Tag Archives: brain

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

Does Chewing Gum Help You Concentrate?

Bubble Gum Girl

ResearchBlogging.orgIf you want to be a rocket scientist, you might want to start chewing that stick of gum. At least, that’s the hypothesis of a growing body of research that suggests chewing bubble gum is correlated to the ability to concentrate on various mental tasks. And as every student knows (or at least should know) it’s not the amount of time you spend studying that matters – it’s the the amount of time you are actually learning. In short, the more you concentrate, the more you learn, the more you know. But what does the actual science say about this.

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Possessed by Demons, Animals, and Nonsense

Green Snake hand art

“Japan doesn’t have that stuff. That’s more of a Western thing.” Just like I constantly have to remind Westerners how they’re horribly wrong about the bizarre and ridiculous stereotypes of Japan, I had to show my Japanese friend that she was totally wrong in her idea about “us” and “them.” The notion that only Westerners believe in exorcisms and demonic possessions is simply wrong. In addition to the many stories I mentioned in an earlier post about exorcisms in Japan, yet another case occurred recently in Japan where the belief in possessions reared its ugly head.

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The Brain is Not Simply Split into Two Totally Separate Halves, and Other Lessons on Skepticism

left brain right brain WRONG

One year ago, I wrote an article that skewered the infographic that one website had been sending to the public. I showed the evidence that contradicted what was claimed, and I ended up busting two persistent myths in that article. The first myth was that the two hemispheres of the brain (right and left) were radically different sections of the brain; the second myth was that people have distinct learning styles, which make some people “visual learners,” while others are “audial learners,” etc. I don’t mind explaining this stuff to laypeople, but there’s something unnerving about the email I got from one of the creators of the infographic.

Posted in Blogging, Media, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Left-brain vs. Right-brain Learning Styles

Are you a creative person? Then you might be a right-brain thinker. What about your analytical skills? If you’re a highly organized and logical person, then you may be a left-brain thinker. These distinctions have been said to guide students and workers alike to function more efficiently in their everyday lives. That is, knowing what type of “thinker” you are can help you determine what your learning style is. For example, it may be useful to know whether or not you are a visual learner. So check the infographic below to find out what you are!

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Skeptikai Notices (Sep1) – Medicine, sex, memory, and skepticism

Medicine:

Half of GPs back change in rules on sex with patients – Is it okay for a doctor to have consensual sex with a patient? What if the doctor sends the patient to another practitioner? One survey specifically asked this to 282 general practitioners in the UK and found that “48% would support a GP’s decision to enter into a sexual relationship with a patient, as long as they registered with another practice.” 28% were against such a decision, and 24% were not sure, but the takeaway is that half of them were okay with it. So this raises the question… which one of the doctors above do you think is okay with it?

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Skeptikai Notices (June18) – News, psychology, Japan, & more

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Skeptikai Notices (June7) – Psychology, Japan, books, & more

To prove that I’m not simply neglecting Skeptikai, I’ve decided to start randomly posting links to articles, events, news, or any other interesting pieces that I recently notice, in random weeks. Maybe there will be a pattern later, but I don’t have a plan yet. This is just my way of staying an active blogger, in the unfortunate circumstances of not having enough free time to write articles daily.

Psychology:

To the brain, getting burned, getting dumped feel the same – Neurologically speaking, a punch and a broken heart is all the same. Maybe this oversimplifies things… but really, it’s all just neural information.

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