152

Counter-argument: One of the most successful interrogators of Nazi Germany did not use torture. Quite the opposite really. Hanns Scharff, "Master Interrogator" of the Luftwaffe. Scharff was opposed to physically abusing prisoners to obtain information. Learning on the job, Scharff instead relied upon the Luftwaffe's approved list of techniques, ...


126

Yes, humans are more predictable than random chance. It is known as the "Blue-Seven Phenomena", because when asked for a colour and a number from one to nine, these perform beyond expectation. This 2015 encyclopedia entry surveys the research. One large sample of Japanese university students found: As for the preferred number, the subjects in Saito’s ...


110

Our sister site, Law StackExchange, has this same question: Is it truly illegal for the US army to hire someone with IQ less than 83?, with a high-quality accepted answer. The answer is not a simple yes or no, but the claim is not too misleading: the assertion that the law prohibits people with an IQ score of 83 or less from serving in the U.S. military ...


107

This is the study the article mentions. Does the study have those conclusions? Not really. The experimental results could equally be explained by a simpler conclusion, that people are less likely to ask others out when they feel disappointed, deflated or embarrassed by something (in this case, the public revelation of a poor test result). The researchers ...


98

The short answer The study in question (Van Hiel et al. 2019) has been published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. It presents empirical support for the hypothesis that emotional abilities negatively correlate with right-wing attitudes. This answers the question in the title. The question body also asks about the link between cognitive abilities and ...


92

Definitely not. Here's a video of a science reporter, Veritasium, staying in an anaechoic chamber for one hour, in the dark. Not only they do so at the first attempt, but they come out of it convinced they could have stayed indefinitely -- that there was no "driving crazy effect". Clearly this is weak evidence by scientific standards, but the evidence ...


92

TL;DR: Rated (old) urban legend Based on this website, this story dates from as far back as 1897, from a magazine called "The Strand". This appears in section which looks like a collection of various jokes and "fancy stories". You can find the original article below (the one about the claim is in the bottom left corner): It reads: This story has been ...


71

The table provided is directly copied from page 173 of The Wisdom of Psychopaths. It explains the source is The Great British Psychopath Study, where self-selected people submit their own Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, and categorise themselves according to a list of a hundred or so occupations. The occupations listed notably do not include "...


59

We cannot be sure exactly what happened 7 centuries ago; we only have the one account. However something akin to this experiment did occur, albeit without the controlled conditions. In Romania during Communism thousands of children were consigned to orphanages where they were grossly neglected (warning: the linked article contains distressing details). Many ...


57

"Smell" is a sense that is said to be more directly tied to emotional processing in the brain than other senses. But all interpretations of sensory information is subject to subjectivity. And smell is a sense that is easily and quickly dulled. Live in the stink and you get used to it, quickly. That makes it this a No. Smell is not objectively measurable as ...


54

In addition to the two versions of the claim in the question, the claim is repeated here by Andrew Solomon. I could not find other instances of the claim online. The article seems to have been presented at the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Alliance for Research Progress Meeting. I was particularly taken by a study in which a group of ...


45

Human beings are really bad at picking random numbers. The reason is that we are hard-wired to identify patterns in nature -- even to the extent of seeing patterns where none exist. But while this helps us hunt (we are predators, after all, and the outline of an animal shape in the bushes means prey), we experience a cognitive dissonance when trying to ...


42

Studies The Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People has a good summary of studies (starting at page 229 (PDF page 65)). All quotes are from the standard of care (not in order though), and I linked to those studies that I could find freely available online for easy reference. These studies measure more ...


42

This popular science article, generally backs up Peterson's claims. All military recruits must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to qualify for enlistment. The ASVAB is essentially an IQ test (correlation = 0.8). The ASVAB predicts SAT scores (correlation = .82). And it correlates with ACT scores (0.77). To qualify, recruits must ...


