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Why do people enjoy the Saw movies?

As a horror fan, I've never understood the appeal of the Saw movies. Can someone explain the psychology involved with liking that series and similar types of movies? [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Jun 20, 2014 - 40 answers

Collective protective instinct?

I am looking for research/articles/papers on people's instinct to sacrifice for the "greater good". I have read an article mentioning John Bowlby and a term called "collective protective instinct", but outside of said article I haven't found any mention of this term. [more inside]
posted by alona on Jun 16, 2014 - 6 answers

How do decent human beings live with pedophilia?

I'm obviously not talking about people who act on it. But we don't choose our fetishes, and I've read a few tortured anonymous accounts of people who don't want to molest children and will never act on it, but nevertheless suffer with that compulsion. So I'm wondering what resources they use to cope. [more inside]
posted by Because on Jun 12, 2014 - 15 answers

How should I respond to my Schizophrenic friend's posts on Facebook?

I have a friend who has Schizophrenia. He has indicated that he has been seeing professionals and taking medicine. He has starting posting his theories about aliens on Facebook. I'm uncertain how to respond to this. Is it worthwhile trying to rebut this with an analysis of the facts or should I just ignore them? I have heard that sometimes arguing against something only makes people believe them more.
posted by casebash on May 31, 2014 - 23 answers

When should you inquire about the academic rigor of research?

A few weeks ago I saw this FPP and found it to be very enlightening. Since then I was exposed to some similar but much lesser academic work and found questionable references in it. My issue - should I just drop it or do something more substantial? [more inside]
posted by vonstadler on May 31, 2014 - 4 answers

Psychology preceding avoidable accidents and catastrophes

Please point me towards more non-fiction accounts of fatalities that may have been avoidable had the people involved made different decisions earlier on. In particular I am looking for accounts that provide detail about these earlier decisions so the reader can perhaps surmise where the “tipping point” was reached. [more inside]
posted by tr0ubley on May 9, 2014 - 39 answers

Tips for powering through work when you are sick?

I think I have the flu. It's kind of mild, but has all the usual stuff like headache, body aches, lots of mucus, exhaustion, mild fever. I am also teaching a 130-student course and we are in week 11 of 13. I have 35 assignments to mark by tomorrow, an exam to finalise by Monday, and an assignment to create today. Fortunately I don't have any face-to-face time today, so I have stayed at home, but if I don't get this stuff done, not only do I miss university imposed deadlines, but I just pile up extra work for myself next week, that will make it impossible for me to prepare my lectures on time. All I want to do is curl up in bed and sleep, or watch trashy TV. Does anyone have some physical or psychological tricks for making yourself work in these circumstances?
posted by lollusc on May 8, 2014 - 14 answers

The psychology of antizinganism.

Where do I find a concise explanation of what it is that people are expressing when they resort to fear/hatred of the Roma? I'm aware it's a historied phenomenon, but I'd love to read more about what specific recurring cultural triggers are involved, as well as the mindset that's behind this specific choice of discrimination, and why it's proven such resilience throughout the ages. Thanks!
posted by progosk on May 8, 2014 - 11 answers

Psychological assessment cost vs benefits, and more

Our teenager had an initial interview with a psychologist that was driven in large part by poor academics. The psychologist recommended some broad based psychological assessment testing. The assessments were quite pricey, and it's clear that there's a pretty decent likelihood of ongoing therapy in addition to the assessment cost. Basically, the question is, is it worth it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 24, 2014 - 24 answers

Possible new career: clinical psychology? What do I need to know?

I currently have a career completely unrelated to clinical psychology, although it seems like a career path I'd like to investigate at the very least for multiple reasons. I'm interested in psychotherapy in particular. For people who work in the field, do you have anything to share about your line of work that isn't immediately obvious to outsiders? And what sort of person is best suited for this career? My personal interests are listed after the jump. [more inside]
posted by Hawk V on Apr 24, 2014 - 6 answers

Solitude 101.

