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Does Engineering Education Breed Terrorists? - The Chronicle of Higher Education
And countries with relatively robust economies, like Malaysia, India, and Indonesia, had greater than expected numbers of engineers who became jihadists. Something else has to be at work.

Gambetta and Hertog turned to another discipline: psychology.

They focused on three traits. One is the need for cognitive closure, or a preference for order and distaste for ambiguity. Scholars like John T. Jost, Arie W. Kruglanski, and Jonathan Haidt have documented high levels of this trait among politically conservative voters. These groups, Gambetta and Hertog write, also have two other tendencies: They accept prevailing hierarchies and, when confronted with the unfamiliar, they experience high levels of disgust.

The authors observe that these traits are also central to radical Islamist ideology. Did engineers have them, too?

Gambetta and Hertog chose proxy measures for these traits among Western European, male college graduates polled by the European Social Survey. The need for closure and embrace of hierarchy, for example, were correlated with survey questions that elicited opinions on social norms, immigrants, income inequality, and the likeliness of a terrorist attack. Disgust was indexed to how likely respondents were to disagree that "gays are free to live as they wish."

Economics graduates often topped the list, the authors found, but engineering students most consistently scored higher across all of the measures.
authoritarianism  psychology  politics 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Autism, genius, and the power of obliviousness | Armed and Dangerous
I also have the advantage that my peer network has been stiff with geniuses for forty years. I’ve logged a lot of time interacting with both autistic and non-autistic geniuses, and I’m anthropologically observant. So hear this:

Yes, there is an enabling superpower that autists have through damage and accident, but non-autists like me have to cultivate: not giving a shit about monkey social rituals.

Neurotypicals spend most of their cognitive bandwidth on mutual grooming and status-maintainance activity. They have great difficulty sustaining interest in anything that won’t yield a near-immediate social reward. By an autist’s standards (or mine) they’re almost always running in a hamster wheel as fast as they can, not getting anywhere.
culture  psychology  anthropology  opensource 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of 'Normal' Disorders
DSN-IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of 'Normal' Disorders)
Disorders Usually First Evident in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence
666.00 Neurotypic Disorder

The essential features constitute a severe form of Invasive Developmental Disorder, with onset in infancy or childhood.
funny  satire  medicine  psychology 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
How the internet flips elections and alters our thou...
We predicted that the opinions and voting preferences of 2 or 3 per cent of the people in the two bias groups – the groups in which people were seeing rankings favouring one candidate – would shift toward that candidate. What we actually found was astonishing. The proportion of people favouring the search engine’s top-ranked candidate increased by 48.4 per cent, and all five of our measures shifted toward that candidate. What’s more, 75 per cent of the people in the bias groups seemed to have been completely unaware that they were viewing biased search rankings. In the control group, opinions did not shift significantly.

This seemed to be a major discovery. The shift we had produced, which we called the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (or SEME, pronounced ‘seem’),
search  politics  google  facebook  psychology 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
What does a researcher do all day? | Unlocking Research
the team shadowed 10 academics over a 48-hour period. They followed them through their day, literally sitting next to them. They watched lectures, sat in supervisions and took notes. As researchers did tasks the team asked questions about how they felt about the task – whether it was worth their time for example. The number was small because of the time intensity of this approach, however the process revealed good insights. Paul mentioned that they looked at the workarounds academics have for tasks and were able to determine how academics know what is succeeding and what ought they be doing.

The information gathering phase also included 12 co-design sessions looking at research and publishing tools, where they invited a group of participants to act as a designer. These were one on one co-design sessions. The academics were asked to design the journal they would like to publish in. As part of the process they took notes about how the participants talked about the publishing process...

Paul noted that being an academic is really three or four jobs – each person needs to decide what they will be very good at. He observed that academics have to discover things that are new to the world as well as all of their other administration and work.

Many of the academics observed had between six and eight, sometimes 10 different roles. Some of these come with a job title, and others are unofficial because the academic wants to be a good supervisor, tutor, or a good colleague. The longer someone is around, the more roles they collect. The team started trying to graph people’s job titles as part of the project but this proved challenging because academia is not like a company where people have a fixed job title...
What causes one of the greatest emotional lows for a researcher is being rejected for a paper. They have often put all of their effort and knowledge into a journal paper. If it is rejected after peer review they are being told they have wasted two years of their life. Paul noted that some reviewing boards are brutal and the feedback given is, frankly, rude.
scholarly  openaccess  sciencepublishing  academic  universityeducation  teaching  research  psychology  coaching  repositories 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
To Anyone Who Thinks They're Falling Behind In Life
You don't need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you're not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you're just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what's right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.
coaching  art  psychology 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
For obese people distances really do look further, study finds | Science | The Guardian
Obese people see distances as farther than they actually are, according to a forthcoming study that suggests overweight people suffer a “vicious circle” of perception and behavior, and that questions the premise that humans see the world as it is.

“If you find yourself out hiking with a heavy backpack, hills are going to look steeper, distances are going to look farther, gaps across a river are going to look longer,” psychologist Jessica Witt told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).

Sixty-six people were recruited from Walmart for the study, which asked the participants to not only estimate distances and inclines but also to play virtual tennis, putt a golf ball, and practice baseball. Body shape influenced perception, Witt said: a 330lb person saw a 25m distance as 30m, and a 130lb person saw that same distance as 15m.

In general, Witt said that obese people see distances at least 10% further than those with an average weight, and people of all heights and weights “grossly overestimate” how steep hills are.

“You’re not seeing the world as it is,” Witt said, “you’re seeing the world in terms of your ability to act.”
cycling  exercise  psychology 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
"Les managers doivent être des leviers du bonheur au travail" - L'Express L'Entreprise
L'homme est heureux dans son travail dans la mesure où il peut s'en nourrir, non seulement économiquement mais personnellement. Il est malheureux s'il stresse ou s'ennuie. Entre stress et ennui, le bonheur au travail d'une personne est fonction de l'ampleur de ses défis et du niveau de ses ressources. Si ces dernières sont perçues comme trop faibles par rapport au ressenti de l'enjeu, le stress va ronger la capacité au bonheur. Si l'enjeu est perçu comme trop petit par rapport à l'auto-appréciation de ses ressources, la personne va s'ennuyer. Entre le "burn-out" et le "bore-out", le bonheur au travail est possible quand la personne a conscience de ses véritables ressources et quand elle a le sentiment de les mettre au service d'un projet de manière efficace et utile.
work  français  psychology  management 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Bilingual Advantage: Where Do We Go From Here? | Psychology Today
As Aneta Pavlenko wrote in an earlier post, the early findings "captured our hearts and minds" and were a change from concerns about the disadvantages of bilingualism found in the literature in the first half of the last century (see here). But she asked whether the pendulum had swung too far in favor of bilinguals and she reported on a heated debate that had started on this issue. Basically, many research teams, working with both children and adults, could not replicate the effect and doubted its veracity.

