Category Archives: Psychology

Identity crisis

 

WHAT is the essence of you? What is it about you that makes you, well, you? These are no mere academic questions for armchair philosophers, but practical ones with real consequences.

Take a police artist sketching a suspect from an eyewitness description, or a profiler writing up the behavioural idiosyncrasies of a particular “perp”. These representations become tools in criminal investigations that often lead to arrests. If they fail to capture the essence of the person being sought, the wrong person may be arrested…

Eight attempts to define Dominique Lambert

 

This article first appeared in New Scientist on 8 April 2017. To continue reading, click here.

The shared past that wasn’t

STRANGE things have been happening in the news lately. Already this year, members of US President Donald Trump’s administration have alluded to a ‘Bowling Green massacre’ and terror attacks in Sweden and Atlanta, Georgia, that never happened…

By South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article first appeared in Nature on 7 March 2017. To continue reading, click here.

How crowds affect your health

GLASTONBURY 1997, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2008: what do they have in common? All three were the backdrop to outbreaks of communicable disease, and so of interest to doctors working in mass gathering medicine. The goal of this relatively young field is to address the specific health problems associated with mass events, but two British psychologists now claim that this can only be done effectively by understanding the psychological transformation that people undergo when they join a crowd…

This article first appeared in the BPS Research Digest on 4 January 2017. To continue reading, click here:

Joining a crowd transforms us psychologically, with serious health implications

Image: AlGraChe/Flickr

 

Mapping the uncanny valley

ns_logoON THE face of it, The Polar Express was a sure-fire winner: starring Tom Hanks, it told the charming story of a boy’s magical train journey to the North Pole. But when the movie came out in 2004, there was a problem: the ultra-realistic animation gave some viewers the creeps. Five years later, when James Cameron chose the same technology for Avatar, his graphics people reportedly thought the decision might bankrupt the production company. But Cameron’s blue humanoids went down a storm. For a while, Avatar was the highest-grossing film of all time…

This article first appeared in New Scientist on 29 October 2016. To continue reading, click here.

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