If sadness is an unpleasant emotion, then why are we at times so drawn to sad music? By Dan RudermanRead the rest
Why do Holocaust deniers, young Earth creationists, people who think they’ve lived past lives as famous figures, people who claim they’ve been abducted by aliens, and people who stake their lives on the power of homeopathy believe things that most of us do not? David McRaney investigates.Read the rest
In this episode of You Are Not So Smart David McRaney explores ego depletion and all the things that can cause it, from feeling rejection to holding back tears to avoiding the temptation of cookies.Read the rest
And what are the ramifications of rubbing a beard with an infected chicken before conducting lab work? Tune in to the latest episode of You Are Not So Smart to find out!Read the rest
Read the rest
Matthew writes, "A new paper in Science reports that when people are asked to entertain themselves with their own thoughts for 15 minutes, many resort to giving themselves painful electric shocks they'd previously said they'd pay to avoid."
Read the rest
When I was a kid my friend and I caught some little frogs. My friend liked his frog so much he smothered it to death in his hand. Lenny, the mentally challenged giant in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, squeezed living creatures to death because he loved them so much. Why do people do this? Two Yale graduate students, Oriana Aragon and Rebecca Dyer, are conducting experiments to find out.
Some things are so cute that we just can't stand them. We think it’s about high positive-affect, an approach orientation and almost a sense of lost control. It’s so adorable, it drives you crazy. It might be that how we deal with high positive-emotion is to sort of give it a negative pitch somehow. That sort of regulates, keeps us level and releases that energy.
"This aggression may be the brain’s response to the overwhelming joy incurred by such creatures (similar to how some people cry when intensely happy)."
Even though we are learning more and more about what is “under the hood” of human consciousness, it might not tell us what we most want to know about ourselves. It could be like monitoring a transistor in a computer to better understand why a YouTube video was funny. David McRaney explores the dangers of reductionism in the You Are Not So Smart podcast.Read the rest
Self-presentation style in job interviews: the role of personality and culture, a UBC study presented in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that job interviews were optimized for self-aggrandizing narcissists, while people from cultures that value modesty and self-effacement fared poorly (it probably helps that everyone conducting a job interview had to pass a job interview to get that job, making them more likely to have confidence in the process). (via Reddit)