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psychology

Exorcism/Adorcism

 Exorcism/Adorcism

You’ve likely never attended an exorcism, but popular culture ensures that you know what one is. Yes, we’re talking the forced removal of a demonic entity from the human psyche, but what else can we glean about this paranormal experience from shamanistic rites of exorcism and the psychological principles of dissociative identity disorder and cognitive dissonance? As “The Exorcist” creeps in on its 43rd anniversary, Robert and Christian discuss the real and imaginary forces at work in the demon-haunted mind. See more »

What Mind Control Feels Like

 What Mind Control Feels Like

If mind control is possible, whether enabled by hard neurotechnology or good old fashioned social and linguistic suggestion, what does it feel like? What is it like to be controlled by a will other than your own? Would you even know it was happening? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

Monster of the Week: The Illithid 'Mind Flayer'

 Monster of the Week: The Illithid 'Mind Flayer'

Robert Lamb discusses the Ilithid 'Mind Flayers' of Dungeons and Dragons within the context of real-world biology, computing and human psychology. See more »

The Nature of Heroism

 The Nature of Heroism

Heroes permeate our culture, from mythic archetypes and pop-culture superheroes to real-life humans who risk their lives for others. But from where does heroism emerge? Robert and Christian explore the question in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind Podcast. See more »

The Creep

 The Creep

You've all witnessed and been witnessed by the Creep, but what attributes compose this unsettling character? Why do we fear the creep and what, indeed, are we to make of the Creep in the mirror? Join Robert and Joe for an autopsy of this most unsavory archetype. See more »

Is social media driving us insane?

 Is social media driving us insane?

If our collective social, cultural and political angst may be compared to a fire, then social media often seems the kiln that contains it. But are resources such as FaceBook and Twitter mere vessels for the blistering heat, or are they complacent in the flame’s intensity? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. See more »

Only Child Syndrome: Brats, Myths and Little Emperors

 Only Child Syndrome: Brats, Myths and Little Emperors

What sort of behavior, personality and life can we expect from an only child? A lot of cultural expectations persist about the singleton, from the spoiled Veruca Salt of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to the “little emperors” who rose up in the wake of China’s One Child Policy. But what’s the truth of the matter? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

Now I am Become Death: Cotard's Delusion

 Now I am Become Death: Cotard's Delusion

Delusions often drive home the ephemeral nature of perceived reality, even blurring the lines between life, death and imagined states of un-death. Such is the case with Cotard’s Delusion, also known as Cotard’s Syndrome, that rare mental illness in which the patient comes to believe themselves a corpse. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe investigate tales of the deathly deluded. See more »

The Nine Dream Worlds of Frederik van Eeden

 The Nine Dream Worlds of Frederik van Eeden

Have you ever desired a map of the dream world? Look no further than the ideas and practices of Dutch psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden. Influenced by Hindu philosophy, mysticism and panpsychism, van Eeden coined the term 'lucid dreaming' along with eight other specific states of dreaming. Join Robert and Christian as they explore his seven kingdoms of sleep. See more »

Penile Transplants (With Special Guest Mary Roach)

 Penile Transplants (With Special Guest Mary Roach)

The year is 2016 and we officially live in the age of the penis transplant -- and while the notion may stir giggles from some, there’s nothing humorous about the cancer survivors and wounded soldiers who can benefit from such surgeries. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian discuss recent advances in penile transplant surgery and chat with author Mary Roach, who devotes two chapters of her new book “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War” to urotrauma and genital transplant surgery. See more »