This new research presents still more evidence of the visceral heuristic in action. In this case it relates to our irrational and perilous judgments about global warming and climate change.
Here’s a fascinating new piece of research that, first, documents the role of a powerful ‘approach bias’ at work in alcoholism and, second, offers a clinical strategy for countering that deep-seated cognitive bias. This definitely goes into the revised edition of On Second Thought.
Chapter Five of On Second Thought–called “The Mimicry Heuristic: Feeling Your Inner Ape”–explores both the advantages and dangers of our deep neuronal connections to one another. Here is a new study that adds a new wrinkle: It suggests that romantic partners have a shared self-regulatory system, which allows us to “outsouce” our motivation in one… Read more
This is a personal essay, but closely related to the scientific questions I have explore over many years.
The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, in conjunction with The Psychologist, is taking on the Seven Deadly Sins. Each day, beginning today, a psychology writer will be exploring one of the deadly sins through a personal essay. Today’s is John Sloboda’s fine piece on Wrath. Watch for Greed and others, including mine on Gluttony later… Read more
Benjamin Franklin was no brain scientist. He was a keen observer of human behavior, and of the natural world, but he was a couple centuries too early to explore the intricate neuronal interplay of physics and biochemistry that makes us the people we are: healthy, wise, quirky, self-destructive. So, when he famously defined insanity as… Read more
One of the most potent and perilous of our ancient cognitive biases is suspicion of the Other–anyone not Us. When we define ourselves by the group we belong too, we not only experience pleasure and pain for our own successes and failures, we also experience those emotions when Others succeed or fail. Experiencing joy over… Read more
I devote the opening chapter of On Second Thought to the “visceral heuristics”–or bodily heuristics. These are our tendencies to embody our emotions and thoughts in physical form. For example, doing something unethical can make us feel dirty, and actual washing can make us feel righteous again–the so-called “Lady Macbeth Effect.” Here is a new… Read more