Source: Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash Chances are you've used one of these phrases recently, perhaps even today: “I’ve got to reboot.” “I’m searching my memory banks.” “My brain needs an upgrade.” “I’m having a system crash.” “I’m processing.” When we use this language, we are analogizing our brains with computers. I want to consider how the computer metaphor for the brain influences our daily lives. Whether we realize it or not, our default assumption is that the way to understand and fix what our brains are doing is the same as how we understand and fix our computers. To some extent, this is justified since our brains do carry out computations to accomplish some tasks. The computer metaphor has guided neuroscience for more than half a century. It has helped spur important discoveries about fundamental brain processes, such as how the brain achieves visual perception. But we are at a point of diminishing returns. The computer metaphor is leading us … [Read more...] about Do You Really Need a Brain “Upgrade”?
What do men like
Source: MohammadHasan/Pixabay Why do people feel exhausted after spending hours in virtual meetings? Recently, Stanford professor and founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), Jeremy Bailenson, published a paper in Technology, Mind, and Behavior about the potential psychological factors that cause “Zoom fatigue.” “While there are dozens of empirical studies in psychology, human-computer interaction, and communication that examine behavior during videoconferencing, there has yet to be rigorous studies that examine the psychological consequences of spending hours per day on this particular medium,” wrote Bailenson. “Hence this piece outlines a theoretical explanation—one based on previous work—as to why the current implementation of videoconferencing is so exhausting.” Video conferencing, also called web conferencing, online meetings, webcasts, web meetings, videoconferencing, virtual meetings, and webinars, refers to real-time meetings … [Read more...] about Stanford Professor on ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and How to Prevent It
In the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, a quote from Joan Didion that I came across 15 years back came back to me with new significance. She said: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” I understood this on a visceral, emotional level when I first read it. I’d been recently divorced , I was unemployed and the career path I’d been on had been shattered. I was in the depths of chronic depression , with the typical symptoms that included, lack of motivation , low self-esteem , dysphoria, suicidal ideation and an inability to set goals or to care for the self. I had lost the plot, or the story I needed in order to live. I’d lost the marriage -for-life and the career-for-life story and in this state, it seemed to me that I needed to find a new story to live for. If I had something big to believe in, or failing that, a personal goal to aim for, I could get myself out of the downward spiral. That’s perhaps a good image—something solid like a stick or sign, above a … [Read more...] about What Story Will We Live by Now?
Source: Syda Productions/Shutterstock I hate to break the news to you, but life is short. And as you get older, the years do seem to go by more quickly. Given this fact of life, there really is not a lot of time to be hanging out with people who are just no fun! While nearly everyone would likely agree with this sentiment, from a behavioral scientific perspective, you just have to ask: What exactly does it mean to be “fun” or “no fun"!? The “Fun” Personality and the Big Five Traits Personality psychologists, such as Nettle and Clegg (2008), often frame the essence of our personality structure as mapping onto five superordinate traits—the Big Five personality trait dimensions. Decades of quantitative research on human personality functioning has, in fact, shown that pretty much all personality-related attributes map onto one of the Big Five personality trait dimensions, which are as follows: Extraversion : The tendency to be outgoing and high in social … [Read more...] about This Is What Makes a Person Fun
Source: 22612 / Pixabay Extraverts, those who are outgoing and generally seek out a relatively high level of social connections and attention , may be more likely to contract corona than are introverts. Think about that for a moment ... Last year, I wrote a piece that summarized the population distribution of introverts and extraverts in terms of what evolutionary behavioral scientists often call balancing selection . The idea here is designed to address the question of why, across pretty much all human populations that have been studied on the topic (see Costa & McCrae, 1985), human populations tend to have an even mix of introverts and extraverts. As introversion / extraversion has regularly shown as having a substantial heritable (genetic) component (see Nettle, 2008), this finding, of relatively even ratios of introverts to extraverts, suggests, from an evolutionary perspective, that the long-term genetic benefits of each strategy roughly equals the long-term … [Read more...] about Extraversion Kills