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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15
votes
1answer
632 views

Has the 'Peter Principle' ever been proven or disproven?

According to Wikipedia, the Peter Principle states that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence". Aside from anecdotal evidence, has this ever been proven or ...
30
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2answers
31k views

Do some casinos use extra oxygen to increase gambling, or is this a myth?

(Image: Source) It's no secret that casinos are designed to encourage visitors to stay (and hopefully gamble). But how far do casinos really go? 10 Tricks Casinos Use On you: free drinks no ...
28
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6answers
3k views

Are there any studies that prove (or disprove) the idea of “Six Degrees of Separation”?

Is it true that anyone on the planet is connected to any other person on the planet through six degrees of separation? Why, or why not?
10
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3answers
3k views

How well is the ideomotor effect understood and defined? [closed]

I'm curious what the extent of the ideomotor effect is, and how it is precisely defined. I often hear it used to explain things as widely diverse as Ouija boards, assisted communication frauds, and ...
21
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1answer
12k views

Do drug addicts stop maturing when they become addicted?

Occasionally individuals and organizations that help drug users and addicts claim that addicts stop maturing when they become addicted to drugs: Well, drugs and alcohol hinder a person’s brain ...
30
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1answer
5k views

Is learning more difficult for older people?

My parents always say to me that they can't learn as well as me because it's more difficult and they forget things faster etc.. Maybe it seems logical, but for me it would be much more logical that, ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Do solar storms affect human behaviour?

The other day, I found the following claim that solar flares cause a great increase in human agressiveness: Chizhevsky found after intense research that the rise and fall of solar activity—...
12
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1answer
3k views

Backwards masking in music

It was alleged by opponents to rock and heavy metal that the artists would include hidden satanic messages in their songs that would become audible when playing the song backwards. It was further ...
20
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3answers
756 views

Are yawns contagious?

I guess that this might be a little bit of an extension of the question "Is yawning contagious across species" that was earlier asked. But my question is, is yawning contagious at all? Is there any ...
25
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2answers
4k views

Are programmers likely to be musicians?

It's a common belief in the coder world: many programmers are also (talented) musicians. It was certainly true in the places I've worked as a programmer, and I have been a professional musician and a ...
46
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4answers
8k views

Do men think about sex every 7 seconds?

I'm sure most of us have heard at least a variation of this myth. Unfortunately I failed to find the original source. Was there actually a study that claimed this? A lot of the sites debunking this ...
18
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1answer
6k views

Does changing your pH balance change your mood?

I have read that eating more alkaline foods and changing your pH balance reduces stress and anxiety. For example, see Eat a Lemon, Feel Less Stressed: Stephanie McClellan, MD, and Beth Hamilton, ...
31
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4answers
2k views

What is the commonly accepted mechanism that causes people to experience pareidolia?

I often see cases of pareidolia reported in the news, on blogs, and even here. I think remember reading in Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan that this had an evolutionary origin (i.e. if you see a ...
89
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3answers
9k views

Did most sex workers experience abuse as a child?

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a medical doctor who hosts several television and radio programs, claims quite frequently that most people who engage in sex-related industries, such as prostitution or pornography, ...
30
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3answers
2k views

Does addictive behavior exist?

There are widespread claims that you can get addicted to video games, shopping, internet, whatever, even sex. Not merely "like it very much", but addicted, as in addicted to alcohol. According to ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Meditation - Is it just spiritual practice or something more?

Meditation is tightly associated with religious practices, but beside that it may be practiced for many other reasons, such as to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Classical music in public places: does it affect violence?

This article explains some British experience on playing classical music in public places and the effect on behaviour of people. It seems that the feeling (was it measured?) was that it prevented ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Can a fungus or other parasites turn a high order animal into a zombie that carries out specific actions?

The discovery of several new ant zombie fungi got a lot of media attention over the last two weeks. The fungi take hold over ants and cause them to carry out specific actions beneficial to the ...
15
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4answers
3k views

Has there ever been a case of a Manchurian-Candidate-style sleeper agent?

Pretty popular in fiction is the sleeper agent who is "activated" by a particular phrase, picture, or sound, and who then carries out a pretty complex mission or terroristic act. Are there any real ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Interpreting body language from a photograph

The other day I was browsing the TMZ website and they had a section that had pictures of celebrity couples being analyzed by a "body language expert". In essence, the guy was supposedly telling if ...
21
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2answers
2k views

Can memory tricks work?

I've investigated memory systems over the years and find them interesting. One of the common themes is that you should associate the thing being memorized with something that you already know. The ...
29
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2answers
1k views

Is graphology grounded?

In France Graphology is still actively used by some recruiters in order to attempt to evaluate applicants' personality from their handwriting (therefore covering letters in France are still ...
16
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1answer
3k views

Is there any research done on tattoos and their relationship to sexual activity?

Question came up in a conversation where one associate indicated that they thought tattoos on women were "slutty" and others took offense. The argument was that: when have you ever met a woman with a ...
73
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6answers
6k views

Do violent video games cause violent behavior?

I have been following this question casually over the past couple of years, and it seemed to me that there was no strong consensus either way on the subject. However, I recently read an editorial from ...
36
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2answers
3k views

What does Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tell about a person?

Does Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tell something objective and predictive about the persons decision making tendencies? In other words, can a Myers-Briggs score give you useful information about what ...
83
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6answers
10k views

Is homosexuality innate?

There is a widespread belief that one chooses to be a homosexual, and that people can successfully overcome such feelings. On the other hand, some scientific studies have shown that finger length may ...
24
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5answers
892 views

Profiling in criminal cases

Criminal profiling is very popular in fictional crime shows, but also used in reality. A profiler uses the known data about the case to create a profile of the person that commited the crime. This ...
25
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2answers
1k views

Is hypnotherapy an effective treatment for addiction, anxiety, phobias and other psychological disorders?

According to this article found on the University of Maryland Medical Center website: ...problems or conditions that may respond to hypnotherapy include: Irritable bowel syndrome, Tension ...
9
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3answers
552 views

Does reading about cognitive biases improve reasoning?

Is there scientific evidence that people who read a list of cognitive biases in a psychology book or in Wikipedia improve their reasoning abilities. Is there evidence that they will less likely fall ...
28
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3answers
2k views

Do short pictures as subliminal messages work?

Can an image flashed in the middle of a video for a single frame (as in this hoax by Vicary), induce a specific behavior in people? An example would be the supposed use of this to get people in ...
26
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5answers
4k views

Does telepathy exist?

I remember reading not too long ago about a study in which experimenters performed a number of standard psychological tests with a twist; it was something about they ran a number of tests from ...
27
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4answers
1k views

Can toddlers learn sign language?

The other day came across a commercial of a 'course for sign language' for infants and toddlers. I was a bit sceptical from the start and my suspicions only rose, then I discovered that there is what ...
26
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2answers
2k views

Are the “game” systems advertised by pickup-artists effective?

In the pick-up artist community, there is much advertising and hype around "game" systems. These are systems which, as far as I understand, consist of sets of guidelines, advice, strategies, ...
57
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5answers
7k views

Any Scientific Basis for Neuro Linguistic Programming?

Over the years, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been creeping into popular culture. It is used by a lot of self-help gurus, and also in context of the right way to educate and learn (e.g., ...
46
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4answers
12k views

Is there any scientific support for psychoanalysis?

I listened to episode 140 of the The Psych Files podcast where the host, Michael Britt, tried to psychoanalyze Jack Lalanne and was left wondering whether there's any validity to it. I am under the ...