In the middle of last year, researchers Kenneth Paap, Hunter Johnson and Oliver Sawi published a very critical review paper of the field for the prestigious brain sciences journal, Cortex. In it, they question the very existence of the bilingual advantage and summarize their findings in the following way: "It is likely that bilingual advantages in EF (executive functions) do not exist. If they do exist they are restricted to specific aspects of bilingual experience that enhance only specific components of EF. Such constraints, if they exist, have yet to be determined."

Instead of simply publishing the paper, and letting it have the life of an ordinary article, the editors of Cortex asked 21 research teams in the area to write comments on it in a "Bilingualism forum". The short texts which have just appeared make for interesting reading and show how complex the debate really is
bilingualism  science  sciencepublishing  psychology  methodology  language 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Balancing Multiplayer Games, Part 4: Intuition — Sirlin.Net — Game Design
you will definitely have to deal with the loud complaints of incompetent people who are quite sure of themselves, and who might even have a well-developed tip-of-the-iceberg of reasoning, but no underside to their iceberg at all. I suggest somehow gaining enough authority that your vague feeling on a balance issue is able to trump their loud complaints. You might even try explaining why that is best for the game...

While balancing Street Fighter, I had the luxury of not having to really explain myself to anyone, and that was a great advantage. Note that I happily explained everything after the fact, but I’m talking about in the heat of development...

There was a brief period of disaster where a new producer tried to track every single task I planned to do in the balancing process. I was reluctant to submit any list of future changes because every day, the landscape changed... Every day, the thing I worked on was whatever thing I felt was most important that day.
programming  psychology  games 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Facebook just gave us one more reason never to trust it | The Verge
Facebook has tested the loyalty and patience of Android users by secretly introducing artificial errors that would automatically crash the app for hours at a time, says one person familiar with the one-time experiment. The purpose of the test, which happened several years ago, was to see at what threshold would a person ditch the Facebook app altogether. The company wasn’t able to reach the threshold. "People never stopped coming back," this person says.

It’s important to highlight that this was apparently a one-time test that happened years ago. Facebook declined multiple requests for comment. But the revelation comes on the heels of the 2014 controversy in which the company altered the content of the News Feed to determine its effect on users’ moods. In part, that meant showing some users a barrage of sad or upsetting posts to see whether it made them less likely to visit Facebook. The study, which "creeped out" even the editor of the journal that published it, cast Facebook in an unusually negative light.
facebook  psychology  socialmedia 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently – Brain Pickings
How to compose a successful critical commentary:

You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
psychology  communication  authoritarianism  philosophy 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Open science and trustworthy data | The Psychologist
In our letter (November 2015), we urged the Society’s boards and senior committees to respond to the very serious problems of replicating psychological research that were revealed by the meagre 36 per cent success rate of the Reproducibility Project’s report of 100 attempted replications. In reply, Professor Andy Tolmie commented that ‘low n research may be a more endemic part of the problem than any deliberate attempts at massaging data’. However, low ns were not the problem for the Reproducibility Project because a priori power analyses for the replications indicated that a 92 per cent replication rate was predicted based on the originally reported effect sizes.

The Project’s report (Open Science Collaboration, 2015) noted that the best predictor of replication success was the effect size observed in the replication, which is independent of sample size. Sadly, the average effect size for the replications was less than half of that for the original studies. The report described the original studies as having ‘upwardly biased effect sizes’. It seems likely that the psychology literature reflects questionable research practices that can inflate effect sizes, such as: p-hacking, unreported removal of troublesome data, and capitalising on chance through selective publishing after adjusting a paradigm to produce significant results or reporting a ‘successful’ dependent variable but not those showing smaller effects.
science  sciencepublishing  opendata  psychology 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit. - F1000Prime
Although bullshit is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingenuous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation. Here we focus on pseudo-profound bullshit, which consists of seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous. We presented participants with bullshit statements consisting of buzzwords randomly organized into statements with syntactic structure but no discernible meaning (e.g., “Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena”). Across multiple studies, the propensity to judge bullshit statements as profound was associated with a variety of conceptually relevant variables (e.g., intuitive cognitive style, supernatural belief). Parallel associations were less evident among profundity judgments for more conventionally profound (e.g., “A wet person does not fear the rain”) or mundane (e.g., “Newborn babies require constant attention”) statements. These results support the idea that some people are more receptive to this type of bullshit and that detecting it is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims. Our results also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.
philosophy  psychology  authoritarianism  agnotology 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Where we keep our second language - Video English
“In speech production, there is plentiful evidence that languages are simultaneously activated and the inappropriate one suppressed, as a function of task.” 1

So when we use our second language we operate both languages simultaneously from the same areas of our brain and simply suppress the one we are not using and switch to the one we are using. It is this combined capacity of the executive function of the brain, also called cognitive control and supervisory attentional system that we train and make fitter when we learn a second language.

There is no separate second language area of the brain. Both languages are stored together, fluency is achieved not only by expanding vocabulary, but by exercising the selecting and switching capacities.
language  learning  psychology 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Trust your memory? Maybe you shouldn't - CNN.com
Loftus recruited 24 students and their close family members for her 1995 study "The Formation of False Memories." She asked each family member to provide her with three real childhood memories for their student, and then sent these memories in a packet, along with one false memory, to the study participants. The false memories were about getting lost on a shopping trip and included real details, such as the name of a store where they often shopped and siblings they were likely with...

Seven of the 24 students "remembered" the false event in their packets. Several recalled and added their own details to the memory.

"It was pretty exciting to watch these normal, healthy individuals pick up on the suggestions in our interviews, and pick up the false information that we fed them," Loftus says.
memory  psychology 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
@MisterSob: Media Misdirection & The Origins Of Extremism
In addition, a 2008 article in The Guardian, citing a classified MI5 internal research report into radicalisation, states:

They are mostly British nationals, not illegal immigrants and, far from being Islamist fundamentalists, most are religious novices. Nor, the analysis says, are they "mad and bad".


Figures released by the Muslim Council of Britain, drawing on the 2011 census, indicate that almost half of the Muslim population in the UK lives in the most deprived areas and that just 1 in 5 are in full-time employment; the disenfranchisement of British Muslims was highlighted in an August 2014 report by ITV. Muslim leader Ajmal Masroor, who works against extremism, said his biggest problem in tackling the issue was the failure of Government policy in the past. Surely, then, asking Muslim children to fill out “counter-extremism” tests only adds to the sense of isolation we should be working to counter.

It can be seen then that tackling the root causes of terrorism must start at home.
religion  politics  war  psychology 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Can psychology help solve long-running conflicts? - BBC News
Contact theory, self-criticism, understanding sacred values and perceptions of fairness: these are no panacea for settling conflict, but they do offer a greater insight into what motivates enmity, and so how it might be diminished and overcome.

They could be psychologically useful levers in the pursuit of peace.
psychology  authoritarianism  education 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
I asked psychologists to analyze Trump supporters. This is what I learned. - The Washington Post
"Most of the electorate would not pass a test on what anybody's positions are on anything," he said. "Nobody cares." Conservative voters, for instance, seem not to mind Trump's favorable comments on national health insurance and eminent domain.

