On YouTube: Robert Kurzban's book shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don't always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves.
From Knowledge by the Slice at University of Pennsylvania: Robert Kurzban discusses themes from his new book, including the mind's tendency to simultaneously store opposing ideas, a phenomenon that often results in a less-than-popular label: hypocrite.
Robert Kurzban is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His first book, Why Everyone (Else) Is A Hypocrite, is now available.
From Science Daily: Scientists have found that the pleasurable experience of listening to music releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain important for more tangible pleasures associated with rewards such as food, drugs and sex. The new study from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro at McGill University also reveals that even the anticipation of pleasurable music induces dopamine release [as is the case with food, drug, and sex cues]. Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the results suggest why music, which has no obvious survival value, is so significant across human society.
From eSkeptic: An excerpt from 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Nature, by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry L. Beyerstein (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Virtually every day, the news media, television shows, films, and Internet bombard us with claims regarding a host of psychological topics: psychics, out of body experiences, recovered memories, and lie detection, to name a few. Even a casual stroll through our neighborhood bookstore reveals dozens of self-help, relationship, recovery, and addiction books that serve up generous portions of advice for steering our paths along life’s rocky road. Yet many popular psychology sources are rife with misconceptions.
From Garr Reynolds: re born to play. Play is how we learn and develop our minds and our bodies, and it’s also how we express ourselves. Play comes naturally to us. I was reminded of this while listening to a cool little jazz gig near the beach in Maui a couple of months ago. I snapped this photo below of a little girl enjoying the simple beauty of that musical moment by dancing happily all by herself.
From NY Times: According to Dr. Mathias Mehl from the University of Arizona, people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier.
From edge.org: What we’re saying is that there is a technology emerging from behavioral economics. It’s not only an abstract thing. You can do things with it. We are just at the beginning. I thought that the input of psychology into behavioral economics was done. But hearing Sendhil was very encouraging because there was a lot of new psychology there. That conversation is continuing and it looks to me as if that conversation is going to go forward. It’s pretty intuitive, based on research, good theory, and important. — Daniel Kahneman