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There are two great TED talks that together help shed some light on your question: David Deutsch (2005) "A new way to explain explanation", and Richard Dawkins (2009) "Why the universe seems so strange" At a fundamental level, science is about explanation (and sometimes using that explanation to make predictions). Thus, to most people, science is useless ...


46

Introduction It is interesting and quite under-researched topic in psychology. What has been studied and definied extensively are different abnormal sexual behaviours, and exhibitionism is one of them. In the DSM-IV exhibitionism is defined as sexual arousal by revealing one's body or performing sexual acts in public and it's a form of paraphilia. ...


23

This is true. Mot et al. (1994) published scientific research about it. Also there are a lot of actors that claim they feel that their personality has changed since they played a role. Also a similair practice can be used for insecure people. If they act confident it has been proven that after some time, they feel more confident as well. Edit: Since I'm ...


19

There are a few references to the scientific literature on trolling in the wikipedia article Some psychologists have suggested that flaming would be caused by deindividuation or decreased self-evaluation: the anonymity of online postings would lead to disinhibition amongst individuals (Kiesler et al, 1984). Others have suggested that although ...


19

From what I remember, the MBTI has been compared in some studies to the Big Five (or OCEAN) model of personality. If you've not heard of it, the Big Five is the primary theory of personality that is accepted by researchers who do this sort of thing. Here are some papers comparing the two approaches: Recent comparison and another. The main point is that a ...


17

Yes. But why should it be so? One can approach the question from a number of directions. For instance, Cass Sunstein talks about how information cascades can create the path-dependent effects you describe: person A says something, which steers person B toward the same opinion, with the result that group decision-making heavily overvalues inputs of early ...


17

I will go about this by answering two questions. First, what is Popper's general approach when attempting to distinguish science from pseudo-science? Second, what specifically did he dislike about Freudian psychoanalysis? (Historically, Popper actually developed his general theory in response to his particular dislike of contemporary marxism and Adlerian and ...


16

Perhaps you're referring to Naomi Eisenberger's work on the neural basis of social pain. Her seminal paper found that the neural correlates of distress from social rejection overlapped with those of physical pain, i.e., dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula. She's recently published a literature review on social pain in the brain (...


15

I would like to begin by saying this answer is based on my opinion. All the statements I make are conclusions I have drawn and may or may not have merit. Firstly, it is unlikely the cyber bullying would be the main cause of someone to suicide. The underlying reasons for suicide run deeper than this. I believe their problems ran far deeper than recent ...


14

There is a very large literature on this, and it features many subtle points, but I will try to summarize some general themes. In general, subjects are very consistent at ranking pictures of others for attractiveness (thus, eliminating the popular notion of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"). For instance Cunnigham et al. (1995) found a correlation of ....


14

From an article by the NY times. Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of ...


14

Is husband and wife intelligence corelated? By way of background, Mascie-Taylor (1989) report IQ correlations between husbands and wives in two british samples to be r=.40 and r =.37 respectively. I had a little difficulty discerning the sample size as it's not reported in the 1989 paper. But from another paper I got the sense that each sample might have ...


14

Smith and Kim's (2007) review article in the prestigious Psychological Bulletin titled "Comprehending Envy" might be a good starting point. They define envy as an unpleasant, often painful emotion characterized by feelings of inferiority, hostility, and resentment caused by an awareness of a desired attribute enjoyed by another person or group of ...


14

Besides the simple mechanics of it being easier to position actors and film the details of intercourse there is probably a supernormal stimulus effect. The term, coined by Tinbergen (1948) when he observed birds laying artificial eggs of ridiculous size, is used to describe the effect of a stimulus which elicits a response more strongly than the stimulus for ...


14

Rather than discuss limits of the human field of view, or extrasensory perception (I don't know anything about the first, and the second is a myth), I think we can look at this as a simple case of illusory correlation (wikipedia), which is both a psychological phenomenon, and something psychologists need to overcome to investigate other phenomena. In a ...


14

David Dunning and Justin Kruger have observed that, related to skill competency, individuals which are incompetent in a certain skill can exhibit a cognitive bias, called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which leads them to: fail to recognize their own lack of skill fail to recognize genuine skill in others fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy ...


13

Adding to what shanusmagnus said: What you refer to is indeed an established psychological phenomenon called Confirmation Bias. The bias consists of the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations, or a hypothesis in hand (Nickerson, 1998). Confirmation Bias apparently is among the most studied ...


13

Obedience The most famous paper dealing with this issue is Milgram's paper, called Behavioral study of obedience[1]. From the abstract: This article describes a procedure for the study of destructive obedience in the laboratory. It consists of ordering a naive subject to administer increasingly more severe punishment to a victim in the context of a ...


13

Since you mentioned that you want an evolutionary explanation, there is one available. In biology the effect of providing benefit towards potential non-kin based on an arbitrary marker is known as the green-beard or armpit effect. In a social human setting, if the marker is arbitrary social construct it is usually known as ethnocentrism. This sort of ...


13

This is a fascinating question. According to Donald Symons (1979) "The evolution of human sexuality", it is a species specific adaptation that seems to be universal across cultures. Symons argued that having sex in private underlines the exclusivity of the relationship between monogamous couples. This theory does assume that sexual exclusivity is a universal ...


13

Just a very brief note: in some cultures, sex does not appear to have been confined to private space. One article on the subject reads: In fact, it seems that much of Athenian love life took place in public places: many vases show how people are looking when two people are having intercourse. There is not a single written statement that people objected to ...


13

Funnily enough, there was a Science article published on this (see here). In their sample of university students, Mehl et al. had participants wear a specialized device that recorded audio samples from daily life (The EAR). They report that (emphasis mine): The data suggest that women spoke on average 16,215 (SD = 7301) words and men 15,669 (SD = 8633) ...


13

One way to measure love is to look at behaviors that people engage in to express love. Chapman (1995) theorized that there were five broad classes of behaviors that people would engage in to express love: (1) words of affirmation, (2) spending quality time, (3) giving gifts, (4) acts of service, and (5) physical touch. Goff, Goddard, Pointer, and Jackson ...


12

The IPIP may provide what you are looking for. This IPIP Website is intended to provide rapid access to measures of individual differences, all in the public domain, to be developed conjointly among scientists worldwide. In general, the scientific literature tends to focus more on a dimensional approach based on the Big 5 model of personality than ...


12

Brinol et al (2009) suggest that your intuitions generalize. From the abstract: Building on the notion of embodied attitudes, we examined how body postures can influence self-evaluations by affecting thought confidence, a meta-cognitive process. Specifically, participants were asked to think about and write down their best or worse qualities while ...


12

The other answers cite minor effects related to your phenomena, but there's something more pervasive going on. In Carney et al's research report "Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance", it was found that "power posing" increases testosterone and cortisol levels which leads to, among other things, a greater ...


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I don't think you need to resort to hormonal or neural explanations. Staring has social meaning. The meaning of staring varies across cultures and contexts. In some contexts it is normal (e.g., staring at a presenter, staring at the person you are talking to, staring at a sales assistant). In these contexts, staring has meaning such as indicating interest or ...


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