Theories

Cognitive Dissonance and Decision Making

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Featured, Theories | 0 comments

Cognitive Dissonance and Decision Making

How do we make decisions? Are we always in control of the decisions we make or are there other factors beyond our conscious awareness coming into play?   Cognitive dissonance occurs when two conflicting thoughts are held simultaneously. This usually creates anxiety and feelings of discomfort. The aim of the brain is to reduce this sense of unease. The brain does this by rationalising away irrational behaviours and thoughts. For example, let’s say there is an employee of a company who dislikes his job but knows that it is a safe job. Disliking the job yet staying in the job creates...

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The Intelligence Debate: Nature vs. Nurture

Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Featured, Theories | 0 comments

The Intelligence Debate: Nature vs. Nurture

The debate surrounding the heritability of intelligence is one that has been going on for centuries starting with Sir Francis Galton in 1869 and the publication of his book, Hereditary Genius.   Galton was one of the first scientists to study individual differences in intelligence. In his book, Hereditary Genius, he claimed that intelligence is inherited and that this is supported by the fact that eminence runs in families. He went further to say that selective breeding ought to be encouraged in order to improve society which sparked the on-going controversy surrounding...

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Does altruism exist?

Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Altruism, Featured | 2 comments

Does altruism exist?

Altruism: acting selflessly on behalf of someone else. Does such a phenomenon really exist? Many believe not. There is always some degree of self-interest which motivates behaviour. If that is the case, by definition, the act is no longer selfless.   Theories have been proposed that altruistic acts evolved from our ancestors. Back in the hunter gatherer days, people had to stick together. They would share food instead of take it all for themselves. They would take care of each other and cooperate. These types of groups would have had better survival rates than greedy groups, where...

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Don’t be a bystander!

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Featured, The Bystander Effect | 0 comments

Don’t be a bystander!

The bystander effect refers to the phenomenon that occurs when a large number of people are present in an emergency situation but few, if any, intervene in the situation. Essentially the effect shows that people are less likely to take action when in a group setting. They become bystanders, onlookers, observers.   A real life example that many students taking introductory psychology courses would have heard of is that of Catherine Genovese, aka “Kitty.” This 28 year old woman was brutally murdered on March 13, 1964 outside her apartment block. As she was coming home from work she was...

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