Category Archives: Psychology

The Whole Story on Japan’s 99% Conviction Rate, and the Corruption that Follows

handcuffs red bg

The conviction rate in Japan is unbelievable. Some reports say 99.8%, others say 99.97%; but it’s clear that it’s above 99%. Why is this so? Are Japanese police really so perfect that they almost always arrest the real criminals and always have the evidence to prove their cases? Don’t bet on it. The Japanese legal system is corrupt, and the effects of this broken system can be felt by anyone in Japan who has ever been detained, regardless of innocence.

Confessing for Nothing

This excerpt from The Economist sums up the problem:

Posted in Culture, Japan, Legal Issues, Psychology | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Secret to Happiness Revealed (No, seriously)

Being happy makes you not only live longer, but it makes you more successful in life. Philosophers have been writing about happiness for ages, and it is today one of the most popular topics in psychology research. Luckily, the science is gradually becoming more clear on what factors do and don’t contribute to happiness. However, this article is not about a list of things that will increase your happiness; it is instead about the single most important thing about being and staying happy. It’s the reason why some people who you would expect to be absolutely miserable are in fact exceptionally happy. So what’s the secret?

Posted in Culture, Featured, Legal Issues, Medicine & Health, Psychology, Science, Social Psych, TED | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Third Culture Kids and Hybrid Cultures

World on the face

Where are you from? If you’re like most people, the question seems easy enough to answer. But if you hate getting asked that question in the first place, then you might be a third-culture kid. This is a phenomenon not well-known to most people. Knowing about it, however, can be very helpful in understanding culture in general, the world in its togetherness, and our own identity. So what exactly is a Third Culture Kid (TCK)?

Posted in Culture, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Implicit vs. Overt Racism – Are We All a Little Racist?

black kid shining white man's shoes

I hesitate to say “there are two types of racists out there,” but there are two types of racism. One is the blatant racism that you hear from people who just have a misguided sense of superiority with their own race; another is the implicit bias people have when making perceptions of people based on race.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Media, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rotten America – Big Prison, Arrest Quotas, and What Education Really Pays For

this-school-closed sign

ResearchBlogging.org Sure, learning the times table isn’t going to make you any less likely to stab someone at age 25, but one thing that education critics don’t understand is that it’s the experience in its entirety which is important, not each individual class. School is where people learn some of life’s most important lessons, such as the importance of friends, the benefits of working hard, and the fact that there are various people with different ideas about the world. As it turns out, studies have even been showing that educated people are far less likely to commit crimes than uneducated people. So why is it that there are so many cases of schools in the US closing down in order to build more prisons? Well look on the bright side – students won’t even need to go to school to learn the most important lesson the American education system has to offer: Life is not fair.

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Scientific Consensus and the Obvious Truth about Global Climate Change

You-control-climate-changeI often ask questions in my article titles, but the question “are we responsible for climate change?” is simply unnecessary. From the overwhelming evidence, we know the answer to this question; and the answer is “YES!” This is good news because we may have the power to change things, but bad news because we aren’t doing nearly enough, and we may pass the point of no return within the next few decades. Furthermore, with so many people fighting to argue against what almost all climatologists are saying, most people aren’t even trying to do something about it.

Posted in Biology & Evolution, Culture, Media, Psychology, Science, Skepticism, Social Psych, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Exorcism, the Human Stun Gun, and Suggestion

Pope Exorcism

When the world ended last year, I pointed out the there is a certain degree of relativism to the apocalypse. That is, you, the reader, must have been impervious to the apocalypse. Why? It’s simple – you never believed it. And therefore, it didn’t happen. Unfortunately, many people do believe in things for which there is no evidence, including the end of the world. In the Vatican City, new Pope Francis has nothing to say about the end of the world, but he may have just performed his first exorcism as Pope, which is yet another phenomenon for which there is no evidence. And it reminds me of the “Human Stun Gun.”

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Biographical, Culture, Japan, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Psychological Science of Storytelling

Microphone with blurry audience BG

ResearchBlogging.orgIt hit me about two years ago, sometime after I started this blog. Somewhere between the comedy shows and alarming amount of documentaries I began watching, and the seemingly endless number of people I have met in the last few years, I realized that the social world spins on the axis of stories. It’s hard to believe this fact unless you’re actually in a position where you exploit it. For me, it has become a hard fact of life – if you’re a good storyteller, good things come to you, and people want to be around you. It seems like the most popular people are often the best storytellers, and if you’re a good storyteller, you’re probably good at other things too. But just how do stories have such amazing effects on our lives?

Posted in Culture, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Social Psych, TED | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Inattentional Blindness and the Invisible Violinist

Anime violinist ao blue

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? It would be hard to prove if you weren’t there to notice it. But what if you were there… and you still didn’t notice it? This is something we experience every day. Even cavemen couldn’t possibly focus on all the stimuli around them at once – from the rustles in the bushes, to the winds blowing by, to the tribesmen hunting for food – so what chance do we have, in our world of constant advertisements vying for our attention? Our most natural coping mechanism is to (justifiably) unconsciously tune out most of the stimuli around us; but the case of the Invisible Violinist begs the question: What are we missing?

Posted in Biographical, Culture, Psychology, Science | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Are Vocal Homophobes Really Just Homosexuals in the Closet?

Homo sex is SIN sign covered by GREAT

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. -Dr. Seuss

ResearchBlogging.orgWhat is it about homophobes that make them so gay? If this questions sounds controversial to you, then you may need to hear the science behind the answer. New research is showing that there actually is a link between homophobic rhetoric and homosexual tendencies. This article is about the notion that if you’re homophobic, you might just be compensating.

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Psychology, Science, Sex and Sexuality, Social Psych | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments