For questions about the empirical and theoretical study of how perception, feelings, behavior, and cognition are affected by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Questions are addressed both from the individual perspective (American school) and group perspective (European school).

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3answers
60 views

What is the field that studies community responses to incentives?

Having recently read Freakonomics I was particularly interested by the idea of the responses of a community to incentives - as an example, the tale of a school which tried to introduce a financial ...
5
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1answer
197 views

Does empathy extend to animals?

I've read that humans are able to empathize with other humans, to feel as another person does, through mirror neurons. I'm guessing that they're able to empathize with primates too, as they share ...
5
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1answer
416 views

Can one “understand” emotions, yet not “feel” them?

Prometheus Viral Clip #3 - David is a good clip of a fictional character in a science-fiction movie that helps frame my question; but I am interested in the general question, not the specifics of this ...
5
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2answers
210 views

What is the primary mechanism behind nationalism, sports-team-ism, product-ism etc.?

I'm interested in doing research on the subject of nationalism, but I believe that what I'm looking for is more generic than that. I observe that nationalism looks similar to the way that people feel ...
5
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1answer
377 views

Is the desire to impress others a major goal?

Is the desire to impress others a goal of everyone? Does a person get a job, go to the gym, etc., to signal worthiness of another person's approval?
5
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1answer
115 views

What is the correlation between self-monitoring and the Big 5 factors of personality?

Self-monitoring as a trait refers to a tendency "to closely monitor an audience in order to ensure appropriate or desired public appearances". It is commonly measured using the Revised Self-Monitoring ...
5
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1answer
6k views

How important is eye contact for attraction between a man and woman?

How important is eye contact for creating/inducing attraction & showing showing "confidence" towards them? What is the optimal eye locking duration between 2 persons for inducing this attraction? ...
5
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1answer
80 views

How can one estimate the excitability or mood of general public on a specific day?

I'm interested if there are publicly available tools or resources that can be used to gauge the overall activity/excitability or mood of general public for a specific day. For example, yesterday I ...
5
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1answer
367 views

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain?

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain? If the external circumstance can not change, how can the impact on the brain be reduced? What is the average sensitivity to social rejection ...
5
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1answer
58 views

Would administering oxytocin in games of deception improve performance?

As well as facilitating parturition, the hormone oxytocin is thought to mediate "prosocial behaviour" in mammals. It’s been a while since I have read the literature, but I am aware there is robust ...
5
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2answers
114 views

What is the evolutionary purpose of envy?

I am seeking for a general explanation within the context of evolutionary psychology. 1) What is the purpose of envy? 2) Is it safe to assume that experiences with envy should reach a maximum ...
5
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1answer
225 views

How to interpret the meaning of “crossed arms”?

If my conversational partner (in western europe) crosses his arms, while I am talking; How can I determine if he is: showing signs of rejection and/or detachment or if he chose this position for ...
5
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1answer
652 views

What motivates individuals to engage in cyberbullying?

With the advent and proliferation of social media, forums and q&a sites, there has been a matching increase in the incidents of online-bullying, or 'cyber-bullying, that goes beyond trolling. All ...
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2answers
150 views

Why do battered persons love their partners?

Many persons who have been beaten by their partner, no matter how violently, claims that they do not want to leave their abusive partner because they still love them. A common phrase is: "I love ...
5
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2answers
700 views

What are the possible causes of pettiness?

There is a question about pettiness Is it possible to quantify 'pettiness' in a personality? Which gives a good example of how some people can focus on seemingly unimportant issues, when ...
5
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1answer
172 views

Why is it common for people to default to a single causal source to explain new phenomena?

I am constantly bombarded by allegations that almost every relatively unusual event is the result/proof of some conspiracy/plan set by a specific powerful entity. The typical reasoning behind such ...
5
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1answer
152 views

When a person starts to scratch, why does this often start others to scratch?

Often, when a person starts scratching and complains of being itchy, whether they suggest there might be a bug biting them (for example fleas, head lice, mites) another person with them will start to ...
5
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1answer
133 views

What effects does spending a lot of time in online communities have on interpersonal skills?

There are quite a few users who are pretty much addicted to the Stack Exchange network and spend over 3-4 hours per day here. Time spent here will result in lower amount of social interactions, and ...
5
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1answer
125 views

How to quantitatively measure strength of friendship using observable factors?

Is there any quantitative measure associated with the strength of a friendship or relationship? Ideally it should be able to be calculated based on observable factors, but should not require ...
5
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5answers
4k views

Why do people want what they don't have now?

There are many examples of people wanting what they don't have. For example, a single man may want to have a girlfriend, but after some time of having a girlfriend, he may want to be single again. Or ...
5
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1answer
73 views

Is there a correlation between online and offline vandalism?

I did some searching but I was not able to find anything substantial on this topic either for or against. I am mainly trying to figure out whether online trolling is a way of redirecting otherwise ...
5
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0answers
558 views

Body Language: Why do we give each other the grumpy/frowning fake smile?

I've recently become aware of this - I kinda knew I was always doing it, but just now it got me self conscious and thinking about it: When crossing paths with a stranger, you are supposed to be ...
5
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1answer
54 views

Do Kahneman–Tversky results hold for longer periods and aggregate behavior?

Kahneman and Tversky (1979) show findings that can be summarized in this plot: They show that humans dislike losses "more" than they like comparable nominal gains. The results come from a series of ...
4
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2answers
968 views

Is it possible for non-BDSM relationships to learn anything from slave-master relationships?

I am interested in research on slave-master relationships within the BDSM spectrum. This questions concerns people who do not just engage in BDSM recreationally, but rater define their relationship ...
4
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2answers
176 views

Ignoring minority while generalizing about a group, any theoretical reference?

