111 - 120 of 158 articles

Human, or Less than Human?

Human, or Less than Human?

It’s hard to imagine a more fundamental question for psychology than what it is that makes us human. It’s harder still to come up with an acceptable answer. Great thinkers through the ages have puzzled over the nature of human nature, and so have contemporary psychological theorists. Are we rational animals, intuitive scientists, naked apes, information-processing machines, or battlefields of intrapsychic conflict? Many writers have made suggestions about what makes us... / more

How on Earth Do People Understand Each Other in Everyday Conversation?

How on Earth Do People Understand Each Other in Everyday Conversation?

Recently a student approached me after I gave a lecture on 'Interpersonal Communication' and asked a question about the course's textbook. I answered his question and we spoke for a while about this book. Yet, at a certain moment we realized he was talking about a Marketing textbook, whereas I was referring to the Communication textbook assigned for my course. It turned out that he was about to attend the next lecture, he had never... / more

Embodied Persuasion: How the Body Can Change our Mind

Embodied Persuasion: How the Body Can Change our Mind

The link between our mind and our bodily responses has long been studied by persuasion researchers. It goes back to the use of the term "attitude" to refer to the posture of one’s body (Galton, 1884), and to the notion that attitudes may reflect—and be influenced by—expressive motor behaviors (e.g., a scowling face can indicate a hostile attitude; Darwin, 1872). Colloquially, it is common to refer to an attitude as an individual’s position on an issue, although the meaning in... / more

When Nothing Bad Happens but You’re Still Unhappy: Boredom in Romantic Relationships

When Nothing Bad Happens but You’re Still Unhappy: Boredom in Romantic Relationships

When one considers feelings and emotions in close, romantic relationships, many thoughts may come to mind: love, caring, understanding, and happiness, to name a few. Of course, romantic relationships are not always so rosy. When considering the dark side of relationships, plenty of negative feelings also arise: jealousy, arguing, and resentment, for example. However, this is not the whole picture. What is often left out or forgotten are the stretches of indifference or lethargy. Practically everyone who has been in a relationship, particularly long-lasting relationships, has experienced these slow, unemotional, un-arousing spells. We refer to these periods as relationship boredom. / more

Culture and Health Psychology: Insights from a Socio-Cultural Perspective

Culture and Health Psychology: Insights from a Socio-Cultural Perspective

The beginning of the 20th century featured an understanding of health that was dominated by a biomedical perspective, characterized by a reductionist point of view in which health was defined as the absence of illness. This view has long been replaced by a biopsychosocial model that emphasizes the role played by socio-cultural forces in the shaping of health (and illness) and related psychological experiences (Engel, 1977). In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as... / more

Do the Math: Cognitive Load Attenuates Negative Feelings

Do the Math: Cognitive Load Attenuates Negative Feelings

Last October (2008), a large email provider launched a new application, the so-called mail goggles, that requires people to quickly solve five moderately complex math problems before they are allowed to send out any email. By default, these mail goggles are only active late night on the weekend (which led some people to rename this application ‘Beer Goggles’), but it can be adjusted to any self-chosen time window. The application is meant to withhold people from sending emails they would later... / more

Free Will in Social Psychology

Free Will in Social Psychology

The topic of free will has challenged thinkers and inspired debate across multiple disciplines for centuries. What can social psychology contribute? Social psychology is unlikely to provide a convincing answer to questions about whether people have free will. However, social psychology can provide considerable information about the inner processes and the control of behavior. To thinkers who believe in free will, social psychology provides vital evidence about how it happens and is used. To thinkers who... / more

The Ghost in the System: Where Free Will Lurks in Human Minds

The Ghost in the System: Where Free Will Lurks in Human Minds

By late January 2002, the FBI had strategically secured what documents remained at Enron’s Houston headquarters following evidence that employees were destroying documents that implicated them in wrong-doing in what was one of the greatest accounting scandals in United States history. Company staff fed reams of papers through shredders, one employee even taking home some of the scrapped documents to use as packing material (CNN, 2002). With the Enron scandal a prominent fixture in the news throughout late 2001... / more

Are You a “Real Man”? How Men Earn and Prove Manhood Status

Are You a “Real Man”? How Men Earn and Prove Manhood Status

Daily life is replete with examples of men’s anxiety about violating the male gender role. Boyfriends and husbands refuse to watch “chick flicks” in the theatre; pop music enthusiasts keep their fondness for certain performers a secret (“I have lots of male friends who like Adam Lambert, but they don’t want people to think they’re gay”). Why might this be the case? Indeed, men’s tendency to appear “insecure in their manhood” may reflect an interpersonal concern... / more

Positive Psychology and the Importance of Close Relationships in TV Sitcoms: That 70s Show, Entourage, and How I Met Your Mother

Positive Psychology and the Importance of Close Relationships in TV Sitcoms: That 70s Show, Entourage, and How I Met Your Mother

The positive psychology movement has spurred multiple lines of research devoted to studying how close relationships are beneficial to people’s lives. These relationships seem to provide psychological nourishment, giving people motivation and confidence to branch out, take risks, and live a more optimal life. Some popular sitcoms are used to demonstrate the overlap between dynamics of careers and social bonds, illustrating how relationships and work are not separate, but intertwined. / more

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