Philip Zimbardo: Beyond the Stanford Prison Experiment

stanford prison experiment

Dr. Philip Zimbardo is one of the most notorious names in psychology. He is best known for his 2-week experiment in 1971 on prison life: an experiment that had to be cut short when normal, everyday college students acting as guards meted out inhuman treatment to other college students acting as prisoners. Although Dr. Zimbardo spent most of his …

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The science behind an impulse purchase

The science of impulse purchase

Retailers love our impulsive shopping habits, but these types of purchases are often a result of our psychological weakness. Impulse shopping, we all do it. For some, our weakness strikes at the end of a crazy day. For others it’s the strategically placed treats straddling the checkout counters. Impulse buying happens when we want to pamper ourselves, or discover a great deal, discount or buying …

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11 errors in reasoning: avoid these if you want to look smarter

Avoiding errors in reasoning, aka logical fallacies is crucial to forming better arguments and avoiding being manipulated by others 2000 years ago, Aristotle proposed that although we share much in common with the animal kingdom, what sets humans apart is our capacity for reason and rationality. Unfortunately however, we all make errors in reasoning – either …

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Why chatting to strangers is good for you

Talking with strangers

Chatting to complete strangers might seem like a social taboo, but it can bring a surprising range of positive benefits More people live in urban settings than ever before. 54% of the world’s population now live in cities, surburbs and towns, and that number is expected to continue rising. The global population shift from the rural …

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Politeness: the secret weapon to winning an argument?

How does being polite help us overcome everyday disagreements? According to French philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville, “morality starts at the bottom – with politeness. But it has to start somewhere.” The point is that we are not born virtuous, we have learn to be so – and practising politeness is one of the ways to develop a robust code of ethics to guide us …

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The oversharing couple: How happy are they really?

What makes couples overshare on Facebook and social media? Is it a sign of insecurity, or true love? Couples who gush about their relationship over social media are often treated with a certain amount of envy-tainted-scorn. Others simultaneously want to live such lives; and want the public displays of affection to stop. The good news is, they really are likely …

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Does music help or hinder productivity?

Music, work and productivity

Does music really boost your productivity at work or is it actually a distraction? Managers are often divided about whether employees should be allowed to listen to music as they work. While some offices allow (and some even promote) using music to focus on one’s tasks; others frown upon the activity as a time-waster. Is there a …

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How to study philosophy: 6 tips for self-learners

Teach yourself philosophy

If you want to know more about philosophy but don’t know where to begin, here are some practical tips to get started. There’s an unfortunate perception that philosophy is, by nature, obscure, difficult and inaccessible for the lay reader. But whilst it’s true that a lot of texts are extremely hard to fathom, philosophy is not just about abstract academic debate and ivory towers. …

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