In conversation, we might define a particular group by the characteristics that the majority of that group holds even if a minority in that group doesn’t possess those characteristics. Some ...
4
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1answer
199 views

Physiological differences between brains of Conservatives and Liberals

I work for a non-profit research organization and I have been assigned to do research on this topic. I have been doing my best to find studies on this topic but every website and article seems to ...
4
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2answers
160 views

What is the causal relationship between extreme jealousy and poor mental health?

Jealousy can be a powerful and destructive force. It can take over reason. Can severe to extreme jealousy precipitate or contribute to poor mental health, at the extreme, psychosis. Or, is it poor ...
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1answer
3k views

What are the psychological mechanisms behind arrogance?

According to this Wiktionary defintion, arrogance is 1.The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims ...
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2answers
841 views

What is the psychological basis of “survivor's guilt”?

Context I have just been watching a documentary about survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. Specifically the interviews with ordinary residents of the towns affected. One ...
4
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1answer
114 views

What is the term for judging based on a simulation of the same parameters on oneself

Allow me to outline the observed process and three hypothetical examples below. For the sake of keeping the samples simple, I will ignore prior moral or religious convictions that a regular person ...
4
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2answers
97 views

What is the relationship between psychological entitlement and locus of control or other personal characteristics?

I'm studying psychology and I have the assignment to write an experimental study I'm still collecting the scientific information on the topic so I would really appreciate some help. I'm interested to ...
4
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2answers
82 views

Is art therapy really effective?

I read the whole Wikipedia article. But I still have doubts. Is art therapy effective? If so, in which ways has it been studied?
4
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3answers
462 views

Is autodidactism a feature that can only be possessed by special kinds of individuals?

I am from Brazil – at the current moment, education in this country is undoubtedly poor. I've been learning some things over the years on my own, mostly downloading content from the internet and ...
4
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2answers
196 views

How can the mind be trained to accept ongoing mental or emotional suffering?

We have physical, emotional and mental needs and wants; some tangible, some intangible. In the case where we know that some of our needs and/or wants are not going to be met; how can the mind be ...
4
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1answer
201 views

How does emotional pain cause as much suffering as physical pain?

Consider someone who has a serious injury. Example examples include losing a limb, being shot or falling from a great height. It is easy for the human mind and science to comprehend and explain why ...
4
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1answer
210 views

How strong is the need to belong?

Are there any studies that measure the need to belong? Does this need vary greatly from person to person or is there a tight deviation? What would explain why some have very little need to belong ...
4
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1answer
69 views

Are there any applications of choice modelling to romantic relationships?

Background: I was at a talk today where the presenter discussed a study that involved a administering a couple of questions asking participants which of two people they would prefer as a relationship ...
4
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1answer
45 views

How to collaborate with a university on a consumer psychology study?

Is there a way to propose a consumer-psychology study (as a business) and work with the university for the benefit of all people. Or do they only do studies around current subjects or select them ...
4
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2answers
135 views

Difficulty of having profound scientific discussions with more than 2 or 3 people?

I am a physicist and the other day, a friend of mine pointed out something that I had never noted explicitly before. This is an empirical observation, but it seems true to me, and it may raise a lot ...
4
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1answer
63 views

Is there a variance in acceptance of conspiracy theories by occupation?

For some time I have been very interested in the intelligent design (ID)/creationism vs. evolution debate. My parents are both medical professionals and consider themselves creationists. I have many ...
4
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2answers
254 views

Defining shyness towards strangers in confrontational situations

First of all, I would like to stress that I am not a cogsci person and I have almost no background in those areas of science. The question is whether there exists a definition of a phenomenon I ...
4
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2answers
181 views

Terminology for introvert's frustration after excessive social exposure

Does anyone know if there is a phrase or term that describes the frustration an introvert experiences when they have had too much social exposure and need to be alone? As an analogy, I recently heard ...
4
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1answer
262 views

How effective are pharmaceutical or therapeutic treatments for jealousy?

This is the last of a series of questions I've posted about jealousy (see here, here, and here). What pharmaceutical and therapeutic treatments, if any, have been developed for managing acute ...
4
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1answer
86 views

The psychology of humility. Why do we not value our efforts?

This question has crossed my mind a few times, and quite recently on reflection it came up again. Why is it that we rarely value the worth of our efforts? By this I mean, why do people often have ...
4
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1answer
78 views

Phenomenon causing people to change their opinion when they are asked to hypothetically defend an opposing viewpoint?

I remember reading a case study on this years ago and I am trying to track it down. The study involved asking people who held strong opinions on varied subjects to defend the opposite opinion in a ...
4
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1answer
407 views

Difference between “Social Roles” and “Social Groups”

The two terms "Social Roles" and "Social Groups" sound similar and I don't know if these terms are often just used interchangeably. Is there a specific difference between "Social Roles" and "Social ...
4
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1answer
17 views

Is there a downside to using more than the typical 20/40 trials in an IAT?

Most resources mention using 20 'practice' trials categorizing both targets and attributes, followed by 40 'real' trials categorizing both targets and attributes. Note that this is after practicing ...
4
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1answer
1k views

What's the difference between injunctive norms and descriptive norms?

I can't seem to understand the difference. From wikipedia Injunctive norms involve perceptions of which behaviors are typically approved or disapproved They assist an individual in determining ...
4
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1answer
110 views

Criterion for Asperger's Syndrome

I realize that the diagnostic criteria for Asperger's Syndrome (AS) have changed with the latest version of the DSM, but there was a criterion in the DSM-IV for AS that I didn't understand: "marked ...
4
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1answer
46 views

Can we explain the tendency of investors dollar cost averaging in terms of loss aversion?

For those unfamiliar with the term Dollar cost averaging (DCA) is an investment strategy for reducing the impact of volatility on large purchases of financial assets such as equities. By ...