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Claude Piron - communication, langues, espéranto
Esperanto is treated as non-existent in situations where it would be logical to take it into account. For example the volume Le Langage in the encyclopedic series La Pléiade (Martinet, 1968) which, in 1525 pages dealing with everything from slang and pidgin to translation and aphasia, contains no mention, not even a single paragraph, of the amazing phenomenon that a language known to only one person a hundred years ago is in use today in over a hundred countries. Similarly, the experience built up of Esperanto as a conference language is considerable; in 1986 there wasn't a single day during which there wasn't, somewhere in the world, a congress, a meeting or an international conference, at which Esperanto was the working language (a list appeared in Heroldo de Esperanto of 20th March 1986). When the UN, for example, is making a detailed analysis of the problems encountered in linguistic communication, it would be reasonable to consider this experience, if only to reject it, after examination, on explicit grounds. But this is not what happens. (King et al, 1977; Allen et al, 1980; Piron, 1980).
esperanto  psychology 
10 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
What Will You Say to Your Grandchildren? - EcoWatch
"likelihood" and "inevitability" stand a long way from each other. As Rebecca Solnit points out in Hope in the Dark, hope is not a prognostication. Taking either an optimistic or pessimistic stance on the future can justify a cop-out. An optimist says, "It will turn out fine so I don't need to do anything." A pessimist retorts, "Nothing I do will make a difference so let me not waste my time." Hope, by contrast, is not a matter of estimating the odds. Hope is an active state of mind, a recognition that change is nonlinear, unpredictable, and arises from intentional engagement.

Bendell responds to this version of hope with a comparison to a terminal cancer patient. It would be cruel, he suggests, to tell them to keep hoping, pushing them to "spend their last days in struggle and denial, rather than discovering what might matter after acceptance." This is a false equivalency. A terminal cancer condition has a statistical history, derived from the outcomes of many thousands of similar occurrences. Our current situation is unique. There is no history available of thousands of global civilizations bringing their planetary ecosystems to breaking point. This is the only one we know of, and it would be negligent to give up on it based on a set of projections. If a doctor told your mother, "This cancer is unique and we have no experience of its prognosis. There are things we can try but they might not work," would you advise her to give up and prepare for death? I'm not giving up on Mother Earth that easily.
climatechange  politics  psychology  medicine 
may 2019 by juliusbeezer
Viktor Frankl: Doctor prescribed the meaning of life - Big Think
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychologist known for his system of psychotherapy known as Logotherapy. As he explained in his book Man's Search for Meaning, many of the key ideas were born out of his time in Nazi concentration camps. He observed how his fellow prisoners dealt with the Nazi atrocities; these observations formed the basis for his theories.

Frankl suggested that a "will to meaning," exists in all of us and impacts our behavior and mental health. Our having it means that what we really want in life is to give a meaning to what we are doing and experiencing. If we fail to do so, we are likely to begin to show symptoms of depression, anxiety, and neurosis. By finding meaning, we can fully function as people and deal with whatever life throws at us.

Logotherapy was designed to help people deal with the problem of finding meaning, and had a robust theoretical framework to help guide it. Frankl assumed that life had inherent value and was worth living, that we have a will to meaning which must be confronted, that we have the freedom to find meaning at every moment, and that people had not only a mind and body but a "spirit" that was our true, unique, essence that also had to be considered...

There are a few issues with Logotherapy that were pointed out by other existential psychologists.

The most notable was Frankl's authoritarian tendencies when conducting therapy sessions. Psychologist Rollo May explained in his book Existential Psychology, Frankl's therapy came dangerously close to authoritarianism because:

"… there seem to be clear solutions to all problems, which belies the complexity of actual life. It seems that if the patient cannot find his goal, Frankl supplies him with one. This would seem to take over the patients' responsibility and. . . diminish the patient as a person."
psychology  philosophy 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
How to write about addiction without promoting stigma and bias: 4 tips for journalists - HealthNewsReview.org
if journalists are to cover addiction in an accurate way, we need to be extremely careful that the language we use does not reflect the history of moralizing, racism and bias that has marked the war on some drugs. Here are some tips that can help:
drugs  language  journalism  psychology 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Sad by design | Eurozine
Most of the time your eyes are glued to screen, as if it’s now or never. As Gloria Estefan wrote: ‘The sad truth is that opportunity doesn’t knock twice.’ Then, you stand up and walk away from the intrusions. The fear of missing out backfires, the social battery is empty and you put the phone aside. This is the moment sadness arises. It’s all been too much, the intake has been pulverized and you shut down for a moment, poisoning him with your unanswered messages. According to Greif, ‘the hallmark of the conversion to anti-experience is a lowered threshold for eventfulness.’ A Facebook event is the one you’re interested in, but do not attend.
socialmedia  facebook  emotion  psychology 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Hard Choices, Fredkin's Paradox and is Ethics a Waste of Time? | Practical Ethics
we might recognise that there is no objective stance from which to judge whether wit or kindness are preferable, and yet decide to commit ourselves to wit, and to choose Andy. In doing so, we effectively make a deliberate decision about who we are: we are the sort of people who choose wit over kindness....

Yet, if Chang is right, then we are failing to do justice to the nature of the values at stake in these decisions. Rather than recognise that we need to commit to a particular kind of qualitative value, we instead seek to maximise ‘value’ as a category in itself. One upshot of this would be the missed opportunity to make those commitments – and ‘constitute our wills’, in the lingo – through the process of actively choosing in cases of hard decisions. Another upshot might be a social failure, whereby we do not recognise that when others make hard choices, they are expressing commitments to particular values (rather than simply maximising expected utility)...

Chang gives us a way of seeing that, even when all our other reasons have run out, it still makes sense to deliberate hard and make an active choice (rather than surrendering to chance) in these hard choice cases. In doing so we acknowledge the specialness of the values at stake, be they the need to relieve suffering, or the commitment to supporting life, or the rights of parents over their children’s treatment, or the trust in medical expertise. We consider how all of these different values are expressed in the different options available to us, and we make a commitment to care about some of them more than others. The options may be on a par, but that doesn’t stop us from choosing.
ethics  philosophy  psychology 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Do we ‘know’ what other cyclists are about to do? | Mindwise
In a computer-based survey, we tested whether cyclists are capable of predicting the intentions of a lead cyclist based on only the cyclist’s behaviour before making a turn (Westerhuis & De Waard, In Press). We asked 108 participants to view 24 videos of a cyclist near an intersection on which he or she either turned left, right, or continued straight forward. The videos were recorded in real traffic and the cyclists did not know that they were recorded (they were somewhat stalked), as the situation would have been acted otherwise. We only showed videos in which the cyclists did not use an arm to point out their intended direction (which was the majority of footage). Just shortly before the cyclist actually made a turn, the image was frozen and the participants answered several questions. The first question was ‘which direction do you think that the cyclist will go: left, straight, or right?’. Hereafter, they were asked to provide the most prominent behaviour that made them believe that the cyclist would go in that direction.

The results indicate that the participants’ predictions were only more accurate than chance level for the occurrences in which the cyclist went straight on (Westerhuis & De Waard, In Press). When the cyclist in the video made a turn, this was not predicted more accurately than one would expect based on chance. Furthermore, the predictions of experienced cyclists were not better than the predictions of inexperienced cyclists.
cycling  netherlands  psychology 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
What happens to your life after you accidentally kill someone? | Science | The Guardian
I was driving my recently fixed-up 1973 VW Super Beetle. Around 5.30, as we rounded a curve in the road, the glare of the setting sun hit my eyes. I squinted and tried to shade my eyes with the car’s visor. I felt vulnerable in the passing lane, so I attempted to move into the right lane. As I moved right I saw a red Jeep already in that lane. I swerved back into my lane, but I swerved too far.

The driver’s side of my car slammed into a steel plate in the concrete median.
driving  crash_report  us  psychology 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes | LSE BREXIT
Furthermore, Structural Equation Modelling analysis demonstrated that cognitive flexibility and intolerance of ambiguity predicted individuals’ endorsement of authoritarianism, conservatism, and nationalism to a substantial degree (see Figure 3). Individuals who exhibited greater cognitive flexibility and were more tolerant of uncertainty were less likely to support authoritarian, conservative, and nationalistic attitudes. These ideological orientations in turn predicted participants’ attitudes towards Brexit, immigration, and free movement of labour, accounting for 47.6% of the variance in support for Brexit. The results suggest that cognitive thinking styles associated with processing perceptual and linguistic stimuli may also be drawn upon when individuals evaluate political and ideological arguments.
authoritarianism  psychology  uk  politics  Brexit  language 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
How to avoid losing your memory in the digital age | Science | The Guardian
The most common technique used by memory athletes is the “method of loci”, better known to fans of the TV series Sherlock as the “memory palace”. The idea is that when memorising a list – such as a to-do list – you associate an image with every item on it. The images, which can be as absurd as you like, are then placed in the rooms in your “palace”, which will typically be your home or another familiar building. To recall the list, you imagine walking from one room to the next.

