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).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
316 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
213 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
1answer
5k 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
591 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
97 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
votes
2answers
627 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
136 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
132 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
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
5
votes
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
votes
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
votes
1answer
50 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
votes
2answers
174 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
votes
1answer
195 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
votes
3answers
896 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
votes
2answers
152 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
397 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
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
4
votes
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
votes
2answers
188 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
votes
1answer
196 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
votes
1answer
66 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
votes
2answers
66 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
127 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
247 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
votes
2answers
163 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
votes
1answer
248 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
votes
1answer
85 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
385 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
votes
1answer
14 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
votes
1answer
631 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
votes
1answer
105 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
votes
1answer
173 views

What causes some women to have repeated abortions?

Fisher et al. (2005) studied the characteristics of women who have repeated abortions. The study was conducted in countries where reliable contraception and education about birth control are readily ...
4
votes
1answer
273 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

What to call theory where next activity following a fun activity is also perceived as fun?

What is the name of the theory that states: "if someone is having fun beforehand, the next activity they do will also seem fun regardless of what the activity is." so like continuing fun... Any ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Name for the need to reply “you can’t fire me, I quit”

It’s a cliché in movies. The boss fires the employee, and they reply “you can’t fire me, because I quit”. Similarly, when in a romantic relationship, one person may decide to end it and the other ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Efficiency drop when joining and splitting teams

What will happen when a team is either split or joined with another team? After reading about Tuckman's stages of group development, I understand that the new team will probably start at the beginning ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

What makes some criminals glamorous to others?

Some murderers are glamorized by society while others labeled monsters. In both cases, they can commit the same terrible crimes and cause the same amounts of pain - yet one can be romanticized the ...
4
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

Have there been any recent replications of the Hofling hospital experiment?

In the original Hofling hospital experiment (1966): A person would telephone a nurse, saying that he was a doctor and giving a fictitious name, asking the nurse to administer 20 mg of a ...
4
votes
0answers
73 views

Are introverts more talkative in written form than extroverts?

We all know that extroverts are in general more talkative than introverts in oral form. But how about written communication? After having talked with lots of people on the internet and met several of ...
4
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Body Language: Why do we act differently around someone we're attracted to?

Many professionals have said that when you're attracted to someone, you tend to fidget, run your hands through your hair, sit with your legs facing them, and that our faces light up around them, which ...