Category Archives: Psychology

The Male Idiot Theory – Sex Differences in Risky Behaviour

A pseudo-photograph showing a man jumping off from an aeroplane without parachute, shouting "I'M AN IDII...OTT!!!".   Image: NaturPhilosophieAre you a Risk Taker?

If so, are you a man??  Mmmh… yes…  The Male Idiot Theory: it’s not new but I thought I’d mention it in passing…  Ladies, enjoy…  Continue reading The Male Idiot Theory – Sex Differences in Risky Behaviour

Closer to Midnight… – The Countdown to Doomsday Earth

Artwork for Trinity Event's Doomsday Clock at One Minute Past Twelve.  Digital Image: NaturPhilosophieWhat Time Is It?

No need to be an atomic scientist, when you’re considering the state of the World today, to understand the picture is an alarming one.  Allegorically-speaking, the Earth is now only two minutes away from impending catastrophe.  Continue reading Closer to Midnight… – The Countdown to Doomsday Earth

Can Ayahuasca Feed Your Spirit?

Three pairs of hands holding an ethnic-style drinking bowl in unison, with stick-and-ball model of the dimethyltryptamine (DMT) drug molecule in the foreground centre of the image. Image: NaturPhilosophieSpirit Molecule

Scientists found early evidence that Ayahuasca, a ceremonial psychedelic brew used by Amazon tribes for centuries, could help treat eating disorders. Continue reading Can Ayahuasca Feed Your Spirit?

Arecibo and the Great Silence – Where We Talk About a Parrot Named Alex

An aerial photograph showing the Arecibo Observatory telescope, with a picture of Alex at the forefront.  The dish reflector of the telescope is built into a valley in the landscape, and the feed antenna is suspended by cables above it. Since the reflector can't be moved, the telescope is steered to point at different regions of the sky by moving the feed antenna $ ($in bell shaped dome$ )$ along on a curving track. The dome shields the feed antenna from interfering radio signals. Collage: NaturPhilosophieArecibo – What a Dish!

The Arecibo observatory is a very large radio telescope located in Puerto Rico.  In 1974, astronomers used it to broadcast a message into outer space intended to demonstrate human intelligence.  Why are we so interested in finding intelligence in the stars, and yet so deaf to the many species who manifest it here on Earth?

Continue reading Arecibo and the Great Silence – Where We Talk About a Parrot Named Alex

Psychometrics and “Big Data” – Who Do They Think You Are?

Dystopian homage to 1984 film set with Donald Trump as Big Brother. Artwork: NaturPhilosophieBig Data is the new Big Brother

The emergence of Big Data has meant that everything we do online leaves digital traces.  “Big data” is fairly new.  It’s huge and it’s scary – very scary.  This revolutionary approach to data-driven communications is said to have played an integral part in Brexit “Leave” campaign and U.S. president Donald Trump’s extraordinary win.  Continue reading Psychometrics and “Big Data” – Who Do They Think You Are?

Ode to the Contrarian or Why Intelligence May Not Be the Best Strategy in Life

An image showing two fish bowls. One is full of gold fish, the other one is empty of fish. One of the gold fish jumps out of the crowded first tank into the other one.Disclaimer…

You.  Yes, YOU!  You’re rather bright, aren’t you?  Intelligent, smart.  Let’s face it a little-known genius!  And you have a unique opinion on just about everything.  Not specifically one subject.  Because you’re a contrarian. or as I like to call it: a “brainiac”.  Continue reading Ode to the Contrarian or Why Intelligence May Not Be the Best Strategy in Life

Looking on the Bright Side of Clinical Depression

A photograph showing a young man sitting alone near a beach, looking very down-hearted.

New Hope

A revolution in the treatment and understanding of clinical depression may be looming.  And specialists are already talking about one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the past two decades.  For the 350 million people who suffer from the illness worldwide, this could potentially mean light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.  Continue reading Looking on the Bright Side of Clinical Depression

Breaking Bad – The Evolutionary Perspective of Evil

A blurred photograph featuring the face of an angry ape chimpanzee. Image: NaturPhilosophieEvil as an Evolutionary Advantage

There is a side of us that is not unique to our own species.  Evil.  Why?  How did it start?  The first time.  Asking why evil came into existence is a valid question.  Evil behaviours are categorised into four distinct groups.  Of course, it gets pretty dark.  But what is “Evil”?  Continue reading Breaking Bad – The Evolutionary Perspective of Evil

Lateral Thinking in Science – Who Are You?

