This new video from the School of Life present the concept of psychological asymmetry, and why we aren't as odd or special as we might think.
The solutions to psychological asymmetry lie in two places -- art and love art provides us with accurate portrayals of the inner lives of strangers, and with grace and compelling charm shows us how much they share in troubles and hopes we thought we might be alone in experiencing. And love gives us an occasional deeply precious sense of security to reveal who we really are to another person and the opportunity to learn about their reality from a position of extreme secure proximity. To overcome the effects of psychological asymmetry we must constantly trust, especially in the absence of any evidence, that everyone is likely to be far closer to what we are -- that is, far shyer more scared more worried and more incomplete than they are to resemble the personas they show to the world.
Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (paywalled, no Sci-Hub mirror) describes a fascinating experimental outcome in which subjects were asked to enact "meaningless rituals" ("knocking the table with their knuckles, closing their eyes and counting, among other things") before being confronted with a self-control challenge (eating two carrots, then deciding between […]
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When Yale psych professor Laurie Santos offered a course in how to be happy -- based on the latest peer-reviewed science -- she hoped that a reasonable number of students would sign up (after all, the literature suggested that there is an epidemic of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation among US college students); the course […]
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