Category Archives: Pyschology

Japanese Rent-A-Friends

In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance: Morin: When you’re working, is it purely acting, or do the feelings ever become real? Yuichi: It’s a business. I’m not going to be her father for 24 hours. It’s a set time. When I am acting […]

Reading Aloud to Yourself

The production effect is the memory advantage of saying words aloud over simply reading them silently. It has been hypothesised that this advantage stems from production featuring distinctive information that stands out at study relative to reading silently. MacLeod (2011) (I said, you said: The production effect gets personal. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 1197–1202. […]

“reality and fantasy weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled”

Back in September The Atlantic published a fascinating long-form article that I just got around to reading. It’s titled, ‘How America Lost Its Mind‘, and it was adapted by a book written by Kurt Anderson: America was created by true believers and passionate dreamers, and by hucksters and their suckers, which made America successful—but also […]

Don’t Complain. Make.

Samantha Irby on complaining: Complaining is like spreading lotion on dry skin, and 2017 has been the ashiest year in recent memory. There is more than ever to complain about and also more reason than ever to believe your complaints might actually do something. Resist the urge to unload your economic anxieties on the dry […]

“the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings”

Your Brain on Fiction: The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto (and a published novelist), has proposed that […]

Age and Creativity

Alison Gopnik and Tom Griffiths on age and creativity: Why does creativity generally tend to decline as we age? One reason may be that as we grow older, we know more. That’s mostly an advantage, of course. But it also may lead us to ignore evidence that contradicts what we already think. We become too […]

“the gloves do fit, but you can’t do shit”

Eugene Wei explains the recent scandals in the news — Silicon Valley sexual harassment incidents, Bill Cobsy rape charges, everything Donald Trump does — in the context of common knowledge and “distributed truth”: We need look no further than the highest office in the land to see that common knowledge often isn’t enough. When the […]

Humans, Still Animals

The first sentence of the first paragraph from the front page of the Sunday New York Times: Men and women still don’t seem to have figured out how to work or socialize together. Hey! We’re humans. Animals pretending to be professionals. We fancy ourselves logical beings not affected by our hormones and emotions. The front […]

“the law of noncontradiction does not apply in his universe”

Trump’s Method, Our Madness: Freud distinguished between neurosis and psychosis by arguing that while the former is psychically localized, the latter is relatively global. In neurosis, individuals break with a portion of reality that they find intolerable. As a result, their overall relation to reality remains more or less intact, but becomes impaired in one […]