Questions tagged [psychology]

Use this tag for questions about understanding, predicting, and changing the thoughts, emotions, and specifically psychological theories of behavior should use this tag. However, this excludes questions about specific claims, beliefs, or superstitions that would be better categorized under other, more specific tags, including behavior, brain, consciousness, superstition, esp, ghosts, religion, spirituality, energy, and meditation.

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11
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1answer
1k views

Do flashcards for babies improve literacy or numeracy?

Baby flashcards have grown in popularity. They are advertised with seemingly amazing effects, like 1½ year old reading and counting. On the other hand academics seem to either say that they don't ...
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1answer
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Tying a finger to help memory recall

I was playing Zynga's Draw Something when I saw an interesting icon: A quick search of "tying fingers" produces results such as: Big Site of Amazing Facts This is a carry-over from olden days ...
20
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1answer
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Do stress balls reduce stress?

Do stress balls (those things you squeeze that claim to reduce stress) show any efficacy? For example: HealthGuidance The simple act of squeezing something in your hand can help you ease a few of ...
8
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0answers
164 views

Are prices ending with 99 cents more likely to result in purchase decisions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The origin of “99 cents” "Psychological pricing" refers to the theory that certain prices are more likely to lead to a sale than others. In the United States, that ...
16
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2answers
11k views

Does a suspect's psychological state after arrest correlate to guilt or innocence? e.g. do only the guilty sleep in jail?

A common cop procedural trope suggests only the guilty sleep in jail. It shows up in Law and Order: SVU (S6E04), award winning movies, and even articles about poker tells. The guilty, or so the ...
29
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1answer
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Do performance incentives work for knowledge workers?

In this animated video of his talk, Dan Pink claims performance incentives do not work, and can actually lead to worse performance. In summary, he quotes two studies (which he unfortunately does not ...
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2answers
7k views

Is there any correlation between the ear to which you hold the phone and the person on the other end?

On a Big Bang Theory episode (sec 56) Leonard is talking over the phone and everyone wonders who's the person on the other side, afterward Sheldon claims: This should be fairly easy to deduce. He’s ...
25
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4answers
3k views

Does willpower depend on the amount of glucose in the body?

How strong is the evidence for the argument made in Willpower by Baumeister and Tierney? Basically willpower (or better: "self-control") is supposed to be proportional to the amount of glucose in ...
20
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2answers
6k views

Do eye movements reveal “how” a person is thinking?

According to NLP adherents: The NLP Eye movements indicate how a person is thinking - whether they are imagining a future or past event, internally re-hearing a sound or making up a sound, talking ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Are media's portrayals of physical perfection a contributing cause of eating disorders?

Observations: Advertisers heavily market weight-reduction programs and present anorexic young models as the paradigm of sexual desirability Clothes are designed and displayed for thin bodies in ...
12
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1answer
406 views

Can't spoil a young baby with attention?

Your Baby's First Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics[1], in a chapter about very young babies, includes the following paragraph: The best way to handle crying is to respond promptly to your ...
5
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1answer
583 views

Benefits and detriments of attachment parenting

Attachment parenting (AP) is often succinctly defined as “Parents focus on forming strong emotional bonds with their children as they grow, using techniques such as co-sleeping, baby wearing and ...
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1answer
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Is preferred personal space affected by population density?

Many years ago, I learnt of the concept of "personal space" - the idea that people carry a small territory around them that they do not like strangers to invade. In particular, the size of one's ...
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1answer
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Is the McGurk effect real?

I watched this video on YouTube about the McGurk effect. Then I saw the following comment on Google+ : Singularity Utopia Feb 25, 2012 (edited) I am often sceptical regarding so-called ...
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2answers
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Is the claim of liberalism being a psychological disorder accurate?

Michael Savage thinks so. A psychiatrist, Dr. Lyle Rossiter wrote a book about it back in 2006, and thinks so as well. Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and ...
5
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1answer
610 views

Are university research studies involving children a money making scheme?

