Monday Miscellany: Theoretical Godlessness, Social Psychology, & Coffee

Today in Social Psychology is a Many-Variabled Beast: that marshmellow test, where children had to do a ‘delay of gratification’ exercise in waiting to eat a marshmellow in return for having two marshmellows as a reward….is actually way more complicated. There’s this article, and also this one. As it turns out, when you try to simplify social psychology and apply it across the board, you’ll miss things.

We have a new blogger! His name is Alex Gabriel, you should read what he has to say about coffee, and he once made me incredibly happy by designing this poster:


Somewhat like Richard Wiseman’s 59 Seconds*, PsyBlog is here to help you use Real Actual Science ™ to unbork your brain. In this case, Six Weird Tips To Lose Weight. Er, sorry,  Six Quick Tips To Get Your Brain in High Gear Fast.

Melanie Tannenbaum makes my inner psychnerd happy when she talks about psychology’s brilliant, beautiful, scientific messiness:

Psychology is a science.

Shut up about how it’s not, already.

I clearly cannot just say that without explaining why psychology is a science, although sometimes I wish I could just join the biologists, chemists, and physicists who are never faced with having to answer such questions. So I will start by quoting the main thrust of Dr. Berezow’s argument, and then explaining why the 20-year-olds who take my Intro Social Psych class each semester could have told Berezow why he’s wrong by the end of our first week of class.

Is talking about body image actually useful? Well…maybe not.

HeadQuarters is the Guardian’s new psychology blog, and it’s quite a bit better than I usually expect from mainstream psych-journalism. Take a look at this piece on anti-depressants. There’s science! Very little jargon! Even nuance!

For something totally different, Dancers Among Us.

We’re not all mentally ill:

Mental illness is many things. But there’s one thing it most emphatically is not — and that is everyday fears, worries, doubts, and attractions. (Of the items on Rick Warren’s list, “compulsions” is the only one that belongs.) Seeing mental illness as ordinary emotions is a fundamentally flawed view,  one that harms people actually living with such illness.

What have you been thinking through lately?

*59 Seconds is excellent and worth reading. General premise: what can science tell us about being more happy? Think self-help, but evidence-based.