Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category


May 11, 2016

(About psychology rather than language.)

From the 4/25/16 issue of  Psychological Science, “What Predicts Children’s Fixed and Growth Intelligence Mind-Sets? Not Their Parents’ Views of Intelligence but Their Parents’ Views of Failure” by Kyla Haimovitz and Carol S. Dweck of Stanford’s psychology department. The first sentence of the abstract introduces the crucial piece of background: Dweck’s important work on intelligence mind-sets and how they affect the way people (children, in particular) are motivated to work at certain tasks, thus affecting their ability to master those tasks (see Dweck’s 2006 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success). But, Haimovitz and Dweck ask, where do kids get their intelligence mind-sets?


A prevalence of left-handers

December 9, 2015

Max Vasilatos writes me to report thar she has “this notion that a disproportionate number of actors [she sees] on TV are left-handed, but that seems unlikely”, and she connects her impression to what I’ve called the frequency illusion:

The illusion in which a word, a name, or other thing that has recently come to one’s attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterward (Wikipedia link)

(and often for extended periods of time after that). Surely Max is right — about the source of her impression, not about the extent of left-handedness in tv actors.


Three morning names

February 3, 2015

I occasionally post about my “morning names” — names that I wake up with stuck in my head, for no reason I can fathom. Today’s morning name was Jensen Ackles, an actor I’ve already written about on this blog (on 8/21/13). But: on Saturday, the social psychologist Bibb Latané; on Sunday, the actor Pat Buttram (noted for cowboy and hayseed roles); and yesterday, the hayseed performer Judy Canova.

The last two will lead me to reflect on farm folk as comic characters, and the last to the 1937 movie Artists and Models, with its mixture of “high” and “low” characters.


Silliness from the APS

January 11, 2015

Just arrived in my mail, this silly announcement (from the Association for Psychological Science) of a birthday today:

For his birthday wish, all William James wants is for you to submit a poster for the 2015 APS Convention. Make his wish come true and submit before January 31.

At APS, you’ll also have a chance to meet the recipients of this year’s William James Fellow Award who will each deliver a special address at the APS Convention in May: Michael S. Gazzaniga, University of California, Santa Barbara; Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago; Joseph E. LeDoux, New York University; Timothy D. Wilson, University of Virginia