Category Archives: Psychology

Is Richard Spencer the Alt Right’s Timothy Leary?

In The Spectator, Sam Leith asks “Might LSD be good for you?” There is something of a parallel between the sociology of psychedelics research and promotion and the Alt Right as a research and social movement. And there’s an uncanny … Continue reading

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Rothman on “Virtual Embodiment”

For those interested philosophy of mind (how can you not be?) and the possible directions that VR will take, Joshua Rothman has a good piece titled “Are We Already Living in Virtual Reality?”. Rothman visits and experiences firsthand experimental lab … Continue reading

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Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself?

Occasionally, the NYT is good for something. Cliff Huang’s “Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself?” is a very well-written and enlightening in-depth piece on the rapidly advancing, applied science field of algorithmic machine-learning. The introduction to the piece hints … Continue reading

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How Men and Women Define Success

Psychologist Susan Pinker believes there are hard-wired differences in how men and women (on average) perceive happiness and success at work (“His Standards or Hers? How Men and Women Define Success”). When I was in Amsterdam in 2008 to talk … Continue reading

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Psychologists on Virtue Signaling

From “Moral Outrage Is Self-Serving, Say Psychologists”: When people publicly rage about perceived injustices that don’t affect them personally, we tend to assume this expression is rooted in altruism—a “disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.” But new … Continue reading

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Virtue Signaling as Guilt Alleviation

Rothschild & Keefer, “A cleansing fire: Moral outrage alleviates guilt and buffers threats to one’s moral identity”, Motivation and Emotion, April 2017, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 209–229. Here’s the abstract: Why do people express moral outrage? While this sentiment … Continue reading

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Mothers of Boys with “Gender Identity Disorder”

It’s a study from way back in 1991. So why haven’t we heard about it on CNN? Will they or other media outlets be discussing this rather significant aspect (e.g., a cultural mediating factor) of “gender identity disorder” (GID) amongst young … Continue reading

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Study: Moody Neurotics are more Likely to be Creative Geniuses

The Independent reports on research by Adam Perkins of King’s College London. The crux: A “panic button” in the amygdala, a key emotional centre in the brain, is believed to trigger an inappropriate fear response after perceived threats are conjured … Continue reading

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The Denial of Death

I’ve long believed fear of death is the driving force behind almost everything we do, particularly Culture-writ-large. And when it comes to culture, the magnitude of that driving force is proportionally related to how sublimated that fear of death is. … Continue reading

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The Neuroscience of Despair

In “The Neuroscience of Despair“, Michael Begun applies philosophical anti-scientism (i.e., the reductionism inherent in neurobiological ‘total explanations’ of conscious phenomena, that is, the materialist philosophical position known as scientism) to the issue of clinical depression: “Together with the popular … Continue reading

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