Solitude, isolation, introversion...how to be happy with related life choices and what to watch out for. Advice? [more inside]
posted by Caskeum on Apr 22, 2014 - 28 answers

Finding an undergrad research topic for my thesis (in Psychology)?

I'm currently in my 3rd of undergrad (BA, Psychology). I'm planning to do an honours thesis next year but am completely overwhelmed on deciding what to research on. [more inside]
posted by raintree on Apr 13, 2014 - 12 answers

Help me inform my teaching with books on childhood brain development

What books/resources on childhood brain development will best inform my work as a teacher and curriculum writer for young learners? (explanation after the jump) [more inside]
posted by chickenandwine on Apr 2, 2014 - 5 answers

I can't stop not doing my final project. I don't want to fail. Help.

This is my last semester of college, and there's a major project I haven't worked on for weeks. Parts of it are past due. Other people are counting on me. I feel paralyzed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 2, 2014 - 23 answers

How best to get psychotherapy license with ineligible master's in psych?

If you have a master's degree in psychology with clinical experience - but which does not give a license to do mental health work - what is the fastest, easiest, and most inexpensive way to translate that to a license-eligible degree valid in New York? Is it best to get another degree and transfer credits, and if so which one? Or is there another way?
posted by shivohum on Apr 1, 2014 - 4 answers

Theory about Internet and judging personal probabilities already exist?

I have an original pet theory I came up with a long time ago involving the Internet and how people judge probability. It probably would fall into the anthropological, sociological or psychological fields. I'm not intending to make this post to discuss the theory itself as a sort of "let's b.s. back and forth about my idea" kind of thing. Reason I'm posting is because I'd like to know if this theory already exists or is an application of something broader that already exists. Maybe it's a theory being applied onto the communications medium of the Internet of some older theory in one of the above field(s) of study, or maybe it's a piecemeal construction of a few theories spliced together. Anyway, enough babbling, actual theory after the cut. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Mar 28, 2014 - 7 answers

Should we seek additional help?

My 8 year old is showing some odd behavior - is this a phase, personality, or something that needs professional attention? [more inside]
posted by H. Roark on Mar 28, 2014 - 24 answers

Using "dysfunctional family" to understand family dynamics

In reading about codependency I came upon the Wikipedia page for "dysfunctional family." Where does this term come from and who uses it? [more inside]
posted by vincele on Mar 27, 2014 - 13 answers

Support for activists?

What are the websites (if any) that seek to collaborate online discussion and activism into coherent steps for individuals as well as assistance collaborating on projects or areas of activism? [more inside]
posted by xarnop on Mar 17, 2014 - 2 answers

A typology of joyful pursuits?

I'm looking for resources to help better understand the different types of activities that bring people joy and meaning. [more inside]
posted by figgy_finicky on Feb 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Song lyrics re-enforce like a mantra?

I've been looking to no avail for research into the content of song lyrics re-enforcing ideas like a mantra in the mind. Does anyone know of any research into this? We learn by repetition so one would imagine the brain isn't selective. Brand re-enforcement advertising works this way so lyrical content should too?
posted by debord on Feb 26, 2014 - 2 answers

What is a good introduction to evolutionary psychology?

I'm looking for a book or other resource to serve as an introduction to evolutionary psychology out of personal interest. I know that there is a lot of pseudo-science out there under this banner - so I'm only interested in resources that are well referenced. Does anyone have any suggestions?
posted by casebash on Feb 19, 2014 - 9 answers

Books Wanted: Channeling Productive Psychological Destruction/Creation

What I'm looking for: something to read about destroying those idealizations I've built up over, really, a lifetime - and in turn, building up trust in myself and holding my own powers/creations as my own, instead of turning them over to groups with institutionalized power. Background: I need to break up with the city I live in, the large institution I have worked for for 10+ years, and deal with the fact that I idealize Academia in general and this one in particular and that it's let me down too many times - something akin to a crappy relationship or family, but those aren't the problems. [more inside]
posted by Weighted Companion Cube on Feb 17, 2014 - 3 answers

What is the social/psychological function of nostalgia?

