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By George A. Miller. “My problem is that I have been persecuted by an integer. For seven years this number has followed me around, has intruded in my most private data, and has assaulted me from the pages of our most public journals. This number assumes a variety of disguises, being sometimes a little larger and sometimes a little smaller than usual, but never changing so much as to be unrecognizable. The persistence with which this number plagues me is far more than a random accident. There is, to quote a famous senator, a design behind it, some pattern governing its appearances. Either there really is something unusual about the number or else I am suffering from delusions of persecution.
“I shall begin my case history by telling you about some experiments that tested how accurately people can assign numbers to the magnitudes of various aspects of a stimulus. In the traditional language of psychology these would be called experiments in absolute judgment. Historical accident, however, has decreed that they should have another name. We now call them experiments on the capacity of people to transmit information. Since these experiments would not have been done without the appearance of information theory on the psychological scene, and since the results are analyzed in terms of the concepts of information theory, I shall have to preface my discussion with a few remarks about this theory.”
From Webdesigntuts+: Creating content that taps into multiple strong consumer motivations, and is consequently richly valuable to consumers.
From DesignModo: The fascination with the concept of color draws its origins from the Classical Greece time period, when scientist and philosopher Aristotle developed the first known color theory scheme. He was also among the first to compare colors to music, in order to produce definitions for conceptual logic and believed that they were sent from the heavens as rays: “in a sense, light makes potential colors into actual colors”. He identified four colors as corresponding to the basic natural elements: earth, air, water and fire.
From Brain Pickings: The origin, pursuit, and secret of creativity are a central fixation of the Idea Age. But what, exactly, does “creativity” — that infinitely nebulous term — really mean, and how does it work? This inquiry is at the heart of Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer — who, in my opinion, has done more for the popular understanding of psychology and neuroscience than any other writer working today, and who has previously examined such fascinating subjects as how we decide and why we need a “fourth culture” of knowledge
From LA Times: In the fall of 2005, psychiatrist J. Anderson Thomson Jr. was treating an 18-year-old college freshman whom he describes as “intensely depressed, feeling suicidal and doing self-cutting.” A few years before, Thomson says, he would have interpreted her depression as anger turned inward. But instead he decided that her symptoms might be a way of signaling her unhappiness to people close to her.
He discovered that his client’s parents had pressured her to attend the university and major in science, even though her real interest lay in the arts. In the course of therapy, he helped her become more assertive about her goals. When she transferred to another school and changed majors, he says, her depression lifted.
Thomson based his approach on the idea that depression is not simply a disease to be eliminated, but a way of eliciting support from family and friends. It’s a concept derived from evolutionary psychology, a burgeoning field that is starting to influence psychotherapy.
J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D. (Andy) is a psychiatrist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is also a staff psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia Student Health Services and the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Dr. Thomson’s current research interest is in the area of evolutionary psychology and using its principles to understand depression, suicide terrorism, and religious belief.
From Big Think: Our values as a society will determine which psychopharmaceuticals and (down the road) which genetic enhancement technologies we choose to develop and how we use them. That’s what concerns Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, senior Bioethicist at NASA and a pioneer in the field of neuroethics. Peering into his children’s and grandchildren’s future, he sees an America that rewards competitiveness and productivity over relationship-building, and suspects that future generations will face intense pressure to enhance their minds and bodies in unhealthy ways. The politics of technophilia vs technophobia aside, our power to manipulate our brains and genes is increasing dramatically – and it raises serious ethical questions.
From Science Daily: New research provides the first evidence that depression can be treated by only targeting an individual’s style of thinking through repeated mental exercises in an approach called cognitive bias modification.