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Thread: What's the most interesting fact about psychology you know?

  1. #1 What's the most interesting fact about psychology you know? 
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    It doesn't have to be the number one most fascinating thing, but something that you enjoy telling people (who aren't necessarily psychologists), or something that strikes you as truly remarkable.


    For me, I think "moral dumbfounding" is interesting: the way many of our moral judgements are automatic and visceral--such as why we think incest is wrong--and we then attempt to rationalise our belief. I like telling (open minded) people the scenario Haidt uses about the brother and sister.

    I'll sneak one more in: humans are born premature; we "should" be born at 22 months, but owing to bipedalism --and what it did to the human pelvis (narrowed the birth canal essentially)--and humans' extra-big brains, evolution came to a tradeoff and we're born at 9 months, very helpless compared to the offspring of our ape cousins.


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    I think the most interesting fact about psychology is that there are no facts in psychology.


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    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
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    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    I think the most interesting fact about psychology is that there are no facts in psychology.
    I absolutely agree.
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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    My favorite aspect of human psychology is Herd Mentality. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

    I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.
    -Jack London
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    What i'm finding fascinating about psychology is how our decisions and actions can be so easily manipulated using our subconscious. Some of the stuff Derren brown does for example. Also auto sugestion... its all pretty fascinating to me to be honest.
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  7. #6  
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    That it's developed a remarkably powerfull ways to convert, process and analyze qualitative data, such as self reports, into quantative-based methods.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    Ahhh Psychology... The ultimate soft science... For those who do not have the Maths for the hard stuff
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

    I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.
    -Jack London
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    I contend that the "soft" science of psychology is beginning to meld with "harder" sciences via Neuroscience, a vastly interdisciplinary field.

    It is hard to decide which phenomenon is most interesting, but the one that most affected me, most recently at least, was the Cognitive Neoassociation Model of Aggression.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmwyant View Post
    Ahhh Psychology... The ultimate soft science... For those who do not have the Maths for the hard stuff
    That's not really true--especially for those in the psychology research community.

    As I and a team of analyst discovered the hard way when I served on a joint service military testing program, psychology uses a range of statistical tools to develop and analyze surveys, that were quite unfamiliar to the "hard" sciences.
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  11. #10  
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    It really ticks me off that people can be so dismissive of what has grown into a rich and methodologically diverse field. :/

    The people who think psychology is a soft science that hasn't produced any facts probably haven't even taken more than an introductory course in the field (though even an introductory course should be enough to know even THAT).

    But the most interesting fact about psychology is that it is possible, that a discipline has emerged that can study topics as apparently ambiguous as depression, intelligence, happiness, and thought. There are even entire handbooks devoted entirely to scientific research of the psychology of the meaning of life. That psychology can empirically delve into the most pertinent issues of human existence — it's simply wonderful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    I think the most interesting fact about psychology is that there are no facts in psychology.
    Is that a fact? People make mistakes.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    The most acceptable Philosophy is pithy and to the point. For example, when I was a lad of callow years an old gentleman stooped over on a stick, informed me that it was best not to piss outdoors if the wind was blowing in your face. So I took that on board. Another example as follows; " It is not wise to fret yourself too much, you could miss out on that five pound note in the gutter "" This Philoshophy is westwinds when he is in his cups, happening more often these days, but what the hell. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    As I said, people make mistakes.

    Westwind: Words to live by, no doubt, but the topic is about psychology and not philosophy. I can look at your post in two ways, either you made a common mistake or your brilliance knows no bounds and you did it intentionally. Fact is people assume too much.

    The psychology of pissing into the wind probably needs some investigating. Why would someone piss into a stiff breeze? Would you do it to impress a prospective mate or to mask your natural scent? Do people have a natural aversion to waste products or do we for the most part avoid rolling in shit or piss for some unknown psychological reason?
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    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  15. #14  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Dear zinjanthropos. At the risk of damaging my intellectual standing, I have to admit I made a common mistake. Hit the button the same time as I observed my error. There's no doubt I am a genuis, that part is true enough, but deliberately claiming brilliance of thought when no such intent was there on my part, this would be deceitful. Unworthy of a true Australian. By the way ropos, I'll let you in on a little secret. We export Foster beer. We do not drink it in Australia. UGGG!!!. Now, pissing in the wind. Lack of common sense. Not officer material. Then again? And no, concerning rolling in waste products, we are prudish about that. It seems Psychology we are not conditioned to perform this activity, must have been a catholic injunction, like not eating meat on a Friday. Who the bloody hell had meat to eat anyway? westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    As I said, people make mistakes.

