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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Money-saving gifts make recipients feel ashamed according to researchers

People hate gifts when the giver tells them it will save them money, according to a study in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. On the other hand, being told a gift will save them time, makes the like it.

In the experiment, researchers gave $5 Starbucks gift cards to 200 college students. Half ...

How Maria Konnikova used her psychology background to be a champion poker player

I'm almost finished reading Maria Konnikova's new book, The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win.  It's an enthralling and funny first-hand account of her transition from a person who didn't know how many cards were in a deck into a professional, tournament-winning poker player.

Maria is one of my ...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder as practice for COVID-19

People who live with obsessive-compulsive disorder, especially those who have learned to manage it with cognitive-behavioral therapy tools, may actually be psychologically well-prepared for this pandemic. The techniques those of us with OCD practice to handle anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and all-consuming compulsions are well-suited to dealing with worries of infection and the endless what-ifs about ...

How to think positively and why it’s so hard to do that

Our brains are wired so that when a situation is framed as something bad, it's "stickier" in our minds than if it's presented in a positive light. If you see a glass as half empty, it's really really hard to start thinking about it as half-full. That was very beneficial to our evolutionary ancestors but ...

What do we hear when we dream?

While people talk a lot about what they see in their dreams, and the visual language of dreams is well-studied by psychologists, what we hear when dreaming is rarely discussed or scientifically explored. Recently though, researchers at Norway's Vestre Viken Hospital Trust and the University of Bergen conducted a small study to quantify the auditory ...

Watch Johnny Carson joke about the toilet paper shortage

No, that isn't a deepfake. In 1973, the stock market crashed and an Arab oil embargo resulted in a gas crisis. With that as the context, the (false) rumor of a toilet paper shortage emerged from and spread like wildfire via news outlets and then was fueled by Johnny Carson (who later apologized). It's a ...

Eight Sleep CEO says his startup is more than a mattress company

Matteo Franceschetti, CEO of Eight Sleep, would prefer that you don’t call his startup a mattress company. Eight Sleep does sell mattresses, albeit smart ones packed with sensors and temperature regulation controls. The company has raised north of $70 million from backers including Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures. A great deal of this funding surrounds ...

Smokers do not like cigarettes that have “minutes of life lost” ruler printed on them

In 2016 researchers created a variety of "dissuasive cigarettes" to find out which kind was the biggest turn-off. "A 'minutes of life lost' stick was the most aversive of the stimuli tested," reported the researchers.

From Weird Universe (which has a photo of the cigarettes described below):

One of these cigarettes had a “smoking kills” ...

You will be helped! Research using real-world situations fails to replicate the “bystander effect”

For decades, the "bystander effect" (previously) has been a bedrock of received psychological wisdom: "individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present; the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that one of them will help."

Some experiments seem to have borne this out, ...

Using the Challenger Disaster to illustrate the 8 symptoms of groupthink

When Yale research psyhcologist Irving Janis coined the term "groupthink" in 1972, he identified eight symptoms of the pathology: the "illusion of invulnerability"; a "belief in the inherent morality of the group"; "collective rationalization"; "out-group stereotypes"; "self-censorship"; the "illusion of unanimity"; "direct pressure on dissenters" and "self-appointed mindguards."

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is one ...