“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”


"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science."


"History never looks like history when you are living through it."


""The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." ."


"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

10 Things You Need to Know About Psychology

Are you new to the study of psychology? It may seem like a vast and daunting topic at first, but understanding a few basic facts can make it easier to get started. The following are just a few of the important things you need to know about this fascinating topic. Once you have a strong understanding of the basics, you will be better prepared to explore psychology in greater depth.
AB37901.jpg - Mittermeier / Getty Images
Mittermeier / Getty Images

1. Psychology Is the Study of the Mind and Behavior

Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek wordpsyche meaning "breath, spirit, soul" and the logia meaning "study of." Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics, and anthropology.
Psychology research methods - Rich Legg/iStockPhoto
Rich Legg/iStockPhoto

2. Psychology Uses Scientific Methods

One of the most common myths about psychology is that it is just "common sense." Unlike common sense, psychology relies on scientific methods to investigate questions and arrive at conclusions. It is through using empirical methods that researchers are able to discover relationships between different variables. Psychologists use a range of techniques to study the human mind and behavior, including naturalistic observation, experiments, case studies, and questionnaires.
Perspectives in psychology - Emiliano Hernandez
Emiliano Hernandez

3. Psychologists Take Many Different Perspectives

Topics and questions in psychology can be looked at in a number of different ways. Let's take the topic of violence as an example. Some psychologists may look at how biological influences contribute to violence, while other psychologists might look at factors like culture, family relationships, social pressure, and situational variables influence violence. Some of the major perspectives in psychology include the:
  • Biological perspective
  • Cognitive perspective
  • Behavioral perspective
  • Evolutionary perspective
  • Humanistic perspective

4. Psychology Has a Many Subfields

There are many different branches of psychology. Introductory students often explore the basics of these various specialty areas, but further exploration of each individual field may depend on what course of study you select. Some of the biggest subfields within psychology are clinical psychology, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology.
Psychotherapy - Konstantin Binder
Konstantin Binder

5. Psychology Is Not Just About Therapy

When you think of psychology, do you envision a therapist with a notepad jotting down ideas as a client recounts childhood experiences? While therapy is certainly a big part of psychology, it is not the only thing that psychologists do. In fact, many psychologists don't work in the field of mental health at all. Psychology encompasses other areas including teaching, research and consulting. Psychologists work in a wide variety of settings, including:
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private corporations
  • K-12 Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Government offices

6. Psychology Is All Around You

Psychology is not just an academic subject that exists only in classrooms, research labs, and mental health offices. The principles of psychology can be seen all around you in everyday situations. The television commercials and print ads you see everyday rely on psychology to develop marketing messages that influence and persuade people to purchase the advertised products. The websites you visit on a regular basis utilize psychology to understand how people read, use and interpret online information.

7. Psychology Explores Both Real-World and Theoretical Issues

As you begin your study of psychology, it might seem like some of the theories and research you learn about do not really apply to real-life problems. It is important to remember, however, that psychology is both an applied and theoretical subject. Some researchers focus on adding information to our overall body of knowledge about the human mind and behavior (known as basic research), while other concentrate directly on solving problems and applying psychological problems to real-world situations (known asapplied research).
Careers in psychology - YinYang/iStockPhoto

8. Psychology Offers a Wide Range of Career Options

If you are thinking about majoring in psychology, then you should be pleased to discover that there are many different career paths to choose from. Different career options depend largely on your educational level and work experience, so it is important to research the required training and licensing requirements of your chosen specialty area. Just a few of the possible career options include clinical psychologyforensic psychology,health psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology.

9. Psychology Studies Both Normal and Abnormal Behavior

When many people think about psychology, they immediately think about the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behavior. However, it is important to remember that psychology studies normal behavior as well.

