1. Researchers at Ohio State University examined what happened to people who, while reading a fictional story, found themselves feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own - a phenomenon the researchers call “experience-taking.”

    They found that, in the right situations, experience-taking may lead to real changes, if only temporary, in the lives of readers.

    “Experience-taking can be a powerful way to change our behavior and thoughts in meaningful and beneficial ways,” said Lisa Libby, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

    There are many ways experience-taking can affect readers.

    “Experience-taking changes us by allowing us to merge our own lives with those of the characters we read about, which can lead to good outcomes,” said Geoff Kaufman, who led the study as a graduate student at Ohio State. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Tiltfactor Laboratory at Dartmouth College.

    Their findings appear online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and will be published in a future print edition.

    Experience-taking doesn’t happen all the time. It only occurs when people are able, in a sense, to forget about themselves and their own self-concept and self-identity while reading, Kaufman said. In one experiment, for example, the researchers found that most college students were unable to undergo experience-taking if they were reading in a cubicle with a mirror.

    “The more you’re reminded of your own personal identity, the less likely you’ll be able to take on a character’s identity,” Kaufman said.

    “You have to be able to take yourself out of the picture, and really lose yourself in the book in order to have this authentic experience of taking on a character’s identity.”

    (via osu.edu)

     

  2. New research finds we’re better able to identify genuinely creative ideas when they’ve emerged from the unconscious mind.

    By Tom Jacobs

    Truly creative ideas are both highly prized and, for most of us, maddeningly elusive. If our best efforts produce nothing brilliant, we’re often advised to put aside the issue at hand and give our unconscious minds a chance to work.

    Newly published research suggests that is indeed a good idea — but not for the reason you might think.

    A study from the Netherlands finds allowing ideas to incubate in the back of the mind is, in a narrow sense, overrated. People who let their unconscious minds take a crack at a problem were no more adept at coming up with innovative solutions than those who consciously deliberated over the dilemma.

    But they did perform better on the vital second step of this process: determining which of their ideas was the most creative. That realization provides essential information; without it, how do you decide which solution you should actually try to implement?

    Given the value of discerning truly fresh ideas, “we can conclude that the unconscious mind plays a vital role in creative performance,” a research team led by Simone Ritter of the Radboud University Behavioral Science Institute writes in the journal Thinking Skills and Creativity.

    In the first of two experiments, 112 university students were given two minutes to come up with creative ideas to an everyday problem: how to make the time spent waiting in line at a cash register more bearable. Half the participants went at it immediately, while the others first spent two minutes performing a distracting task — clicking on circles that appeared on a computer screen. This allowed time for ideas to percolate outside their conscious awareness.

    After writing down as many ideas as they could think of, they were asked to choose which of their notions was the most creative. Participants were scored by the number of ideas they came up with, the creativity level of those ideas (as measured by trained raters), and whether their perception of their most innovative idea coincided with that of the raters.

    The two groups scored evenly on both the number of ideas generated and the average creativity of those ideas. But those who had been distracted, and thus had ideas spring from their unconscious minds, were better at selecting their most creative concept. The second experiment, which featured 68 students, was similarly structured.

    Participants were given a different assignment (“Come up with as many ideas as possible on how students can earn some extra money”); at the end, they were asked to identify both their most and least creative ideas.

    The results replicated those of the first experiment. Those who had employed their unconscious minds were better at selecting both their most and least-innovative ideas.

    The researchers aren’t sure how to explain their results; they suggest a “spontaneous tagging process” takes place when an idea is generated unconsciously, alerting us to its level of creativity. While admitting this theory is speculative, they note that — whatever its cause — this sort of discernment is “vitally important for everyday creativity.”

    True enough. Knowing which ideas belong in the trash bin, and which deserve to be fleshed out further, is a real gift—one that, according to this research, your unconscious mind is poised to provide.

     
  3. A Dangerous Method | Directed by David Cronenberg


    #why do i want to see this so badly i mean of all the things.. 
    #Keira Knightly with a russian accent is questionable.  
    #psychologists getting freaky with their patients omggwuttttwhewhyhwowwaht?

     
     

  4. Harlow’s Science of Affection.

    psychotherapy:

    This American Life #317: Unconditional Love

    Hard as it is to believe, during the early Twentieth Century, a whole school of mental health professionals decided that unconditional love was a terrible thing to give a child. The government printed pamphlets warning mothers against the dangers of holding their kids. The head of the American Psychological Association and even a mothers’ organization endorsed the position that mothers were dangerous—until psychologist Harry Harlow set out to prove them wrong, through a series of experiments with monkeys. Host Ira Glass talks with Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection. (9 minutes)

     

  5. 15 Styles of Distorted Thinking

    blua:

    1. Filtering: You take the negative details and magnify them, while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. A single detail may be picked out, and the whole event becomes colored by this detail. When you pull negative things out of context, isolated from all the good experiences around you, you make them larger and more awful than they really are.

