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Psychological Weapons of Mass Persuasion

I suppose the question most of us are worried about today is not all that different: how effective are micro-targeted messages? Can psychological “big data” be leveraged to make you buy products? Or, even more concerning, can such techniques be weaponized to influence the course of history, such as the outcomes of elections?

Source: Psychological Weapons of Mass Persuasion – Scientific America

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Why psychologists need to stop saying “memory” and “attention”

The problem, Poldrack says, is that we use each one of these ancient words to describe a variety of moods and behaviors. And when researchers rely on these baggy concepts in the lab, the scientific results are extremely messy.

Source: Why psychologists need to stop saying “memory” and “attention” — Quartz

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A personal financial catastrophe can cost you your health, study shows

Researchers have used the global financial crisis as a natural experiment to study the effects of losing wealth and found losses associated with depression, anxiety, suicide, higher blood pressure and substance abuse.

Source: A personal financial catastrophe can cost you your health, study shows

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Humans produce new brain cells throughout their lives

Humans continue to produce new neurons in a part of their brain involved in learning, memory and emotion throughout adulthood, scientists have revealed, countering previous theories that production stopped after adolescence.

Source: Humans produce new brain cells throughout their lives, say researchers | Science | The Guardian

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How Negative, Repetitive Thoughts Relate to Procrastination

We’re more prone than others to anxiety and depression as well as negative repetitive thoughts—in the form of worry about the future and rumination about the past. From the perspective of personality psychology, those of us who are like this are high on the trait of Neuroticism.

The question is, does this make us more prone to procrastination?

Source: How Negative, Repetitive Thoughts Relate to Procrastination | Psychology Today

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The Whitewashing of Jesus

The problem is, Jesus was not white. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise if you’ve ever entered a Western church or visited an art gallery. But while there is no physical description of him in the Bible, there is also no doubt that the historical Jesus, the man who was executed by the Roman State in the first century CE, was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew.

Source: Jesus wasn’t white: he was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew. Here’s why that matters | The Conversation

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Who was Mary Magdalene? Debunking the myth of the penitent prostitute

Who was Mary Magdalene? What do we know about her? And how do we know it? These questions resurface with the release of a new movie, Mary Magdalene, starring Rooney Mara in the titular role.

Source: Who was Mary Magdalene? Debunking the myth of the penitent prostitute

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Childhood `toxic stress’ leads to parenting challenges later on

Parents who endured “toxic stress” during childhood may be more likely to have kids with developmental delays and have a harder time coping with their children’s health issues, new research suggests.

Source: Childhood `toxic stress’ leads to parenting challenges later on

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5 Questions to Help You Find Your Sense of Purpose

How do you find meaning in a world that offers no shortage of stress, in a life that can all too easily be filled with the worries of getting through the responsibilities of the day?

Source: 5 Questions to Help You Find Your Sense of Purpose | Psychology Today

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How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology

Source: How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology

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