10. Psychology Seeks to Describe, Explain, Predict, Modify and Improve Behaviors

There are four major goals of psychology:
  • To describe human thought and behavior
  • To explain why these behaviors occur
  • To predict how, why and when these behaviors will occur again in the future
  • To modify and improve behaviors to better the lives of individuals and society as a whole

As you can see, psychology is a rich and fascinating subject that has practical applications in many different areas of life. If you have ever wanted to learn more about why people think and act the way they do, then studying psychology is a great way to gain greater insight into the human experience.

source :

Human Psychology Facts

10 Psychological Studies That Will Change What You Think You Know About Yourself

Psychologists have long sought insights into how we perceive the world and what motivates our behavior, and they've made enormous strides in lifting that veil of mystery. Aside from providing fodder for stimulating cocktail-party conversations, some of the most famous psychological experiments of the past century reveal universal and often surprising truths about human nature. Here are 10 classic psychological studies that may change the way you understand yourself.
We all have some capacity for evil.
prison bars
Arguably the most famous experiment in the history of psychology, the 1971 Stanford prison study put a microscope on how social situations can affect human behavior. The researchers, led by psychologist Philip Zimbardo, set up a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psych building and selected 24 undergraduates (who had no criminal record and were deemed psychologically healthy) to act as prisoners and guards. Researchers then observed the prisoners (who had to stay in the cells 24 hours a day) and guards (who shared eight-hour shifts) using hidden cameras.
The experiment, which was scheduled to last for two weeks, had to be cut short after just six days due to the guards' abusive behavior -- in some cases they even inflicted psychological torture -- and the extreme emotional stress and anxiety exhibited by the prisoners.
"The guards escalated their aggression against the prisoners, stripping them naked, putting bags over their heads, and then finally had them engage in increasingly humiliating sexual activities," Zimbardo told American Scientist. "After six days I had to end it because it was out of control -- I couldn't really go to sleep at night without worrying what the guards could do to the prisoners."
We don't notice what's right in front of us.
Think you know what's going on around you? You might not be nearly as aware as you think. In 1998, researchers from Harvard and Kent State University targeted pedestrians on a college campus to determine how much people notice about their immediate environments. In the experiment, an actor came up to a pedestrian and asked for directions. While the pedestrian was giving the directions, two men carrying a large wooden door walked between the actor and the pedestrian, completely blocking their view of each other for several seconds. During that time, the actor was replaced by another actor, one of a different height and build, and with a different outfit, haircut and voice. A full half of the participants didn't notice the substitution.
The experiment was one of the first to illustrate the phenomenon of "change blindness," which shows just how selective we are about what we take in from any given visual scene -- and it seems that we rely on memory and pattern-recognition significantly more than we might think.
Delaying gratification is hard -- but we're more successful when we do.
child marshmallows
A famous Stanford experiment from the late 1960s tested preschool children's ability to resist the lure of instant gratification -- and it yielded some powerful insights about willpower and self-discipline. In the experiment, four-year-olds were put in a room by themselves with a marshmallow on a plate in front of them, and told that they could either eat the treat now, or if they waited until the researcher returned 15 minutes later, they could have two marshmallows.
While most of the children said they'd wait, they often struggled to resist and then gave in, eating the treat before the researcher returned, TIME reports. The children who did manage to hold off for the full 15 minutes generally used avoidance tactics, like turning away or covering their eyes. The implications of the children's behavior were significant: Those who were able to delay gratification were much less likely to be obese, or to have drug addiction or behavioral problems by the time they were teenagers, and were more successful later in life.
We can experience deeply conflicting moral impulses.
A famous 1961 study by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram tested (rather alarmingly) how far people would go to obey authority figures when asked to harm others, and the intense internal conflict between personal morals and the obligation to obey authority figures.
Milgram wanted to conduct the experiment to provide insight into how Nazi war criminals could have perpetuated unspeakable acts during the Holocaust. To do so, he tested a pair of participants, one deemed the "teacher" and the other deemed the "learner." The teacher was instructed to administer electric shocks to the learner (who was supposedly sitting in another room, but in reality was not being shocked) each time they got questions wrong. Milgram instead played recordings which made it sound like the learner was in pain, and if the "teacher" subject expressed a desire to stop, the experimenter prodded him to go on. During the first experiment, 65 percent of participants administered a painful, final 450-volt shock (labeled "XXX"), although many were visibly stressed and uncomfortable about doing so.
While the study has commonly been seen as a warning of blind obedience to authority, Scientific American recently revisited it, arguing that the results were more suggestive of deep moral conflict.
"Human moral nature includes a propensity to be empathetic, kind and good to our fellow kin and group members, plus an inclination to be xenophobic, cruel and evil to tribal others," journalist Michael Shermer wrote. "The shock experiments reveal not blind obedience but conflicting moral tendencies that lie deep within."
Recently, some commenters have called Milgram's methodology into question, and one critic noted that records of the experiment performed at Yale suggested that 60 percent of participants actually disobeyed orders to administer the highest-dosage shock.