Katie Kermode, from Cheshire, holds two world records: for memorising 105 names and faces in five minutes and for memorising 318 random words in 15 minutes. “I have a journey that goes around my house and other houses I have lived in,” she says. “I put two words in each room and I just associate those two words in a visual way. Then I walk back in my head through the different routes and I remember which words I saw.”
memory  psychology  sport 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
PsyArXiv Preprints | Bicycle helmet wearing is associated with closer overtaking by drivers: A response to Olivier and Walter, 2013
There is a body of research on how driver behaviour might change in response to bicyclists’ appearance. In 2007, Walker published a study suggesting motorists drove closer on average when passing a bicyclist if the rider wore a helmet, potentially increasing the risk of a collision. Olivier and Walter re-analysed the same data in 2013 and claimed helmet wearing was not associated with close vehicle passing. Here we show how Olivier and Walter’s analysis addressed a subtly, but importantly, different question than Walker’s. Their conclusion was based on omitting information about variability in driver behaviour and instead dividing overtakes into two binary categories of ‘close’ and ‘not close’; we demonstrate that they did not justify or address the implications of this choice, did not have sufficient statistical power for their approach, and moreover show that slightly adjusting their definition of ‘close’ would reverse their conclusions. We then present a new analysis of the original dataset, measuring directly the extent to which drivers changed their behaviour in response to helmet wearing. This analysis confirms that drivers did, overall, get closer when the rider wore a helmet.
helmetwars  psychology  driving  cycling 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Super recognisers: the people who never forget a face | UK news | The Guardian
Russell’s paper was the first to introduce super recognisers to the world, and only a handful of papers have been written since. Academic study is not yet a decade old, and the research, though exciting, is limited. Evidence suggests the ability might be genetic – that this skill is hard-wired, somehow, within 1-2% of the population. But nobody really knows how a super recogniser does what he or she does. When I asked Pope to explain his process, he said: “It’s strange how it works,” and “there’s no system.” He waved a finger around his head, then shrugged.

That so little is known about super recognition makes police deployment controversial. Academics advise caution, which is presumably why forces are reluctant to define super recognition as science.
police  psychology 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Noisli - Improve Focus and Boost Productivity with Background Noise
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sound  sounddesign  psychology  work 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
The forensic pathologist who got PTSD: ‘Cutting up 23,000 dead bodies is not normal’ | Science | The Guardian
Shepherd’s career as one of the UK’s most distinguished forensic pathologists saw him involved in disasters from the Hungerford shootings to the Bali bombings, and in high-profile cases from Harold Shipman to Stephen Lawrence...
it wasn’t a particular incident that left him immobilised by dread, struggling with sleep and plagued by panic attacks. Instead, it was the gradual accumulation of stress from 30 years confronting violence and the grave, the steady buildup of emotional damage from putting 23,000 dead bodies under the knife...
Shepherd’s mother succumbed to the heart condition that had dogged her for years in 1962, when he was only nine. As well as doing all the shopping and cooking, Shepherd says his father unlocked stores of kindness and affection that were often untapped in men of his generation. But when a friend brought a copy of Simpson’s Forensic Medicine into school, Shepherd found himself fascinated by the gallery of stranglings, knifings, shootings and electrocutions the textbook contained. Between those tatty red covers, the worst that could happen – the terrible thing that had, in fact, already happened – was laid out, anatomised and dissected...


While he prided himself on his ability to switch between mortuary and home, from objective investigator to loving husband and father, his marriage was beginning to show signs of strain, eventually collapsing in 2007. Although his wife would ask him to “show some emotion”, he says, “I hadn’t realised that it was so tightly screwed down. I was blocking the emotion that was bad, but I was also blocking the emotion that was good.”
medicine  health  psychology  spectacle  education 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Do lesbians have better sex than straight women? | Life and style | The Guardian
When men ejaculate, most need to take a breather for their erection to make a comeback (this is known as the “refractory period”). On the other hand, women can orgasm in waves. The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings – double that of the penis glans – and its sole purpose appears to be providing pleasure. Women’s orgasms last for an average of 20 seconds, while men’s last eight. The most orgasms recorded in an hour for a woman is 134 (16 for a man). This makes it especially sad that so many heterosexual women are reporting understimulating sex lives.

So, for those women who are not coming endlessly – how can they improve their sex lives, whoever they may be with? As well as Ross’s advice to masturbate a lot, the Kinsey Institute recommends more oral sex, better relationships, “sexy talk”, asking for what you want in bed and trying new positions, among other things.
sex  education  psychology  health 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Illness and Attitude – Richard Holton's 3rd Uehiro Lecture | Practical Ethics
Although there is little empirical research directly on this question, Holton draws on research on self-efficacy to support his initial hypothesis that the conception of a disorder one has may play a role in the course that it takes. Self-efficacy refers to the concept that an individual’s beliefs about their ability to succeed in a particular task can significantly influence how they approach that task. Crucially in the current context, if I don’t believe that I will be able to succeed in task X, I will be less able to adopt coping behaviours, and to sustain effort in the face of obstacles to achieving X. To extend this to addiction, it seems plausible to suppose that if I believe that I cannot overcome an addictive craving, my low self-efficacy judgement will mean that I will be less likely to exert the sort of effort that might in fact lead me to succeed in resisting the craving.

Rather than focus primarily on addiction though, Holton’s main focus in this lecture is on psycho-somatic illness. These illnesses might plausibly be understood as extreme cases of something like the phenomenon Holton is interested in, namely, attitudes mediating illness in some sense.
medicine  psychology  drugs  healthcare  philosophy 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
(99+) Falsification: How does it relate to reproducibility? | Brian D. Earp - Academia.edu
But now consider another change that was made. The priming materials were translated into French. Apparently, the replicating team assumed that the language used for a priming study is irrelevant to the outcome. But
this
auxiliary assumption may be mistaken. Based on a corpus analysis, a different team of researchers showed that the association between prime and stereotype was roughly six times stronger for the English words used in the original study than for their translated French equivalents in the replication study. The lesson here is that seemingly minor auxiliary assumptions can make a big difference for falsification (see Trafimow and Earp 2016)
translation  français  english  psychology 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Alaska shipyard where the 'manliest men' meditate each morning | US news | The Guardian
morning meditation is a welcome pause before the bang-clang of pounded steel cuts through the buzz and hum of heavy equipment, before safety bells sound and welding sparks fly.

“I focus on my breath, and I tell myself I’m going to have a good day,” she said.

The practice also appears to be good for business. Staff turnover reduced by nearly half from 2016 to 2017, and safety has improved, according to Doug Ward, director of shipyard development.
work  psychology  religion 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
What you can learn about marriage and migration from a 13-million member family tree
prior to 1750, most marriages in their data set occurred between people born about 6 miles from each other. After the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1870, however, that distance rapidly increased to about 60 miles.

You might think that as people traveled farther to find a spouse, they would marry people who were more distantly related to them. And indeed, that was true. Eventually.

The authors report that between 1650 and 1850 the average genetic relationship of married couples was on the order of 4th cousins. After 1850 it was on the order of 7th cousins.

But, the researchers found something strange in the data. Between 1800 and 1850 the distance couples traveled to marry each other doubled — probably because rapid transportation made railroad travel possible in most of Europe and the United States. However, that increase in distance traveled to marry someone was accompanied by an increase in genetic relatedness between marriage partners.

