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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35
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3answers
3k 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, ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

What exactly is meant when it is said that only you can make yourself happy?

From Lifehack: Thinking that having a significant other will complete you. If you are not a whole person already, then having a romantic partner will not make you whole. Plus, it puts a ...
5
votes
3answers
139 views

Which morals are universal across the species?

This is the first of a series of three questions about morality: There are sets of moral standards within any given society. What one society deems as acceptable may be deemed as abhorrent in ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Brainwave audio recordings and beta waves: how do they affect positivity?

I know a little bit about negative and positive energies of human bodies and how it all works. Recently, on Facebook, I saw an ad promoting some sort of audio recording and that it has something to do ...
15
votes
0answers
317 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
184 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. ...
9
votes
3answers
325 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), ...
7
votes
1answer
126 views

Is there evidence for a unique isolated internal representation of loved ones?

Some time ago, I've read that the most significant people in a person's life have their own internal representation/model of within the person's mind. For example: An internal representation of a ...
5
votes
1answer
4k 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do people suddenly look back if you look at them for a while?

You possibly are familiar with the following situation, I do not know if this is a researched phenomena or not however. You look straight at somebody for some time and suddenly, even though he or she ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Increasing the quantity of something which is initially good will always lead to an excess?

Take this sentence from a psychological article on wikipedia about the comfort zone: However, White (2009) also observes that if the work of Robert Yerkes (1907) is considered in which he ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
78 views

Could an ethic stating that everyone should care about himself go into justifying exploitment?

Let's assume that one man has the following belief: 1) Everyone has to take care of himself; it's not mandatory for people to be nice and good, it's mandatory to defend ourselves from others and to ...
10
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do people laugh in serious situations?

I've seen people (including myself) that laugh for no apparent reason in really serious situations, such as in an argument or when receiving bad news. Although the other party is clearly very upset, ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Can a strong lack of empathy be considered a disorder?

Premise from Wikipedia: More recently, popular science writer and Psychologist Daniel Goleman has drawn on social neuroscience research to propose that social intelligence is made up of social ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Does neuroticism cause people to hurt others?

Is neuroticism related to harming others? Is neuroticism related to increased criminal behaviour? And in this case, would it be useful to coach / help a neurotic person through psychotherapy?
51
votes
5answers
7k 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. ...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
576 views

Why is storytelling an effective way to transmit information between people?

Parables, fables, myths, whatever you might call them, stories have always been part of human consciousness. Within recent decades, storytelling is recognized as a big component of advertising and ...
8
votes
2answers
463 views

What part of the brain locks up when a man is in the presence of an extremely attractive female?

This question is specifically about the male brain and its lack of cognition in the presence of a highly attractive female. This is in contrast to regaining cognitive ability in the presence of an ...
10
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
571 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? ...
9
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
120 views

Food sharing and mutual aid among the homeless

Since the time of Peter Kropotkin, it's been observed and theorized that cooperation and mutual aid are more common in austere environments. A classic biological example would be slime mold ...
9
votes
3answers
349 views

Why do teenagers take the internet and cyberbullying so seriously?

Background: I saw this post on the daily Mirror: A girl committed suicide because some users bullied her on ask.fm. I signed up to see what that site is, and it was some Q&A site. So she committed ...
5
votes
3answers
124 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
122 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
182 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
91 views

Does identifying a student's sensory learning style and exploiting it result in significantly better performance?

Do people tend to have one pronounced sense (i.e., there is high variability in how strong the auditory, visual, olfactory etc. perception is among people) and can this sense, once identified, be ...
6
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
509 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
128 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
145 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

What are the neurological mechanisms behind risking one's own life for another?

Every so often, we hear of people who go that extra mile and put their life on the line (and sometimes, give their life) for another person - whether it is a loved one or a complete stranger ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

What is the psychology behind choosing to be weird?

There is a saying I was once told: "I no longer fear going insane, I am enjoying every moment of it" For some (including myself), this is in fact a rather happy and liberating reality, albeit a ...
2
votes
2answers
707 views

What is the difference between confidence and overconfidence?

People say there is a very small difference between confidence and overconfidence. How can knowledge of psychology help someone know whether they are are confident or overconfident? What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
634 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?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do people say they hate drama?

On social sites sometimes people will state, "I hate drama!", as if to say "if you cause drama, please go away." My theory is the people who say this, in fact, actually like drama... as evidenced by ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Psychologically, how does volunteer work help the volunteer?

This question has intrigued me for a long time, ever since I experienced it first hand (and continue to do so). Some feel a compulsion to 'step up' and lend a hand to someone in need. An example, ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

What is the psychology of notification colour?

After reading the question What is the impact of showing the amount of unattended notifications to the user, it occurred to me that many notifications (certainly not all) are red, two examples being ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What causes pathological jealousy?

Taking the meaning of the word pathological to mean maladaptive and unhealthy. What is/are the aetiology of pathological jealousy? What conditions are associated with features of pathological ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Are individuals who are generally jealous more likely to experience sexual jealousy?

Some people are just jealous of many things they perceive others to possess. Materially or as part of that person. Is a person who is prone to jealousy more likely to be jealous in romantic ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Correlation between anorexia and mass media stereotypes

I know anorexia is a complex phenomenon. I've been reading on Wikipedia that: Sociocultural studies have highlighted the role of cultural factors, such as the promotion of thinness as the ideal ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Is there a precise definition of “attitude”?

After going through some literature on values, beliefs and attitudes, I am confused. Values and beliefs are somewhat more clear, but what exactly is an attitude? What does it contain? Is "I like X" ...
1
vote
4answers
252 views

How to change someone's beliefs?

I tried to change my brother's beliefs. He gets motivated by some bad ideas. Following my attempt to change his beliefs, his beliefs have become even stronger.
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Is there a formal name for the “love” of arguing?

Most of people drop discussion easily. Some others don't. As if they would like to argue. They feel that they have to demonstrate something. Is there a formal trait to describe people who enjoy ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

How objective are scientific measures of paraphilia?

Paraphilia (from Greek para = beside and -philia = friendship, meaning love) describes the experience of intense sexual arousal to highly atypical objects, situations, or individuals. Which ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

What causes behavioural inhibition?

There are obvious consequences that prevent people from behaving anti-socially or criminally. However there are many behaviours that are within the bounds of social norms, yet there seems to be some ...