We're easily corrupted by power.
plate of cookies
There's a psychological reason behind the fact that those in power sometimes act towards others with a sense of entitlement and disrespect. A 2003 study published in the journal Psychological Review put students into groups of three to write a short paper together. Two students were instructed to write the paper, while the other was told to evaluate the paper and determine how much each student would be paid. In the middle of their work, a researcher brought in a plate of five cookies. Although generally the last cookie was never eaten, the "boss" almost always ate the fourth cookie -- and ate it sloppily, mouth open.
"When researchers give people power in scientific experiments, they are more likely to physically touch others in potentially inappropriate ways, to flirt in more direct fashion, to make risky choices and gambles, to make first offers in negotiations, to speak their mind, and to eat cookies like the Cookie Monster, with crumbs all over their chins and chests," psychologist Dacher Keltner, one of the study's leaders, wrote in an article for UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.
We seek out loyalty to social groups and are easily drawn to intergroup conflict.
boys summer camp
This classic 1950s social psychology experiment shined a light on the possible psychological basis of why social groups and countries find themselves embroiled in conflict with one another -- and how they can learn to cooperate again.
Study leader Muzafer Sherif took two groups of 11 boys (all age 11) to Robbers Cave State Park in Oklahoma for "summer camp." The groups (named the "Eagles" and the "Rattlers") spent a week apart, having fun together and bonding, with no knowledge of the existence of the other group. When the two groups finally integrated, the boys started calling each other names, and when they started competing in various games, more conflict ensued and eventually the groups refused to eat together. In the next phase of the research, Sherif designed experiments to try to reconcile the boys by having them enjoy leisure activities together (which was unsuccessful) and then having them solve a problem together, which finally began to ease the conflict.
We only need one thing to be happy.
The 75-year Harvard Grant study --one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies ever conducted -- followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 (now well into their 90s) for 75 years, regularly collecting data on various aspects of their lives. The universal conclusion? Love really is all that matters, at least when it comes to determining long-term happiness and life satisfaction.
The study's longtime director, psychiatrist George Vaillant, told The Huffington Postthat there are two pillars of happiness: "One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away." For example, one participant began the study with the lowest rating for future stability of all the subjects and he had previously attempted suicide. But at the end of his life, he was one of the happiest. Why? As Vaillant explains, “He spent his life searching for love.”
We thrive when we have strong self-esteem and social status.
oscar statue
Achieving fame and success isn't just an ego boost -- it could also be a key to longevity, according to the notorious Oscar winners study. Researchers from Toronto's Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre found that Academy Award-winning actors and directors tend to live longer than those who were nominated but lost, with winning actors and actresses outliving their losing peers by nearly four years.
"We are not saying that you will live longer if you win an Academy Award," Donald Redelmeier, the lead author of the study, told ABC News. "Or that people should go out and take acting courses. Our main conclusion is simply that social factors are important ... It suggests that an internal sense of self-esteem is an important aspect to health and health care."
We constantly try to justify our experiences so that they make sense to us.
Anyone who's taken a freshman Psych 101 class is familiar with cognitive dissonance, a theory which dictates that human beings have a natural propensity to avoid psychological conflict based on disharmonious or mutually exclusive beliefs. In an often-cited 1959 experiment, psychologist Leon Festinger asked participants to perform a series of dull tasks, like turning pegs in a wooden knob, for an hour. They were then paid either $1 or $20 to tell a "waiting participant" (aka a researcher) that the task was very interesting. Those who were paid $1 to lie rated the tasks as more enjoyable than those who were paid $20. Their conclusion? Those who were paid more felt that they had sufficient justification for having performed the rote task for an hour, but those who were only paid $1 felt the need to justify the time spent (and reduce the level of dissonance between their beliefs and their behavior) by saying that the activity was fun. In other words, we commonly tell ourselves lies to make the world appear a more logical, harmonious place.
We buy into stereotypes in a big way.
old woman shutterstock
Stereotyping various groups of people based on social group, ethnicity or class is something nearly all of us do, even if we make an effort not to -- and it can lead us to draw unfair and potentially damaging conclusions about entire populations. NYU psychologist John Bargh's experiments on "automaticity of social behavior" revealed that we often judge people based on unconscious stereotypes -- and we can't help but act on them. We also tend to buy into stereotypes for social groups that we see ourselves being a part of. In one study, Bargh found that a group of participants who were asked to unscramble words related to old age -- "Florida," "helpless" and "wrinkled" -- walked significantly slower down the hallway after the experiment than the group who unscrambled words unrelated to age. Bargh repeated the findings in two other comparable studies that enforced stereotypes based on race and politeness.
"Stereotypes are categories that have gone too far," Bargh told Psychology Today. "When we use stereotypes, we take in the gender, the age, the color of the skin of the person before us, and our minds respond with messages that say hostile, stupid, slow, weak. Those qualities aren't out there in the environment. They don't reflect reality."

