Psychological Effects Explain Our Brains

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1. The Pratfall Effect – your likability will increase if you aren’t perfect.

2. The Pygmalion Effect – greater expectations drive greater performance.

3. The Paradox of Choice – the more choice we have, the less likely we are to be content with our decision.

4. The Bystander Effect – the more people who see someone in need, the less likely that person is to receive help.

5. The Spotlight Effect – your mistakes are not noticed as much as you think.

6. The Focusing Effect – people place too much important on one aspect of an event and fail to recognise other factors.

Communal Goodness

of benefit to one and (hopefully) all…

Audio one, Liberalism in Retreat by Robin Niblett

Audio two, China and the World by Evan A. Feigenbaum

In economics, philosophy and political science, the ‘common good’ tends to relate to what is shared and beneficial to (most) members of a given community (or economy or group of countries).

References
Feigenbaum, E. A. (2017). China and the World. Foreign Affairs, 96(1), 33–40

Niblett, R. (2017). Liberalism in Retreat. Foreign Affairs, 96(1), 17–24


Grant Wood (1891-1942), American Gothic, 1930
The 1930’s, think of the Great Depression; think of the lead up to WWII.

p.s. ‘Ubique’ is Latin for “everywhere,” and tends to imply omnipresence (the property of being present everywhere). Think of the adjective ‘ubiquitous.’ e.g., “Nowadays, smartphones are ubiqitous.”

Annoyingly so, I’m wearily vexed

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Annoyance is an unpleasant mental state that is characterised by one being irritated and thus, in some way, distracted. Being annoyed can lead to emotions such as, anger, frustration and of course, ‘stress.’

We can be annoyed by someone both intentionally and unintentionally.

Indeed, many people take great pleasure in annoying others; it is the reaction to the intentional provocation that we want and, that we get pleasure from watching.

Dream on

nightmares are made of these

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Alice Robb argues that where your brain goes when you’re asleep helps you when you’re awake. In other words, dreams/nightmares can help us deal with life’s problems and difficulties. She writes:

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have accepted the conventional wisdom: We shouldn’t dwell on our dreams. Even though research suggests that REM sleep — when most dreaming takes place — is crucial for mental and physical health, we think of dreams as silly little stories, the dandruff of the brain. We’re taught that talking about our dreams is juvenile, self-indulgent, and that we should shake off their traces and get on with our day.

[…]

Because dreams rarely make literal sense, it can be easier to dismiss them than to try to interpret them. Some argue they’re an accident of biology and mean nothing at all. But a growing body of scientific work indicates that it’s likely to be worth the effort. Dreams might help us consolidate new memories and prune extraneous pieces of information. They might be a breeding ground for ideas — a time for the brain to experiment in a wider network of associations.

Here is a link to the article in full: Why Do You Keep Dreaming You Forgot Your Pants? It’s Science

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Reading, Task & Answer-key:

1. Reading: an extract on anxiety dreams

2 Worksheet based on reading

3. Answer-key

Reference:
Robb, A. (2018) Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Branded Identities

Brand and Identity

An imagined community is a concept coined by Benedict Anderson to analyse nationalism.

Anderson depicts a nation as a socially constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group.

Anderson’s book, Imagined Communities, in which he explains the concept in depth, was first published in 1983.

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Going, going gone!

[A mode of thinking is being lost*]

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A baby held, read to and talked to, undergoes an initiation into a useful life; they may also undergo an initiation into happiness.

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A child held in happy attention to books and stories has a good chance of loving reading as an adult. What about the [ipod, ipad, iphone] others?

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* Reading a paper book [I recently read, I rergret to say, online and thus via a digital LED screen…] frustrates one’s smartphone sense of being everywhere at once. The author said that suddenly, one is stuck on that page, anchored, moored, and thus, I myself now add, left out of the loop — disenfranchised from the perpetually breaking news and contemporary viral tweets.