Questions tagged [social-psychology]

For questions about the empirical and theoretical study of how perception, feelings, behavior, and cognition are affected by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Questions are addressed both from the individual perspective (American school) and group perspective (European school).

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Why do humans have sex in private?

Human couples usually have sex in private, hidden not only from predators, but also - other humans. It is unlike behavior of most species, including our relatives: bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas. ...
Piotr Migdal's user avatar
  • 2,870
72 votes
4 answers
7k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
Bharadwaj Srigiriraju's user avatar
44 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is the Myer Briggs Type indicator (MBTI) a reasonable scientific theory?

Background: MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It's a theory that suggests that people can be divided into 16 types, based on the way they percieve and analyse information (whether they make ...
Vasily Sochinsky's user avatar
39 votes
5 answers
4k views

What is the psychology behind trolling?

For those new to the internet, trolling is an activity where one person intentionally tries to upset other members of the same community, presumably for entertainment. This has been informally ...
zergylord's user avatar
  • 2,404
25 votes
3 answers
19k views

Intelligence and marriage satisfaction

A recent letter by a Princeton alumni stated: Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated. It’s amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman’s lack of erudition,...
Jeromy Anglim's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a causal connection between repressive sexual morality and antisocial behavior?

Wilhelm Reich believed that certain forms of deviant behavior result mostly or in part from the repressive sexual morality of a society (Reich, 1930). Reich believes that the majority of antisocial ...
user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
734 views

Evolutionary game theory in the cognitive sciences

Game theory models something very relevant to psychologists (in particular social psychologists): conflict and cooperation between decision-makers. Unfortunately, classical game theory demands that ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
245k views

Why do people laugh in serious situations?

I've seen people (including myself) that laugh for no apparent reason in really serious situations, such as in an argument or when receiving bad news. Although the other party is clearly very upset, ...
Eric B's user avatar
  • 301
19 votes
2 answers
9k views

Why do people avoid taking the last "donut"?

In many contexts (family, colleagues, etc), say there is a box of donuts for people to take (or any kind of treat or snack). A lot of the times we can observe that there will be only one left and ...
LulalaBoss's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why is storytelling an effective way to transmit information between people?

Parables, fables, myths, whatever you might call them, stories have always been part of human consciousness. Within recent decades, storytelling is recognized as a big component of advertising and ...
Ana's user avatar
  • 810
18 votes
5 answers
19k views

Is there an open-source / free official Myers-Briggs assessment I can adopt? [closed]

Background I've got an idea for a web site that uses one's Myers-Briggs type as part of the value. I've seen various web sites offer "quick quizzes" to assess one's MBTI, but I'm not sure how ...
SeanKilleen's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
7k views

What is the term for human beings' tendency to obey without thinking?

I'm wanting to read more about a certain human behavior, but I am not sure what the proper term for it is, so some of the things I am finding aren't what I am looking for. I'm interested in how Humans ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 5,390
18 votes
9 answers
4k views

Can we change our personalities?

In psychology, a difference is made between personality attributes as a state or as a trait. For example, a usually outgoing and sociable person might find himself uncommonly shy in the presence of a ...
user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
38k views

How can we scientifically measure love?

I want to understand the psychology of love, and I found the Triangular Theory of Love on Wikipedia from this question, which I think is very believable. However, there is a big section on mixed ...
Laura's user avatar
  • 383
17 votes
2 answers
31k views

Why do people suddenly look back if you look at them for a while?

You possibly are familiar with the following situation, I do not know if this is a researched phenomena or not however. You look straight at somebody for some time and suddenly, even though he or she ...
Jakob Abfalter's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
599 views

Does straightening your back increase confidence?

Background: I have always felt moderately socially insecure. Today I noticed that when I straighten my back from its normal crestfallen position, I feel a little more confident, and as if I were in ...
Enoque Duarte's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is there a mental condition that makes people unconditionally gullible?

The last several years in my country there has been a string of fraud that involves people, claiming to be police, asking citizens to contribute large sums of money to aid "police investigation". The ...
dtech's user avatar
  • 321
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why don't people listen to smart people?

Generally speaking, I feel like there are two things everyone can agree on when it comes to intellectuals: They don't know everything. They know more than me (at least about a particular topic). It'...
Noob Saibot's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
13k views

Why did Karl Popper criticize Freud's theories?

Why didn't Karl Popper accept Freud's psychological theories and believed that they are not scientific in essence?
keramus's user avatar
  • 263
16 votes
3 answers
15k views

Body Language: Why do we give each other the grumpy/frowning fake smile?

I've recently become aware of this - I kinda knew I was always doing it, but just now it got me self conscious and thinking about it: When crossing paths with a stranger, you are supposed to be ...
oliver_siegel's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do people have a tendency to stick to one opinion after they formed it?

Scytale's assessment, from the science fiction novel "Dune Messiah" (1969) When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite. While reading ...
Steven Jeuris's user avatar
  • 3,523
15 votes
6 answers
36k views

Why do people want what they don't have now?

There are many examples of people wanting what they don't have. For example, a single man may want to have a girlfriend, but after some time of having a girlfriend, he may want to be single again. Or ...
tsykora's user avatar
  • 683
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is it true that acting can affect one's behavior?

Is it true that acting can affect one's behaviour? For example, if someone plays a protagonist, can this affect them to be a good person? Is there any solid evidence for this?
Jamal Senjaya's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do measures of Big 5 personality have a positive bias towards extraverted, conscientious, emotionally stable, ageeable and open individuals?

Background: One free measures of the Big 5 is the IPIP. I have noticed that IPIP items seem to have a positive bias towards items loading on the extraversion (EX), emotional stability (ES), ...
Jeromy Anglim's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
47k views

At what age are women perceived to be most attractive?