I'm asking specifically for nostalgia for a time before you were born, i.e. the Blitz parties/40s tea dances that have big in the UK for the past decade, or the popularity of Speakeasy-themed bars in the US. I'm thinking of nights that require you to dress in theme specifically and celebrate that time. [more inside]
posted by everydayanewday on Feb 13, 2014 - 15 answers

Major Depressive Disorder and Imaginative Fiction

I've been depressed for many years. It has sapped my creative powers. I've had enough. How can I live as a depressed person, but elevate above the limitations this has imposed on me in the past to escape into a writing practice that could create imaginative works of fiction? [more inside]
posted by samizdat on Feb 3, 2014 - 15 answers

The Origin of Cathy Ames

Is there any evidence that the character Cathy Ames in Steinbeck's East of Eden was based on a real person? [more inside]
posted by helloimjohnnycash on Feb 1, 2014 - 3 answers

Intelligent resources about stages of a long-term relationship

I'd like to learn a little bit more about what couples counselors, therapists, and psychologists have written about the stages that long-term relationships go through, what the issues and concerns are in the different stages, and what approaches are helpful in keeping the relationship strong at different stages. The articles I've been able to find on the web are pretty shallow, and seem to assume that the purpose of marriage is to have kids. I'd like to find something that is more appropriate to a couple who got married at 40+ so have already attained (presumably) a certain degree of wisdom, and for whom kids are not in the picture or in the cards. Authors that I have found helpful and intelligent in the past have been Gottman, Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight), and the author of perennial AskMe favorite The Five Love Languages. I'm specifically interested in the 5-10 year stage, but welcome broader surveys as well.
posted by matildaben on Jan 29, 2014 - 5 answers

Looking for first hand experience with art or music therapy

I'm trying to decide whether to pursue a career in music and/or art therapy. (I know they're quite different) Does anyone have an experience they can share from either the patient or practitioner standpoint? [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah on Jan 29, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me feed my 20-something wanderlust. Difficulty level: Wheelchair

I'm like every other post-college twentysomething in lots of ways: I make too little money, watch too much Netflix and indulge in an existential crisis oh, about once an hour. Also, like many in my cohort, I love the idea of packing up a ratty old duffel bag and heading off to some far corner of the world to taste, see and do all I can, while maybe giving myself either a leg to stand on once I return to the job market here or the warm-n-fuzzies that come from volunteering and/or service learning. All pretty standard fare. Here comes the doozy of snowflake: I'm in a wheelchair and have certain difficulties with speech fluency, owing to my CP and spastic diplegia diagnosis. Try as I might, I can't get myself to give up on the dream of spending a year or more abroad, even with all this in my way. Help me get there, oh beautiful hivemind? [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Jan 19, 2014 - 16 answers

Short-ish novel with psychologically diagnosable main character?

For an abnormal psych class I have to read a novel with a main character that has a DSM-5 diagnosable disorder and then diagnose them based on the book. One problem: all the good ones are probably already claimed. [more inside]
posted by MonsieurBon on Jan 8, 2014 - 68 answers

Surviving and thriving amidst workplace sociopathy

What are some techniques and strategies for not only coping with, but thriving and getting the upper hand in dealings with the conscience-free? [more inside]
posted by Occam's Aftershave on Jan 4, 2014 - 27 answers

How Do I (Politely) Quit My Therapist?

I've been seeing the same therapist, mostly once a week, for a little over two years. I feel like we're going around in circles. It may be me (it probably is), but he's been very patient and flexible with me on a variety of issues (including financial--he's not covered by my insurance.) What's the most respectful to say adieu and jump ship [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 2, 2014 - 14 answers

Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine?

Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine? An example would be when a parent is affectionate to spite their own parents as if to say "This is what you were supposed to do with me," rather than doing so out of a genuine feeling towards the child. Acting the part without the emotion and connection to back it. Can this be perceived by the child and perhaps effect their emotional development? If so, to what degree could this hinder them in the long term?
posted by mrflibble on Jan 1, 2014 - 22 answers

What are some useful paradigms for understanding people?

Sometimes it can be useful to divide people into categories* for the purpose of understanding the differences in how people behave. For example: *Asker, guesser: Askers assume that it always okay to ask for a favour, guessers feel that one should have a good idea of whether the favor will be granted before asking. *Advocates, truthseekers: Advocates care about winning an argument, truthseekers search for the truth. *Givers, takers, matchers: Givers always try to help people; matchers try to help people, but seek reciprocity; givers only care about what what they can get from others. So, what are some useful paradigms for understanding different people? [more inside]
posted by casebash on Dec 25, 2013 - 32 answers

Is my therapist's definition of "social currency" correct?

Recently I spent hours with a former co-worker gossiping about our former workplace. We didn't actually connect or strengthen our own friendship; I just felt shitty after. My therapist labeled this conversation/habit "social currency" because workplace gossip was something impersonal to talk about that could ease conversation, but didn't result in actual sharing. But I've Googled the phrase and don't see "social currency" defined in that way. Is there a phenomenon by another name that she was referring to? [more inside]
posted by whenbynowandtreebyleaf on Dec 19, 2013 - 10 answers

I'm stuck and not sure how to do life.

I am lost on how to proceed with my life/diet. Because #1 - There are many positives to eating strict #2 - There are many negatives to eating strict. [more inside]
posted by learninguntilidie on Dec 17, 2013 - 20 answers

I might finally come to be worth something to society! Maybe...?

Hi Mefites. I'll be starting an online medical coding and billing course in January ( given by the AAPC), after graduating from a relatively well respected state school with a psychology BA in May and finding out far too late in the game that it would leave me with nil in terms of job prospects. After building up quite a bit of credit card debt and deciding that man cannot live on Hulu and Facebook alone, as I've been doing for six months, I decided to look into opportunities that required relatively little training to get started with, and happened upon medical billing, something that seems to fit me quite well. I'm tempering my enthusiasm however, because no amount of Googling seems to give me a clear sense of my path once the course is over. Help? [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Dec 8, 2013 - 4 answers

How do you cope with an utterly draining person who you can't avoid?

For various reasons, I'm in currently in a domestic situation with a family member who is really, really draining. This person has quite a few traits that seem narcissistic/borderline/non-respectful of boundaries. [more inside]
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl on Dec 6, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me overshare less!

Although I am quite introverted, I have a tendency to overshare. I don't think my behavior is beyond the realm of normal-- nobody has ever indicated to me that I made them uncomfortable. Still, I would like to be more able to keep my struggles, emotions, thoughts, and frustrations more contained. Sometimes when I am really frustrated or confused about something, I will find a moderately close friend to vent to, but then later on have some mild feelings of "maybe they didn't really need to know that about me..." [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Dec 1, 2013 - 19 answers

Help me learn to daydream again

As a kid I loved to make up stories and fantasies. Now, 22 years old and almost out of college, I realized that I can't do this anymore, can't let my mind go where it will. How can I learn to? [more inside]
posted by gold-in-green on Nov 29, 2013 - 11 answers

Please help me find video presentation about psychology of programming

Some time ago (maybe four years) I saw a video of a presentation about psychology of computer programming by a man who said he was writing a book about it. He also had a blog where he discussed the book. It wasn't a single blog post about the topic, but a specialised blog about the psychology of programming. I can't find either. [more inside]
posted by kandinski on Nov 27, 2013 - 5 answers

What is a good phrase or analogy, similar to passing the buck?

