Psychology

Kids are stimulated by new experiences. So are pigs. If you watched the 2014 video where a camera falls out of a plane and crashes into a pig sty you saw how intrigued they were by it, even though it clearly was not food.



A new study says that such "consumerism", a preference for shiny new stuff, is universal across the animal kingdom. And they showed it in piglets.
Mothers supportive of their children's negative emotions rate their children as being more socially skilled than teachers do. Not really a big surprise, parents often think the way they have chosen to do things is the best way, even if their kids seem like many to be, well, brats.

Mothers’ supportive reactions were instead correlated to fewer socioemotional skills and more problem behaviors by third-grade teachers, who obviously see a different side of children.

Nonetheless, these contrasting patterns suggest a potential downside to mothers’ supportiveness of children’s negative emotions for third-grade children’s social adjustment in school. Or not, since it's surveys.

In this writing, I want to show how common psychological biases lead to the (largely incorrect) belief that young people in their adolescent years are incompetent, immature, and incapable of responsibly making decisions for themselves. In particular, it is evident that, while very young children are naturally incapacitated, at some point people become competent to make decisions for themselves, enter into contracts, and work, however, most of the world draws the line at an inappropriately high age.

Type “BPA” and “toxic” into Google and you get more than 500,000 results, many detailing how this chemical additive, which is used to strengthen plastics and line metal cans to prevent food poisoning, is disrupting your endocrine system and slowly killing you. It’s in your urine! It’s in your blood!

The first Google page is dominated by dire warnings of imminent health catastrophes, some even linking to articles on presumably legitimate websites, such as Newsweek, Mother Jones, Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Infertility. Destroys your body. Impotence. Heart Disease. Cancer.

Though photos are considered more credible, if you are evangelizing a controversial energy type like wind, a cartoon may appear more persuasive. 

In a recent study, participants were shown one of two versions of the same set of brochures. Each set was designed to debunk a myth about wind energy, the intent being to give readers desired information about wind energy and assuage their concerns. Each pair of brochures was identical in design, text, color, size, etc.

The only difference was that the originally designed brochures featured a beautiful, professional photograph of wind turbines, while the look-alike brochures created for the study swapped out the photograph with a cartoon.
Does the reality of mental disorders also cause depression, or is depression a harbinger of other disorders, a gateway as it were?

    This content of this blog is adapted from my lecture on Cognitive Bias in Decision Making, for the module Cognition and Emotion. I present this lecture to third year Psychology students at the University of Roehampton, London.

The Structure of an Argument

How to sort good information from bad!

If you catch anyone at the right moment, after having experienced something extraordinarily wonderful, joyful, or blissful, and if you ask them if that was a magical moment, they will agree that it was. Take the birth of a baby - few things compare, and any parent would say that a birthday for them was a magical moment in time.

Suddenly, since the beginning of the Trump administration, there has been a shift, a perceptible shift in the leaking of top secret government intelligence. From the outing of General Flynn, to the publication of President Trump telling the PM of Australia their talk was the worst phone call he had had with a world leader all day - we were not supposed to learn about any of that.

An unbelievable story, breaks your heart, blows your mind, tells the unexpected truth about all of us, and does not need to be relayed by a storyteller, so much as it needs for the storyteller to get out of the way, just to let the story tell itself, and let the people who wove it, speak for themselves.