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Read our posts about Psychology

Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

What prompts us to ignore the distress of other people? We’ve all found ourselves in situations - the times we’ve seen someone taunted and didn’t intervene; when we’ve driven past a car that has broken down, assuming another driver would pull over to help. We’ve noticed a young man slumped on the pavement, and not gone over to check if he’s okay. We witness a problem; consider doing something, then respond by doing... nothing. Something holds us back. So why don’t we help in these situations? Apathy can immobilise us when we feel the impulse to flee and help at the...
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The Psychology of Fashion

The Psychology of Fashion

As the seasons change they bring with them hosts of new choices about what to wear.  How to manage to look chic and stay warm? And, as life gets busier, how not to over-heat physically or emotionally. The selection of something to put on is not just an aesthetic or practical decision. It’s also about what suits our mood. On a minute-by-minute basis, we are assailed by a range of emotions. And every morning we make a decision about what to wear. The two are closely connected. The selection of something to put on is not just an aesthetic or practical decision. It’s...
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Culture Tip: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

Culture Tip: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

This week's Culture Tip is the first, and may possibly be the last, to incite in me an urgent need to increase dental flossing. Joshua Ferris’s new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour follows anti-hero, Paul O’Rourke, who is a Red Sox fan, an avowed atheist and an acclaimed New York dentist with a thriving practice. He is a man who cares deeply about oral hygiene and his pain at his patients’ dental deterioration is palpable. He is impotent in the face of a prolific alter ego who, it seems, might just be a kinder, nicer and far from agnostic him. Paul...
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