psychology

From the Vault: Tetris Syndrome

To play a game of “Tetris” is to invite a geometric invasion into your mind. After hours of intense block manipulation, you finally set aside your gaming device. You take a deep breath, close your eyes -- and there the frenzied, multicolored tetrominoes continue to cascade across your vision. They build walls in your dreams and shape the patterns of your very thought. What’s going on inside the mind of a 'Tetris' player and what can we learn from so-called 'Tetris' syndrome. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore. (Originally published Dec 1, 2015)

From the Vault: Aphantasia

Mental images play an important role in our daily experience of reality, from thoughts of the past to daydreams, fantasies and entire worlds of the imagination. Just what’s happening when we see through the mind’s eye and what on Earth is it like for individuals who experience aphantasia and experience no visual imagination at all? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore. (Originally published May 10, 2016)

From the Vault: The Forer Effect

From palm-reading fortune tellers to professionally-administered Myers Briggs test, everyone’s a sucker for a an ego-stroking personality assessment. In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the subtle forces of the Forer effect. (Originally published July 23, 2015)

The Winter People, Part 2

Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people to the latest studies on seasonal genetic changes, prepare to contemplate the icy dark.

The Winter People, Part 1

Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people to the latest studies on seasonal genetic changes, prepare to contemplate the icy dark.

An Attempt to Understand Zoophilia

Human culture emerges from a legacy of lives lived in close proximity to wild and domesticated animals. We see it in our myths and, in its most taboo and perplexing form, we see it in zoophilia. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian attempt to demystify this abnormal realm of human behavior in a straightforward, tactful manner.

The Monstrosity/Cuteness Spectrum

It seems the unavoidable fate of all terrifying monsters, doesn’t it? We reduce the most horrifying creatures of myth, legend and folklore to an adorable kids costume or a mega-cute illustration. Why can’t we help ourselves? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the battle between cuteness and monstrosity, with examples drawn from Japanese traditions.

‘The Rage of Achilles’ and the Bicameral Mind

Robert Lamb discusses Terence Hawkins' 2009 novel 'The Rage of Achilles' and its use of Julian Jaynes’ theory of the bicameral mind.

A Game of Werewolf

If you’ve ever played the party game 'Werewolf,' then you know the thrill of weeding out secret lycanthropes in a medieval village -- or devouring the villagers secretly in the night. But the game goes far beyond parlor fun and mild roleplaying as numerous studies in deception, artificial intelligence and game theory look to its complex social mechanics. Join Robert and Joe as they seek for meaning in the long, murderous night of the werewolf.

Six Ghost Stories

Human superstition provides us with an overwhelming wealth of ghost stories, each an unreal creation that reveals something crucial about culture, history and psychology. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Christian explore six ghost stories from around the world and discuss what they reveal about the (living) human experience.