In other words, during this 50-year period, people traveled farther to marry closer relations.
anthropology  genetics  history  sex  psychology 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
Things Healthy Couples Don’t Fight About – Fit Yourself Club
(a.) Because each person is calm and clear on what they need and do the majority of the emotional work upfront, they are fair in what they ask of their partner, and straightforward in how they do so. They don’t ask unreasonable things, they don’t obscure their need by asking for something else. (They don’t push for “date night” when what they really want is “attention.” They don’t push for “labels” when what they really need is “certainty.”)...
Here’s a bunch of shit that’s too small to squabble over:
relationships  health  psychology 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Schmidt sting pain index - Wikipedia
The Schmidt sting pain index arose from the pursuit of a larger hypothesis: that the evolution of sociality in Hymenoptera was dependent on the evolution of venom that was both painful and toxic.[16] Pain is an advertisement of damage in the body, but molecules that produce pain and those that are toxic, and actively cause damage, are not the same. Although the painful signal acts as a deterrent, intelligent predators will learn the dishonesty of this signal with repeated exposure – that there is no real damage being done.[17] For the early Hymenoptera that were primarily solitary, the pain alone would allow them the chance to escape. Furthermore, solitary insects do not provide a high energy reward for predators, and therefore predators do not expend significant effort to hunt them. However, with the evolution of sociality where many Hymenoptera cluster together in colonies, nests become a nutritionally rich and therefore worthwhile target.[18] If there were no defenses, predators would devour the defenseless society, leaving few surviving individuals and eliminating social reproduction.[17] Sociality would therefore not be beneficial. In order for sociality to evolve, Hymenoptera needed a defense beyond a painful sting to protect their whole colony. Their sting was an advertisement of damage, and toxicity evolved as its truth.
evoscidebate  insects  medicine  psychology 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
‘Never get high on your own supply’ – why social media bosses don’t use social media | Media | The Guardian
Parker was joined by another Facebook objector, former vice-president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth,” Palihapitiya said at a conference in Stanford, California. “This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem. It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other. I can control my decision, which is that I don’t use that shit. I can control my kids’ decisions, which is that they’re not allowed to use that shit.”
facebook  socialmedia  twitter  attention  psychology 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Pourquoi devient-on si bête quand on est au volant ?
Entretien avec Jean-Marc Bailet, ancien officier supérieur de la gendarmerie, docteur en psychologie du conducteur, et auteur de plusieurs ouvrages sur la sécurité routière, dont "Le volant rend-il fou ? Psychologie de l'automobiliste" et "Zen au volant. Guide du mieux conduire"...
"L'automobile occupe une place particulière dans l'imaginaire collectif. Symbole du XXe siècle et de la société de la consommation, la voiture a profondément modelé nos sociétés et nos vies. Elle est intimement associée à l'idée d'émancipation sociale et économique. C'est, pour nombre de Français, un symbole d'indépendance, de liberté, voire de transgression. Quand les autorités s'en mêlent, certains y voient donc une atteinte directe à leurs libertés individuelles, une intrusion illégitime de l'Etat et de la puissance publique dans leur pré-carré.

Concernant la sécurité routière, les réactions s'expliquent aussi plus simplement par la psychologie de l'automobiliste : malgré le travail de sensibilisation mené depuis des années, malgré les progrès réalisés en la matière, beaucoup continent de surestimer leurs capacités au volant, et donc à contester automatiquement toute mesure de sécurité routière, qu'ils perçoivent comme inutile."
driving  france  culture  road_safety  psychology  police 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
I Don’t Want to Be Right | The New Yorker
Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks looked to see if political misinformation—specifically, details about who is and is not allowed to access your electronic health records—that was corrected immediately would be any less resilient than information that was allowed to go uncontested for a while. At first, it appeared as though the correction did cause some people to change their false beliefs. But, when the researchers took a closer look, they found that the only people who had changed their views were those who were ideologically predisposed to disbelieve the fact in question...

False beliefs, it turns out, have little to do with one’s stated political affiliations and far more to do with self-identity: What kind of person am I, and what kind of person do I want to be? All ideologies are similarly affected.

It’s the realization that persistently false beliefs stem from issues closely tied to our conception of self that prompted Nyhan and his colleagues to look at less traditional methods of rectifying misinformation. Rather than correcting or augmenting facts, they decided to target people’s beliefs about themselves. In a series of studies that they’ve just submitted for publication, the Dartmouth team approached false-belief correction from a self-affirmation angle, an approach that had previously been used for fighting prejudice and low self-esteem.
agnotology  psychology  authoritarianism 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Stop Raising Awareness Already | Stanford Social Innovation Review
For those working on a cause they care about, the first instinct is often to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of the problem...

That instinct is described by communication theory as the Information Deficit Model. The term was introduced in the 1980s to describe a widely held belief about science communication—that much of the public’s skepticism about science and new technology was rooted, quite simply, in a lack of knowledge. And that if the public only knew more, they would be more likely to embrace scientific information.

That perspective persists, not just in the scientific community but also in the world of nonprofits, marketing, and public relations. Public relations texts frequently cite awareness, attitude, and action objectives. Marketing students learn that awareness precedes action. And many of the foremost public relations and advertising agencies still report results to clients in the form of impressions—the number of people who were exposed to the message...

Raising awareness about something that wasn’t known before can be a useful tactic when it’s part of a larger effort to drive social change... research suggests that not only do campaigns fall short and waste resources when they focus solely on raising awareness, but sometimes they can actually end up doing more harm than good.

Before exploring the most effective ways to create awareness, it’s important to understand the ineffective and even harmful effects that awareness can have. When done wrong, an awareness campaign carries four specific risks: it might lead to no action; It might reach the wrong audience; it might create harm; and it could generate a backlash. We will examine each of these risks in turn.
psychology  communication  advertising 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Fake news is a threat to humanity, but scientists may have a solution | Dana Nuccitelli | Environment | The Guardian
The study authors also suggest that inoculation theory techniques could help dislodge misinformation after it first takes hold. This involves explaining the logical fallacy underpinning a myth. People don’t like being tricked, and research has shown that when they learn that an ideologically-friendly article has misinformed them by using fake experts, for example, they’re more likely to reject the misinformation.
agnotology  psychology  news 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
The impact of parenthood on environmental attitudes and behaviour: a longitudinal investigation of the legacy hypothesis | SpringerLink
This paper explored whether having children leads to changes in individual-level environmental attitudes and behaviours, possibly as an effect of having greater consideration for future generations (the ‘legacy hypothesis’). Using the Understanding Society Survey, changes in three environmental attitude items and the frequency of 11 environmental behaviours were assessed for those who had children in between two waves of data collection. We examined four groups of people: those who had at least one new child (irrespective of whether this was a firstborn or not), those who became a parent for the first time, first-time parents with high environmental concern and first-time mothers. Our analysis showed only small changes in individual-level environmental attitudes and behaviours following people having a new child. In contrast with expectations from the legacy hypothesis, all changes were negative, indicating the environmental behaviours were performed less often. The only observed positive change was an increase in the desire to act more sustainably amongst first-time parents who already had a high level of environmental concern. Overall, the results do not provide support for the legacy hypothesis. Where there are any changes, these are more likely to be negative, suggesting that having a child reduces self-reported environmental behaviours.
climatechange  psychology  parents  children  research 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
'Would you be willing?': words to turn a conversation around (and those to avoid) | Science | The Guardian
try listening out for how often you both use the phrase “Yes, but”.

“We all know the phrase ‘Yes, but’ really means ‘No, and here’s why you’re wrong’,” says Rob Kendall, author of Workstorming. A conversation expert, Kendall sits in on other people’s meetings as an observer. The phrase “Yes, but” is one of the classic warning signs that you’re in an unwinnable conversation, he says. “If you hear it three or more times in one discussion, it’s a sign that you’re going nowhere.”

What to say Kendall advises shifting the conversation by asking the other person “What’s needed here?” or, even better, “What do you need?” “It takes you from what I call ‘blamestorming’ to a solution-focused outcome.”
psychology  communication  language  english 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Roy Moore is not a pedophile -- why it matters | Practical Ethics
pedophilia and child sexual assault are two different things, and conflating them is not a good idea. This is not just a matter of semantics. For one thing, confusing psychiatric disorders (requiring treatment) and sex crimes (which may or may not follow from such disorders) is likely to hamper clear moral reasoning. But more importantly, it may actually increase harm to children.

Consider the following: many people with pedophilia (1) hate their desires, (2) do not act on them for moral reasons (and should therefore plausibly be praised rather than vilified), and yet (3) often do not seek treatment precisely because they are aware that people in general cannot seem to tell the difference between:

(a) feeling involuntarily sexually attracted to young children (not wrong in and of itself), and

(b) molesting or sexually assaulting children (very wrong in and of itself, no matter the reason).

