from day 01/01/2007

Pitt-Rivers haunts the Musée du Quai Branly

This post was originally published in 2006, on the Alphapsy blog. On visiting the brand new Musée du Quai Branly in Paris last Sunday, I was amazed to meet the ghost of one of the most outdated anthropologists of the Victorian Age. The French Président de la République is probably the most ...

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Naive theories of gender differences in maths

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. An interesting study sheds some new light on the "gender and math" controversy, (in)famously reignited last year by Larry Summers.     Ilan Dar-Nimrod and Steven Heine have just published a paper ...

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Who killed Gwen Stacy?

  Or why Superheroes need to know about physics' law of momentum conservation, causal deviance, possible world ontology and memetics. This post, written by Karim N'Diaye, was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog.     As a follow-up to Olivier&#3...

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Do psychiatrists believe in madness?

This post, written in 2006 by Karim N'Diaye, was first published on the Alphapsy blog. A short notice of a short paper investigating whether clinicians hold an essentialist view on mental disorders, i.e. whether they consider that mental disorders represent natural kinds possessing "an ...

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Is terror management theory dying?

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. In a recent post on the psychology of religion, Hugo judged “dubious that we should be endowed with a fear of death so strong that we need to have other mechanisms to hold it in check”. Actually, Carlos Navarrete and Dan ...

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Long live the majority!

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. "How should groups make decisions?" this old question is on the way of being answered, as researchers Reid Hastie and Tatsuya Kameda vindicate the use of the majority rule. In a paper published last year in Psychological ...

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Who thinks the Earth is flat?

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. Less people than you think. Most people have the representation of Columbus valiantly fighting against the authorities and finally convincing these obscurantist scholars coming right from the middle-ages (actually it was the middle-ag...

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The Blushing Brain

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. Moral philosophers have long made the distinguo between guilt (the awareness of doing something intrinsically wrong) and shame (the awareness that your behavior is an object of laughter and spite from others). A recent neuroimaging ...

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Art and patterns

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. This is an extremely speculative post exploring multimodal perception in artists. It was primed by this fascinating paper written by " a multimedia conceptual artist (...) working on a series of projects that explore the nature of ...

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On conformism among social psychologists

This post was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. In a previous post on deliberative democracy, I said that people often attack deliberative democracy on the ground that people are conformists; and they do so by relying on Asch’s famous experiment. This experiment, although one ...

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Explanations as orgasms

This post was originally published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. Explanations are necessary. Without them, hunter-gatherers would have trouble learning sophisticated hunting techniques and we would have trouble learning how to program our VCRs (equally terrible threats). Since natural selection ...

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How to Corax your theory of mind

This post was originally published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. Don't know why I decided to take a course in Greek Rhetoric this semester... But readers will be glad to learn that I really had fun! I came across a jewel of a mind-twister, an argument called the Corax. I think the Corax and ...

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