What can win over voters is what Pfeffer called "narcissism."

"They're responding to dynamism, to force, to movement, to smiling, to facial expressions that convey authority," he said. Trump "does it with more force. He does it with more energy. Energy is contagious."

Arie Kruglanski, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, compares Trump's campaign to President Obama's in 2008. The two men have different styles, but both have animated their supporters with confident claims about the future.

"It's the audacity of those promises in those circumstances that really carries a lot of weight," Kruglanski said, "and it's the emotional, as opposed to the kind of deliberative, rational appeal that carries the day."
politics  us  psychology  authoritarianism 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
My name is Ginger, and I used to be a Twitter addict — Medium
If you’re a power user of Twitter, you know how hard it is to keep up with the firehose of tweets.

But just imagine what it was like on the inside: keeping up with all the tweets on a cultural and personal level, keeping up with tweets for our advertising clients (I worked in ad sales), and then keeping up with tweets about Twitter and the industry in general. I really wish I could track the number of tweets I’ve seen over the last few years. Surely it’s in the millions.

Twitter for me was like a never-ending game of Tetris — tweets constantly streamed down my Tweetdeck columns creating an equal mix of panic and excitement. It was fun, and it was fast, and it was infuriating.

A lot of ex-Twitter folks talk about a form of PTSD we’d gotten from working there, and a large part of it was the pace. We had an omnipresent fear of missing something important or being late to something urgent. So we were ever vigilant: always checking in, always keeping up. We feared being the single point of failure that brought the ship down.
twitter  psychology  work 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
What Makes Malcolm Gladwell Fascinating — Silicon Guild — Medium
In 1971, a sociologist named Murray Davis published a groundbreaking paper that opened with these two lines:

“It has long been thought that a theorist is considered great because his theories are true, but this is false. A theorist is considered great, not because his theories are true, but because they are interesting.”

Davis argued that the difference between the dull and the interesting lies in the element of surprise. When an idea affirms what we already believe, we’re bored — we call it obvious. But when an idea is counterintuitive, we’re intrigued. Our curiosity is piqued, and we’re motivated to ask questions
theory  psychology  writing 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
The internet is eating your memory, but something better is taking its place
More recent research has extended this line of work and found that saving information on a computer not only changes how our brains interact with it, but also makes it easier to learn new information. In a study published last year, the participants were presented with two files that each contained a list of words. They were asked to memorise both lists. Half of the participants were asked to save the first file before moving on to the next list, while the others had to close it without saving.

The experiment revealed that the participants recalled significantly more information from the second file if they had saved the previous file. This suggests that by saving or “offloading” information on to a computer, we are freeing up cognitive resources that enable us to memorise and recall new information instead.
internet  psychology  memory 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
No correction, no retraction, no apology, no comment: paroxetine trial reanalysis raises questions about institutional responsibility | The BMJ
Few studies have sustained as much criticism as Study 329, a placebo controlled, randomized trial of paroxetine and imipramine carried out by SmithKline Beecham (which became GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2000). In 2002, a US Food and Drug Administration officer who formally reviewed the trial reported that “on balance, this trial should be considered as a failed trial, in that neither active treatment group showed superiority over placebo by a statistically significant margin.”4 Yet this same year, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office, which sued GSK, over two million prescriptions were written for children and adolescents in the United States, all off-label, after a marketing campaign that characterized Study 329 as demonstrating “REMARKABLE Efficacy and Safety.”

The disparity between what the manufacturer and study authors claim the trial found and what other parties say the data show was an important element in the US Department of Justice’s criminal charges against GSK. In 2012, GSK was fined a record $3bn (£2bn; €2.7bn), in part for fraudulently promoting paroxetine.

Then there are the matters of “editorial assistance” and undisclosed financial conflicts of interests of one of the paper’s authors.
medicine  psychology  science  sciencepublishing  editing  misconduct 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers - The New York Times
Last month, as one of Google’s self-driving cars approached a crosswalk, it did what it was supposed to do when it slowed to allow a pedestrian to cross, prompting its “safety driver” to apply the brakes. The pedestrian was fine, but not so much Google’s car, which was hit from behind by a human-driven sedan.

Google’s fleet of autonomous test cars is programmed to follow the letter of the law. But it can be tough to get around if you are a stickler for the rules. One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn’t get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google’s robot...
Dmitri Dolgov, head of software for Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, said that one thing he had learned from the project was that human drivers needed to be “less idiotic.”
road_safety  robotics  law  psychology  driving  driverless 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think | Johann Hari
n the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn't know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn't like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
drugs  psychology 
july 2015 by juliusbeezer
Addiction, Climate Change, and the Psychology of Recovery
What we can learn from these experiments is that addicts stay hooked and often die if there is not a healthy environment for them to transition to. Similarly, our ecological crisis is largely a crisis of addiction. To explore this idea, I turn to a 2009 report in the journal Ecopsychology, where author Christopher Bailey draws parallels between the way addiction is classified in the DSM and how those bullet points can actually apply to the way our society uses resources. To summarize, the more fossil fuels that we use, the deeper we have to drill in order to access them, and the more exotic the methods (take tar sands, for example). This is a classic symptom of addiction, as addicts typically go to great lengths to keep using despite knowing that their resources are being depleted, and that they are bound to run out and wreak havoc along the way.
drugs  climatechange  psychology  environment 
july 2015 by juliusbeezer
Investigative Journalist Matt Kennard Talks About America's Economic Stranglehold on the World | VICE | United States
It's like that famous Winston Churchill phrase: "If you're not a socialist in your twenties, you've got no heart; and if you're not a conservative in your thirties, you've got no brain." I always thought that was interesting because it's kind of true, but he's got the reason wrong. If you're not a conservative by your thirties then it doesn't mean you haven't got a brain, it merely means you haven't acclimatized to the conservative institutions that have been set up for you to enter, and that's a good thing!

It's not a coincidence that people get less idealistic as they get older. That's how the system works. It stops you expressing opinions that are different from everyone else, it deprives you of any idealism. If you carry on thinking like that you're a "maverick," you're "immature," you're "deluded"—the list of epithets is long. And it usually works to stop people thinking anything idealistic.
politics  philosophy  psychology 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
The Mystic Writing Pad
for Freud, is analogous to the way the psychic system which received sense impression from the outside world remains unmarked by those impressions which pass through it to a deeper layer where they are recorded as unconscious memory. Thus, "the appearance and disappearance of the writing" is similar to "the flickering-up and passing-away of consciousness in the process of perception" (SE XIX:230).