100 Amazing Psychology Facts

fat1Fat – Posting a calorie chart in fast food restaurants leads people to chooseless healthy foods.

babybelly2Fatherhood – Expectant fathers can sometimes experience a sympathetic pregnancy where they have symptoms like back ache, weight gain, strange food cravings and nausea. This has also been found to happen in some species of monkey.

fat3Alcohol – As many as 9% of adult Americans have been to an alcoholicsanonymous meeting at some time in their life (Moos & Timko, 2008).

teddy4Teddy Bear – 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men admit to sleeping with a cuddly toy on a regular basis (Kanner, 1995).

mental health5Mental Health – Suicidal thinking or behaviour is the most common reason for people to be admitted into a mental institution (Jacobson, 1999).

sunshine6Warm Weather – Women who live in warmer climates have more body image concerns than those who live in colder climates (Sloan, 2002).

rape7Rape – The U.S has the highest rate of rape for any industrialized nation. 4 times higher than Germany, 12 times higher than England and 20 times higher than Japan (Rozee, 2005).

anxiety8Anxiety – People with generally high levels of anxiety are more likely to remember pictures of threatening faces than calmer people (bradley et al, 1998).


syringe9Trypanophobia – Fear of injection

1310Triskaidekaphobia – Fear of the number 13

mother in law11Soceraphobia – Fear of parents in law

beard12Pogonophobia – Fear of beards

phobia13Phobophobia – Fear of phobias

smell14Olfactophobia – Fear of smells

memory15Mnemophobia – Fear of memories

mouth16Laliophobia – Fear of speaking

doctors17Latrophobia – Fear of doctors or going to the doctors

laughing18Geliophobia – Fear of laughter

time19Chronophobia – Fear of time

mirror20Catoptrophobia – Fear of mirrors

opinion21Allodoxophobia – Fear of opinions

More Facts!

habits22Habits – On average it takes 66 days to form a habit.

day dreams23Day Dreams – On average your mind wanders 30% of the time.

influence24Influence – We think that other people are more easily influenced than ourselves.

sleep sex25Sleep Sex – 1 in 12 people have sex in their sleep.

