to Your Brain

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. (Katie Brady/Flickr)

Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. (Katie Brady/Flickr)

via City Lab:

At a particular moment during every tour of Georgetown University’s campus, it becomes necessary for the student guide to acknowledge the singular blight in an otherwise idyllic environment.

“Lauinger Library was designed to be a modern abstraction of Healy Hall…,” a sentence that inevitably trails off with an apologetic shrug, inviting the crowd to arrive at their own conclusions about how well it turned out. Much of the student population would likely agree that the library’s menacing figure on the quad is nothing short of soul-crushing. New research conducted by a team of architects and neuroscientists suggests that architecture may indeed affect mental states, though they choose to focus on the positive.

I spoke with Dr. Julio Bermudez, the lead of a new study that uses fMRI to capture the effects of architecture on the brain. His team operates with the goal of using the scientific method to transform something opaque—the qualitative “phenomenologies of our built environment”—into neuroscientific observations that architects and city planners can deliberately design for.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Synchromusicology Pt. IV: Symphonic Sorcery, New Aeon Magic, and The Silence Between the Gnosis

“We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it a home.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.”

– Lao Tzu

 

Via Youtube:

Synchromusicology Pt. IV: Symphonic Sorcery, New Aeon Magic, and The Silence Between the Gnosis

 

Past:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Deceptive behavior may (deceivingly) promote cooperation

JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

via Phys.org:

Tricking someone into trusting you in order to gain something from them is common behavior in both the animal and human worlds. From cuckoo birds that trick other bird species into raising their young, to cunning salespeople who pretend to sell you a product that will improve your life, deviant behavior takes many forms. But no matter the situation, the result is that a single individual gains something while the community at large loses.

For researchers who study the evolution of cooperation, deceitful behavior seems to throw a wrench in mechanisms that promote cooperative behavior. Questions arise such as, under what conditions does deception evolve? How effective are strategies to identify deceitful behavior? And how can deceitful behavior coexist with cooperative behavior?

In a recent paper published in The New Journal of Physics, Attila Szolnoki at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, and Matjaž Perc at the University of Maribor in Slovenia and King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have addressed these questions using a variant of perhaps the most popular tool for studying cooperation—the prisoner’s dilemma game.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Can Love Make us Mean?

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

via University at Buffalo:

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Empathy is among humanity’s defining characteristics. Understanding another person’s plight can inspire gentle emotions and encourage nurturing behaviors.

Yet under certain circumstances, feelings of warmth, tenderness and sympathy can in fact predict aggressive behaviors, according to a recent study by two University at Buffalo researchers.

But why?

That an expression of kindness might be manifest as a punch in the nose can leave observers scratching their heads.

Read More: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/11/002.html

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fear is the Mind-Killer

Porsche Brosseau (CC BY 2.0)

Porsche Brosseau (CC BY 2.0)

via Humanity Plus Magazine:

Anxious people tend to perceive their world in a more threatening way. That is, the more anxious a person is, the more likely they are to notice threatening things around them. This is called the threat bias.

Some researchers believe that the threat bias makes it harder for people to get rid of anxiety disorders because they get stuck in a loop – they feel anxious, they start noticing threatening things in their environment, and this in turn makes them even more anxious.

However, the threat bias isn’t just something that people with anxiety disorders experience. Everyone can have trouble keeping worrying thoughts and feelings of anxiety out of their minds. And there are things you can do to make it easier for your brain to inhibit worrying thoughts.

Read More: http://hplusmagazine.com/2014/11/04/fear-mind-killer/

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Alien Abductions: Facts and Origin

Noliv O (CC by-nd 2.0)

Noliv O (CC by-nd 2.0)

via Live Science:

Hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens. In a typical case, an abductee recounts lying in bed one night when an eerie feeling overcomes him, and alien beings appear out of nowhere. The extraterrestrials transport him to a spacecraft and subject him to a battery of physical and psychological tests. After what seems like hours, he is returned to his bedroom unharmed, and finds that the whole ordeal transpired in minutes.

Abductees think their traumatic experiences were real. However, most psychologists think abductions are lucid dreams or hallucinations, triggered by an awareness of other people’s similar experiences. One recent experiment, in which participants trained in lucid dreaming techniques were able to dream up vivid alien encounters, supports this hypothesis. But if each perceived abduction is just the latest in a series of hallucinations, what was it that triggered that first dream or delusion?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Psychology of Color in Marketing

Capture Queen (CC by 2.0).

Capture Queen (CC by 2.0).

via Medium:

The psychology of color as it relates to persuasion is one of the most interesting—and most controversial—aspects of marketing.

The reason: Most of today’s conversations on colors and persuasion consist of hunches, anecdotal evidence and advertisers blowing smoke about “colors and the mind.”

To alleviate this trend and give proper treatment to a truly fascinating element of human behavior, today we’re going to cover a selection of the most reliable research on color theory and persuasion.

Misconceptions around the Psychology of Color

Why does color psychology invoke so much conversation… but is backed with so little data?

As research shows, it’s likely because elements such as personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, context, etc., often muddy the effect individual colors have on us. So the idea that colors such as yellow or purple are able to evoke some sort of hyper-specific emotion is about as accurate as your standard Tarot card reading.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

You Are the Center of the Universe

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (cc by 2.0)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (cc by 2.0)

via Psychology Today:

You are the focus of the world that makes you possible.

Alan Watts, who died about 40 years ago, was one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. He was best known as the leading Western interpreter of Eastern philosophy, especially Zen Buddhism. In 1971, Watts recorded a half-hour television program titled “A Conversation with Myself.”

The program features Watts wandering the hills and valleys of a remote region in California. He had been living there for some months, he says, to absorb an atmosphere different from the city, in order to discover the essential difference between the world of nature and the human world.

The difference between the two, he suggests, is one of style—like the difference between Picasso and Rembrandt. In a similar way, there is a difference of style between the things human beings do and the things nature does, even though human beings are themselves part of nature.

Read the rest
Continue Reading