Freud's somewhat off-hand analogy of the way which the perceptive conscious passes experience through to the unconscious to a child's toy has had a curious career. In "Freud and the Scene of Writing," Derrida notes the father of psycho-analysis's dependence on metaphors of writing to describe psychological processes and concludes that this is no metaphor, that perception really is a kind of writing machine like the Mystic Writing Pad. Derrida in particular notes the fact that the marks on the pad are not visible due to the stylus leaving a deposit on the sheet of plastic (in the manner of a pen, ink and paper). The marks only become visible because of the contact the wax has on the reverse side of the sheet of plastic...
In hypertext, consciousness is displaced from the act of apprehension, from the act of reading, to experience of having been written.
internet  blogs  theory  psychology 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
Project MUSE - Affect Theory Dossier: An Introduction
There is of course no single definition of affect theory. In one of its incarnations affect theory builds bridges between the humanities and biology or neuroscience. In another it looks back to Søren Kierkegaard and Baruch Spinoza (among others) to refresh our definitions of subjectivity. Some affect theory defends the therapeutic value of embracing unpleasant feelings such as shame, sadness, or loneliness. Its other branches highlight “ugly feelings” (to use Sianne Ngai’s phrase) as sources not of self-knowledge but of social critique. Affect theory can be a sociology of accidental encounters. It can be a psychoanalysis without end, both in leaving no stone unturned and in not caring to achieve a stable outcome. Affect theory can also refuse psychoanalysis and try to make feelings speak for themselves, as if they will best do so if the conscious mind does not interfere. Stylistically, it has encouraged intensely personal scholarship as well as scholarship that tries to do away with personality altogether.
theory  psychology  emotion 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
KKK Member Walks up to Black Musician in Bar-but It’s Not a Joke, and What Happens Next Will Astound You
That friendship would lead Davis on a path almost unimaginable to most folks. Today, Davis is not only a musician, he is a person who befriends KKK members and, as a result, collects the robes and hoods of Klansmen who choose to leave the organization because of their friendship with him.

The road to these close and authentic friendships, Davis says, involved a lot of learning on his part. He’d had racist experiences and had long wanted to write a book about race relations, but hadn’t had the opportunity to sit down and talk to a Klansman. His upbringing was extremely diverse, and his first experience with organized racism was a shock.
authoritarianism  racism  psychology  politics  us 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
Introducing Lean | University of St Andrews
Lean Thinking began with the Toyota Production System, which transformed car manufacturing in post-war Japan.
business  psychology 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
Book Review: The Philosophy of War and Exile by Nolen Gertz | LSE Review of Books
Citing the alienation and harassment of veterans who returned home from the war in Vietnam, and the mockery of drone operators who try to express their trauma, Gertz perceives that both traditional combatants and modern drone operators have been exiled from a society that severely misunderstands these experiences of war and which refuses to take due responsibility. Crucially, Gertz discerns that traumatic events are not recognised as having been made possible by a ‘peaceful’ society, and so they are placed in another, aberrant realm, thereby protecting the status quo: ‘The diagnosis of PTSD serves to treat what can be seen as our fears of having to face the truth of our everyday lives, rather than serving to treat what is seen as their fears of having to relive such “traumatic” events.’ (p. 121). This is not to ask ‘whether PTSD exists’ (p. 122), but rather, whether we should not instead be re-evaluating the ‘normality’ – the morality – that treatment of these symptoms seeks to return the veteran to.
war  psychology  sociology  theory 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Evidence Base - Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is an international program proven to be effective. Peer-reviewed studies published in Australia, where the program originated, show that individuals trained in the program:

Grow their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions.
Can identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction.
Increase their confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress.
Show increased mental wellness themselves.

Studies also show that the program reduces the social distance created by negative attitudes and perceptions of individuals with mental illnesses
healthcare  psychology 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
On rote memorization and antiquated skills
"I pity the kids who were forced by their parents into memorizing these tables… I will not discourage my kids from using algorithms to solve problems."

Daniel Lemire inspires me to document my mental arithmetic experiences in the corner shop:

I agree with you. I drilled and chanted multiplication tables as a schoolboy in Scotland, but you are quite right that anything beyond 12x was terra incogita, and that an algorithmic approach would have been superior there.

And to in support of your assertions that the most useful memorisation comes from repeated use in practical situations, let me offer this anecdote:

When I was a student I worked in a small corner shop in the north of England whose stock was entirely arrayed around two walls of the small square customer area. I stood behind a counter facing these walls. Customers would enter, select things from the shelves, place them in a basket, and then present the basket on the counter for the items to be checked out and paid for. I generally used a conventional electronic till to perform this duty.

But one way that I found to amuse myself in what was really quite a boring job was to observe the customer as they placed items in the basket, and mentally calculate their total cost before they approached the counter. I would then glance at the basket, and casually state the exact total.

I’d then use the till to confirm the result, to the customer’s amazement. This was quite fun, and a few months of it had the side effect that I’m now much better at mental arithmetic than my school years alone would have given me any right to deserve.

There was no call for multiplication and division in the corner shop trick, but the “oral memory” nature of the practice helped me to create a mental space that holds numbers, and enabled these to be developed later. I still check stuff on paper the way they taught me at primary school though, and I don’t regret learning that solid method before branching out into party tricks.

And yeh; sod it, calculator, which is glumly getting the bus, when you could have had a nice walk and a laugh.
mathematics  education  learning  memory  psychology  programming  dccomment 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
BBC - Press Office - Network TV Programme Information Week 38 Earth – Fight for the Future Feature
Until a few years ago, I was a bit of a climate sceptic. Geologists are only too aware that the climate is always changing and that our planet has experienced very different conditions in the past – warmer, wetter, drier, and colder; far more carbon dioxide in the air; higher sea levels and the rest.



We geologists are used to these changes happening over non-human timescales – hundreds of thousands to millions of years – so it took me a while to latch on to the notion that it was the rate of change that was important. I was really gob-smacked when I saw the ice cores from Greenland and was able to put my finger on the point in the core when the planet switched out of an ice age and into a warm period over the course of a single season. At most, this fundamental change may occur over one to three years, but it's certainly not five or 10 and it's definitely not the centuries to hundreds that I learned about when I did my geology degree 20 years ago.



What is truly scary about climate change is not any of the specific scenarios of rising seas or melting ice, but the sense that our planet's climate exists on a knife-edge balance and we really don't understand what pushes us over the edge, which makes our great chemistry experiment with the world's oceans and atmosphere all the more short-sighted.
climatechange  science  psychology 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Softer, less strident outreach may help calm U.S. vaccine skeptics | Reuters
noting that parents who refrain from vaccinating are doing so out of concern for their babies.

Over the past three years, the number of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated school children in Ashland has dropped from nearly 30 percent to less than 25 percent, said Samuel Bogdanove, director of student services at the Ashland Public Schools.

The county's child health website uses what Sherman calls respectful "Ashland-speak" to address parents.

