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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7
votes
3answers
153 views

What is the name of the effect whereby socialising in a group reinforces group beliefs?

Background: There's this effect when you have some idea, i.e. that eating other people is (probably) cool, you join the group of like minded people, you talk about how tasty people are, everyone ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

What explains habitual or even occasional incidences of self-talk? [closed]

What are the scientific reasons behind someone talking with him/herself? Is it a disorder of some kind? By "talking" I also mean writing to self. By self-talk I mean a person (P) is talking with ...
5
votes
2answers
323 views

Why do people donate money to others engaging in activities for charity?

In the UK and elsewhere individuals often engage in activities (e.g., running, shaving your head, etc.) for the purpose of eliciting sponsorship. The money raised is then donated to charity. ...
10
votes
1answer
171 views

At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
8
votes
2answers
250 views

Do measures of Big 5 personality have a positive bias towards extraverted, conscientious, emotionally stable, ageeable and open individuals?

Background: One free measures of the Big 5 is the IPIP. I have noticed that IPIP items seem to have a positive bias towards items loading on the extraversion (EX), emotional stability (ES), ...
49
votes
5answers
6k views

Why do humans have sex in private?

Human couples usually have sex in private, hidden not only from predators, but also - other humans. It is unlike behavior of most species, including our relatives: bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas. ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
4
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the Myer Briggs Type indicator (MBTI) a reasonable scientific theory?

Background: MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It's a theory that suggests that people can be divided into 16 types, based on the way they percieve and analyse information (whether they make ...
6
votes
0answers
158 views

How do cooperative vs. competitive activities impact the learning patterns of an individual?

To what extent does cooperative versus competitive learning influence personality development or even pathological behaviors? If these activities need to be narrowed down to a specific category, I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

What is the correlation between feeling superior and well-being?

I have noticed in myself and others, when people perceive themselves as "better off" than the majority of others (e.g., smarter, better looking, higher social status, better brain function, more ...
4
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
273 views

Evolutionary game theory in the cognitive sciences

Game theory models something very relevant to psychologists (in particular social psychologists): conflict and cooperation between decision-makers. Unfortunately, classical game theory demands that ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

What research has been done on attachment types in other primates?

The most canonical experimental paradigm for studying human attachment styles is the Strange Situation leading to classifications such as Secure, Insecure-avoidant, and so on. What are the equivalent ...
1
vote
2answers
581 views

Do people like those who are similar to them and why?

Questions Is it true that people 'like' those who are similar to them? Why is it so? Is there an evolutionary explanation?
16
votes
2answers
417 views

What is the term for human beings' tendency to obey without thinking?

I'm wanting to read more about a certain human behavior, but I am not sure what the proper term for it is, so some of the things I am finding aren't what I am looking for. I'm interested in how Humans ...
4
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
516 views

Are there emotions that only some people can feel?

Presumably, there are emotions that almost any person can feel, such as happiness, sadness, guilt, and embarrassment. But are there emotions that only a small fraction of the population can feel? ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the correlation between objective indexes and aggregated self-report measures of life satisfaction?

The Better Life Index and other indices seek to overcome the limitations of GDP in assessing social progress. They provide a composite score with which to rank nations on a range of indicators such as ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Whether to ask satisfaction and importance questions for each item in a survey?

Job satisfaction and opinion surveys ask respondents to provide ratings on a set of items. One response scale might be a five point rating scale measuring satisfaction (e.g., 5-point strongly ...
4
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
271 views

What types of sounds do young infants prefer?

I've learned through course lectures that infants can recognize faces shortly after birth (Slater & Quinn, 2001), and have a visual preference for human features as young as 1-month-old (Sanefuji ...
2
votes
0answers
347 views

Does the ability to manipulate your environment affect the type of intelligence?

There are several animals on earth that show certain kinds of intelligence. Some animals have extensions to manipulate their environment and some do not. Think of humans and squids (hand/extension ...
8
votes
2answers
333 views

What are the appraisals tendencies for fear and anger?

I understand the actions tendencies for fear and anger. For example: We might verbally insult someone when we are angry. We might feel like running away when we are afraid. According to appraisal ...
8
votes
2answers
167 views

Does self-rated performance predict objective performance over and above other-rated performance?

Context: I was at a talk today where data was presented where a group of sports people ranked their own performance and everyone else in the group. This enabled self-rated performance to be ...
6
votes
0answers
107 views

What psychological or sociological concepts form the basis of Principled Negotiation?

Although the various forwards mention that organizational behavior and social psychology are two of the fields that form the basis for the techniques taught at Harvard Law School's Negotiation and ...
4
votes
1answer
317 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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
votes
2answers
146 views

Can an individual having strong identity associations with groups be used to infer anything about them?

I've been reading a few articles and papers about individuals identifying with groups and their behaviors and attitudes, however I haven't yet found an answer to one of the questions that I was trying ...
10
votes
2answers
144 views

Measuring the adoption of norms

I'm trying to make a survey and I'm having trouble to find a scale to measure the adoption of norms. The people who fill in the survey have to think about a situation in which they were ashamed. For ...
5
votes
3answers
51 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
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
278 views

Is positive self-talk beneficial for those with low self-esteem?

According to the paper Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others by Wood (2009) positive self-talk is beneficial when the person has a reasonable level of self-esteem in the ...
9
votes
1answer
272 views

Are there sex differences in inter-rater consistency of attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex faces?

Is there any research that assesses whether males or females judge faces of the opposite sex with a greater internal consistency? That is, is the standard deviation of attraction ratings for a ...
6
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
217 views

Study on commitment and follow-through

I'm faced with a UX problem of looking for ways to position a website to increase attendance at future "real world" events, and I'm remembering a study once conducted along these lines (details a bit ...
10
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the effect of Social Proof on Conversion Rate?

I'm wondering to what extent Social Proof helps the Conversion Rate of websites and marketing. Specifically I'm wondering what effect Social Proof would have on Conversion Rate for a sample task in ...
8
votes
1answer
95 views

What research gives insight into the terms “low status” and “high status”?

Folk explanations of human behaviour often refer to "high status" or "low status", and the phrase sometimes pops up in more formal contexts (e.g. this question). However, one of the most cited ...
13
votes
4answers
489 views

Do people have a tendency to stick to one opinion after they formed it?

Scytale's assessment, from the science fiction novel "Dune Messiah" (1969) When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite. While ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the psychology behind trolling?

For those new to the internet, trolling is an activity where one person intentionally tries to upset other members of the same community, presumably for entertainment. This has been informally ...
9
votes
4answers
39 views

What are the key algorithms for learning optimal behavior of economic agents?

I'm playing around with social learning of near-optimal behavioral rules on a set of agents. The idea is roughly that given an income process (or technology process, depending on the question) an ...