    2. Polarized Thinking: The hallmark of this distortion is an insistence on dichotomous choices. Things are black or white, good or bad. You tend to perceive everything at the extremes, with very little room for a middle ground. The greatest danger in polarized thinking is its impact on how you judge yourself. For example-You have to be perfect or you’re a failure.


    3. Overgeneralization: You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, you expect it to happen over and over again. ‘Always’ and ‘never’ are cues that this style of thinking is being utilized. This distortion can lead to a restricted life, as you avoid future failures based on the single incident or event.


    4. Mind Reading: Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you. Mind reading depends on a process called projection. You imagine that people feel the same way you do and react to things the same way you do. Therefore, you don’t watch or listen carefully enough to notice that they are actually different. Mind readers jump to conclusions that are true for them, without checking whether they are true for the other person.


    5. Catastrophizing: You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and start “what if’s.” What if that happens to me? What if tragedy strikes? There are no limits to a really fertile catastrophic imagination. An underlying catalyst for this style of thinking is that you do not trust in yourself and your capacity to adapt to change.


    6. Personalization: This is the tendency to relate everything around you to yourself. For example, thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who’s smarter, better looking, etc. The underlying assumption is that your worth is in question. You are therefore continually forced to test your value as a person by measuring yourself against others. If you come out better, you get a moment’s relief. If you come up short, you feel diminished. The basic thinking error is that you interpret each experience, each conversation, each look as a clue to your worth and value.


    7. Control Fallacies: There are two ways you can distort your sense of power and control. If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you. Feeling externally controlled keeps you stuck. You don’t believe you can really affect the basic shape of your life, let alone make any difference in the world. The truth of the matter is that we are constantly making decisions, and that every decision affects our lives. On the other hand, the fallacy of internal control leaves you exhausted as you attempt to fill the needs of everyone around you, and feel responsible in doing so (and guilty when you cannot).


    8. Fallacy of Fairness: You feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair, but other people won’t agree with you. Fairness is so conveniently defined, so temptingly self-serving, that each person gets locked into his or her own point of view. It is tempting to make assumptions about how things would change if people were only fair or really valued you. But the other person hardly ever sees it that way, and you end up causing yourself a lot of pain and an ever-growing resentment.


    9. Blaming: You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other tack and blame yourself for every problem. Blaming often involves making someone else responsible for choices and decisions that are actually our own responsibility. In blame systems, you deny your right (and responsibility) to assert your needs, say no, or go elsewhere for what you want.


    10. Shoulds: You have a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules anger you, and you feel guilty if you violate the rules. The rules are right and indisputable and, as a result, you are often in the position of judging and finding fault (in yourself and in others). Cue words indicating the presence of this distortion are should, ought, and must.


    11. Emotional Reasoning: You believe that what you feel must be true-automatically. If you feel stupid or boring, then you must be stupid and boring. If you feel guilty, then you must have done something wrong. The problem with emotional reasoning is that our emotions interact and correlate with our thinking process. Therefore, if you have distorted thoughts and beliefs, your emotions will reflect these distortions.


    12. Fallacy of Change: You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them. The truth is the only person you can really control or have much hope of changing is yourself. The underlying assumption of this thinking style is that your happiness depends on the actions of others. Your happiness actually depends on the thousands of large and small choices you make in your life.


    13. Global Labeling: You generalize one or two qualities (in yourself or others) into a negative global judgment. Global labeling ignores all contrary evidence, creating a view of the world that can be stereotyped and one-dimensional. Labeling yourself can have a negative and insidious impact upon your self-esteem; while labeling others can lead to snap-judgments, relationship problems, and prejudice.


    14. Being Right: You feel continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness. Having to be ‘right’ often makes you hard of hearing. You aren’t interested in the possible veracity of a differing opinion, only in defending your own. Being right becomes more important than an honest and caring relationship.


    15. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You fell bitter when the reward doesn’t come as expected. The problem is that while you are always doing the ‘right thing,’ if your heart really isn’t in it, you are physically and emotionally depleting yourself.

    (Source: blua)

     
  6. Helia’s Friday Night Synopsis:


    ~This is what dreams are made of~ 

    Watch it on Academic Earth

    (via A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part II | Yale Psychology Lecture)

     
     

  7. "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
    —  Carl Jung