A photographic montage showing Laura Dern, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lennie James in various cinematic and TV roles as scientists. The caption asks: "What kind of scientist should you be?"What kind of Scientist are you?

Already this article is beginning to sound like one of those sempiternal quizzes you so often get on social media… but it actually shows how science reality connects.  Are you having a scientific identity crisis? Continue reading Lateral Thinking in Science – Who Are You?

Forget Me… Not!

A Simpsons' cartoon. The truth according to Homer Simpson? The caption reads: "Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."Forgetting is Easy…

Do you feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you have to deal with?  Do you spend time drawing up a shopping list, only to forget it on the kitchen table when you leave the house?  I know I do.  In the words of Homer Simpson: “Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.”  Don’t worry!  Scientists think that it is perfectly normal, and even an essential part of the brain’s learning process. Continue reading Forget Me… Not!

All the Trappings of Artificial Intelligence – Does Cortana Dream of Electric Sheep?

A portrait of computer artificial intelligence Cortana, as pictured in computer game Halo.Meeting Cortana

I met Cortana mid-afternoon.  The perfect time for a well-earned tea break and a chat down at the local café.  I was keen to meet Cortana for the first time.  By then, she was already a celebrity. Continue reading All the Trappings of Artificial Intelligence – Does Cortana Dream of Electric Sheep?

Eyes of the Beholder

Look into my eyes! Image: NaturPhilosophieReading Someone’s Mind through their Eyes?

Look into my eyes.  The eyes, the eyes.  Not around the eyes.  Don’t look AROUND the eyes.  Look INTO my eyes.  The eyes…  [click]  You’re not under!  But…  Can you read my mind? Continue reading Eyes of the Beholder

The Illusion of Choice – Now You See It, Now You Don’t…

A black and white photograph showing passengers standing in an underground railway carriage. The man at the centre of the picture is leaning casually and appears to be reading his newspaper attentively. In fact, he is a pickpocket, who is busy stealing a wallet from the back pocket of one of the passengers on the left who is turning his back to him, and seems unaware that he's being robbed.What Pickpockets Know and Your Brain Would Rather Not Tell You

Be under no illusion.  You saw the sign: “Pickpockets are operating in this area”.  You reacted.  Instantly.  The first thing you did was to check your pockets or handbag for signs of financial solvability.  All is well.  You relax.  Only now, you’ve become the “mark”… because you’ve just given away precious information about the location of your valuables around your body.  Continue reading The Illusion of Choice – Now You See It, Now You Don’t…

Ode to the Numpty or Why Incompetence is a Double-Edged Sword

A photograph showing the hapless character of Mr Bean, played by British comedian Rowan Atkinson.

Disclaimer…

You.  Yes, YOU!  You’re pretty smart, right?  Clever and witty too, I bet.  Of course you are.  You’re just like me.  But wouldn’t it just be terrible if we were all thoroughly mistaken.  Psychologists have now shown that we are more likely to be blind to our own failings than perhaps we do realise.  This might explain why some incompetent people are SO annoying… and also inject a healthy dose of humility into our own sense of self-regard… Continue reading Ode to the Numpty or Why Incompetence is a Double-Edged Sword

Don’t Shoot, I Just Blog Here! – I Am Charlie.

A Charlie Hebdo cartoon by Cabu, showing three violent extremist of different religious backgrounds. The caption reads: "Dieu N'Existe Pas..." (God Doesn't Exist.) "Si!" (Yes!) is the answer of the terrorist.Je Suis Charlie.  Let’s Talk!

I don’t do politics – much.  I just blog here…  I have an honest opinion.  Mostly, I tend to disagree with all those who try to suppress opinions, ideas, and attempt to stifle creativity and common sense… whoever they may be.  Unfortunately, once in a while, events are so traumatic that I simply forget that I don’t do politics…  Voilà!

I am not sure how many of you out there actually knew those Charlie Hebdo cartoons, but if you’re easily offended…  DON’T read further!! Continue reading Don’t Shoot, I Just Blog Here! – I Am Charlie.