"Whatever your current views are on vaccines and immunizations, this site is designed to serve as a resource for you," the site says.
vaccines  politics  psychology  agnotology 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
Measles: Shaming Anti-Vaccine Parents Isn't the Answer - Bloomberg Business
If vaxxers can’t force people to get their shots, they can try shaming them into it. But vilification, however satisfying, doesn’t do much good. People who are told that their dearly held beliefs are stupid and selfish tend to withdraw from the conversation while continuing to do whatever they did before...
Physicians can increase compliance by making clear that full and prompt vaccination is an expectation...
ditching an uncompliant family is a mistake. “You’re decreasing the possibility of changing their mind and pushing it toward zero,”
insurance billing code for vaccine counseling, which would give doctors a financial incentive to bring around a resistant family...
As those Twitter tweets show, it’s not just the anti-vaxxers who come from a place of fear and anger. It’s the vaxxers, too. A democratic society must search for common ground. Let’s make this a time for healing. And not just from measles...
vaccines  culture  psychology  medicine  healthcare 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
The Anti-Vaccine Movement Should Be Ridiculed, Because Shame Works
Shame is one of the most potent forces in American society. And just like any tool of socialization and conformity, it can be used for both good and evil.
What worked against the Klan can work for unscientific ideas, like the toxic meme that vaccines are causing more diseases than they're preventing.
vaccines  psychology  politics  culture 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
An interview with Naked Capitalism’s Phil Pilkington on the state of economics (and our Modern Political Economics): Part B | Yanis Varoufakis
The moment you introduce creativity and a capacity to subvert the rules that supposedly govern our behaviour, the whole theoretical edifice collapses. To illustrate this further, take again theory T.

Suppose Jack and Jill are negotiating and both are rational enough to know T. So, Jill expects Jack to expect her to behave according to T. Because she is human (i.e. not an automaton) she has the ‘right’ to ask a ‘subversive’ question that no algorithm can ask: “What will Jack think if I behave in a manner that T has not predicted (something I can do since I know what T predicts)? Is there no significant probability that Jack will panic, thinking that I am irrational (since I have diverged from T), and choose to yield to some of my demands more readily?”

There is, I wish to argue, nothing irrational about this question. Which means that it is possible that Jill will rationally diverge from the bargaining behaviour that theory T prescribes as the uniquely rational behaviour of Jill.
economics  psychology  theory 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? - National Geographic Magazine
[note irony of "fluoridation as uncontested science" opening]

"Americans fall into two basic camps, Kahan says. Those with a more “egalitarian” and “communitarian” mind-set are generally suspicious of industry; they’re likely to see the risks of climate change. In contrast, people with a “hierarchical” and “individualistic” mind-set respect leaders of industry and don’t like government interfering in their affairs; they’re apt to reject warnings about climate change, because they know what accepting them could lead to—some kind of tax or regulation to limit emissions.

In the U.S., climate change somehow has become a litmus test that identifies you as belonging to one or the other of these two antagonistic tribes. When we argue about it, Kahan says, we’re actually arguing about who we are, what our crowd is. We’re thinking, People like us believe this. People like that do not believe this. For a hierarchical individualist, Kahan says, it’s not irrational to reject established climate science: Accepting it wouldn’t change the world, but it might get him thrown out of his tribe.

“Take a barber in a rural town in South Carolina,” Kahan has written. “Is it a good idea for him to implore his customers to sign a petition urging Congress to take action on climate change? No. If he does, he will find himself out of a job, just as his former congressman, Bob Inglis, did when he himself proposed such action.”
psychology  science  ebm  politics  us  climatechange  irony 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
Guns really do change the way you think | MNN - Mother Nature Network
"This is your brain on guns"
For nearly 50 years, scientists have been studying the "weapons effect," a phenomenon in which the presence of a weapon or a picture of one can stimulate aggressive behavior.

A 1967 University of Wisconsin study revealed that subjects acted more aggressively in the presence of a gun, and in 2006 researchers found that men exposed to firearms before an experiment had higher levels of testosterone and were three times more likely to act aggressively than participants who weren't exposed to a gun.

In 2009, the University of Pennsylvania examined the link between gun possession and gun assault and found that people with firearms were 4.5 times more likely to be shot than those who didn't carry a gun.

The paper states that one possible reason for this is that "a gun may falsely empower its possessor to overreact," and there's further evidence to support this.
fake gun
In a 2012 study, participants were given either a replica of a firearm or a neutral object, such as a ball, and asked to identify objects other people were holding. Those holding the replica gun were more likely to assume others had a gun and were more likely to "engage in threat-induced behavior"
guncontrol  psychology 
february 2015 by juliusbeezer
Rethinking One of Psychology's Most Infamous Experiments - The Atlantic
Research is done, becomes famous, but then can never be repeated for ethical reasons:

"Australian author and psychologist Gina Perry, who documented her experience tracking down Milgram’s research participants in her 2013 book Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments. Her project began as an effort to write about the experiments from the perspective of the participants—but when she went back through the archives to confirm some of their stories, she said, she found some glaring issues with Milgram’s data. Among her accusations: that the supervisors went off script in their prods to the teachers, that some of the volunteers were aware that the setup was a hoax, and that others weren’t debriefed on the whole thing until months later. “My main issue is that methodologically, there have been so many problems with Milgram’s research that we have to start re-examining the textbook descriptions of the research,” she said.

But many psychologists argue that even with methodological holes and moral lapses, the basic finding of Milgram’s work, the rate of obedience, still holds up. Because of the ethical challenge of reproducing the study, the idea survived for decades on a mix of good faith and partial replications"
psychology  authoritarianism  ethics  science  ebm  agnotology 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
British belief in climate change on the rise, research finds | Environment | The Guardian
Britons are more likely to agree the climate is changing than at any time in recent years, with nearly nine in 10 people saying climate change is happening and 84% attributing this somewhat or entirely to human activity, new research has found. Two-thirds say they are concerned by global warming.

When asked to name major threats to the UK in the next two decades, 15% of those polled listed climate change without prompting, putting it in fourth position behind immigration, the economy and health. But among people who had direct recent experience of flooding, the number nearly doubled, to 29%.

Nick Pidgeon, professor at Cardiff University, who co-authored the research, said this showed that there was a clear link between last year’s severe flooding incidents, which left thousands homeless, and the perception of global warming.

“An association between last year’s winter flooding and climate change has been forming in the minds of many ordinary people in Britain, who also view these events as a sign of things to come,” he said.
climatechange  psychology  politics 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Why Google made the NSA — Medium
We knew this already didn't we?
("In-Q-Tel" "the highlands forum" "the core" "the gap" "the men who stared at goats" "general idiots" "perverters of social science" and other sadly misguided individuals and initiatives)

"The latest mad-cap Pentagon initiative to dominate the world through control of information and information technologies, is not a sign of the all-powerful nature of the shadow network, but rather a symptom of its deluded desperation as it attempts to ward off the acceleration of its hegemonic decline.

