often we really cling to the food – giving up that chocolate bar in the afternoon or the bag of chips while watching TV just seems too, too much. food has become such a good friend, and we tend to cling to that friend even more when we’re stressed out or Continue reading
my friend danielle has recently become quite fascinated by the year 2012, the time at which the mayan calendar ends – and some claim it’s the end of time. i tend to be skeptical of such claims but on the other hand want to remain open-minded. so as usual, i looked around on the internet to see what i can find. the most interesting article was by steven taylor, aka gyrus. here is an excerpt, slightly edited and hyperlinked:
Time & Tantra
Is end-of-time thinking a gender issue? It’s not really discussed, is it? I’d be interested to find out about any exceptions, but as far as I can see, all the cultures and religions that are big on apocalyptics are pretty patriarchal.
The idea of a point at the end of history, or the universe is the flip-side of everything exploding out from Continue reading
Viewing a person as dishonest or immoral can distort memory, a Cornell study suggests. So much so, that when we attempt to recall that person’s behavior, it seems to be worse than it really was.
“In other words, our study shows that morally blaming a person can distort memory for the severity of his or her crime or misbehavior,” said David Pizarro, assistant professor of psychology at Cornell.
Pizarro and three colleagues gave 283 college students a story about a man who walked out on a restaurant bill, including what the man ate and drank and the amount of his bill. Half the participants read that the man walked out on the bill because he “was a jerk who liked to steal,” and half read that the man left without paying because he received an emergency phone call.
“One week later the people who were told he was a jerk remembered a higher bill — from 10 to 25 percent more than the bill actually was. Those who were told he had an emergency phone call remembered a slightly lower-than-actual bill,” said Pizarro, the first author of a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Memory and Cognition. His co-authors include University of California (UC)-Irvine’s Elizabeth Loftus, whose groundbreaking work put memory distortion on the map in the late 1980s when she showed that subjects viewing a film clip of a car accident estimated the speed of the cars differently depending on whether such words as hit, collided or mashed were used in the question.
Previous studies have found that leading questions can influence memory of an incident, and that thinking that someone is good (or bad) in one area tends to influence judgments about them in other areas.
“But this is the first study that we know of that looked at how blame might affect memory regarding objective facts, which you usually think of as less susceptible to distortion,” Pizarro said. “It suggests that negative evaluations are capable of exerting a distorting effect on memory as well.”
The findings have particular implications for eyewitness testimonies, Pizarro noted. “Spontaneous evaluations made by an eyewitness about a defendant may influence their memories about the event in question — memories that often serve as the very data that judges and juries use as input into their judgments of guilt.”
In addition, eyewitnesses who hear information about the moral character of a defendant, “even long after the events have occurred,” may misremember the events in question, such as the severity of the crime, putting perpetrators at greater risk.
for today’s entertainment, here’s a bunch of quotes to muse on, taking from aoiko.net, a rather strange web site.
pooh, who felt more and more that he was somewhere else, got up slowly and began to look for himself.
taken from ‘the house at pooh corner (p.107)’
‘hallo, rabbit,’ he said, ‘is that you?’
‘let’s pretend it isn’t,’ said rabbit, ‘and see what happens.’
taken from ‘winnie-the-pooh (p102)’
history teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
abba eban, representative of israel in the ’40s and 50s, minister from the 60s on Continue reading
I have read that the word in the Greek Bible that is translated as “love” is the word “agape.” Again, I have read that this word is best expressed as a profound respect for all human beings simply for the fact that they are all God’s children. I would state that idea in a somewhat different way, as “never thinking or doing anything that would dehumanize one of my fellow human beings.”
As I survey the landscape here in Iraq, dehumanization seems to be Continue reading
remember yesterday? i wrote the post inspired by little emily, the toddler who really seems to know what having fun in life is all about. well, on the heels of this comes an email from my friend ken, the happiness guy. he’s got his own blog now!
here are a two samples:
ClutterMind: The Unexamined Scourge
There is a blight on the land and in our minds. A relentless, eternally patient and everpresent interloper that saps the concentration of many. Most of us have experienced its symptoms: confusion; inability to focus; forgotten goals; the chaos of cluttered thinking. This master of mayhem I call ClutterMind.
more here …
The road to happiness
Happiness and I were so unacquainted in my younger years that Continue reading
the other day i was wondering whether some of the difficulties we experience stem from the fact that we don’t understand what our share of the world is. our share of love, food, comfort, adventure, security, knowledge – all these things we all want (hunger / lust for?)
this came from observing emily, a delightful little 11-month-old girl who Continue reading
a very nicely written article by victoria counsellor michelle morand, director of the CEDRIC centre, which specializes in eating disorders and related concerns, on the connection between eating disorders and the inability/difficulty to express emotions:
A study was conducted by psychologists about 5 years ago that looked at childhood experiences of trauma, (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and verbal abuse, and neglect), and the later development of disordered eating behaviours. What they were looking at was to uncover what the mediating factors were that lead someone with childhood trauma experience to later develop an eating disorder. And what they discovered was that it was a condition called Alexithymia that came hand in hand with depression, and the two Continue reading