lying26Lying – The most common lie is ‘I’m fine’

lying27More Lies! – The average person tells 4 lies a day, 1460 a year and a total of 87,600 by the time they’re 60.

sunbathing28Happy Sun – People who spend more time in the sun are likely to be happier and happy people are more likely to fall in love because their happiness is infectious.

eye contact29Eye Contact – If someone makes eye contact with you for 60% of a conversation they’re bored, 80% and they’re attracted to you and 100% of the time then they are threatening you.

attraction30Attraction – The pupil of your eye expands up to 45% when you look at someone you love.

silence31Awkward Silences – It takes 4 seconds for a silence to become awkward.

fat32Swearing – When you’re hurt cursing helps to reduce pain.

nonsense33. Nonsense – We can udnretsnad any msseed up stnecene as lnog as the lsat and frsit lteerts of wdros are in crrcoet palecs

recall34. Recall – Its easier to remember things with your eyes closed.

TV35. Television – Unhappy people watch more TV.

siblings36. Brothers and Sisters – Having siblings is proven to help socialization with peers.

clothes37. Clothes – What we wear affects how we behave.

crying38. Crying – When crying from happiness the first tear will come from the right eye but if you are crying from sadness it will come from the left.

texting39. Texting – Most people text faster when its someone they like.

flirting40. Flirting – When flirting the average amount of glances to ‘send a signal’ is 3.

motivation41. Motivation – Usually thinking of a successful outcome will reduce our motivation rather than increase it.

power42. Control – In Milgrams obedience study 63% of participants kept giving seemingly lethal electric shocks because an authority figure was telling them to.

psychology43. Psychology – The word psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning ‘breath, spirit, soul’ and the logia meaning ‘study of.’

discipline44. Discipline – Negative reinforcement works better than punishment as a disciplinary measure.

fat45. Smile! – Smiling can make you feel happier.

fat46. Smart Cats – Cats have almost twice as many neurons in their brain as dogs.

cat47. Booze Crime – Alcohol is involved in 90% of cases of sexual assault on college campuses.

marriage48. Marriage – Almost half of all married couples 75 and older still have sex on a regular basis.

ghosts49. Ghosts – Over half of the U.S population believe in psychic phenomena.

medicine50. Medicine – Placebos can be as good as real treatments.

Sigmund Freud51. Failure – Freud initially only sold 700 copies of the interpretation of dreams.

prison bars52. Self Fulfilling Prophecy – The Stamford prison experiment had to be stopped after 6 days instead of 14 because the participants (and experimenter) started to become cruel.

intelligence53. Intelligence – Studies have shown that eating food without preservatives can improve I.Q by up to 14%.

stress54. Stress – Excessive stress can alter brain cells, structure and function.

sexy smile55. Sexy Smile – Smiling is 69% more attractive than wearing makeup (Orbit complete healthy smile campaign, 2009)

brain water56. Brain – The brain is made up of 75% water.

perfect memory57. Perfect Memory – Akira Haraguchi recited 100,000 digits of pi in 16 hours.

insomnia58. Insomnia – The world record time without sleep is 264 hours.

neurons59. Brain Structure – There are 100 billion neurons in the brain.

neanderthal60. Pre-Historic Man – Our brain size has fallen 10% in mass since we were hunter gatherers.

brain weight61.Brain Weight – The human brain weighs 1300-1400g which is proportionately more for body size than any other species.

dont forget62. Short Term Memory – Working memory can hold 7+/- 2 pieces of information.

colour63. Colour Productivity – People are often more productive in blue rooms

smell64.Olfactory Memory – Your sense of smell is the sense which is best attached to your memory.

stress memory65.Stress Memory – A small amount of stress helps you to remember things better but a large amount hinders your memory.

talking66.Talking – Men say approximately 12,500 words per day whereas women say 22,000.

