Tag Archives: Psychology

Michal Kosinski Interview: making our post-privacy world a habitable place

EuroScientist recently attended the CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, where dicussion on privacy where top of the agenda. Invited speaker Michal Kosinski, who is now assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Stanford graduate shcool of business, California, USA, shares his lates work in a podcast. He also discusses the most practical approaches to make life in our post-privacy era comfortable. Find out more in this exclusive podcast. Read more [...]
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The psychology of Horizon 2020 budget cuts

Resisting a reduced spend on science in Europe may require decision makers to understand the mechanisms that makes them discount future benefits in return for short-term certainty on cost savings. Is it better to invest money now or save it for a rainy day? A dilemma faced by millions of people in the tough economic climate: invest now for an uncertain return in the long-term future, versus saving it for short-term needs. Read more [...]
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Cloudy thinking on light therapy

The winter blues are commonplace (allegedly). Most of us in Northern climes have dull days when we'd like to float a little longer in the dreamy cloud of a warm duvet rather than tackle the cold, hard-edges of cloud computing and the day job. Limited exposure to sunlight and the feelings of lethargy it brings have even been medicalized in the form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD, a rather too convenient acronym, to my mind. However, there are studies that show that the so-called "winter blues" are actually more common in summer or moreover, that there is no seasonal pattern to misery and depression at all. That hasn't stopped a whole industry emerging from this "illness" selling light as a therapy.
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Looking forward to Christmas

In the West, it's relatively easy to get caught up in the euphoria of Christmas, isn't it? Regardless of one's beliefs in the origins of the Universe and humanity's place in it, countless millions of us succumb to the fake snow and the artificial sentimentality. The twinkling lights, the shops full cotton polymer resin reindeer, the children's (and adult toys), chocolate goodies, the interminable loops of festive songs on the radio, the TV shows you just know were recorded in July but have jolly tinsel and baubles nevertheless. Then there are the parties, the lunchtime "Christmas" drinks, Secret Santa, the bustling shopping centres, the ubiquitous sound of a Jingle Bells sample in every muzak track. Oh isn't it all so wonderful?
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Science of sounds

In his latest book, Harnessed, cognitive scientist Mark Changizi, reveals how and why language, speech and music exist, and why they are apparently uniquely human attributes that separate us, as a species, from the rest of life on Earth. A fact that also gives us special responsibility for the Earth, you might say. According to Changizi, the "lower" parts of the brain, the bits that recognise the sounds of nature, the scuffs, cracks and bangs, were hijacked by the "upper" parts of our brain and give us speech as we evolved from our ape-like hominid ancestors.
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