An angry client emails a partner at a law firm about an expensive court filing. The partner responds "oh, don't worry, we'll look into this and take care of it." He cc's his secretary, the associate who drafted the filing, the associate's secretary, the paralegal, and the accounting clerk in charge of billing. Being at the top of the food chain, the partner immediately assumes that the associate will take care of it, and the partner's secretary assumes the same. The associate assumes that since the paralegal prepared the documents, including the itemized fee transmittal, that she'll handle it. Meanwhile, the paralegal figures that since the associate's secretary was the one in charge of electronically filing the document and selecting the fee options online, that it was probably an error on her end, and that she'll look into it. The associate's secretary assumes that since the accounting clerk is the only one with authorization to view and reconcile the charge account online, that she'll handle it. Last but not least, the accounting clerk brushes it off, as she works in accounting, not preparing and filing legal documents. Aside from passing the buck, what is a good term, phrase or analogy to describe this circular, dysfunctional work dynamic that occurs when a dozen people are cc'd on the same email? Everyone assumes someone else will take care of a problem, and in the end, the problem is never addressed.
posted by invisible ink on Nov 20, 2013 - 22 answers

flipped out!

How do I get better at not ignoring all the positive emotional work I've done when suddenly being triggered in a high-stress low-functioning situation? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Nov 20, 2013 - 6 answers

Heart Rate Monitoring on the Cheap

Dear Hive Mind, My friend (a graduate student in psychology) wants to collect physiological measures for her dissertation. However, she doesn't have much money with which to do so. What is the cheapest way for her to accurately record the heart rate of some undergraduates? How much more will it cost her to be able to export the data to a computer? Thanks 10^6, zscore
posted by zscore on Nov 12, 2013 - 15 answers

LCSWs and Psychology Ph.Ds, tell me about yourself

I'm looking for current LCSW and Clinical/Counseling Psychology PhD holders to give me "real life" information on the pros and cons of each degree. [more inside]
posted by metacognition on Nov 11, 2013 - 14 answers

What anecdote has a staff adding an intentional mistake to fixate boss?

I can't remember this anecdote for the life of me. But the jist was, a very picky director / designer / CEO's people would plant an intentional piece of ugliness (something off center, something ugly) into a project, or design, or film, to fixate him, so he wouldn't tear apart any other parts of the design. [more inside]
posted by condour75 on Nov 7, 2013 - 14 answers

When can babies or children be taught bad eating habits?

I am feeding my infant on demand. Said infant gets no sleep whatsoever. Friends are pointing me to various methodologies, many of which schedule discrete eating times (such as feeding all of the calories in a 12 hour period and none in the remaining 12 hour period). I do not wish to do this because I think that this doesn't respect a baby's hunger and worry that, down the road, the child will not be able to recognize hunger/satiety clues. On the other hand, of course I would love to try scheduling like this because it's pretty miserable getting no sleep. All things being equal (the merits of on demand vs. scheduling), is there literature out there in psychology or any other field that has looked to this? Where should I go to find out whether scheduled feedings may have a long-term impact on children?
posted by juliagulia on Oct 30, 2013 - 32 answers

Why is there so much controversy surrounding the DSM-V?

Please point me to some resources (interviews, news articles, opinion pieces, etc...) so I can better understand why the DSM-V has generated so much controversy, and what the major points of contention are. The more gristly it is for my milling, the better.
posted by tybeet on Oct 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me find some job prospects in SF in neuroscience/psychology?

Hello, I'm a recent Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, and it appears I'm not massively employable. I live in San Francisco and am not able to relocate. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 15, 2013 - 8 answers

Some questions about adderall.

I recently started on adderall for ADD-type issues, and I've got some questions about the effects it's having. I intend to bring them up with my psychiatrist when I see him next, but that won't be for a few weeks and I think it would still be valuable to get some outside perspective, especially from people with first-hand experience. A lot of this has to do with sexuality. Questions and details within. A bit long-winded. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Oct 11, 2013 - 14 answers

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