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bleib003

  • Posted The Puzzling Nature of Cause and Effect to Wednesday Wanderings
    We tend to think of causation as a phenomenon that occurs in one direction. "A" causes "B". The cueball strikes the eightball at a certain angle and velocity, and we can precisely map the eightball's subsequent motion using mathematical formulas....
  • Commented on Morality? I don't need no stinkin' morality!
    I don't think morality is entirely subjective. There might, after all, be certain moral instincts that are common to the species. I guess that doesn't make morality "objective"; in order to be objective, morality would have to somehow "exist" in...
  • Commented on The Paris Syndrome
    I guess when our ideals clash with reality, the effects can be jarring....
  • Commented on My 3 year old nephew, Jace.
    It's hard to believe that conservation is a "learned" principle. How do we acquire that knowledge? Or I guess it could be the case that neuro-biological changes are somehow programmed to occur at certain points in our development, so maybe...
  • Commented on Aggression in Children
    Discussions of violence in the media usually regard causation as occurring in one direction: violent media impacts behavior. But these discussions generally fail to examine the internal factors or predispositions that cause us to seek out violent forms of entertainment...
  • Commented on Authoritarian-ative is ok right?
    It's a good point that you make that, within a family, the mother might have a different parenting style than the father. It would be interesting to see how different combinations of parenting styles effect adult outcomes....
  • Commented on Pinocchio Response
    The book had an interesting point, which was that, when people are lying, they tend to use "emblems" (that is, gestures that convey certain conventional and agreed-upon meanings) more frequently. To me this makes sense. Emblems are like pre-fabricated bits...
  • Commented on Gender Testing in Sports
    I agree that letting the person compete in the gender category within which they were raised is the fairest solution. Otherwise there's a whole group of people that would be excluded from sports!...
  • Commented on Which Sibling is the Best?
    Yep, this study fits with my experience. I get the higher test grades, but my brothers earn higher GPAs (and generally are more socially well-adjusted). I guess each side has its pros and cons....
  • Commented on The Bystander Effect
    It's almost like we need someone else to acknowledge the abnormality of a situation before we perceive it ourselves. If everyone else is behaving as though something is normal, it's like there's a system inside of us that's programmed to...
  • Commented on Do you agree with Freud Sigmund?
    Whether or not the ego, superego and id make sense as scientific constructs, they seem like valid metaphors for describing our subjectivity. It does feel like there's a kind of separate entity that warns us against bad behavior, a distinct...
  • Commented on Body Image
    I don't think eating disorders are the result of ignorance or poor information. A lot of people with eating disorders have a visceral and skewed perception of their own body, and that is a condition that information won't cure....
  • Commented on Lying
    Polygraphs are also used to screen federal employees, and a false-positive result can have career-ending consequences. A U of M professor actually testified to congress arguing that this practice should stop....
  • Posted Trait Troubles to Wednesday Wanderings
    Trait theorists conceptualize the self as a series of attributes. Individuals receive a set of scores based on the degree to which they possess the attribute in question: conscientiousness level 22, neuroticism level 15, etc. But can the self be...
  • Commented on Contact Comfort...Inspires Animal Torture?
    What an ingenious way to falsify "drive reduction theory". I wonder why it is that such harsh theories so often accumulate such an enthusiastic following....
  • Commented on Imprinting Isn't Just For the Werewolves...
    Nice distinction between imprinting in werewolves and imprinting in goslings! What makes imprinting in humans "softer" than imprinting in geese? I know the differences are somewhat obvious, but it would be interesting to see them clearly laid out....
  • Commented on How Does This Ad Work? The Rick Perry Edition
    Well it doesn't seem like many people were convinced by my argument. Maybe it's just cause I happen to be a progressive that I find it hard to credit the sentiments expressed in this ad as being sincere. But I...
  • Posted How Does This Ad Work? The Rick Perry Edition to Wednesday Wanderings
    (sorry this is late! I forgot about our deadline, and I didn't see the email until today!) Rick Perry's "Strong" ad has already been the subject of a lot of blogosphere ridicule. But it's still worth looking into, because...
  • Commented on Free Will-Determinism
    Free will is a difficult concept to conceptualize. It's hard for us to imagine an effect without a cause. So when someone commits a crime, the natural tendency is to go searching for the "factors" that led the person to...
  • Commented on CAFFEINE!!! Is it good of bad for you?
    Thanks for highlighting the positive effects of caffeine! I've always worried that I'm doing bad things to my body by drinking so much coffee on a daily basis, but I can live with a few tremors and a slight uptick...
  • Posted Matters of the Mind to Wednesday Wanderings
    Everybody has an idea about what being smart looks like. When we think of a smart person, we think of someone who speaks with a certain fluency, who exhibits intellectual originality. Maybe we think of someone who's quick with...
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