How Empathy Fails Us: In-group/Out-group Negativity & Emotional Burn-Out

The Negative effect of Empathy: Impaired decision making, emotional burn-out, and us vs. them

Empathy is generally regarded as a valuable skill in managing and nurturing social and professional relationships. It’s central to helping others and improving social dynamics. However, there is a point where empathy has negative effects. Too much empathy can be harmful, even bad. It might encourage fixating on other people’s problems, it can prime your …

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The Bearer Of Bad News Is Disliked, Here Is How You Deliver It

Giving bad news isn’t a fun activity, especially if you are giving it to someone you know. It’s an uncomfortable spot and it isn’t pleasant for the receiver. People are reluctant to give bad news (the MUM effect) and are eager to give good news. A series of 11 experiments provide evidence for a long-known …

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People Believe In Astrology To Cope With Stress & Conflict

Why do people believe in astrology?

It’s fascinating to understand why people believe in astrology. The answer is not so obvious, but it is quite simple. There are many ways to approach astrology: as an alternative world-view, as a relic of the pre-scientific era, as a social reality, as a psychological reality, etc. This post will adopt the 3rd and 4th …

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The Effect of Reading Fiction on The Brain: Do Books Increase Empathy?

The effect of reading on the brain: Can books increase empathy?

There is some debate on whether reading literary fiction has any effect on the brain. Can reading improve empathy, mentalizing (being aware of one’s and other’s thoughts), and desirable attitudes? Research in this area looks at the theory of mind and social cognition. Let us first understand these terms. Theory of Mind – This framework …

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Pro-Environmental Behavior: Herd Mentality Motivates, Money Does Not

Herd mentality and Intrinsic motivation promotes pro-environmental behavior change

There are several ways to influence and persuade people, but this post will only focus on persuasion and motivation for adopting pro-environmental behaviors. Environmental awareness is one part of the solution. The other part is motivating people to adopt behaviors that help conserve, preserve, and sustain the environment. How can psychologists help in promoting these …

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The Beautiful Science of Ugliness Reveals Ugly Truths About How we Judge Others

Am I ugly like gollum? The psychology of beauty ideals and standards

This is a long article with tonnes of research and explanations for factors related to the concept of ugly. I have detailed research insights on ugliness, beauty standards, our perception of beauty, and the concept of attractiveness. Oh, and I have a special message for you at the end. Scroll all the way to the …

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The Social Psychology Of Heavy Metal & Rock Music: Research On Metalheads

The psychology of heavy metal music

Picture this: A bunch of unique looking headbanging people listening to heavy music; entering a whirlpool of human collision in front of their favorite artist; raising their fists in the air; raising the devil’s horns \m/. What is that all about? Who are they? These are the metalheads. What is their psychology? We are going …

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4 thinking flaws you should avoid to become more objective and rational

Fundamental thinking flaws you should avoid to become more rational and objective

I see 4 fundamental flaws in how people think. This is where you begin to start thinking critically about the world. Flaw 1 – A False dichotomy: People think in ‘Or’. Things are Black or White, It’s Nature or Nurture, It’s democracy or dictatorship, It’s good or bad, It is right for you or wrong …

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The scientific truth behind ‘Fake it till you make it’

Fake it till you make it psychology

It really works. You can fake it till you make it. You can fake a smile to become happier. After analyzing 138 studies, researchers have strong evidence to show that smiling can make you happy. You can fake confidence to increase it and then lower anxiety. But not exactly, not always. If you wish to …

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Code switching: Why people mix 2 languages together while speaking

Code switching and code mixing is similar to how rail tracks cross over

When people mix two languages while speaking, we say that they are code switching. You can call each language a code. Depending on what one is talking about, code switching could be a very intuitive and normal aspect of talking. This can only happen if you know two or more language codes – complete languages, dialects, …

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MOOCs and the unexpected advantages of online learning

What are MOOCs and what are the benefits of online learning

I’ve done courses from the following fields: genetics, python coding, neurobiology, calculus, music, astrobiology, learning, teacher training, introductory Chinese and a few more. I volunteered as a community mentor to help students as well. This post will clearly outline the benefits of doing an online course like those found on Coursera or MIT open courseware.  …

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