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Xenopsychology

First of all, what exactly do we mean by "emotion"? There is much disagreement on this, but one of the most useful definitions, by psychologist Magda Arnold, draws a careful distinction between states and behaviors. In Arnold's theory emotional experience proceeds in three steps: (1) Perception and appraisal (external stimulus is perceived and judged good, bad, useful. harmful, etc., mostly based on learned associations); (2) Emotion (internal state of arousal or "feeling" arises, involving physiological effects); then (3) Action (specific behavior such as approach, avoidance, attack, or feeding, depending on emotional intensity, learned behavioral patterns, and other motivations simultaneously present). In this view emotion is an internal state, not a behavior or a perception of external reality.
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10 Ways Our Minds Warp Time — PsyBlog

10 Ways Our Minds Warp Time — PsyBlog | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Our experience of time is flexible; it depends on attention, motivation, the emotions and more.
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Walking the Line Between Good and Evil: The Common Thread of Heroes and Villains | Andrea Kuszewski

Walking the Line Between Good and Evil: The Common Thread of Heroes and Villains | Andrea Kuszewski | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

A few years ago, I wrote an article titled, “Addicted to Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism“, in which I first discussed the potential genetic link between Sociopaths and Heroes, or X-Altruists. In theory, their genetic make-up is very similar—same basic group of extreme traits in each personality—with a few important exceptions, one being expressed empathy. This notion was hinted at in 1995 by Behavior Geneticist David Thoreson Lykken [1] in his book, The Antisocial Personalities, when he said, “the hero and the psychopath may be twigs on the same genetic branch.” It is very possible that two members of the same family—even brothers in a shared home environment—could end up as seemingly polar opposites; one doing extreme good: the X-Altruist, the other doing extreme bad: the Sociopath.

 

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Personality Research Says Change in Major Traits Occurs Naturally - Wall Street Journal

Personality Research Says Change in Major Traits Occurs Naturally - Wall Street Journal | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Wall Street Journal
Personality Research Says Change in Major Traits Occurs Naturally
Wall Street Journal
Psychologists label five personality traits and explain which increase and decrease with age.

Via Santosh Kumar Nair
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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 25, 2014 10:45 AM

Helpful to know, and to understand, with age.  Heads up therapists!  It also is consistent with Jungian psychology.  ~  D

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The Suicide Rate Doesn’t Peak During the Holidays. Why Does It Peak in Spring?

The Suicide Rate Doesn’t Peak During the Holidays. Why Does It Peak in Spring? | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The suicide rate does not peak during the holidays, and the media should stop saying it does, according to a report released Tuesday by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. In fact, the suicide rate is highest in spring and summer.
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OCD & Living Without False Hope

OCD & Living Without False Hope | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
When one has a breakthrough in therapy or in life, one experiences a feeling of aliveness. As a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these moments have been few and far between over the course of my 33 years.
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5 Reasons to be Less Materialistic

New studies in psychology are showing some of the negative effects of being too materialistic in our beliefs and attitude.
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Envy: The Feeling Can Help Us Even When It Hurts: Scientific American

Envy: The Feeling Can Help Us Even When It Hurts: Scientific American | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Wanting what another person has can spur us to better ourselves

 

In BriefFeelings of inferiority and desire can spur us to bring down our competitors—or to better ourselves.Our ability to successfully control envy impulses is hampered by outside factors such as stress, exhaustion and inebriation.Transforming malicious envy into its more productive cousin, benign envy, may be a way to harness the emotion's power to motivate.
Sharrock's insight:

I couldn't read the whole article because I didn't buy the magazine. The "In Brief" and the article's beginnings reveal some interesting clues and topics to investigate, explore, and appreciate. One thing is the idea that envy isn't all "bad." There is malicious envy, but there is also "benign" envy, which is motivational. Even one of the "Deadly Sins" is more complex than the black-and-white evaluation we are used to encountering. This also fits well with the values of emotional intelligence in terms of social and emotional skills of self-regulation, impulse control, executive functioning skills, etc. 

