Posts tagged with ‘psychology’

Heavy heavy books: psychology update!

I was listening to the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast, and I heard Mo Costandi mention that people’s perceptions of what they’re reading are affected by its physical characteristics, including weight. My ears pricked up at that because I was complaining about large-format paperbacks on this blog just the other day. So I asked him for […]


text-o-possum…the future! 'Bluetooth laser virtual keyboard encased in elegant possum.' ( tags: computers possums ) That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger – New York Times via Mind Hacks, an extraordinary article about an ultra-long distance cyclist: 'The craziness is methodical, however, and Robic and his crew know its pattern by heart. Around […]


Mind Hacks: A classification of royal stalkers 'A fascinating new study on the types of people who stalk or harass the British Royal Family has just been published online by the journal Psychological Medicine. A group of forensic psychologists examined, by hand, twenty thousand files held by SO14, the Metropolitan Police Service's Royalty Protection unit, […]


TED Blog: Why we think it’s OK to cheat and steal (sometimes): Dan Ariely on Empirical studies of the quirks of human irrationality are endlessly fascinating, I think. ( tags: psychology )

Gee, Officer Krupke

Since the world’s financial system went into meltdown, there has been a certain amount of tooth-gnashing and mouth-frothing about the dreadful greed and recklessness of bankers — a lot of it from politicians who frankly aren’t in a position to lecture anyone about short-termism. I find it difficult to work up much righteous anger. Firstly because […]

The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker

This is the latest of Pinker’s books on various aspects of language and psychology. Specifically, it looks at what language can tell us about the ways the human mind understands the world. For example, the various tenses available to us might tell us something about the human brain’s inherent models for understanding time. Or different […]


Rhagor | Help us find out more about the mysterious alien “Ghost Slug” New species found in Wales: 'Unlike most slugs, the Ghost Slug is carnivorous, killing earthworms at night with blade-like teeth, sucking them in like spaghetti. It is also unusual in having no eyes (it is probably blind) and is almost completely white.' […]

The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo

Philip Zimbardo is the psychologist who ran the famous Stanford Prison Experiment [SPE] in 1971. The ultra-shorthand explanation is this: he took twelve normal young men and split them randomly into ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners’ then set up a fake prison. It was supposed to run for two weeks, but within six days the situation was […]

Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland

The general message of Irrationality is that, if there has ever been a rational decision taken in the history of humankind, it was a fluke. Sutherland goes through various different kinds of bias and error that are present in the way people think – obedience to authority, conformity to the group, a poor grasp of […]

How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties!

I’ve just started a book called ‘Irrationality’, about the irrational behaviour of human beings. So far, much of the general drift has been fairly familiar, but no matter how many times you get told about the untrustworthy tendencies of the human mind, the specific experiments are still startling. Three that happened to jump out at […]