Psychology is one of the most interesting and fascinating topics of study in this modern day along side with philosophy and spirituality. I’ve seen plenty of discussions about psych topics, but they seem so scattered around the site. I wanted to make this thread, basically as a common ground for everything themed in psychology and for all the psych lovers to gather and discuss their favorite studies, experiments, theories, etc. Hopefully even some new ideas brought up by striving knowledge seekers.
I’m excited to see how many people on the site enjoy the topic as much as I do, and i’m even more excited to see what information they have to add to the thread.
I’ll start :)
One of the most basic studies in the science, the placebo effect has always fascinated me. Everyone knows the placebo effect, it’s not an unpopular topic by any means, but I think a lot of people overlook the true power behind it and all the possibilities that it can be used for. The most common use of it is for medicines. People take a pill that “takes away your pain greatly”, and sure enough they start feeling better! Who knew sugar would have such a strong effect, consider you just had 5 times that amount in your breakfast this morning. It’s absolutely incredible what the mind is capable of by simply believing an idea. It just goes to show that if you think it, it becomes real!
One example that comes to mind is pheromone colognes. Do they really have pheromones in them? If they do, does it work the way they claim? I didn’t look too far into it, but my guess is that most, if not all of them, are bullshit. “Wear this pheromone cologne and you’ll become irresistible to the opposite sex” (I hear they also have ‘specific pheromones’ for gay people). So you put this stuff on, believing it’s real, making you feel attractive as hell, giving you a load of confidence, causing you to go out and be studly. We all know confidence is sexy so in a way, the product works very well… just not for the reason you think. Then again some people will buy the stuff, slap it on and expect everyone to come crawling to them like magic. That’s where the product fails because the person relied too much on the product itself.
Anyone wanna share other interesting variations of the placebo effect? It’s uses in other psych experiments and studies?
I agree that psychology is one of the most fascinating–and most important–modern fields of study. On a personal life quest for finding answers, I gravitate towards philosophy, psychology, and questions of spirituality, for theorizing on existential matters, so I would love to participate in this thread and try to keep it alive.
I will go in greater detail at a more convenient time, but for now I would like to suggest that everyone read the book titled “The man who mistook his wife for a Hat, and other clinical tales”. It details the lives and struggles of individuals with some of the most bizarrely profound psychological abnormalities, and through the reports of those struggling with these defects, one can gain great insight into how the brain works, thereby helping one to better understand them self. I finished reading the book one and a half months ago, and these cases really stuck with me since reading them.
@taysand So glad you started this!
I think the placebo effect is an incredible phenomenon that just beings to unveil an insanely ridiculous power the brain and the psycho-conscious can have in creating and maintaining our over-all mental and physical well-being. Not to mention unleashing all the secrets of the universe… eventually.
Have you heard of Louise Hay? This women who basically cured her body of cancer through positive daily affirmations and healthy living? By saying “My body is a healthy beautiful oasis, etc etc,” and actually BELIEVING this to be true she was did what most western doctors can only ever dream of achieving.
Actually over the summer, I decided to just test of few of the affirmations she has in her book: “You Can Heal Your Life” (http://www.louisehay.com/). I wake up in the morning and am usually overwhelmed by unwelcome stressy feelings and just general gloominess, (which I also think is an emotional brain state we can become addicted too) however I would immediately just say nice things, like “I’m happy and healthy and beautiful and safe.” Or like, “Thank you bed and mattress for an excellent night sleep, same time/place tonight?” Even though it can seem so corny sometimes, for a good month, I was SO happy, I’d look in the mirror and actually feel more attractive and just lighter and better. It was crazy.
I’m so fascinated by all this stuff! And now scientists are saying because they can simulate the universe on a computer, so THIS universe might actually also be a computer system?!?! What kind of implications would that bring to surface about our brains and consciousness??
Let’s keep going! Who are your favorite thinkers and philosophizers books??
Dr. David Mack (one of my favorites) former head of psychology at Hardvard wrote this awesome book about his research and findings regarding alien abductions. THAT book helped spark my “must-have-better-understanding-of-LIFE/BRAIN/UNIVERSE-or-I-might-explode” psychonautical trip.
Lately I’ve been studying a lot of humanistic psych and work by people like Carl Rogers. They talk about the conditions under which a human can reach his/her full potential.