    Westwind: Words to live by, no doubt, but the topic is about psychology and not philosophy. I can look at your post in two ways, either you made a common mistake or your brilliance knows no bounds and you did it intentionally. Fact is people assume too much.

    The psychology of pissing into the wind probably needs some investigating. Why would someone piss into a stiff breeze? Would you do it to impress a prospective mate or to mask your natural scent? Do people have a natural aversion to waste products or do we for the most part avoid rolling in shit or piss for some unknown psychological reason?
    It's a perversion of our natural behaviour, aversion to waste material. look at dogs, they still see the benefit of a good sniff. First we'r ashamed of our privates, then we'r ashamed of our waste, then we'r ashamed of our BO, then we'r ashamed of our appearance, then our characters or personalities... Maybe human Evolution is the aquisition of greater and greater shame to the point where we can't stand inflicting ourselfs apon the earth any longer... . . .
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    As I said, people make mistakes.

    Westwind: Words to live by, no doubt, but the topic is about psychology and not philosophy. I can look at your post in two ways, either you made a common mistake or your brilliance knows no bounds and you did it intentionally. Fact is people assume too much.

    The psychology of pissing into the wind probably needs some investigating. Why would someone piss into a stiff breeze? Would you do it to impress a prospective mate or to mask your natural scent? Do people have a natural aversion to waste products or do we for the most part avoid rolling in shit or piss for some unknown psychological reason?
    It's a perversion of our natural behaviour, aversion to waste material. look at dogs, they still see the benefit of a good sniff. First we'r ashamed of our privates, then we'r ashamed of our waste, then we'r ashamed of our BO, then we'r ashamed of our appearance, then our characters or personalities... Maybe human Evolution is the aquisition of greater and greater shame to the point where we can't stand inflicting ourselfs apon the earth any longer... . . .
    And, that, we call, "self loathing"
    perhaps the most common psychological disorder?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    As I said, people make mistakes.

    Westwind: Words to live by, no doubt, but the topic is about psychology and not philosophy. I can look at your post in two ways, either you made a common mistake or your brilliance knows no bounds and you did it intentionally. Fact is people assume too much.

    The psychology of pissing into the wind probably needs some investigating. Why would someone piss into a stiff breeze? Would you do it to impress a prospective mate or to mask your natural scent? Do people have a natural aversion to waste products or do we for the most part avoid rolling in shit or piss for some unknown psychological reason?
    It's a perversion of our natural behaviour, aversion to waste material. look at dogs, they still see the benefit of a good sniff. First we'r ashamed of our privates, then we'r ashamed of our waste, then we'r ashamed of our BO, then we'r ashamed of our appearance, then our characters or personalities... Maybe human Evolution is the aquisition of greater and greater shame to the point where we can't stand inflicting ourselfs apon the earth any longer... . . .
    And, that, we call, "self loathing"
    perhaps the most common psychological disorder?
    Evolution eh, progress... can't beat it can ya!

    I suppose when your pathological... the only way you can develope is to become more pathological
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  19. #18  
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    Or..........
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Or..........
    don't give me any 'or' business... lol

    When your pathological then you don't have the nous to your own species through through generations of theraputic activity. surely? nah, it was just a joke.
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  21. #20  
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    here is a question for you.
    If you were totaly freaking insane, could(would?) you know that you were totaly freaking insane? And, if so, how so?
    And if potentially true for you. so too the species?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Or..........
    don't give me any 'or' business... lol

    When your pathological then you don't have the nous to your own species through through generations of theraputic activity. surely? nah, it was just a joke.
    I meant don't have the ability to heal* yourself or your species through generations of therapy.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    here is a question for you.
    If you were totaly freaking insane, could(would?) you know that you were totaly freaking insane? And, if so, how so?
    And if potentially true for you. so too the species?
    I dont beleive that the insane are aware of it.

    If you go to your psychiatrist and say 'im mad, help me' they won't, becuase mad peope don't know they are mad.

