psychology

The Imp of the Perverse

In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a tale about a man overcome by the compulsion to confess to the heinous crime he sought to keep secret. The conundrum pops up in other Poe tales as well, but the so called “Imp of the Perverse” also invades the human mind with alarming regularity. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe attempt to understand just why, considering Freud, neuroscience, Ironic Process Theory and more. 

Bugs Under The Skin

Ever feel like there are bugs crawling around in your body? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore alleged incidents, medical publications and the reality of delusional parasitosis. 

From the Vault: The Gordian Knot of Race

How deep-seated are today's racial issues? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas explore how something so abstract - like unconscious racial biases - can have real-world implications. (Originally published March 31, 2015)

The Slayer

Myth and folklore are full of monsters and the heroes who slay them. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick meet some of these fabulous slayers and discuss the science and potential meaning of their bloody endeavors. 

From the Vault: The Halloween Costume Made Me Do It

What happens when we slip into a costume? Be it a monster pelt, a sexy witch or a simple children's ghost mask, a psychological transformation takes place. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager for a fittingly seasonal look at enclothed cognition and deindividuation. (Originally published October 8, 2015)

The Curse

What does it mean when a beggar, wizard or witch spits a curse at another human being? Why does this particular work of magic weigh so heavily in human history? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick take a scientific, historical and cultural look at various curse traditions. 

The Killer's Mask

The masked psychopathic killer is a staple of horror fiction, and yet almost no real-life serial killers employed masks in the commission of their crimes. Why is this? What does the discrepancy between fact and fiction reveal both about the reality of murderer and the nature of our myth-making? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. 

On Teasing

We all know teasing when we see it or experience it, but what role does it play in human interactions? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as they explore hurtful, playful and educative teasing.

Kirk Allen and Maladaptive Daydreaming

We all daydream and many of us funnel our imagination into creative acts. But what happens when these exercises overpower us? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the strange case of nuclear physicist Kirk Allen, whose imagination may have gotten the better of him -- and his psychoanalyst. Dive into the world of cooperative illusions and maladaptive daydreaming. 

Kirk Allen and the Cooperative Illusion

We all daydream and many of us funnel our imagination into creative acts. But what happens when these exercises overpower us? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the strange case of nuclear physicist Kirk Allen, whose imagination may have gotten the better of him -- and his psychoanalyst. Dive into the world of cooperative illusions and maladaptive daydreaming.