But the decline is well on its way. And this story, like so many before it, is one small sign that the opportunities to mobilize the information revolution for the benefit of all, despite the efforts of power to hide in the shadows, are stronger than ever."
google  surveillance  war  us  facebook  anthropology  sociology  psychology 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
BPS Research Digest: The psychology of Facebook, digested
Google Scholar lists more than 27,000 references with Facebook in the title. Common topics for study are links between Facebook use and personality, and whether the network alleviates or fosters loneliness. The torrent of new data is overwhelming and much of it appears contradictory. Here is the psychology of Facebook, digested:

Who uses Facebook?
Extraverts have more friends on FB
but shy people probably use it more

According to a survey of over a thousand people, "females, younger people, and those not currently in a committed relationship were the most active Facebook users". Regarding personality, a study of over 1000 Australian users reported that "users tend to be more extraverted and narcissistic, but less conscientious and socially lonely, than nonusers". A study of the actual FB use of over a hundred students found that personality was a more important factor than gender and FB experience, with high scorers in neuroticism spending more time on FB. Meanwhile, extraverts were found to have more friends on the network than introverts ("the 10 per cent of our respondents scoring the highest in extraversion had, on average, 484 more friends than the 10 per cent scoring the lowest in extraversion").
facebook  psychology  socialmedia  twitter 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Knauff and Nejasmic recommend banning LaTeX
Knauff and Nejasmic did not have authors compose a document, let alone craft an actual research article, let alone a sophisticated scientific article. They do not even try to assess the tools in the scientific workflow (data generation, analysis, processing, figure generation, and so on). They compare Word and LaTeX on a data entry job akin to what you might ask from a secretary. They also make no attempt to measure how much of this type of purely secretarial work scientists do… or whether it is representative of what scientists do.

It is clear that Knauff and Nejasmic have been frustrated by their collaboration with computer scientists that expected them to use LaTeX. In this story, they are not objective observers.
text_tools  psychology  ms_word_critique 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
French Prime Minister: "I Refuse to Use This Term 'Islamophobia'" - The Atlantic
The origins of the term 'Islamophobia' are somewhat murky. According to Bruckner, the term was first used in its current manner to excoriate the writer Kate Millett, who had called upon Iranian women living under a theocratic yoke to take off their chadors. The term seems to have come into widespread use after the U.K.-based Runnymede Trust issued a report in 1997 entitled “Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All,” and by 2001, the United Nations had recognized Islamophobia as a form of prejudice at its Durban conference on racism (this is the same conference from which the official U.S. delegation walked out, to protest the widespread trafficking in anti-Israel and anti-Jewish tropes). The Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as “unfounded hostility towards Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims.”
politics  psychology  religion 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Psychologists’ role in the CIA’s torture: Why these medical professionals were so crucial for the enhanced interrogation techniques used on detainees.
APA members have long suspected that the creation of the task force was a predetermined rubber stamp for CIA and Defense Department policy because a majority of its members were drawn from CIA and Pentagon units directly involved in national-security interrogations or interrogation research. But there was only circumstantial evidence that its members had been chosen for what appeared to be a CIA- and Defense Department–determined fait accompli.

With the publication of the Gerwehr emails, however, Risen has provided the smoking gun. It is undoubtedly this email exchange, from APA’s Mumford to CIA’s Hubbard that pressed the APA into agreeing to an independent investigation: On July 5, 2005—the day the task force released its report, Mumford sent Hubbard a copy of the report and wrote: “I also wanted to semi-publicly acknowledge your personal contribution ... in getting this effort off the ground. ... Your views were well represented by very carefully selected task force members.”
torture  psychology  us  law 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
Psychology and Torture | Public Seminar
APA did conduct an internal investigation, leading to a report that was released in 2005. This report, which was designated as the Report of the Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (The PENS Report), concluded that any involvement by psychologists in the interrogation of detainees, was for purposes of ensuring that the activities were safe, legal and ethical. Despite the fact that the PENS Report was subsequently revealed to be deeply biased and flawed, APA has taken the stance that its results are definitive and authoritative.

Now, in response to growing external pressure, APA has finally agreed to an independent investigation to be conducted by David Hoffman, a former inspector general and federal prosecutor.
torture  psychology 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road
At a traffic junction all but the worst of drivers will look in both directions to check for oncoming traffic. However, it is entirely possible for our eyes to “jump over” an oncoming bicycle or motorbike.

The smaller the vehicle, the greater the chance it will fall within a saccade.

motorbike in a saccade

This isn’t really a case of a careless driver, it’s more of a human incapacity to see anything during a saccade. Hence the reason for so many “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you” excuses.

The faster you move your head, the larger the jumps and the shorter the pauses. Therefore, you’ve got more of a chance of missing a vehicle.
cycling  driving  road_safety  physiology  psychology 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
The real reason why new pop music is so incredibly bad | BRAIN'S IDEA
More interestingly, he reminded the public that many modern kidz would totally disagree with the implication that modern music is awful. How can it be that new music is liked by young people if so much of it is often regarded as quite bad?

Everything changes for the better after a few repetitions

The answer to the mystery has nothing to do with flaws in modern music but instead with our brain. When adults hear new music they often hate it at first. After repeated listening they tend to find it more and more beautiful. For example, Marcia Johnson and colleagues (1985) played Korean melodies to American participants and found that hearing a new melody led to low liking ratings, a melody heard once before to higher ratings and even more exposure to higher than higher ratings. Even Korsakoff patients – who could hardly remember having heard individual melodies before – showed this effect, i.e. without them realising it they probably never forget melodies.
music  psychology 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Tyranny Of Compulsory Schooling
Teacher training in Prussia was founded on three premises, which the United States subsequently borrowed. The first of these is that the state is sovereign, the only true parent of children. Its corollary is that biological parents are the enemies of their offspring. When Germany's Froebel invented Kindergarten, it was not a garden for children he had in mind but a garden of children, in which state-appointed teachers were the gardeners of the children. Kindergarten is meant to protect children from their own mothers.

The second premise of Prussian schooling is that intellectual training is not the purpose of state schooling - obedience and subordination are.
The best-known device to break the will of the young, practiced for centuries among English and German upper classes, was the separation of parent and child at an early age.
education  psychology 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
We Are All Confident Idiots - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
it’s best not to repeat common misbeliefs at all. Telling people that Barack Obama is not a Muslim fails to change many people’s minds, because they frequently remember everything that was said—except for the crucial qualifier “not.” Rather, to successfully eradicate a misbelief requires not only removing the misbelief, but filling the void left behind (“Obama was baptized in 1988 as a member of the United Church of Christ”). If repeating the misbelief is absolutely necessary, researchers have found it helps to provide clear and repeated warnings that the misbelief is false. I repeat, false.

The most difficult misconceptions to dispel, of course, are those that reflect sacrosanct beliefs. And the truth is that often these notions can’t be changed. Calling a sacrosanct belief into question calls the entire self into question, and people will actively defend views they hold dear. This kind of threat to a core belief, however, can sometimes be alleviated by giving people the chance to shore up their identity elsewhere.
For example, in a study conducted by Geoffrey Cohen, David Sherman, and other colleagues, self-described American patriots were more receptive to the claims of a report critical of U.S. foreign policy if, beforehand, they wrote an essay about an important aspect of themselves, such as their creativity, sense of humor, or family, and explained why this aspect was particularly meaningful to them. In a second study, in which pro-choice college students negotiated over what federal abortion policy should look like, participants made more concessions to restrictions on abortion after writing similar self-affirmative essays.
agnotology  psychology  authoritarianism  politics 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
How to Ship Without a Deadline — Medium
Good stuff on deadlines, including a nice list of good things about them, but REJECTING them for pre-V1 activity:
"When I am handed a deadline, I instantly try to figure out the latest date I can start working on it to make the deadline, and I procrastinate. It’s a bad habit. On the other hand, if I have a project to work on that I am highly passionate about and emotionally invested in, my main thought is, “this has to exist in the world as soon as possible!” and I start immediately and usually don’t stop until I have forged it from nothingness"
work  psychology  software  programming  business 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Plan C | Plan C
During periods of mobilisation and effective social change, people feel a sense of empowerment, the ability to express themselves, a sense of authenticity and de-repression or dis-alienation which can act as an effective treatment for depression and psychological problems; a kind of peak experience. It is what sustains political activity.

