Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Psychological Influences of Weight

weighted scales

In many languages around the world (English, Russian, Spanish, Latvian, Chinese, Dutch, etc.), weight is associated with importance, influence and emphasis. For example, in English we might say such things as (1) “the manager has some weighty decisions to make” or (2) “get the president to sign because his signature carries more weight” or (3) “you need more facts in order to add greater weight to your argument.” But does the link between weight and importance only exist in the realm of linguistics? Research published in 2009 by Nils B. Jostmann, Daniel Lakens and Thomas W. Schubert suggests otherwise. Continue reading

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Big Secrets Can Burden You Physically

world on your shouldersWe all have secrets. Some are big, some are small and some we can barely even remember. What are the effects of keeping secrets? While it might preserve a friendship, it can also lead to stress, the depletion of cognitive resources and adverse health outcomes (Penebaker, 1990, cited in Slepian, Masicampo, Toosi & Ambady, 2012). Additionally, a number of persons have deep dark secrets – the type of secret that, if made public, will bring about swift, life-altering and usually unwanted consequences.  Individuals in this situation often complain about carrying a secret, being burdened by a secret or being weighed down. Are these merely linguistic flourishes or is there something more to these metaphorical statements? Continue reading

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5 Psychological Reasons Gambling is so Addictive

addicted to gamblingGambling has become one of the most popular pastimes for people today. Whether it’s betting on your favourite football team, playing the slot machine at a local casino, or pulling the trigger in a risky round of Russian roulette, gambling never seems to lose its appeal. It’s easy to understand why people decide to take up gambling – who wouldn’t want to earn a few extra dollars without having to break a sweat? We could even explain why a person who has already hit the jackpot decides to play again; he’s likely riding on a high and obviously has a few extra bucks to spare. But how do we explain the behaviour of those persons who continue to gamble despite consistent losses? Continue reading

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Psych 101 – Introduction to Psychology – Lecture 3

This lecture covers the biology and physiology of the nervous system, with emphasis on the brain. The basic structure and function of the neuron is discussed, in addition to concepts such as action potentials and neuroplasticity. The presentation also highlights the major divisions of the nervous system and describes the functions of important brain structures and regions. This lecture essentially provides a brief look at the biological basis of human behaviour, and highlights the marvelous complexity and efficiency of the nervous system.

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