Posts Tagged psychology


Posted by on Saturday, 26 November, 2011


A fella shows up at his church and says to the priest, Father, I have three things to confess. I didn’t do my penance like you asked me to last week, I didn’t put any money into the poor box today, and I told my kid I don’t have time for his stupid jokes. Well, says the priest, let’s not get bogged down with all the religious stuff when you’re lousing up yer kid’s life!

Not that funny? But, you know what? That priest had a point. According to Dr Elena Hoicka (a developmental psychologist, University of Stirling, Scotland) you need to yuck it up some with your kids.


Here’s the thing.

Hoicks’s work shows it’s important to interact, using jokes and pretending. If you think you’re too much of a stiff to pull this off, there are even tips to help you  loosen up (brandy?).  Knowing how to joke, they say, helps kids make friends, deal with stress, and think creatively.

Does MISTER SASB think this is crazy important science? Is this what Einstein WISHED he could do?

Tell me this. How could it hurt?


Thanks (again) xkcd for the image:

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Generic License.

So THAT’S Why I Talk With My Hands!

Posted by on Saturday, 8 January, 2011



The guy in the green Toyota? I guess he’s on his car phone or something. Either that or he fergot to take his meds.

Anyway, he’s chattering away like crazy. And his hands are waving in the air. First one hand steers, then the other. Meanwhile, he’s grabbing air and talking.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Is he driving with his knee and waving BOTH hands?

Oh boy.

You know what he’s doing?

Same thing YOU do when you’re blabbin’. Talking with his hands.

You’ve heard that Italians do it. Or Greeks. Or New Yorkers? Or.. It really doesn’t matter. EVERYBODY seems to wave his.her silly digits around in the air when talking.


Which is the funny part. What’s THAT about? Why wave yer hands around to make a point when you’re all by yourself?

Two studies looked at this ” gesture” stuff. One was in Psychological Science and another was in Perspectives in Psychological Science. Conclusion? According to Beilock and Goldin-Meadow (authors), all that waving around? It’s as much for you as it is for the other guy. It helps the brain figure out what it wants to remember and how to remember it.

You learn better if you use your hands to describe things. You learn worse if you don’t. Isn’t that funny?

Teachers and others who specialize in learning may not be grabbing air but they’re certainly scratching their heads about this.


Great science? Change the world? Important?

Probably not.

But if scientists weren’t so quirky, if they didn’t investigate silly crap like what makes the particles in a fluid jigger around, we might have missed out on a few things.

Like atomic theory.

I dunno how to rate this one precisely. A hand waver? I’ll say ScienceAintSoBadRating = 6.


No credits for the drawing. Just the author doodling.

Men Have (Small) Consciences

Posted by on Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

The image is mine
(not a self portrait) .

By the way,
I don’t steal images
from others.
I wouldn’t be able to handle the guilt.

Psychology: Guilt.

Hold onto your wig because this is a real toupee blaster. According to an article in the Spanish Journal of Psychology, men feel less guilt than women.

An article like this illustrates beautifully the power of the scientific approach.

You observe the male species, burdened as it is with feelings of over sensitivity, huddled in corners with arms tightly clasped and murmuring about the possible emotional injuries we may have caused, through a passing slight, to another, and you would, necessarily, conclude that it is the oppositely endowed gender – the x chromosomal female version of us – that is a stranger to feelings of guilt.

But it is the work of scientists to tease out the facts from the seemingly obvious. MISTER ScienceAintSoBad can’t BEGIN to express his awe at this work.

ScienceAintSoBadRating = YGBKM (You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me!)