Someone once quoted a research at me: Men were shown photographs of female body parts and asked to judge the attractiveness. The result was that men (of all ages) found 14 year old females the most (...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
14k views

Why do people talk fast in presentations when nervous?

I was at a professional development seminar today, and the presenter, while being interesting and knowing his subject admitted to being nervous and was speaking very fast. I know I do this when I am ...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to predict romantic attraction

Dating websites and psychological researchers attempt to find those factors that predict the fit between potential romantic partners. Examples for factors taken into consideration are the "big five" ...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
953 views

At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
LitheOhm's user avatar
  • 620
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why do humans like being touched?

Why do people like to be touched so much, why would it make sense from a evolutionary perspective. I know people enjoy hugs and company of opposite sex, but even people from the same sex hug and ...
Xitcod13's user avatar
  • 249
13 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises?

There is a question What does scientific research say about the relationship between penis size and attractiveness? This answer and this link give the statistics of penis size. Given these ...
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the name of the bias when one expects you to possess his knowledge?

What is the name of bias or fallacy when, often while in argument, someone expects you to know the same things as he does. Usually, you just say "well, how should have I known that. I'm not inside of ...
dwelle's user avatar
  • 305
13 votes
4 answers
313 views

What is the motivation model behind StackExchange?

I noticed that I didn't sleep yesterday for no reason and spent the whole night to answer questions in one of the communities in here. Why did I do this? I still come here every hour and check if ...
Stewie Griffin's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why do humans cry?

People cry when they experience intense emotions. Crying seems to occur most frequently in intense episodes of sadness and fear, but sometimes also happens when people are very happy or angry. What is ...
Cemre's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
1 answer
302 views

Do lonely people get addicted more easily than social counterparts?

The so-called "Rat Park" study conducted in the late 1970s indicated that lonely rats get drug addicted more easily than social ones. Does anyone know if there are more recent studies about the topic?...
CuriousSuperhero's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
323 views

Food sharing and mutual aid among the homeless

Since the time of Peter Kropotkin, it's been observed and theorized that cooperation and mutual aid are more common in austere environments. A classic biological example would be slime mold spore-...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is Jordan Peterson correct when he states that "as societies become more egalitarian, personality differences across genders maximize"?

There are many videos (for example, here, here, and here) where Jordan Peterson claims that as societies become more egalitarian, personality differences across genders increase. He is often stating ...
safex's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What makes someone attractive psychologically?

What makes a person particularly attractive to another person, specifically the opposite sex? Why would the brain evolve this trait to target specific genes (that make someone look pretty), and ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 411
12 votes
2 answers
262 views

Measuring the adoption of norms

I'm trying to make a survey and I'm having trouble to find a scale to measure the adoption of norms. The people who fill in the survey have to think about a situation in which they were ashamed. For ...
J. Maes's user avatar
  • 123
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are introverts more talkative in written form than extroverts?

We all know that extroverts are in general more talkative than introverts in oral form. But how about written communication? After having talked with lots of people on the internet and met several of ...
Berit Larsen's user avatar
  • 3,789
12 votes
1 answer
199 views

Psychology of brand names

Marketers use the fact that different letters are associated with different mental images and emotions when they create brand names. Studies show that letters and their combinations produce different ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
452 views

How do cooperative vs. competitive activities impact the learning patterns of an individual?

To what extent does cooperative versus competitive learning influence personality development or even pathological behaviors? If these activities need to be narrowed down to a specific category, I'm ...
Alpha's user avatar
  • 791
12 votes
1 answer
23k views

What were the long-term effects on the participants of the Stanford Prison Experiment?

It has been maintained by Dr. Philip Zimbardo that the experiment has had no long-term harm on the participants. However, one out of the 24 initial participants, who had suffered a breakdown within 36 ...
asheeshr's user avatar
  • 963
12 votes
0 answers
190 views

Publicly available social networks in apes and hunter-gatherer societies

Social network analysis is an indiscpensable tool for sociology, and is becoming increasing popular in anthropology, social-psychology and other fields. There are many papers that examine the ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
12 votes
0 answers
1k views

What are the neurological differences between varying types of love?

It stands to reason that the biochemical cascade involved when a person experiences love, gives a feeling of well-being and drive. Studies in neuroscience have involved chemicals that are present ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why do teenagers take the internet and cyberbullying so seriously?

Background: I saw this post on the daily Mirror: A girl committed suicide because some users bullied her on ask.fm. I signed up to see what that site is, and it was some Q&A site. So she committed ...
Lynob's user avatar
  • 346
11 votes
1 answer
191 views

Does our brain react as if we were physically hurt when we are lied to?

I think I've read somewhere that our brain acts as if we were physically hurt (as if we feel pain) when we catch someone lying to us. I couldn't find anything about it on google, and my memory is not ...
user1999728's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
336 views

Is post-traumatic stress disorder preventable?

Victims of abuse, people exposed to violent situations repeatedly, and people in war zones can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result. PTSD is very common and has lifelong effects ...
Ella's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes
3 answers
505 views

Are older people more likely to be politically conservative and why?

J.Campbell suggest that the difference between age groups on being politically conservative is small. But F.Glamsers article concludes: there was a significant positive correlation between age and ...
nairboon's user avatar
  • 211
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What explains involuntary imitation of behavior such as shrugging?

Recently, I watched a discussion program on TV and one of the participants shrugged. I found that, not only did I do the same, but I seemed to do it in synchrony the speaker. I didn't want to do this, ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
141 views

What are the key algorithms for learning optimal behavior of economic agents?

I'm playing around with social learning of near-optimal behavioral rules on a set of agents. The idea is roughly that given an income process (or technology process, depending on the question) an ...
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