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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1answer
4k views

How is the Stanford Prison Experiment connected to Conformity?

I am still not very clear with what the Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Zimbardo was trying to conclude about from the experiment. From Wikipedia, it says the conclusion was to: ...
6
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1answer
71 views

Transmission of beliefs through networks

I recall seeing references to studies about the spreading of true/false beliefs through social networks. I think this research tends to be grounded in game theory or evolutionary theory (like gene ...
6
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1answer
248 views

What triggers people to do competitive activities?

From my past I have seen some people who like to compete in games and try to be first(by games I mean all kind of games or hobbies such as video-games, sports etc. in which competition is included). I ...
6
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1answer
1k 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 ...
6
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1answer
8k views

What are the psychological mechanisms for compulsive talkers?

What are the psychological mechanisms for people who can't seem to help frequently "talking too much"? Specifically, I am referring to those that recognise cues to when someone is busy, disinterested ...
6
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1answer
298 views

Can the Go/No-Go Association Task be faked?

Go/No-Go Association task: The GNAT (pronounced like the bug) is a flexible technique designed to measure implicit social cognition. Conceptually similar to other implicit measures like the ...
6
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1answer
183 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 ...
6
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1answer
123 views

What is the opposite of the Bandwagon Effect?

Is there a name denoting the psychological bias where a person prefers obscure methods, things, opinions, etc. over a more popular alternative?
6
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1answer
144 views

What is the psychology behind the need to be the centre of attention?

In conversations, there are often times when a member of the group will consistently divert the conversation back to their own topic (often to do with them). A 'pseudo-conversation' example: ...
6
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1answer
64 views

Accuracy of social judgements of observers watching business meetings

I'm very interested in how people size one another up in social situations and in particular what we key in on when we are making these judgements. Let's make an imaginary experiment. I make ...
6
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1answer
108 views

What happens psychologically to a Robinson Crusoe?

In 2000 film Cast Away Tom Hanks's hero is stranded on an uninhabited island, Robinson Crusoe style, and after a while starts talking to a volleyball. And I thought: what would actually happen to a ...
6
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2answers
172 views

Is ignoring messages a learned behavior?

As someone that works troubleshooting stuff, I've seen a surprising amount of people that, when confronted with messages, warnings and errors, tend to seek help fast (or early in the process) in the ...
6
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0answers
627 views

When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group

Many people online seem to claim that: When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group. You can find the claim in 31 Psychological ...
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0answers
116 views

Why does clickbait use numbers?

Around the Internet, especially in social media, we see examples of hyperlinks in a common format that has been cynically dubbed "click bait" or "link bait". The idea is that authors publish these ...
5
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3answers
207 views

How much information is lost when conveying an experience or emotion to another person?

Certain languages have words that do not literally translate into any another language. There is already a small loss of information in this sense. Emotions are a personal experience and the ...
5
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2answers
263 views

What is the difference between social anxiety disorder and shyness?

It seems that there are similar symptoms shown by people who suffer social anxiety and shyness, but what is actually the main difference between them? Thank you.
5
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2answers
1k 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 ...
5
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3answers
130 views

Is there a term for a person who moves from one field of expertise to a new field and has an inflated belief in their competence in the new field?

Person A has led a successful career and is very well renowned in field A. Later in life, person A moves to field B, a field they're curious about but have very little experience in. Person A ...
5
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2answers
734 views

Would the Milgram Experiment results be replicated in Eastern cultures?

When the Milgram Experiment was performed in the 1960s and replicated multiple times up until the 1980s, it was performed in Western cultures. When it was replicated in 2006, it was again performed in ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Is the 'addiction' to receiving sympathy similar to substance addiction or just a deficit of resilience?

A lot have encountered people who seem to be addicted to receiving sympathy - before getting to my question, allow me to clarify, what I am referring to are people for whom, knowingly portray ...
5
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1answer
192 views

Any studies on the phenomenon of photo-taking even in dire situations?

I have noticed a tendency these days for people to take pictures of the things they see in the public with their phones. This is fine, but I have found that it has gone to an extend where in a dire ...
5
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2answers
683 views

Relationship between social psychology and educational psychology

For some time I have been trying to figure out what the connection between social psychology and educational psychology is. By their definition, it seems that there at least one (major) point of ...
5
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1answer
403 views

Why do people regret actions they didn't take when looking back on their lives?

Is it true that individuals often regret recent actions (i.e., last few months) but when they look back on their lives, they tend to regret things that they have not done (or lack of actions) ? If ...
5
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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
236 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
216 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
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
5
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2answers
247 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
520 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
227 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
votes
1answer
7k 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
votes
1answer
454 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
76 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
votes
2answers
202 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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2answers
154 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 ...
5
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1answer
329 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
votes
2answers
120 views

Do we pick partner most similar to opposite-sex parent?

Do we pick partner most similar to opposite-sex parent? Do men pick life partner who is similar to their mother? Does it apply to women too? By similar, I mean mostly character/mental features. I dont ...
5
votes
2answers
184 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
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
209 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
votes
1answer
444 views

Is there a psychological explanation for people being 'overcome by the Holy Spirit'?

I am a scientist by nature, and I don't believe at all in God or any form of spirituality or the Holy Spirit (of course). However, it does confuse me as to how some people genuinely do seem to be ...
5
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1answer
141 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
268 views

Is StackExchange.com Addiction Dangerous?

I recently looked at the meta.math.stackexchange.com and found the second anniversary was celebrated. As in the last year's Happy-Birthday post (linked therein) , some people declared the addiction to ...
5
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1answer
180 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
votes
1answer
78 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
56 views

Would courts sentence differently if we used a different numeral system?

I hear a lot in the media about people sentenced to go to jail for a number of years divisible by 10. Does our numeral system affect it? Would courts sentence the same if we counted - for example - ...
5
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0answers
80 views

Do readers consider the passive voice as more authoritative?

In the middle of the last century (roughly from the 20s-70s) the passive voice dominated scientific writing; or should it be said that scientific writing was dominated by the passive voice? ...
5
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0answers
74 views

What are the meanings of the word 'gender'?

Gender is often loosely described as the psychological parallel of sex. But this is more like a simile than a description. It is also often noted as being in the mind e.g. the genderbread man. When ...
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0answers
1k 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 ...
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0answers
166 views

What are the neurological differences between varying types of love?

It stands to reason that the biochemical cascade involved when a person experiences love, gives a feeling of well-being and drive. Studies in neuroscience have involved chemicals that are present ...