    Except me.... I know im mad.

    insane means prone to extreme views or feelings or reactions (I beleive)... So if your realised your actions were 'insane' then you would curb your enthuiasm and therefor not be insane. that's my answer from the top of my head.
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  24. #23  
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    So if your realised your actions were 'insane' then you would curb your enthuiasm and therefor not be insane.
    Well, that doesn't work for people with fairly common neuroses and obsessions, does it. They know their thoughts and actions are foolish or unjustified or wrong, but they can't help themselves. They keep on washing their hands or turning around twice before they open doors or whatever their particular issue is.

    Plenty of people with schizophrenia can be trained to recognise that the voices in their heads are not real and are not to be trusted or obeyed or feared. Other schizophrenics never gain any insight at all into their condition and cannot identify what is and isn't real or unreal in their thoughts. Both types are schizophrenic. Both need the same kind of medications. Some eventually learn how to live more comfortably with their condition.

    Don't know much about other psychotic or delusional conditions.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    So if your realised your actions were 'insane' then you would curb your enthuiasm and therefor not be insane.
    Well, that doesn't work for people with fairly common neuroses and obsessions, does it. They know their thoughts and actions are foolish or unjustified or wrong, but they can't help themselves. They keep on washing their hands or turning around twice before they open doors or whatever their particular issue is.

    Plenty of people with schizophrenia can be trained to recognise that the voices in their heads are not real and are not to be trusted or obeyed or feared. Other schizophrenics never gain any insight at all into their condition and cannot identify what is and isn't real or unreal in their thoughts. Both types are schizophrenic. Both need the same kind of medications. Some eventually learn how to live more comfortably with their condition.

    Don't know much about other psychotic or delusional conditions.
    We wasn't talking about schizophrenia, OCD or nueroses... we were talking about insanity. You saying just because somebody has OCD they'r insane? If they flip there lid and lose it, at that moment they will be insane, and at that moment, they wouldn't know they were insane. Insane is not the same as these psychological disorders.
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  26. #25  
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    If schizophrenia's not insane, what is? Are you just talking about someone in the worst, florid throes of a psychotic episode?

    Such a person is still insane even when that episode is over. Or are we talking about different things here?
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    If schizophrenia's not insane, what is? Are you just talking about someone in the worst, florid throes of a psychotic episode?

    Such a person is still insane even when that episode is over. Or are we talking about different things here?
    we'r probably talking about something else... :-)

    This is the question we were talking about:

    Originally Posted by sculptorhere is a question for you.
    If you were totaly freaking insane, could(would?) you know that you were totaly freaking insane? And, if so, how so?
    And if potentially true for you. so too the species?

    We were just discusing this question... I.e insanity (which we probably all experience from time to time right? I know I do (not at the time though)) Rather than any other more specific psychological disorders.
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  28. #27  
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    QFY is using his own definition of insanity.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    QFY is using his own definition of insanity.
    i'm using the difinition that i read in an oxford dictionary (a bit clearer than wiki). my definition was of insanity being a usually temporary state denoting mental instability, or as i previously said and clarified.. extreme emotional reactions (this is known as behavour also). I don't see any reason to say my definition is wrong... but then your hardly going to but in an question anybody elses definition are you! Note that what adelady was talking about was more specific mental disorders where as i was talking about the insanity in an informal unscientific context such as 'mental instability'. Hope this makes it more clear to you alex sweety.

    Here's the wiki definition:
    "Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including a person becoming a danger to themselves or others, though not all such acts are considered insanity. In modern usage insanity is most commonly encountered as an informal unscientific term denoting mental instability, or in the narrow legal context of the insanity defense. In the medical profession the term is now avoided in favor of diagnoses of specific mental disorders; the presence of delusions or hallucinations is broadly referred to as psychosis.[1] When discussing mental illness in general terms, "psychopathology" is considered a preferred descriptor.[2]"

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  30. #29  
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    substitute delusional for insane?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    substitute delusional for insane?
    in your previous question?
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  32. #31  
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    yes
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    here is a question for you.
    If you were totaly freaking delusional, could(would?) you know that you were totaly freaking delusional? And, if so, how so?
    And if potentially true for you. so too the species?
    No
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