And here’s the kicker: failing to seek treatment for (a) is precisely the sort of thing that makes (b) more likely to happen.
psychology  sex  crime  children 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Let’s stop calling them ‘soft skills’ – It’s Your Turn
Yes, they’re interpersonal skills. Leadership skills. The skills of charisma and diligence and contribution. But these modifiers, while accurate, somehow edge them away from the vocational skills, the skills that we actually hire for, the skills we measure a graduate degree on.

So let’s uncomfortably call them real skills instead.

Real because they work, because they’re at the heart of what we need to today.

Real because even if you’ve got the vocational skills, you’re no help to us without these human skills, the things that we can’t write down, or program a computer to do.
work  psychology  coaching  skilz 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Why I Don’t Have a Sobriety Date | The Fix
It's not a magical fix for addiction. There is no magical fix for addiction. By the time I decided I wasn't going to track my sobriety date anymore, I was already involved in outpatient recovery. I had professional support, peer support, and medication-assisted treatment to help me along. But I realized that by fixating on my sober time, I was setting myself up for devastation if a relapse happened. I decided to shift my focus from the length of my sobriety to the quality of my recovery, and it worked...
Recovery is about much more than sobriety. I don't know my exact sobriety date, but I do know that I've been in recovery about four years, which is considerably longer than the time it's been since I last used. That's because my recovery is not only defined by abstinence from addictive substances...
When people celebrate their sobriety birthdays, it's supposed to be a celebration of their accomplishments. I think a more palatable way to celebrate recovery is to consider every day that I'm working toward a better future a success. Instead of one birthday, I celebrate myself every day, the same way I destroyed myself every day during my active addiction.
drugs  psychology  medicine 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
‘Every day brings some new trauma’: keeping calm in an anxious world | Society | The Guardian
How to cope with bad world news

1 Look after yourself
“Self-care” has become a cliche, but while it is far from the panacea it is sometimes claimed to be, it is a crucial ingredient in staying sane. You may be surprised how frequently even the most dramatically apocalyptic thoughts and feelings turn out to be down to insufficient food or sleep. Meanwhile, plenty of research testifies to the enormous psychological benefits of even a small amount of time spent in nature.

2 Limit your exposure
The straightforward advice issued by the American Psychological Association during the US election campaign – “If the 24-hour news cycle is causing you stress, limit your media consumption” – still applies. Every news update trumpets its own importance, but it hardly follows that each one matters.

3 Stop fighting reality (or your feelings)
According to several schools of psychotherapy, a great deal of the unpleasantness we attribute to external events, or to our emotions, arises from resisting them. It is worth remembering that “anxiety and similar feelings are fairly appropriate reactions, normal responses, to completely abnormal things going on,” says therapist Paul Saks. There is no need to feel bad about feeling bad.

4 Take real-world action
“Solidarity is huge and being active really matters,” says therapist Emmy van Deurzen. Any actions you consider meaningful will start to replace feelings of helplessness – which are closely associated with depression – with a sense of agency. If possible, keep the emphasis on those involving direct interaction with other people, rather than online “slacktivism”.

5 Keep a sense of perspective
None of this means the end of the world. (Well, probably not – and not just yet.) “Keep in mind that there’s a longer game to be played,” Saks says. Especially in the current climate, news that seems monumental today may not seem very significant in a month or two, let alone a year or more. “Not to negate the fact that real harm is being done now, but we’re resilient and, in the long run, this will pass.”
news  psychology 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody’s Counting - Bloomberg
Out of NHTSA’s full 2015 dataset, only 448 deaths were linked to mobile phones—that’s just 1.4 percent of all traffic fatalities. By that measure, drunk driving is 23 times more deadly than using a phone while driving, though studies have shown that both activities behind the wheel constitute (on average) a similar level of impairment. NHTSA has yet to fully crunch its 2016 data, but the agency said deaths tied to distraction actually declined last year.

There are many reasons to believe mobile phones are far deadlier than NHTSA spreadsheets suggest. Some of the biggest indicators are within the data itself. In more than half of 2015 fatal crashes, motorists were simply going straight down the road—no crossing traffic, rainstorms, or blowouts. Meanwhile, drivers involved in accidents increasingly mowed down things smaller than a Honda Accord, such as pedestrians or cyclists, many of whom occupy the side of the road or the sidewalk next to it. Fatalities increased inordinately among motorcyclists (up 6.2 percent in 2016) and pedestrians (up 9 percent).
driving  road_safety  attention  us  science  psychology 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Walking Study Corroborates Hippocrates’s Prescriptive Wisdom | Psychology Today
More specifically, Patel and co-authors concluded, “In older adults, walking below minimum recommended levels (>150 minutes per week) is associated with lower all-cause mortality compared with inactivity. Walking at or above physical activity recommendations is associated with even greater decreased risk.”

Traditionally, public health guidelines have recommended that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. However, a groundswell of new research suggests that people can reap significant psychological and physical health benefits with much less exercise than previously recommended. For example, another October 2017 study suggests that just 60 minutes of exercise per week—at any intensity—helps prevent against future depression.
walking  exercise  health  psychology 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Carnage in Somalia Was 'Revenge' for Children Killed in US Raid: Report | Common Dreams
According to a comprehensive United Nations study published last month, evidence shows that in "a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa."

Of more than 500 former members of militant organisations interviewed for the report, the Guardian noted, 71 percent pointed to "government action," including "killing of a family member or friend" or "arrest of a family member or friend" as the incident that prompted them to join a group.

"State security-actor conduct is revealed as a prominent accelerator of recruitment, rather than the reverse," the UN report stated.
war  psychology 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Sorry Mate I didn’t See You or SMIDSY? :Hudgell Solicitors™‎
The SMIDSY, or Driver/Rider Failed to look properly, is by far the most common cause of crashes involving motorcycles. In fact it is the most common cause for all vehicle types with the second most common cause being ‘Failed to judge another vehicles path or speed’. These two factors contribute to nearly half of all collisions each year.

There have been numerous articles about how the eye works in relation to seeing, but the issue goes much deeper, right into our brains core.

This isn’t a motorcycle issue, it’s a human issue.
cycling  driving  psychology  physiology  road_safety 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science | Life and style | The Guardian
It’s his conviction that we are in the midst of a “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic”, the consequences of which are far graver than any of us could imagine. This situation, he believes, is only likely to change if government gets involved.
The Guardian's Science Weekly A neuroscientist explains: the need for ‘empathetic citizens’ - podcast
What is the neuroscience behind empathy? When do children develop it? And can it be taught?
Listen

Walker has spent the last four and a half years writing Why We Sleep, a complex but urgent book that examines the effects of this epidemic close up, the idea being that once people know of the powerful links between sleep loss and, among other things, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and poor mental health, they will try harder to get the recommended eight hours a night (sleep deprivation, amazing as this may sound to Donald Trump types, constitutes anything less than seven hours)
science  sleep  health  psychology 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Interview: Vulnerable road users | The Psychologist
A report from the Transport Research Laboratory and University of Strathclyde a few years ago led by Lynn Basford (PDF via tinyurl.com/7qk877b) suggested that there’s some classic social psychology at work here – cyclists represent an outgroup such that the usual outgroup effects are seen, particularly overgeneralisation of negative behaviour and attributes – ‘They all ride through red lights all the time’. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that something of this sort is going on.

However, there has to be more to it than just this. For a long time I wondered if the outgroup status of cyclists was compounded by two other known social psychological factors: norms and majority vs. minority groups. Not only are cyclists an outgroup, they’re also a minority outgroup. Moreover, they are engaging in an activity that is deemed slightly inappropriate in a culture that views driving as normative and desirable and, arguably, views cycling as anti-conventional and possibly even infantile.

But even adding these factors into the mix does not explain all the anger that cyclists experience. It’s easy to identify other minority outgroups whose behaviour similarly challenges social norms but who do not get verbally and physically attacked like cyclists do: vegetarians, for example. So there’s clearly one or more important variables that we’ve not identified yet. Any social psychologists looking for a challenge are very welcome to wade into this.
cycling  sociology  psychology 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Grouse-moor shooters of Britain be warned: your time is running out | Patrick Barkham | Opinion | The Guardian
I was delighted by a new piece of idiomatic Swedish I learned this holiday. We British see Swedes as perfect parents, with their progressive leave and forest nurseries. But Swedish parents have the same anxieties about their shortcomings as we do about ours. Curlingföräldrar is their term for mums and dads who seek to obsessively smooth the way for their offspring, just as curlers sweep the ice in front of a gliding stone. Forget “helicopter parents” – “curling parents” sums up our follies much more precisely.
sweden  parents  psychology 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
One man's mathematical formula for happiness | The Independent
one man says he has come up with a mathematical solution. Mo Gawdat was miserable for several years in his twenties and thirties despite his high-flying job, income and happy family unit. Determined to turn this around Gawdat, an engineer by trade who is now an executive at Google, formulated an equation for happiness.