[from the seven 403s]
politics  psychology  seven403s 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Rorschach and Awe | Vanity Fair
After a 10-month investigation comprising more than 70 interviews as well as a detailed review of public and confidential documents, I pieced together the account of the Abu Zubaydah interrogation that appears in this article. I also discovered that psychologists weren't merely complicit in America's aggressive new interrogation regime. Psychologists, working in secrecy, had actually designed the tactics and trained interrogators in them while on contract to the C.I.A.

Two psychologists in particular played a central role: James Elmer Mitchell, who was attached to the C.I.A. team that eventually arrived in Thailand, and his colleague Bruce Jessen. Neither served on the task force or are A.P.A. members. Both worked in a classified military training program known as sere
torture  psychology  ethics 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Blowing the Whistle on CIA Torture from Beyond the Grave - The Intercept
The APA in 2002 famously revised its ethics code to permit a psychologist to follow “governing legal authority” even if it clashed with the APA’s own code of ethics. It was, essentially, the Nuremberg Defense of “just following orders.” (In 2010 the APA definitively disavowed it.) As Risen writes, the 2002 change allowed psychologists to be involved in CIA and military interrogations, and “helped the lawyers in the Justice Department to argue that the enhanced interrogation program was legal because health professionals were monitoring the interrogations to make sure they stayed within the limits established by the Bush administration.”
ethics  philosophy  torture  psychology 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Resources - The BBC Prison Study
These results provide no support for the traditional obedience account of Milgram’s findings but are consistent with an engaged followership model which argues that participants’ willingness to continue with an objectionable task is predicated upon active identification with the scientific project and those leading it.
politics  psychology 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
The threats that shut down Anita Sarkeesian’s talk come from someone who seems to be deeply steeped in the misogynstic Men’s Rights subculture | we hunted the mammoth
I went through the email – the full text of which I found in this Pastebin – cutting and pasting some of its more memorable phrases into Google to see just where – if anywhere – these phrases showed up online. And I found that quite a few of them are phrases that are used almost nowhere else but in the misogynistic subcultures I write about on this blog
Now, as I said before, none of this is proof of anything, but it is highly suggestive. The email author not only seems to share the general beliefs of Men’s Rightsers and misogynist Manospherians; he also, even in the course of his short email, falls back repeatedly on some very specific phrasings that seem to be native to the misogynistic subcultures of Men’s Rightsers and pickup artists.

I think it’s safe to say that this is a person deeply steeped in this subculture – and frankly, more interested in the antifeminist crusade of the Men’s Rightsers than in video gaming as such.
feminism  psychology  corpus  language  blogs 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Elites and Panic: More to Fear than Fear Itself
Attributions of panic are almost exclusively directed at members of the general public. Here, we inquire into the relationships between elites and panic. We review current research and theorizing about panic, including problems of identifying when it has occurred. We propose three relationships: elites fearing panic, elites causing panic and elites panicking. We use numerous examples, including our own research on the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, to illustrate how these relationships operate. The argument is evocative, not definitive. However, the conceptual utility of explicitly theorizing the relationships between elites and panic shows, among other things, how power works in disasters.
psychology  politics  crowdscience 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Jews and Non-Jews Need to Repent for the Sins of the U.S. and Israel - The Daily Beast
the Jewish concept of sin, which differs from that concept as it has emerged in Christian-forged Western cultures. The Hebrew word cheyt, usually translated as “sin,” actually derives from the term for an arrow going off course and missing the mark. So sin is not some intrinsic element of our being, because as we say in my synagogue, “Who are we? We’re light and truth, and infinite wisdom, eternal goodness.” But as this ashamnu prayer goes on, “Yet we’ve abused, we’ve betrayed, we’ve been cruel, we’ve destroyed, we have falsified, we’ve lied, we’ve oppressed, we’ve been racists, we have perverted our holy essence.” So repentance is not about declaring ourselves evil or worthless, but rather about getting a spiritual tune-up so that we can get back on course of where our essence was heading, toward goodness, love, kindness, and open-hearted generosity toward others and stewardship and caring for the earth.
religion  psychology  translation 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change and what to do about it | George Marshall | Comment is free | The Guardian
In experiments, children as young as three can tell the difference between an accident and a deliberate attack. Climate change confounds this core moral formula: it is a perfect and undetectable crime everyone contributes to but for which no one has a motive.

There is no outsider to blame. We are just living our lives: driving the kids to school, heating our homes, putting food on the table. Only once we accept the threat of climate change do these neutral acts become poisoned with intention – so we readily reject that knowledge, or react to it with anger and resentment.

Even worse, climate change appears to contain a royal flush of other qualities that are notoriously hard for our brains to engage with: it requires immediate personal sacrifices now to avoid uncertain collective losses far in the future.
climatechange  psychology  politics 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
Why the Facebook Experiment is Lousy Social Science — Medium
All of these findings present challenges to Facebook, but to me, the findings about social support are the toughest. Burke’s research suggests that the more people browse News Feed over time, the more they begin to agree with statements like “I feel that there is no one I can share my most private worries and fears with,” and the less they agree with statements like, “When I need suggestions on how to deal with a personal problem, I know someone I can turn to.”
socialmedia  socialnetworking  facebook  psychology 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
European Association of Psychology and Law Conference 2014 | Light Blue Touchpaper
All groups scored around chance level; experience did not increase performance. However, it did increase confidence level. Tool is needed.
psychology 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
The effects of improvisational theatre (improv) vs. group television watching on cognitive ability and mood in people with age-related memory complaints [PeerJ PrePrints]
randomized control pilot study for utility and preliminary efficacy of improvisational theatre on cognitive ability and mood in older adults with age-related memory complaints. 11 elderly participants with age-related memory complaints from an assisted living center were randomized into an improv class (n=5) or a television watching control group (n=6).
The improv group demonstrated an average improvement in executive function, memory self-appraisal, phonemic cognition, and a decrease in mild cognitive impairment. The verbal fluency test, which measures phonemic cognition showed significant improvement with a p-value of 0.037.
television  writing  language  psychology 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
PubPeer - Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks
Facebook users are understandably upset that their emotional states were manipulated without their consent. Obviously certain experimental designs preclude, or even necessitate, that researchers forego consent. This study may be one such example, however I'm concerned that certain information about the ethical considerations, and some other details, are missing altogether from this manuscript. T
facebook  psychology  ethics 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
What If ‘Born This Way’ Is Wrong? -- Science of Us
“You say, okay, I’m going to get some gay people and I’m going to test whether their brains are different or something,” Walters said. “You already presume to know what is gay and who is gay. If someone has desires to act on it, are they in that study’s sample? If they act on it, but they don’t declare themselves, they don’t feel that’s who they are in their everyday lives, are they in the sample? If they’ve had both sets of experiences, are they in the sample? If someone says, I’m a lesbian, but boy do I get turned on by gay male porn, are they in that sample? It narrows the vast complexity and richness of human sexuality to think that there is some simple one or the other way of looking at it: gay, straight, this desire, that desire. And it flies in the face of both our history and other cultural experiences.”

