The Perils of Obedience


“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.

Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”.

The Perils of Obedience, from Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram (1974).

Categories : psychology

Nothing is real


“Why don’t I have a girlfriend?

I am convinced that the situation can be readily explained in purely scientific terms.

…the potential girlfriend must be approximately my age, must be beautiful,
she must also be reasonably intelligent.”.
(Tristan Miller)

Categories : psychology

The Nonverbal Dictionary


The Nonverbal Dictionary Of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues by David B. Givens:

“Items in this Dictionary have been researched by anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, linguists, psychiatrists, psychologists, semioticians, and others who have studied human communication from a scientific point of view.”.

From Proxemics:

“I have learned to depend more on what people do than what they say in response to a direct question, to pay close attention to that which cannot be consciously manipulated, and to look for patterns rather than content.”.
(Edward T. Hall, 1968)

Categories : psychology

The Psychology of Cyberspace


“While many people are convinced that how they read an email is the only way it can be read, the truth is, how we read a text, or view a work of art, often says more about ourselves than it does about the message or the messenger.”.

“All of our communications, online and in real-time, are filled with projections.
We perceive the world through our expectations, needs, desires, fantasies, and feelings, and we project those onto other people.

For example, if we expect people to be critical of us, we perceive other people’s communication as being critical – it sounds critical to us even though it may not be.”.

(Kali Munro. Conflict in Cyberspace: How to Resolve Conflict Online.
From The Psychology of Cyberspace, by John Suler.)

“We All Need Help Sometimes”.

Categories : psychology



The Social Issues Research Centre Guide to Flirting.

“Research has also shown that men have a tendency to mistake friendly behaviour for sexual flirting.
This is not because they are stupid or deluded, but because they tend to see the world in more sexual terms than women.

There is also evidence to suggest that women are naturally more socially skilled than men, better at interpreting people’s behaviour and responding appropriately.
Indeed, scientists have recently claimed that women have a special diplomacy gene which men lack.”.

Categories : psychology

The color of the bikeshed


Why Should I Care What Color the Bikeshed Is?

“The really, really short answer is that you should not.

This is a metaphor indicating that you need not argue about every little feature just because you know enough to do so.
Some people have commented that the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change.”.
(Poul-Henning Kamp)

Tip: refresh the page to change the background color.

Categories : psychology

Idioms by Kids

Idioms by Kids “has over 1000 pictures of idioms.”. read

“Sometimes the children knew what the idioms meant and drew pictures of the actual real meaning but most of the time the students drew the literal meaning and the results are often funny.”.

Above: Read Between the Lines.

Gladwell dot com


“Can you read people’s thoughts just by looking at them?”.

“Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same?”.

“When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions.
Well, Blink is a book about those two seconds.”.
(Malcom Gladwell)

Gladwell dot com: “Malcolm Gladwell, blink, tipping point and New Yorker articles.”.

Categories : books, psychology

Psych 153 slides


The Psych 153 slides (Jonathan Baron, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychology).

It’s a Google’s result for the query “Neglect of Probability” that is, from Wikipedia:
“…the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.”.

A sample:

“There is a distinction between an individual life and a statistical life.

Let a 6-year-old girl with brown hair need thousands of dollars for an operation that will prolong her life until Christmas, and the post office will be swamped with nickels and dimes to save her.

But let it be reported that without a sales tax the hospital facilities of Massachusetts will deteriorate and cause a barely perceptible increase in preventable deaths – not many will drop a tear or reach for their checkbooks.”.

Categories : psychology

Ran Prieur


“Getting free of the system is more complex than we’ve been led to believe.
In my case, as I understood what I had to go through to make money, I stopped spending it.”.

“This is the low-budget universe: I ride around the city on an old cheap road bike, in street clothes, often hauling food I’ve just pulled out of a dumpster.”.

“We are descended from risk-takers and adventurers, we fantasize about people in heroic life and death struggles, and here we are, cringing through a life of meaningless toil and the best justification we can come up with is that if we quit our jobs we won’t have health insurance!”.

Ran Prieur, How to Drop Out. Read also: Criticism and response.

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Categories : psychology