Psychology articles

Young children are terrible at hiding – psychologists have a new theory why

Young children are terrible at hiding – psychologists have a new theory why

By Henrike Moll, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Allie Khalulyan, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Young children across the globe enjoy playing games of hide and seek. There’s something highly exciting for children about escaping someone else’s glance and making oneself

Memetics and the science of going viral

By Shontavia Johnson, Drake University. WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? WHO-WHO-WHO-WHO-WHO? WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? WHO-WHO-WHO-WHO-WHO? If you’ve ever heard the Baha Men’s 2000 hit “Who Let the Dogs Out,” you probably have also experienced its somewhat-annoying-but-very-catchy hook being stuck in your head for several hours. The official video for ‘Who Let the Dogs

Getting serious about funny: Psychologists see humor as a character strength

By Janet M. Gibson, Grinnell College. Humor is observed in all cultures and at all ages. But only in recent decades has experimental psychology respected it as an essential, fundamental human behavior. Historically, psychologists framed humor negatively, suggesting it demonstrated superiority, vulgarity, Freudian id conflict or a defense mechanism to hide one’s true feelings. In

Virtual bodyswapping reduces bias against other races

By Manos Tsakiris, Royal Holloway. In 1959, John Howard Griffin, a white American writer, underwent medical treatments to change his skin appearance and present himself as a black man. He then traveled through the segregated US south to experience the racism endured daily by millions of black Americans. This unparalleled life experiment provided invaluable insights into

Why you shouldn’t want to always be happy

By Frank T. McAndrew, Knox College. In the 1990s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman led the positive psychology movement, which placed the study of human happiness squarely at the center of psychology research and theory. It continued a trend that began in the 1960s with humanistic and existential psychology, which emphasized the importance of reaching

The power of rewards and why we seek them out

By Rachel Grieve, University of Tasmania and Emily Lowe-Calverley, University of Tasmania. Any dog owner will tell you that we can use a food reward as a motivation to change a dog’s behaviour. But humans are just as susceptible to rewards too. When we get a reward, special pathways in our brain become activated. Not only

Why are people starting to believe in UFOs again?

By Joseph P. Laycock, Texas State University. The 1990s were a high-water mark for public interest in UFOs and alien abduction. Shows like “The X-Files” and Fox’s “alien autopsy” hoax were prime-time events, while MIT even hosted an academic conference on the abduction phenomenon. But in the first decade of the 21st century, interest in

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