A couple of years later, he put this to the test when his 21-year-old son Ali died unexpectedly in what should have been a routine operation.

He has now shared the secrets to his formula for being happy – no matter what life throws at you – in his new book Solve For Happy...

Due to the circumstances of Ali’s death, senior officials in Dubai that Gawdat knew asked if he would mind them requesting an autopsy...

“Nibet said in her own very wise way, as always, ‘Will it bring Ali back?’’ This question came four hours later [after Ali’s death] and we were completely anchored in reality.

(via siobhan on fb, dccomment:

"The speaker is Mo Gawdat. Hmm. He's right in a way of course, though it is a potentially conservative (with a small 'c') philosophy. Should we be happy with the world as it is? According to the Independent his "21-year-old son Ali died unexpectedly in what should have been a routine operation"; should his son's surgeon share this philosophy?")

Gawdat's book reportèdly promotes "intelligent design" over naturalism. Hmm.
google  psychology  medicine  ethics  philosophy 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Politics of Passing | Outside Online
In theory, the delightful chime of a bell would evoke a Buddhist monastery and elevate both you and your fellow trail users to a state of mindfulness. In practice, it can be jangly and irritating, plus there’s just something about ringing a bike bell that can make you feel like an idiot.

This is not to say the bell has no place on a bicycle. After all, if you want to communicate your imminent approach from a distance, it’s a whole lot better than shouting. Plus, there are all sorts of fancy bike bells now that are just as at home on your race bike as they are on your townie, so it’s not like you’ve got to ride around with a great big saucepan on your handlebars.
cycling  psychology  walking 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Marathon Monk and the Pointless Pole – Roger Hyam
I have one mundane theory I’d like to share.

We all self-talk all the time. I find it hard to believe the occasional person I meet who claims they don’t.

The problem with this is two fold. Firstly listening to the same person drone on can be become boring even if they are our favourite person and very few people are their own favourite person. Secondly to talk continuously requires a vast amount of material. That voice in your head soon runs out of things to say and loops back around on itself. This can reach a point of illness if the thoughts are particularly depressing or anxiety inducing.

There are strategies we use to deal with “the voice” and they can be used in combination. Distraction is good. Watching a movie or listening to the radio enables us to skip along on someone else’s voice for some relief light relief. Additionally we are blessed with context-dependent memory. This is the mental mechanism that partially wipes the mind as we move from one scene to another. It is useful when you don’t want to think about work at home but a pain when you forget what you came in a room for. We use context-dependent memory in combination with external triggers to repeat our self-talk narrative without getting too bored.

So what happens when we sit on the same cushion in the same room day after day to meditate? Same context, no distraction, same self-talk, nowhere to hide. At first there are the issues of getting to know and like the person who does the self-talk and that can take years but after a while we begin to see past it and deeper into the un-narrated self. Meditation is dropping our stories.
psychology 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
Loftus and Palmer | Simply Psychology
7 films of traffic accidents, ranging in duration from 5 to 30 seconds, were presented in a random order to each group.

After watching the film participants were asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses. They were then asked specific questions, including the question “About how fast were the cars going when they (smashed / collided / bumped / hit / contacted) each other?”

Thus, the IV was the wording of the question and the DV was the speed reported by the participants.

Findings: The estimated speed was affected by the verb used.
road_safety  crash_report  language  psychology 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
Operation Close Pass in Gloucestershire – Blog | Gloucestershire Road Safety
The majority of us feel that, in current conditions, it’s just too scary to mix with motor traffic on a bike. That perception is greater for women and older people so the conditions are effectively discriminating against them making those choices.
cycling  police  law  uk  psychology 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
This 10-Minute Routine Will Increase Your Clarity And Creativity
It’s common practice for many of the world’s most successful people to intentionally direct the workings of their subconscious mind while they’re sleeping.

How?

Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing. In Edison’s words, make some “requests.” Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the more clear will be your answers.

While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work on those things.
sleep  creativity  writing  psychology 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
Brain pollution: Evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer’s, dementia | Science | AAAS
an 11-year epidemiological study to be published next week in Translational Psychiatry, USC researchers will report that living in places with PM2.5 exposures higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) standard of 12 µg/m3 nearly doubled dementia risk in older women. If the finding holds up in the general population, air pollution could account for roughly 21% of dementia cases worldwide, says the study’s senior author, epidemiologist Jiu-Chiuan Chen of the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Deepening the concerns, this month researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada reported in The Lancet that among 6.6 million people in the province of Ontario, those living within 50 meters of a major road—where levels of fine pollutants are often 10 times higher than just 150 meters away—were 12% more likely to develop dementia than people living more than 200 meters away.
airpollution  pollution  health  psychology 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Helping children develop resilience, manage stress and strong emotions using the ‘90 Second Rule’ | A Lust For Life
it only takes 90 seconds for the stress chemicals produced by this response to be flushed out of our systems at a biological level. This is such an empowering fact, as it means that if we allow the strong emotion to surge through us for those ninety seconds without interference, it can pass and we can then respond on a calmer level, from a position of more self-control. On a neurobiological level, these 90 seconds give us time to access the pre-frontal cortex, and choose a more adaptive response.

This is easier said than done, as once the emotion takes hold on a physiological level, it is our interferences on the thought level which can perpetuate it. This is where a spiral of automatic negative thoughts can often kick in, and our self-talk becomes destructive and damaging. Our minds can go into overdrive at this point, remembering similar incidents from the past or imagining future implications. The amygdala doesn’t get a chance to become inhibited, and so our higher order brain remains out of reach. If left unchecked, this pattern of response can become habitual, with subsequent damage to so many life domains, including relationships, self-esteem and overall well-being.

To help children to use and remember the 90 second rule, I have devised a strategy for dealing with stress and strong emotions called N.A.B.B. Each of the letters stands for an action which the child carries out; in doing so it allows 90 seconds to pass without negative thought interference.

The strategy works as follows:

N: Name the strong emotion. Research has shown that the act of naming an emotion engages the prefrontal cortex, thus allowing higher order thinking processes to become engaged.

A: Accept the strong emotion. The emotion has occurred, so there is no point trying to suppress or question it at this point- these actions can engage automatic negative patterns of thought.

B: Breathe! By bringing awareness to the breath, the waves of emotion can be surfed and allowed to pass. Keeping attention on the breath also helps to keep negative thought processes at bay.

B: Body: Connect to your body as you breathe. Try to feel your breath going right down to your feet!
emotion  psychology  education  children 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Facebook helped advertisers target teens who feel “worthless” | Ars Technica
Facebook's ability to predict and possibly exploit users' personal data probably isn't news to anybody who has followed the company over the past decade, but this leak may be the first tacit admission by any Facebook organization that younger users' data is sorted and exploited in a unique way. This news follows stories about Facebook analyzing and even outright manipulating users' emotional states, along with reports and complaints about the platform guessing users' "ethnic affinity," disclosing too much personal data, and possibly permitting illegal discrimination in housing and financial ads.
facebook  psychology  advertising 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Hands-Off Learning? The Evidence Against Minimally Guided Instruction – ELT Research Bites
Empirical studies spanning decades show that minimally guided instruction (when the learners are novices) requires a large cognitive load and, therefore, is not supported by the research on how we learn effectively and efficiently. Solving a problem, specifically “problem-based searching” places a large burden on our working memory, especially by splitting learners’ attention, and therefore takes up valuable resources that are needed for actually learning. It’s possible to search and work on a problem for quite some time without learning a thing. It seems that only those who have extensive experience, schema, and prior knowledge benefit from this type of activity.
learning  memory  psychology  education  jbcomment 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future - Wait But Why
"Elon Musk started Neuralink to accelerate our pace into the Wizard Era—into a world where he says that “everyone who wants to have this AI extension of themselves could have one, so there would be billions of individual human-AI symbiotes who, collectively, make decisions about the future.” A world where AI really could be of the people, by the people, for the people."

