Since I found out that the Standard Prison Experiment is not all it’s cracked up to be I’ve been starting to wonder if the field of Experimental Psychology itself might have a problem when it comes to generating meaningful insights. We’ve all heard about the replication crisis by now but what can we say about the findings that do replicate and actually challenge our pre-existing beliefs? I visited the first couple of links appearing when googling ‘counterintuitive psychological findings’ to see the best that the field has to offer. Here we go:

From 10 of The Most Counter-Intuitive Psychology Findings…


In my sophomore year of university I recall hanging out at the uni’s radio club for lunch one time. The topic of evolutionary psychology came up and I found myself defending evopsych against a couple of people who had beef with it. One girl, a biomed student, got quite flustered and said something to the effect of ‘if all humans really want to do is reproduce, why aren’t you out trying to get laid right now?!’. I didn’t really have a good answer to the question: humans arguably don’t have sex that much for a species that supposedly evolved over…


source

Something has been bothering me lately. It seems that as far as many journalists, government officials, and common netizens are concerned, you’re allowed to make a heap of noise about something and disrupt society so long as you happen to be correct in your underlying beliefs. Black Lives Matter protests are correct that things could be better for black people, so they get to take it to the streets. Anti-lockdown protestors?

Here’s what Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius had to say:

The tinfoil hat wearing brigade are alive and well out there in our community and they are taking every opportunity…


I haven’t posted a blog post in a while so I’m adhering to my own policy of ‘when you can’t find the motivation to do something, lower your standards’ for the sake of getting the ball rolling again. I haven’t though too deep into this but I wanted to get my thoughts on paper.

In highschool, whenever an outsider was invited to the school with a motivational success story to tell about how they started a business from nothing, I always felt like something was missing from their message. They were selling an idea of unchecked ambition: no matter who…


in 1971, Stanford University’s Philip Zimbardo ran an experiment to see whether the volatile dynamics between prison inmates and their guards were due to the psycho-social circumstances of prisons, or due to the individual dispositions of those within. The experiment was advertised as a ‘psychological study of prison life.’, and 24 middle-class, male college students signed up.

The subjects were randomly assigned the role of inmate or guard and it wasn’t long before the guards demonstrated harassment and violence against the inmates. The experiment that was supposed to run for two weeks ended up being cut short at 6 days.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w38ZwrPz0o

I cannot get my head around how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) can justify a takeover of Taiwan. There’s a lot you can read about whether Taiwan belongs to the CCP or not given its tumultuous history and occupation by Japan. I’m of the opinion that between the PRC and the Republic of China (ROC), the ROC holds the greater claim to the island, but even if I didn’t believe that, a nation has a right to self-determination and if a majority of Taiwanese citizens identify as Taiwanese only, and not Chinese (with only 3.7% …


Epistemic Status: not an economist, probably missing something important. If you don’t read the whole way through, just assume that I hate the poor and I’m satan himself.

The coronavirus, still in its infancy, has already managed to bring up uncomfortable ethical questions across a range of domains. When we run out of hospital beds, which patients do we decide to treat? Should we all be wearing face masks, even if the benefit to an individual wearing a mask is small?

But the question that’s striking me the most relates to prices. Yesterday when I made a trip to the…


Another kind of holy trinity

Several times in the last week I’ve had a conversation where I’ve only realised the true motivations between both parties after the conversation ended.

It started with a conversation around religions and cults. It went something like this (heavily modified due to poor recollection ability):

Friend: … or a cult like scientology Me: Hang on, is scientology really a cult? Friend: Of course it is, the guy who made it up only died recently Me: Does that mean Christianity was a cult back when Jesus had only died recently? Friend: Well I think cults are different because they have more…


I’ve just finished reading Douglas Adam’s hilarious sci-fi novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I enjoyed it for two main reasons. One, it is seriously funny. I didn’t know it was possible for a book to make me laugh out loud. My favourite scene is when two of the protagonists, Arthur and Ford, find themselves aboard the Heart of Gold spaceship, a depressed superintelligent robot named Marvin escorts them to the bridge:

They span round and saw an abject steel man standing hunched in the doorway. “What?” they said. “Ghastly,” continued Marvin, “it all is. Absolutely ghastly. Just…


(Originally Posted on 11/2/2018)

You have probably heard of the following story:

A lumberjack is hacking away at a tree when he eventually decides that he’s tired of getting splinters from the handle which is not the same smooth shiny handle it once was. So he decides to go and replace the handle, because the blade is still sharp and strong and there’s no point buying a completely new axe. Years later The blade is now rusty and blunt, but the handle has remained remarkably comfortable, so the lumberjack, again thinking there’s no point buying a completely new axe, goes…

Could Be Wrong

Less and less certain of my opinions with every passing day

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