I would like to point out that this question is from a dubious and unverified claim that I had encountered. I thoroughly searched the internet for any information on such claims but could not find ...
11
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1answer
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Does Denver International Airport display murals of conquering stormtroopers and dead children?

Some people experience unease going through the airport, and it seems best to provide something soothing and uncontroversial to look at while walking to the aircraft .... like advertising. Certainly ...
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681 views

Explanation for regularly hearing music of no apparent source?

My grandfather considers himself a skeptic. His wife (my grandmother) recently passed away, and ever since, he swears that he can hear distant ethereal music late at night, every night, and only in ...
27
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4answers
2k views

Is the placebo effect dependent on the amount of belief in it?

For example, are people with habitually skeptical attitudes less likely to benefit from the placebo effect? Has this been studied? (For instance, one might seek a correlation based on professions ...
28
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2answers
13k views

Can humans influence the outcome of random event generators with their mind?

Roger D. Nelson, PhD (Experimental Psychology), claims to have proven using scientific methods that humans can influence the outcome of random number/event generators (RNG or REG) with their mind. The ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Has lucid dreaming been scientifically observed?

I found this anecdote in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman. In the passage below, Feynman describes his attempts to analyze his dreams I also noticed that as you go to sleep the ...
44
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2answers
52k views

How long is it possible to maintain concentration?

When I study, I like to do it in blocks of a few hours, with little rests in between. I have heard from multiple (possibly unreliable) sources, however, that a human's concentration will drastically ...
12
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1answer
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Are men 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women?

This is something I found on Tumblr: I also found this on Flickr (image license): This image was posted to Reddit: Does this claim have any scientific basis at all?
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1answer
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Are psychopaths more intelligent than people in general?

A common trope in popular culture regarding psychopaths is that they are above average to extremely intelligent. Granted, smart psychopaths make for a more interesting villain (or anti-heroes), but ...
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399 views

Are blind listening tests flawed?

Blind listening tests are strongly critiqued by Robert Harley in this editorial, published in The Absolute Sound. Harley seems to think the tests prove nothing. Every few years, the results of some ...
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2answers
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Is racism a natural instinct?

It is sometimes claimed that racism could be the result of a natural instinct, something we overcame due to civilization. For example, Charles Miller made that claim in 1999 in the Anomalist. "But ...
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1answer
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Do psychopaths lack a conscience?

It is often claimed that psychopaths lack a conscience. There was even a book named after the claim. A review of that book states: As the title suggests, psychopaths are qualitatively different ...
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717 views

Do Psychopaths act all (or most) of the time?

I've heard the claim that psychopaths are constantly, or at least most of the time acting in order to manipulate people, most recently on an episode of Supernatural, episode 15 of season 7. The ...
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2answers
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Are there an unusually large number of people with Asperger's who work in or study IT or Computer Science?

I hear it claimed very often that there is a higher incidence of people with Asperger's Syndrome who work in IT or study computer science (far more so than other fields). This wired article touches ...
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1answer
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Is sadomasochism more prevalent in England than in other countries?

In an interview Keira Knightley talks about her film A Dangerous Method which features sadomasochistic scenes: I did think about turning it down because of the two scenes of a sadomasochistic ...
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1answer
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Do the effects of Chromotherapy have support in scientific literature?

The above mentioned picture made it to my Facebook feed. While it doesn't sound unreasonable that there can be a psychological effect of some colors, I got a bit skeptical regarding the claim that ...
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2answers
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Does white noise improve concentration?

Sites like http://whitenoisemp3s.com and http://www.simplynoise.com, as well as a multitude of "concentration apps" on Android Market and iPhone App Store propose the idea that white noise improves ...
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0answers
805 views

Would an eyemask obscure a persons identity?