[He wants to implant chips in your brain and join the AI-enabled fourth planet (I didn't get this bit, I was too worn out skimming through the high school history and biology for idiocy, did find some)

Can I short neuralink with a Post Office savings account?

Where do I sign to have the chip implanted?

Canny even be arsed following up the obligatory science fiction references: "Iain Banks’ Culture series—a massless, volumeless, whole-brain interface that can be teleported into the brain." and "Ramez Naam, writer of the popular Nexus Trilogy, a series all about the future of BMIs,"

Good point about existing bandwidth of electrodes, but it's not at all clear what they plan to hook up to... and therein lies the "still 50 years-offness" of the whole thing cf nuclear fusion

So meh! Hats off for the effusiveness of the effusion, which will certainly fool millions]
agnotology  spectacle  business  psychology  history  evoscidebate 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
A Pottery Barn rule for scientific journals – The Hardest Science
Proposed: Once a journal has published a study, it becomes responsible for publishing direct replications of that study. Publication is subject to editorial review of technical merit but is not dependent on outcome. Replications shall be published as brief reports in an online supplement, linked from the electronic version of the original.

I believe that the key to improving our science is through incentives. You can finger-wag about the importance of replication all you want, but if there is nowhere to publish and no benefit for trying, you are not going to change behavior. To a large extent, the incentives for individual researchers are controlled through institutions — established journal publishers, professional societies, granting agencies, etc. So if you want to change researchers’ behavior, target those institutions.

Hence a Pottery Barn rule for journals: once you publish a study, you own its replicability (or at least a significant piece of it).
sciencepublishing  replication  journals  psychology 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
A portrait of poly psychopharmacology – Everything Matters: Beyond Meds
God knows what all these drugs have done to me.

In order roughly by class (class is a bit subject to interpretation as so much of this stuff is used off label, especially when it was given to me):
drugs  medicine  psychology 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
The high-tech war on science fraud | Science | The Guardian
Statcheck had read some 50,000 published psychology papers and checked the maths behind every statistical result it encountered. In the space of 24 hours, virtually every academic active in the field in the past two decades had received an email from the program, informing them that their work had been reviewed. Nothing like this had ever been seen before: a massive, open, retroactive evaluation of scientific literature, conducted entirely by computer.

Statcheck’s method was relatively simple, more like the mathematical equivalent of a spellchecker than a thoughtful review, but some scientists saw it as a new form of scrutiny and suspicion, portending a future in which the objective authority of peer review would be undermined by unaccountable and uncredentialed critics.
opendata  psychology  openscience  peerreview 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Apply Magic Sauce - Prediction API -
A personalisation engine that accurately predicts psychological traits from digital footprints of human behaviour
facebook  socialmedia  psychology 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Trump Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself | aNtiDoTe Zine
Kosinski and his team continued, tirelessly refining their models. In 2012, Kosinski demonstrated that from a mere 68 Facebook likes on average, a lot about a user could be reliably predicted: skin color (95% accuracy), sexual orientation (88% accuracy), Democrat or Republican (85%). But there’s more: level of intellect; religious affiliation; alcohol-, cigarette-, and drug abuse could all be calculated. Even whether or not your parents were divorced could be teased out of the data.

The strength of the model depended on how well it could predict a test subject’s answers. Kosinski kept working at it. Soon, with a mere ten “likes” as input his model could appraise a person’s character better than an average coworker. With seventy, it could “know” a subject better than a friend; with 150 likes, better than their parents. With 300 likes, Kosinski’s model could predict a subject’s answers better than their partner. With even more likes it could exceed what a person thinks they know about themselves.

The day he published these findings, Kosinski received two phonecalls. One was a threat to sue, the other a job offer. Both were from Facebook...

“Pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven,” Alexander Nix explained to Das Magazin. On the day of the third presidential debate between Trump and Clinton, Trump’s team blasted out 175,000 distinct test variations on his arguments, mostly via Facebook. The messages varied mostly in their microscopic details, in order to communicate optimally with their recipients
facebook  psychology  politics  us 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Want to feel happier? Take a break from Facebook - Health News - NHS Choices
The researcher concluded that, "First, the present study provides causal evidence that quitting Facebook leads to higher levels of both cognitive and affective wellbeing.

"The participants who took a one-week break from Facebook reported significantly higher levels of life satisfaction and a significantly improved emotional life."

He added: "Second, the study showed that the (causal) gain of wellbeing varied in relation to how people use Facebook.
facebook  psychology 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
AI Alarmism: why smart people believe dumb things about our future AI overlords - boing - Boing Boing BBS
Maciej Cegłowski (previously) gave this talk, "Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People," at Web Camp Zagreb last October, spending 45 minutes delving into the origin of the idea that computers are going to become apocalyptic, self-programming, superintelligent basilisks that end all live on Earth (and variations on this theme) and then explaining why this fundamentally evidence-free, fuzzy idea has colonized so many otherwise brilliant people -- including people like Stephen Hawking -- and why it's an irrational and potentially harmful belief system.
funny  psychology  commenting 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
A short critique of Stallmanism
To primarily tech-savvy free software users, this might appear not to be true: we indeed have a choice regarding software we want to use. But again, underlying logic here is that of individualism. We ought to look at software not as mere isolated commodities among which we can freely pick, but rather as a social phenomena: defined by its production, usage, and its function in society. It then becomes clear that as the fruits of programmers' labor are essentially closed down and rented to the rest of society, that society is not free.

This type rhetoric breeds elitism (perceived or actual): we give off the message, implicitly, that using free software makes us more virtuous than those who don't. To the outsider, our demands can then seem as mere expressions of personal preference, in the best case, or, attacks on their own preferences, in the worst -- even though our motivations really may lie in the desire for commonly owned software.
freesoftware  opensource  psychology  authoritarianism 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Facts, frames & “post-truth” politics | N E W S • F R A M E S • • • • •
When a person’s conceptual frames don’t mesh well with evidential “reality”, the evidence that doesn’t fit the frame will likely be ignored, overlooked or dismissed. This way of “thinking” differs fundamentally from the classical view of “reason” as applied empirically (eg in scientific method) – in which factual evidence is allowed to challenge, refute and ultimately transform our beliefs about the world.

The lesson from this is that publicising the facts about any issue may not be sufficient to change people’s minds. And no political viewpoint has a monopoly on “objectivity”. Everyone tends to ignore or dismiss the facts which are inconvenient to their worldviews. And everyone tends to find an abundance of “evidence” or “proof” which supports their worldviews. These processes occur because of the way our brains conceptualise with metaphors and frames – resulting in the creation of our personal reality-tunnels, to which we become “attached” (in a physical sense, neurologically)...
As Lakoff et al point out, we don’t think in terms of neutral “facts” – our thoughts aren’t strung-together facts. We require frames to provide “meaning” to facts. Journalists instinctively know this; much of the “news” is presented as narrative frames – taking the form of a story (often with simplistic attribution of causes, heroes and villains, crisis, drama, etc).

How we tend to frame events will depend on our worldviews, our hierarchies of values, etc. Inevitably this will bring into play the “deep” moral frame structures in our psyches. When we read a newspaper story, however, a frame has already been selected for us in advance.
news  psychology  authoritarianism 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think
The main point I want to make is that you, dear reader, are almost certainly in the top category of computer skills, level 3. In the United States, only 5% of the population has these high computer skills. In Australia and the UK 6% are at this level; in Canada and across Northern Europe the number increases to 7%; Singapore and Japan are even better with a level-3 percentage of 8%.

Overall, people with strong technology skills make up a 5–8% sliver of their country’s population, whatever rich country they may be coming from. Go back to the OECD’s definition of the level-3 skills, quoted above. Consider defining your goals based on implicit criteria. Or overcoming unexpected outcomes and impasses while using the computer. Or evaluating the relevance and reliability of information in order to discard distractors. Do these sound like something you are capable of? Of course they do.

What’s important is to remember that 95% of the population in the United States (93% in Northern Europe; 92% in rich Asia) cannot do these things.

You can do it; 92%–95% of the population can’t.
software  psychology  authoritarianism  informationmastery  digitalhumanities 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Blog: Can Leonardo’s Before the Flood help make climate change an issue people care about? - Climate Outreach
But if you want to champion climate change, it is not enough to be sincere and pleasant. The psychology of trust is complex and demands consistency and authenticity in both word and deed. Climate change is a uniquely complex moral issue because we all contribute to it directly and measurably through our own behaviour. Leo is offhand about the impacts of his own celebrity lifestyle and his $250 million fortune. As he drives down the freeway from Los Angeles airport Leo muses amicably, “My footprint is probably a lot bigger than most people”.