38

Doesn't look like it. The most likely source of the quote is The Science of Swearing by Timothy Jay and Kristin Janschewitz or possibly Dr. Neel Burton's Hell Yes: The 7 Best Reasons for Swearing or possibly the summation by Psych2Go which draws on both of them: The basic premise that is put forth is that those who cuss are seen as more loyal, trustworthy, ...


37

Here are the relevant paragraphs from the intro to the paywalled paper justifying the first line of the abstract: Over the years however, it has been acknowledged that right-wing authoritarianism is only one indicator of right-wing attitudes and that such attitudes can be arranged according to two broad dimensions (see, Duckitt & Sibley, 2009; ...


36

A new study that I just found says that there apparently is no difference between pornography stars and the general population (i.e. the "damaged goods" hypothesis). From the abstract: The damaged goods hypothesis posits that female performers in the adult entertainment industry have higher rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), psychological problems, ...


35

A recent study has suggested that effectiveness of placebo treatments increased over the years in the US, in patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Increasing placebo responses over time in U.S. clinical trials of neuropathic pain, Pain, December 2015 - Volume 156 - Issue 12 - p 2616–2626 doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000333. The study itself uses data ...


30

YES That seems not only very plausible. There is very little reason to doubt. The actual, concrete picture may be just illustrative, manipulated, misattributed or the exact kindergarten picture untraceable on the net for authenticity. But why should it? The underlying concept and the actual use of this kind of tool in a preschool/kindergarten setting may ...


26

The author published a peer-review article with sources: Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions, Phil Zuckerman, Sociology Compass 3/6 (2009): 949–971, 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2009.00247.x But more significantly, when we actually compare the values and beliefs of atheists and secular ...


25

No it is not. The definitive answer as to what is, or is not, a psychological disorder is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) (5th edition release has been delayed to 2013). A search of the document for the word "liberal" (with wildcards) only turns up three entries. Application of Trait Theory in ...


24

Is torture useful in interrogation? Is it feasible to torture accurate information out of people? Is it feasible to determine whether the information is likely accurate without outside confirmation? If torture is used then it is sometimes useful. Information obtained from torture may or may not be accurate, and requires outside confirmation. Can ...


22

A lot of the discussion on this topic was provoked by a peer-reviewed study published in 2012. Quoting from the abstract: We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low ...


22

There's an interesting recent paper by Spencer and Bryne (2016), which may shed some light on this, but also raises more questions. It seems that at least in a "typical" corporate structure, there is more psychopathy at the top level... but this seems to have no real impact on the employees' job satisfaction. Finally, there was a huge bias towards men in the ...


20

There is a study by Ryan et al about this topic. They also discuss the results of the study in this post at Rochester as well as this NYT article: Using this methodology we identified a subgroup of participants who, despite self-identifying as highly straight, indicated some level of same-sex attraction (that is, they associated “me” with gay-related words ...


20

Inconclusive. The first instance of the image being on the internet was an anonymous Reddit post from 27 September 2018 that offered no proof of it being legitimate. The photo and Reddit link that @Gerrit posted was from a post from a subreddit called /r/ShitAmericansSay. This is not the first appearance of this photo on the internet. I tracked down what ...


20

Not directly related to your source(s), but see the article pit of despair on Wikipedia. Warning, the article and the experiment itself can be rather disturbing. Harlow's first experiments involved isolating a monkey in a cage surrounded by steel walls with a small one-way mirror, so the experimenters could look in, but the monkey could not look out. The ...


19

In Adult Sexual Orientation and Attraction to Underage Persons (1978), a random sample was made of 175 males convicted of sexual assault, looking at their adult sexual orientation and the sex of their victims. The sample divided fairly evenly into two groups based on whether they were sexually fixated exclusively on children or had regressed from peer ...


19

TL;DR Version: There are some significant problems with the APA's claim in 2005 that there are no negative effects. Further research (with larger sample sizes, more representative participants, more outcomes analyzed, and longer-running) is necessary to determine if there are negative effects. There's a good paper titled "Same-Sex Parenting and Children’s ...


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