Unconditional positive regard is one of the main conditions required. It’s basically people showing you love and respect not or what you’ve done, but for who you truly are.
This is different than conditional positive regard which is appreciation and respect only when you do what people expect of you. People who get more conditional positive regard than unconditional positive regard learn that thu must please others in order to be loved/accepted, which leads to an unfulfilled life of approval seeking.
Moral of the story is surround yourself with those who love and respect you for who you are, not how well you live up to their expectations. Creating this condition (along with the other conditions required which I’ll write about later) is what can help lead to fully actualized human potential and growth.
I like this theory because its so simple yet powerful, and it puts the power in the hand of the individual, rather than in the hands of secret suppressed desires and faulty genes.
@snaysler, Nice! A few months ago I was reading articles on that PsyBlog website and I remember them talking about that book. I really wanted to buy it but up to this point I completely forgot about it! So thank you for that reminder :) I’m definitely gonna get it now!
I hadn’t heard of her until I read your post and I just got done reading her summarized autobiography. All I can say is WOW! That really is an incredible story.. to imagine the lowest of low points in your life to the highest of high, simply from believing you’re well. Though I’m sure it greatly helped that she had already had a background with that church and meditation, it’s still amazing nonetheless. hey if it worked for you then I’m gonna have to give it a try myself! That line about your bed got me chucklin to myself :) just imagine how many aspects of your life you can change with just the placebo effect! The possibilities are literally endless! Thank you very much for pointing her out to me.
About the universe thing, I’ve talked about that with my friends a lot when we smoke weed haha. It’s such a mind blowing concept. Almost gives me a headache thinking about it too much ;) I’ve never seen The Matrix movies (I know, surprising) but I’ve been led to believe that’s more or less the same concept as what you mentioned. So if it IS true, that would mean we are simply all programmed automated intelligence. A sequence of commands perceived as billions of years that might only take place (in the “real world”) just over 5 minutes or something.. So with that, theoretically we can eventually create a universe on a computer as complex as we have been made, and then they will make one, and so on… And on the other side of the spectrum, whoever programmed us, are also programs made by someone else! Yup, here comes that headache…. haha kidding. But yeah, I’m glad you brought that up, I love talking about that kinda stuff.
As for my favorites of this and that, I gotta admit I’ve hardly gotten my feet wet in this whole area so I haven’t read any full books or chosen favorite people yet. I’ve been a slacker most of my life and I only really started wanting to learn everything a couple years ago probably when I turned 19. I don’t currently have the spare money to buy many books but im looking for recomendations in the mean time, so please feel free to make suggestions :) so far I’ve just been reading random online articles.
I have a preference for research that overlaps with neuroscience.
@taysand, OHMANYOUGOTTAWATCHTHEMATRIXMOVIES! Curl up with a nice nug of nor cal’s finest and just let it happen.
Okay John E. Mack P.h. D was a brilliant guy, raised in a Western Philosophical anthropocentric style culture like most of us of course, but he broke free and, endured endless ridicule and speculation for tackling a scientific taboo…
Here’s snippet of him.
@abbeylolee, ahahah I know I know! I’ll get right on that! I wonder if it’s on netflix….
I’ll check out that video as soon as I get home from work. I’m gettin all excited to learn this stuff and about these people! Never been so proud to be a nerd at heart haha
@captdugan, i’m really intrigued with this topic and sometime soon I look forward to discussing more about this with you as well as future posts about the other conditions you mentioned! Basically I hope to incorporate every bit of information put on this thread into my own life. Thanks for joining the thread!
@captdugan, I like that idea and I think that it is fundamentally true. Your going to be happier when you ‘just do it’ as compared to thinking about what you can/can’t do to please others.
Also don’t know if y’all are familiar with Martin Siegelman? He does a lot of work on positive psychology. It is similar to humanistic psych in that it focuses on living your life as you are instead of as you think you should be.
Siegelman identifies 3 categories of happiness:
1) Pleasure based
2) Doing what you love (or what he says “makes time stand still’)
3) Living altruistically or for a “higher purpose”.
Having happiness from 2 or 3 are the highest forms of happiness. Where happiness in these three categories is a reflection of well being. He also talks about using character strengths and other things to increase well being. This approach focuses on how to get people to make the most of life instead of trying to “cure people”.
Any one relate?