Category Archives: Psychology

Free will

Interesting article about what believing in free will means to you: “Free will may be partly what oils the wheels of society, what encourages us to treat each other respectfully”

If you cannot – like me – read properly the 2nd paragraph, here it is:

“But, say some scientists and philosophers, this sense of agency is an illusion: you were hungry and that’s why you ‘wanted’ cereal; you were bored and fed up of being inside so you ‘decided’ to get some exercise; and as for itchy noses, well there is a biological cause for that as well. From a determinist viewpoint each of these actions, and their causes, as well as their causes and their causes can be traced right back to my birth, then back through my parents’ lives, then right back, like clockwork, to the beginning of the universe.”


Then don’t worry

Post image for The most useful feel-good internet meme you’ll ever see

For some interesting comments about that meme, check that article.


Rationality versus Intelligence

“Psychologists have studied the major classes of thinking errors that make people less than rational. They have studied people’s tendencies to show incoherent probability assessments; to be overconfident in knowledge judgments; to ignore the alternative hypothesis; to evaluate evidence with a “my side” bias; to show inconsistent preferences because of framing effects; to over-weigh short-term rewards at the expense of long-term well-being; to allow decisions to be affected by irrelevant context; and many others.

All of these categories of failure of rational judgment and decision-making are very imperfectly correlated with intelligence – meaning that IQ tests tend not to capture individual differences in rational thought.”

More here.



Interesting summary of why procrastination and what one can do about it.


First-world problems

Those Tweeters should go to a 3rd-world country just for a week. That would relativise their (stupid) view on what is a bad day.

Why we make bad decisions

“Yet people are loath to challenge experts. In a 2009 experiment carried out at Emory University, a group of adults was asked to make a decision while contemplating an expert’s claims, in this case, a financial expert. A functional M.R.I. scanner gauged their brain activity as they did so. The results were extraordinary: when confronted with the expert, it was as if the independent decision-making parts of many subjects’ brains pretty much switched off. They simply ceded their power to decide to the expert.”


The only truth?

Here in Bulgaria, the majority of people see the cold as something dangerous to be wary about. In Findland, many mothers think the exact opposite as you can read in this article:

“I think it’s good for them to be in the fresh air as soon as possible,” says Lisa Mardon, a mother-of-three from Stockholm, who works for a food distribution company.

“Especially in the winter when there’s lots of diseases going around… the kids seem healthier.”

This is just another example confirming that as for many things in life, it is all a question of reference point (as would agree Einstein). There is no single truth, so if there something to be wary about, it is the people who think they know the one and only truth.

This is water

It’s all about attitude!


What makes us feel good about our work?

Abstract from TED on that interesting speech: What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.

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Wisdom from Psychopaths?

How to get rid of an unwanted tenant? Psychopaths have the solution for you! Find out here.

More seriously, there is indeed wisdom in what psychopats say:

  • “I think the problem is that people spend so much time worrying about what might happen, what might go wrong, that they completely lose sight of the present. They completely overlook the fact that, actually, right now, everything’s perfectly fine.”
  • “the reason why people don’t get their own way is because they often don’t know themselves where that way leads. They get too caught up in the heat of the moment and temporarily go off track.”
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