Probably? It is guaranteed to be many hundreds of times bigger that the vast majority of people in the world. Leo’s actual emissions are not the point – they can only ever be a tiny contribution to a global problem – but they do seriously undermine his credibility when telling us that we all need to take urgent action. And they are an absolute gift to the professional deniers and right-wing cynics from Russ Limbaugh and Fox News to our own Daily Mail in the UK that seek to undermine the climate science and gleefully document his every private jet trip as proof of the hypocrisy of self-righteous eco-celebrities.

This politicised divide has poisoned policy making in the US. No issue, not even gun control or abortion, is more politically divisive in the US than climate change and any mass market communication must try to speak across the political divides.
climatechange  psychology 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Climate Change Denial
In my book, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, I argued that climate change exists for us in the form of socially constructed narratives built upon our values and identity. It is these narratives- not the underlying science or even the evidence of our own eyes- that leads us to accept or reject the issue.

Unfortunately one of the dominant values in the climate movement is a disregard , if not outright contempt, for the right-leaning mainstream and their concerns. Activists often talk with disgust of the selfishness, greed and stupidity of conservatives. This is intolerant and unpleasant. The denigration conveniently ignores the diversity of opinion and life experience among conservatives. A struggling rural family, an elderly Christian on a small pension, a community shopkeeper and a Wall Street Banker are combined into one faceless enemy.
climatechange  communication  psychology  authoritarianism 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
No one should be diagnosed at a distance – even Donald Trump | Hannah Jane Parkinson | Opinion | The Guardian
Today, that article might have been “10 reasons why Barry Goldwater is too crazy for the Oval Office”. Then it was “The unconscious of a conservative: a special issue on the mind of Barry Goldwater”. The case led to the establishment of a 1973 edict (Section 7.3) that psychiatrists should not diagnose individuals they have not personally treated. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) sets out the Goldwater rule thus: “On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorisation for such a statement.”
psychology  journalism  medicine  privacy  ethics 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
‘Alt-right’ online poison nearly turned me into a racist | Anonymous | Opinion | The Guardian
This, I think, is where YouTube’s “suggested videos” can lead you down a rabbit hole. Moving on from Harris, I unlocked the Pandora’s box of “It’s not racist to criticise Islam!” content. Eventually I was introduced, by YouTube algorithms, to Milo Yiannopoulos and various “anti-SJW” videos (SJW, or social justice warrior, is a pejorative directed at progressives). They were shocking at first, but always presented as innocuous criticism from people claiming to be liberals themselves, or centrists, sometimes “just a regular conservative” – but never, ever identifying as the dreaded “alt-right”.

For three months I watched this stuff grow steadily more fearful of Islam. “Not Muslims,” they would usually say, “individual Muslims are fine.” But Islam was presented as a “threat to western civilisation”.
socialmedia  religion  authoritarianism  psychology 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
What you read matters more than you might think — Quartz
what students read in college directly affects the level of writing they achieve. In fact, researchers found that reading content and frequency may exert more significant impacts on students’ writing ability than writing instruction and writing frequency. Students who read academic journals, literary fiction, or general nonfiction wrote with greater syntactic sophistication (more complex sentences) than those who read fiction (mysteries, fantasy, or science fiction) or exclusively web-based aggregators like Reddit, Tumblr, and BuzzFeed. The highest scores went to those who read academic journals; the lowest scores went to those who relied solely on web-based content.
reading  writing  psychology 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
What Facebook’s Fake News Problem Really Means for You – Medium
According to BuzzFeed News, one Macedonian town alone has 140 U.S. political websites. These sites don’t act pro-Trump as much as just follow the action. They learned that Trump supporters crave sensationalist headlines that support their theories and beliefs. In other words, they want to hear what they want to hear and will look for proof in support of it. Democrats apparently don’t take the same bait. According to Gizmodo, 38 percent of right-leaning news stories on Facebook contained inaccuracies or falsehoods as compared to 19 percent of left-leaning news stories. Even worse, those numbers skyrocketed for Trump during the lead-up to the presidential election.

One interesting point worth mentioning here is how Facebook even knows and categorizes you in the first place, whether you are a liberal or conservative. Yes, that’s right, they do this. In certain instances, people identify themselves as such. But in most cases, the platform identifies your political leanings based on pages you like, topics you discuss, and your interests. It’s another piece of what I call your permanent record, that nasty trail of thousands of bits of information about you that aggregated into your permanent data packet. That information then gets plugged into an algorithm to flood you with content in alignment with your perceived beliefs, skewing your perception of the world.
facebook  journalism  authoritarianism  psychology  politics 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
What’s Missing From The Trump Election Equation? Let’s Start With Military-Grade PsyOps – Medium
CA has been called out for borderline ethical use of personal Facebook data, such as covertly gathering “likes” to predict the attitudes and beliefs that Facebook users might share unknowingly.

Other strategic information could include: connected third party application data; comments and likes on public Facebook pages; internet browsing history through Facebook APIs and scripts; consumer loyalty programs, mobile app logins; publicly shared photos and profile information that users forget about; and (I’m presuming) more mundane tactics such as harnessing unassuming personality “quizzes” on Facebook that capture invaluable psychometric data people readily share with their friends and families, but not with a psychological voter profiling firm.
facebook  psychology  politics 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
How do you feel? Don’t ask. – Election Data
What the Remain campaign missed, and what data and polling often misses, is how people think and feel. I believe the same thing happened to Owen Smith in the summer and has just happened to Hillary Clinton in America. It’s the so-called progressive side of the aisle which has forgotten how to speak to people’s base emotions. It is they who still regale the audience with facts (apparently clear facts!) whilst Farage waves a passport. The left are repulsed by such imagery; UKIP know it. It is the progressives who hold dull press events about Corbyn’s inability to win elections whilst Corbyn holds mass rallies where logic gives way to emotion. Which is right? That’s less important to me than which has won. 2015, Corbyn, Brexit, Corbyn II, Trump. I make it 5-nil to emotion...
I won’t make the same mistake again. The key learning of the last year or so has been that the communication of effective emotional messages is currently beating data alone. This is particularly true in the age of social media which is effectively a delivery system for emotional weapons. Allied to which there is more volatility in our politics than there has ever been. Voter retention is weaker than ever, particularly on the left. Rich pickings for any party which knows the personality types of its voters and taps into base emotional instincts with effective messaging around issues they know the left are too feeble to confront. It doesn’t have to be this way.
politics  psychology  eu  us  uk  authoritarianism 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Donald Trump 2016: The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter - POLITICO Magazine
Political pollsters have missed this key component of Trump’s support because they simply don’t include questions about authoritarianism in their polls. In addition to the typical battery of demographic, horse race, thermometer-scale and policy questions, my poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.

Based on these questions, Trump was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—whose support among authoritarians was statistically significant.
authoritarianism  politics  psychology 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Admiral to price car insurance based on Facebook posts | Technology | The Guardian
Admiral Insurance will analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners to look for personality traits that are linked to safe driving. For example, individuals who are identified as conscientious and well-organised will score well.

The insurer will examine posts and likes by the Facebook user, although not photos, looking for habits that research shows are linked to these traits. These include writing in short concrete sentences, using lists, and arranging to meet friends at a set time and place, rather than just “tonight”.

In contrast, evidence that the Facebook user might be overconfident – such as the use of exclamation marks and the frequent use of “always” or “never” rather than “maybe” – will count against them.
facebook  finance  psychology  socialmedia 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The influential Confucian philosopher you’ve never heard of | Aeon Essays
This thought experiment was formulated by the ancient Confucian Mengzi, the most influential philosopher in world history whom you have probably never heard of. He uses it to argue that, contrary to egoists, and to those who believe that human psychology is a tabula rasa, human nature is hard-wired with an incipient tendency toward compassion for the suffering of others.

Although Mengzi was born long after Confucius died, he is referred to as the ‘Second Sage’ because he shaped the form that Confucianism would take for the next two millennia, not just in China, but also in Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Also known as ‘Mencius’ (the Latinisation of his name given by early Jesuit missionaries), Mengzi is attracting renewed interest among Western philosophers. Not only does Mengzi provide an intriguing alternative to Aristotelian accounts of the virtues and their cultivation, but his claims about human nature are supported by recent empirical research.
philosophy  ethics  psychology 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
The “Other Side” Is Not Dumb. – Medium
As any debate club veteran knows, if you can’t make your opponent’s point for them, you don’t truly grasp the issue. We can bemoan political gridlock and a divisive media all we want. But we won’t truly progress as individuals until we make an honest effort to understand those that are not like us. And you won’t convince anyone to feel the way you do if you don’t respect their position and opinions.