Often in movies and comics characters wear a simple mask around the eyes, which seems successful at hiding their identities. Examples would be Zorro, Green Lantern, Robin Image source Is there any ...
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1answer
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Does it take 21 days to form a habit?

The Meme: It takes at least 21 days to form a habit. Personal Development It Takes 21 Days To Form A Habit Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Get Things Done - It ...
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Do people always think of the same vegetable?

Think of the number six. Now - name a vegetable! It is claimed that people, when asked for a random vegetable, will typically pick the same one. (Spoiler below. Once you have guessed, click or hover ...
8
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1answer
717 views

Do a large majority of tourists think they're more sophisticated than the average?

Have there been any studies on whether tourists are affected by the Lake Woebegon effect (also known as illusory superiority) in terms of their level of sophistication? Do a significant majority of ...
14
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1answer
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Are red heads more likely to be hot headed?

It's a common cliche that red heads are more likely to have a fiery personality. To quote from Wikipedia: A common belief about redheads is that they have fiery tempers and sharp tongues. In ...
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1answer
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Do “scare kids straight” programmes reduce criminal activity?

It seems obvious to many people that if the consequences of an activity are sufficiently scary people will naturally avoid the activity. If the consequences of criminal activity are frequent death, ...
9
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1answer
11k views

Are simian lines and personality correlated?

First, to define what a Simian Line is, I will quote from the Wikipedia page. In humans, a single transverse palmar crease is a single crease that extends across the palm of the hand, formed by ...
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1answer
2k views

Does “reverse psychology” work?

I am curious on if the prohibition or persuasion of something increases the odds of someone wanting to do the opposite of that. Here is the definition of reverse psychology: Reverse psychology is ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Did 12 girls from the same high school contract a Tourette-syndrome like illness?

I just ran into this video from the Today Show about 12 girls from the same high school in New York who supposedly contracted something producing involuntary tics and vocal outbursts similar to ...
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4answers
4k views

Does listening to negative emotive music help dealing with negative emotions?

My girlfriend tends to listen to music that express how she feels at a given moment. For example, if she's feeling frustrated then the lyrics of the songs she listens will be of frustration. Does ...
9
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1answer
731 views

Is there a relationship between yellow and moods?

A commonly held belief in visual arts and graphic design is that colours communicate specific moods. Let's concentrate on the colour yellow, for example here: The color yellow gives one a warm and ...
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0answers
250 views

Is homosexuality genetic or can it be unlearned in one of those (christian) camps [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is homosexuality innate? I suppose I was trying to be tad too PC earlier. I've seen quite a few anti-gay person saying that homosexuality is something that is learned and can ...
8
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1answer
177k views

Does our brain make ourselves look five times more beautiful than we really are?

This "random fact" has been going on for a few days and no one seems to know it's source or if it's supported by any reliable research. If the research does exist I'd be much interested in checking ...
8
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1answer
4k views

Is the Rorschach test a reliable diagnostic tool for psychologists?

Is the Rorschach test a reliable diagnostic tool for psychologists? Wikipedia says (at the top of the page): It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where ...
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0answers
293 views

Does Lemon Balm calm the nervous system?

Min Publications has an alternative therapy article that mentions: Around AD 1000, the Persian herbalist Avicenna recommended lemon balm "to make the heart merry." In Europe, this herb was sipped ...
52
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1answer
13k views

Is there any harm in forcing/re-educating a left-handed child to use their right hand?

Backstory: Many of my relatives were subjected by their parents to a "training process" to "prevent" left-hand-dominance. This method started at a very young age and basically consisted of politely ...
15
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1answer
837 views

Does a full bladder help maintain mental focus?

According to this newspaper article David Cameron has used this technique: a source revealed that the Prime Minister was “desperate for a pee” during the marathon dinner summit in the Justus ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Are fat people happier?

We all know Santa Claus is a big jolly guy, but is it true that fat people are happier than slim people? They teamed up with colleagues across Europe to study the lifestyles of thousands of people ...