Tagged: Psychological

Miracles: What Do We Mean? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jul 14, 2010

Have you ever described an event as miraculous? Perhaps it was a near-miss accident, recovery from an illness or some other fortuitous moment in your life. Did you stop to consider what you meant by that description or did or roll off your tongue like so many other cultural conventions, without a second thought? One [...] … Read More

Is there Something Fishy about Psychosis? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jul 02, 2010

Psychosis is a scary word, conjuring images of people who have so lost touch with reality that they are unable to integrate with society. As with most everything else this condition exists on a continuum, mild symptoms may pose no problem for the sufferer1 nor be outwardly visible. Previous studies have seen correlations between the [...] … Read More

Can the Order You View Things Affect Your Opinion of Them? Or, To Make a Good Impression Ensure You’re Introduced First - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jun 28, 2010

“First the worst, Second the best, Third the golden eagle.” The above is a rhyme from my youth1, the implication being that you really don’t want to be first in anything. First is the worst after all. Obviously this is not true in the world beyond the playground, firsts in every field are celebrated, sometimes [...] … Read More

Ravens and Empathy: The Role of Bystanders After Conflict - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jun 23, 2010

At the same time as we were learning that Vegetarians and Vegans might be more empathic than Omnivores we were also discovering the nature of empathy in Ravens. Published in PLoS One recently was a paper called “Do Ravens Show Consolation? Responses to Distressed Others” looking at the behaviour of Ravens and the implications for [...] … Read More

Are Vegans and Vegetarians More Empathic Than Omnivores? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jun 18, 2010

Humans are naturally omnivorous, our digestive system is adapted to cope with both animal and vegetable matter. Obviously we can’t eat everything, we wouldn’t get as much sustenance out of a mouthful of grass as a cow does. Termites can deal with the high cellulose content of wood and derive energy from that source while [...] … Read More

Does Your Environment Determine Your Behaviour? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jun 11, 2010

Last week I posted about the effects of alcohol availability on the amount of violence in an area and mentioned that disorder in the area might also contribute to this. I thought this needed expanding upon, are we really so shallow as a species that we allow the environment that we may be in only [...] … Read More

Alcohol: Effects on Teenage Brains and Correlations Between Availability and Violence - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Jun 04, 2010

I’ve written previously about the effects of alcohol on decision making. Today I’ll be looking at two further aspects of alcohol consumption and how it affects society. First up is a study that examines the cognitive effects of moderate to heavy drinking during adolescence, with different effects on males versus females. Secondly I’d like to [...] … Read More

Can Our Fantasy Life Affect Our Perceptions of Real Life? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Apr 16, 2010

Recently there’s been a television promotional advertisement that really bugs me. It shows a man watching events appearing before his eyes and has a voice-over that says something to the effect of “When you look back on your life are you going to see a life filled with interesting people and excitement?” and when is [...] … Read More

I’m Certain That I Can Certainly be Wrong or Confidence and Memory, Is one a Good Measure of the Other? - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Mar 05, 2010

A man is the sum of his memories, you know, a Time Lord even more so. The Doctor, in “The Five Doctors” We all know that our memories can’t always be trusted, time and life tends to erode the confidence we have in our memories. At least that is the case for normal memories. We [...] … Read More

Intelligence, Monogamy and Journalistic Licence - Skepticon

Darcy Cowan Mar 02, 2010

Last week news came out about a study linking intelligence with liberal attitudes and atheistic beliefs, oh and in men an increased tendency for monogamy. Today I read the NZ Herald‘s short take on the study, a semi-chauvinistic piece pointing out how we evolved intelligent men can think our way to monogamy while those sexually [...] … Read More