primal urges67. Primal Urges – The pursuit of food and water is the most powerful motivator. (Doddard & Miller, 1950)

strange cells68. Strange Cells – Some of the cells in your visual cortex only respond to horizontal information and others only respond to vertical stimuli (Hubel & Weisel, 1959)

colour blind69. Colour Blindness – 9% of men and 0.5% of women are colour blind.

science discovery70. Scientific Discovery – In 1909, a scientist by the name of Thomas H. Morgan discovered that chromosomes contained inherited information.

female serial killer71. Women Murder – Female serial killers account for only 8% of all American serial killers, but American females account for 76% of all female serial killers worldwide.

creativity72. Creativity – We are most creative at night and least creative in the afternoons.

baby empathy73. Baby Empathy – People are more likely to return a lost wallet if there is a baby picture found inside of it.

blue74. Blue – The colour blue causes the brain to release relaxing hormones.

emotions75. Emotions – The only innate emotions are joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. Other more complicated emotions like love and guilt are believed to be combinations of these. (Plutchik, 1980)

pointing76. Point the Finger – People are more likely to blame other people rather than the situation when something bad happens.

personality77. Personality – There are 5 key aspects to personality: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openess.

fat78. Getting Lucky – Sex is not distributed equally, over 50% of sexual activity in the US is performed by only 15% of the population (General social survey, 1998).

memory loss79. Memory Loss – Retro grade amnesia is a condition where you don’t remember anything before your trauma.

contradiction80. Contradiction – Cognitive dissonance is when you have two conflicting beliefs and you adjust one to fit the other.

reading81. Reading – People read faster with longer lines but prefer shorter ones.

imagination82. Imagination – Most people imagine things from above and at an angle.

optical illusion83. Optical Illusion – Chromostereopsis is when two colours are together and one of them sticks out more than the other. This affect is most obvious with the colours red and blue.

group behaviour84. Group Behaviour – Larger groups make poorer and more emotional decisions than small groups or individuals.

racial recognition85. Racial Recognition – Studies reveal that people recognize and interpret the emotional facial expressions of those in their own race faster than those who are a different race. (MacDonald & Matthew, 2008)

monotony86. Monotony – Repetition physically changes your brain as new connections are made between brain cells.

focus87. Focus – The human attention span maxes out at about 10 minutes, over that and we will tend to revert to daydreaming.

friends88. Friends – The maximum number of close relationships/friendships you can maintain is between 50 and 150.

girl talk89. Girl Talk – ‘Girl talk’ helps women to form closer bonds but also increases depression and anxiety.

tattoo90. Tattoos – According the the New York Times 17% of people regret getting a tattoo.

fat91. Popular – Anti-social or unpopular teenage girls are 70% more likely to put on weight than popular, sociable girls (Lemeshow, 2008)

yawn92. Yawning – A study at John Hopkins University found that the myth that you yawn for your brain to get more oxygen is untrue. It is in fact to cool your brain down.

mothers love93. Mothers Love – Children aged between 6 and 12 are more likely to wake up hearing their mother’s voice calling their name than hearing the sound of a home smoke alarm.

money94. Money – People earn on average $200 to $600 more per IQ point but the lower the IQ the more sensibly people spend their money (Jay Zagorsky, 2007).

virginity95. First Time – People who lose their virginity late (older then 19) have a higher income, higher education and a more healthy relationship later in life than those who lost their virginity earlier (Harden, 2012).

social96. Socialization – Your friends on average have more friends than you do. If you think about it this is because if you are friends with them they are more likely to be popular. (Scott, 1991)

pain97. Pain – Emotional pain is remembered more than physical pain and has more effect on your behaviour.

seafood98. Seafood – In the March 2003 edition of Discover magazine, a report describes how people in a 7-year study who ate seafood at least one time every week had a 30% lower occurrence of dementia.

hormones99. Hormones – The hormone estrogen which is found in both men and women, but in more abundance in women, causes an improvement in your memory function.

black cab100. Brain Enlargement – London taxi drivers, who have to remember every street in London, have an enlarged hippocampus suggesting that this area grows as you memorize more information. (Maguire et al, 2000)