Tag psychology

The Context Of Meaning

Nick Chater— In an ever more mechanized world, and with science revealing the hidden processes of nature with ever more precision, the desire to reassert the value of the non-mechanical, the spiritual and the emotional can seem increasingly urgent. We humans struggle to find meaning in a world apparently governed

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What Got Antivaxxers to Vax in New York City

Richard Robb— In fall 2018, measles returned to New York City. It was hardly surprising, given the alarmingly widespread resistance to vaccination. According to a recent survey, 2% of Americans believe vaccines are unsafe and ineffective and another 6% believe the side effects of vaccination outweigh the benefits. Many antivaxxers maintain

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Understanding Empathy

Susan Lanzoni— “Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?” asked the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in 1998, considering the case of Otto, a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Otto always carried with him a simple spiral notebook as a memory aid, in which

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The Origin of Empathy

Susan Lanzoni— Is it possible to empathize with lines in an abstract design, with the expansive reach of a tree, the sweep of a bird’s flight, or the imposing rise of a range of mountains? Can we “feel into” forms and shapes? If today we know empathy as a way

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Ep. 59 – The Psychology of Human Societies

We’re all part of groups, large or small, but how and why do humans form groups and societies? We look at how cognition influences society and what it means for our understanding of the world.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify

(Self-)Righteous Anger

Judson Brewer— In 2010, I went on a monthlong silent retreat with the aim of working on and possibly stabilizing a special c concentration type of meditation practice (jhana) that can be held for hours if practiced correctly. I had been reading about and trying to develop this practice for

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Knowing Through the Body

Guy Claxton— What are often called “higher mental processes” actually sit atop a whole lot of emotional and visceral goings-on. That is not a nuisance or a design fault; it is a deep part of our evolved nature as intelligent beings. To recap: at the core of our being there

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For Kids with Pain, Attending School Can Help More Than it Hurts

Rachael Coakley— Jessica started her freshman year of high school in great spirts. Then, in early October, she began to get daily headaches after school. Her headaches typically began around 4 PM and persisted through the evening making it difficult for her to complete homework. When Jessica couldn’t finish assignments

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What is a Database of Dreams?

Rebecca Lemov— A little-known turning point in the prosecution of World War II war crimes occurred in 1945 at Nuremberg. Sitting on his prison cot was Hermann Göring, recently captured Reichsfeldmarschall, founder of the Sturmabteilung (SA), creator of the first concentration camps, and a man who, not many weeks before,

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The Mind and the Self

Christopher Bollas— Most of us go through the simple realities of each day not giving things much thought.  From the routine—like what we make for breakfast—to the unexpected, like road construction blocking our way to work, one event seems to follow another  in that unpredictable pattern that just happens to

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