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Five Ways to Change Someone Else's Mind

Five Ways to Change Someone Else's Mind | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
There are times when you want other people to act or think a certain way - namely, the way you think and act. There's an art to persuasion that begins with a few simple rules. The first comes from
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Hearing metaphors activates brain regions involved in sensory experience

Hearing metaphors activates brain regions involved in sensory experience | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
"We see that metaphors are engaging the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in sensory responses even though the metaphors are quite familiar," says senior author Krish Sathian, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, rehabilitation medicine and psychology at Emory University. "This result illustrates how we draw upon sensory experiences to achieve understanding of metaphorical language."
Sharrock's insight:

"George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, in their landmark work 'Metaphors we live by', ...argued that metaphor comprehension is grounded in our sensory and motor experiences."

 
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The Big Personality Test - YouTube

The 5 personality traits that impact on our lives What is personality? How much of an impact does it have on our lives? Dr Jason Rentfrow will present result...
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Psychologists Discover How People Subconsciously Become Their Favorite Fictional Characters

Psychologists Discover How People Subconsciously Become Their Favorite Fictional Characters | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Psychologists have discovered that while reading a book or story, people are prone to subconsciously adopt their behavior, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses to that of fictional characters as if they were their own.
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Sharrock's curator insight, May 12, 2014 11:02 AM

How can educators tap into this phenomena?

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Kahnemann's Prospect Theory: a summary in one graphic

Kahnemann's Prospect Theory: a summary in one graphic | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Human behaviour isn't that hard to understand if you do the work. And my favourite theory of it involves Cognitive Biases: the core emotionally-led behaviours that drive the decisions we actually m...

Via Emre Erdogan
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Attribution Theory - Simply Psychology

How do we attach meaning to other's behavior, or our own?  This is called attribution theory. For example, is someone angry because they are bad-tempered or because something bad happened?

“Attribution theory deals with how the social perceiver uses information to arrive at causal explanations for events.  It examines what information is gathered and how it is combined to form a causal judgment” (Fiske & Taylor, 1991)

Sharrock's insight:

This theory was explored in Thinking Fast and Slow. Saying it is psychological transference seems to be inaccurate. In the book, it was introduced as the person's ability to attribute actions and intentions, even emotions, to objects. In the study shared, there was a large triangle, a two other smaller shapes. They were animated. children viewing the animation readily interpreted the large triangle as a bully that was bullying a smaller shape and that the other shape came to help defend against the bully. They were only shapes. They didn't even have faces. Kahneman also shared that this attribution did not occur with people with autism. 

 

This tendency to attribute intentions can create problems when dealing with using anecdotes as evidence and may be the cause of disagreements. I'm still reading Kahneman's book, but I do wonder how attribution theory and transferance are related as models.

 

In many ways, this contributes to the uncomfortable argument that we don't know ourselves and don't really understand others. Although people exist outside of ourselves, we can impose our interpretations of their actions without much effort (system one). In a way, we "live" in a different world, a parallel world, to the worlds of others. Without developed critical thinking skills, we might not often "correct" our misinterpretations. This attribution theory or inference theory seem to be theories for why we suffer from chronic cognitive biases and fall victim to logical fallacies. 

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The Lobotomy Files: Forgotten documents reveal government lobotomy of U.S. troops.

The Lobotomy Files: Forgotten documents reveal government lobotomy of U.S. troops. | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The Veterans Administration administered lobotomies to roughly 2,000 U.S. World War II veterans for treatment of mental disorders. The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals.
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8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day--And How To Avoid Them

8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day--And How To Avoid Them | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The swimmers body illusion and other ways our brains play tricks on us.
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Authors take polar-opposite tacks as they try to decipher Japanese women

Authors take polar-opposite tacks as they try to decipher Japanese women | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
It's an all-too-familiar story: On the romantic front, foreign ladies living in Japan have it bad while the guys do unbelievably well. For every woman who complains about Japanese men's ...

Via Frank Carbullido
Sharrock's insight:

excerpt: "Apparently the foreign women’s situation is not all that bad — at least not according to Caroline Pover’s recently published “Love with a Western Woman: A Guide for Japanese Men,” in which she taps the knowledge of a bevy of foreign females who have found their almond-eyed Prince Charmings. But what about the other side of the story? Is Japan really the foreign guy’s paradise on Earth that some would have you believe?"

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Sharrock's comment, April 22, 2014 3:06 PM
I like this quote: "“From what I’ve seen and experienced, the main cause of breakups is when one or both people in a relationship stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the validity of the other’s culture."