Walters also invokes history in her argument against “born this way”–ism.
sex  physiology  psychology 
june 2014 by juliusbeezer
What if schizophrenics really are possessed by demons, after all? | Practical Ethics
Irmak concludes that ‘it is time for medical professions to consider the possibility of demonic possession in the etiology of schizophrenia’ and that ‘it would be useful for medical professions to work together with faith healers to define better treatment pathways for schizophrenia’ (p. 776).

This is a dumbfounding argument, and it is shocking to find it published in a post-mediaeval peer-reviewed journal. Lest anyone suspect me of being unfairly prejudiced against the possibility of demons, let me point out that even those who subscribe to a demonic metaphysics should not be persuaded by Irmak’s argument. His observation that ‘there exist similarities between the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia and demonic possession’ is no more surprising than the observation that there exist similarities between financial compensation for childhood tooth loss and visits by the tooth fairy: in each case, the latter is a hypothesis motivated by a desire to explain the former.
censorship  dccomment  scholarly  ethics  religion  psychology 
june 2014 by juliusbeezer
Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going - Sarah Goodyear - The Atlantic Cities
Appleyard worked with children in two suburban communities. One had light traffic and infrastructure that allowed children to walk and bike on their own. One had heavy traffic and children traveled almost exclusively by car. Using a technique called cognitive mapping, Appleyard asked groups of nine- and 10-year-old kids to draw maps of their neighborhoods, showing destinations such as school and friends’ houses, and marking places they liked or disliked. The results were revealing:

In the Heavy [traffic exposure] neighborhood, the children frequently expressed feelings of dislike and danger and were unable to represent any detail of the surrounding environment.
urban  cycling  driving  psychology 
may 2014 by juliusbeezer
the crowd: Hillsborough and ‘crowd control’
These days, the leading crowd event safety experts agree that many problems in crowd events – including some of the most well-known crowd disasters – are due to problems in crowd management. Examples would example the failure to plan for sufficient space for the size and flow speed of the crowd, and the failure to communicate adequately with the crowd.

This kind of analysis, which moves attribution for crowd disasters away from the supposedly inherent psychological problems of the crowd (whether of ‘convergence’ or ‘submergence’) to deficiencies in management and planning, is a positive development. It suggests that crowd disasters are not simply something that ‘just happens’ from time to time due to the inherently primitive psychology of the crowd; rather, crowd disasters are preventable through improvements in knowledge about, and hence to the practice of, crowd safety management.
psychology  police  safety  politics 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
Get rid of the burden of sin | The Long Island Catholic
Who wants to carry the burden of sin around like a heavy knapsack weighing us down? Get rid of them! Come to confession this Monday and discover the freedom and the peace, the joy and the contentment of being reconciled to God through the healing balm of sacramental confession and absolution.
religion  psychology 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
Plan C | Plan C
During periods of mobilisation and effective social change, people feel a sense of empowerment, the ability to express themselves, a sense of authenticity and de-repression or dis-alienation which can act as an effective treatment for depression and psychological problems; a kind of peak experience. It is what sustains political activity.
psychology  politics 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
Common Errors in History of Psychology Textbooks | Advances in the History of Psychology
In the third instance, although it is true that Paul Broca presented his findings with respect to the brain of a patient, “Tan” (whose actual name was LeBourgne) to an 1861 meeting of the Paris Anthropological Society, the theory he was attempting to confirm in his report had been articulated by Ernest Auburtin and Jean-Baptiste Bouillaud earlier in the year. Although one might quibble whether credit for the “discovery” should go the person who developed the theory or the person who presented the first widely-accepted evidence of it, Broca himself gave credit to gave full credit to Bouillaud
psychology  language  history  broca 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
Classics in the History of Psychology -- Broca (1861)
On sait que l'école phrénologique plaçait à la partie antérieure du cerveau, dans l'une des circonvolutions qui reposent sur la voûte orbitaire, le siége de la faculté du langage. Cette opinion, que l'on avait admise, comme tant d'autres, sans preuve suffisante, et qui d'ailleurs ne reposait que sur une analyse très imparfaite des phénomènes du langage, aurait sans doute disparu avec le reste du système, si M. Bouillaud ne l'eût sauvée du naufrage en lui faisant subir d'importantes modifications, et en l'entourant d'un cortége de preuves empruntées surtout à la pathologie. Sans considérer le langage comme une faculté simple dépendant d'un seul organe cérébral, et sans chercher à circonscrire dans une étendue de quelques millimètres la situation de cet organe, comme l'avait fait l'école de Gall, ce professeur a été conduit par l'analyse d'un grand nombre de faits cliniques, suivis d'autopsies, à admettre que certaines lésions des hémisphères abolissent la parole sans détruire l'intelligence, et que ces lésions ont toujours [p. 331] leur siége dans les lobes antérieurs du cerveau.
broca  psychology  history  philosophy  language 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
5 Ways to Maximize Personal Growth at Burning Man (or Anywhere). ~ Steve Bearman & Troy Dayton | elephant journal
There’s a trick to creating intimacy everywhere you go.

Think back on the last time you were attracted to someone; you likely gave them an unusual quality of attention and appreciation, friendliness and respect. You treated them as if they were special, and they could feel it.

What would it be like if you gave that quality of attention to everyone? We’re not saying you should be attracted to everyone or spend the same amount of time with everyone. You can, however, practice seeing each person’s unique and extraordinary beauty, and treat them accordingly.
psychology  peskykids  emotion  socialnetworking  social 
march 2014 by juliusbeezer
How to Spot a Paranoid Libertarian - Bloomberg
Societies can benefit a lot from paranoid libertarians. Even if their apocalyptic warnings are wildly overstated, they might draw attention to genuine risks, or at least improve public discussion. But as a general rule, paranoia isn’t a good foundation for public policy, even if it operates in freedom’s name.
politics  psychology  authoritarianism  anarchism  paranoia 
january 2014 by juliusbeezer
Getting excited helps with performance anxiety more than trying to calm down, study finds
simple statements about excitement could improve performance during activities that triggered anxiety. The study was published online in APA's Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

In one experiment, 140 participants (63 men and 77 women) were told to prepare a persuasive public speech on why they would be good work partners. To increase anxiety, a researcher videotaped the speeches and said they would be judged by a committee. Before delivering the speech, participants were instructed to say "I am excited" or "I am calm." The subjects who said they were excited gave longer speeches and were more persuasive, competent and relaxed than those who said they were calm
psychology  coaching  presentation 
january 2014 by juliusbeezer
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