A dare for the next time you’re in discussion with someone you disagree with: Don’t try to “win.” Don’t try to “convince” anyone of your viewpoint. Don’t score points by mocking them to your peers. Instead try to “lose.” Hear them out. Ask them to convince you and mean it. No one is going to tell your environmentalist friends that you merely asked follow up questions after your brother made his pro-fracking case.
philosophy  psychology  authoritarianism 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Should Airplanes Be Flying Themselves? | Vanity Fair
In other words, in a crisis, don’t just start reading the automated alerts. The best pilots discard the automation naturally when it becomes unhelpful, and again there appear to be some cultural traits involved. Simulator studies have shown that Irish pilots, for instance, will gleefully throw away their crutches, while Asian pilots will hang on tightly. It’s obvious that the Irish are right, but in the real world Sarter’s advice is hard to sell.
safety  aviation  technology  psychology 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
What is anger? 2. Jean Briggs | The History of Emotions Blog
Let me make four quick points about this. First, and most obviously, as I have said, there is no Inuit word for “anger”. Secondly, it is notable that there is no reference anywhere to the idea that any of these Inuit words includes a necessary reference to revenge or pay-back (which is considered a defining feature of orge – the Ancient Greek philosophical concept of anger adopted by Nussbaum and others). Thirdly these words are primarily, though not exclusively, terms for outward actions – such things as shouting, scolding, threatening, and physically attacking. The Inuit vocabulary as translated by Briggs (and this is reinforced also by another recent linguistic study) is primarily a behavioural one.2 So, whatever it is that is standing in the place of “anger” or “bad temper” in the worldview of the Utku seems to have been more a set of behaviours than a set of feelings. Finally, Inuit languages do not seem to have an equivalent category to the English ‘emotion’ at all, so their second-order moral and psychological beliefs about shouting, attacking, and hostility will not be based on the same model of the mind as is familiar in modern academic psychology.
psychology  anthropology  language  emotion  canada 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Anger: does it need managing? | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian
retaliation makes the urge to retaliate go away. But that’s like a smoker arguing that smoking is good because it calms you down, when really it’s nicotine withdrawal that causes the agitation to begin with. Anger’s only real effect is to make things worse, by turning your attention from what can be changed to what can’t: “It makes one think that progress will have been made if the betrayer suffers, when, in reality, this does nothing to solve the real problem.”

The jarring conclusion is that my anger is never justified
psychology 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Peter E. Gordon — The Authoritarian Personality Revisited: Reading Adorno in the Age of Trump | boundary 2
Just a few months ago, in mid-January, 2016, the online magazine Politico published a report with the title: “One Weird Trait that Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter.”

If I asked you what most defines Donald Trump supporters, what would you say? They’re white? They’re poor? They’re uneducated? You’d be wrong. In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism. That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations...
And yet it seems fair to say that the very notion of an authoritarian personality or character worked against sociological explanation, discouraging an account of individual human psychology as a social artifact. Instead of enforcing a dialectical image of the relation between the psychological and the social, it tended to reify the psychological as the antecedent condition, thereby diminishing what was for critical theory a sine qua non for all interdisciplinary labor joining sociology to psychoanalysis. The recent work by MacWilliams (which reflects formidable research effort and should not be lightly dismissed) would appear to reflect this understanding of psychology as the prior explanatory variable because of the way it tries to isolate “authoritarianism,” as if it were a stable category for sociological analysis prior to other affiliations or identifying social factors...
It should not surprise us that the collaborative research team did not include these remarks in the published text of The Authoritarian Personality. For if Adorno was right, then the very notion of individual psychology had to be treated with deepest skepticism. Even psychoanalysis in his view promoted the model of an integrated and separable personality, but while this expressed the sociological truth of the nineteenth century bourgeoisie it was no longer adequate for understanding the dynamics of a fully integrated modern social order. In this respect even psychoanalysis was objectively false and, in cleaving to a model of autonomous depth, it was ideological in the technical sense.
philosophy  sociology  psychology  politics  theory  authoritarianism 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer | Aeon Essays
In his book In Our Own Image (2015), the artificial intelligence expert George Zarkadakis describes six different metaphors people have employed over the past 2,000 years to try to explain human intelligence.

In the earliest one, eventually preserved in the Bible, humans were formed from clay or dirt, which an intelligent god then infused with its spirit. That spirit ‘explained’ our intelligence – grammatically, at least.

The invention of hydraulic engineering in the 3rd century BCE led to the popularity of a hydraulic model of human intelligence, the idea that the flow of different fluids in the body – the ‘humours’ – accounted for both our physical and mental functioning. The hydraulic metaphor persisted for more than 1,600 years, handicapping medical practice all the while.

By the 1500s, automata powered by springs and gears had been devised, eventually inspiring leading thinkers such as René Descartes to assert that humans are complex machines. In the 1600s, the British philosopher Thomas Hobbes suggested that thinking arose from small mechanical motions in the brain. By the 1700s, discoveries about electricity and chemistry led to new theories of human intelligence – again, largely metaphorical in nature. In the mid-1800s, inspired by recent advances in communications, the German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz compared the brain to a telegraph.
metaphor  science  philosophy  psychology 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
How facts backfire - The Boston Globe
It appears that misinformed people often have some of the strongest political opinions. A striking recent example was a study done in the year 2000, led by James Kuklinski of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He led an influential experiment in which more than 1,000 Illinois residents were asked questions about welfare — the percentage of the federal budget spent on welfare, the number of people enrolled in the program, the percentage of enrollees who are black, and the average payout. More than half indicated that they were confident that their answers were correct — but in fact only 3 percent of the people got more than half of the questions right...
There is a substantial body of psychological research showing that people tend to interpret information with an eye toward reinforcing their preexisting views. If we believe something about the world, we are more likely to passively accept as truth any information that confirms our beliefs, and actively dismiss information that doesn’t. This is known as “motivated reasoning.” Whether or not the consistent information is accurate, we might accept it as fact, as confirmation of our beliefs. This makes us more confident in said beliefs, and even less likely to entertain facts that contradict them...
One avenue may involve self-esteem. Nyhan worked on one study in which he showed that people who were given a self-affirmation exercise were more likely to consider new information than people who had not. In other words, if you feel good about yourself, you’ll listen — and if you feel insecure or threatened, you won’t. This would also explain why demagogues benefit from keeping people agitated. The more threatened people feel, the less likely they are to listen to dissenting opinions, and the more easily controlled they are.
psychology  agnotology  authoritarianism 
august 2016 by juliusbeezer
PLOS ONE: If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages
The primary contribution of the current study is the finding that personality traits influence our reactions to written errors. Participants were told to imagine that the writers of staged email messages were potential housemates; participants evaluated the writers in terms of perceived intelligence, friendliness, and so forth on our Housemate Scale. Ratings were negatively impacted by the presence of either typos or grammos, and ratings were also modulated by personality traits. Although personality traits have been linked to variation in production, particularly the use of specific lexical items [14,16], this is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the overall assessment—what we might think of as the social processing—of variable language. Different sets of personality traits were relevant for the two types of errors. More extraverted people were likely to overlook written errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person who makes such errors more negatively. Less agreeable people were more sensitive to grammos, while more conscientious and less open people were sensitive to typos...
Although the effect sizes in our study were relatively small—typos trials were rated only .47 points lower, overall, on the Housemate Scale and grammos were rated only .22 points lower, the effect size is likely modulated by the density of errors, with bigger effects for larger error/word ratios [20]. Furthermore, small effects still have real-world consequences. For example, Hucks found that typos negatively impacted fulfillment of real-world loan requests [50], while Ghose and Ipeirotis found real-world impacts of written errors on consumer behavior [9]. What is new in the current results is our finding that the personality traits of the reader influence the impact of typos and grammos. As we discuss above, these findings have implications for theories accounting for individual variation in language processing. They also add to the growing literature on the relationship between personality and language [11–16], which until now, has examined only certain aspects of language production, without considering any aspects of language interpretation.
psychology  grammar  error  language 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
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