Psych Your Mind

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The goal of this blog is to better understand why people think, feel, and behave the way they do. What's unique, in some ways, about this blog is that we'll be generating theories about people's behavior from cutting-edge psychological science!

Psych Your Mind
259 posts

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  • April 4, 2014
  • 09:27 AM
  • 155 views

Why Do We Take Personality Tests?

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Personality tests are not new, but they have recently skyrocketed in popularity on the internet. This week, Buzzfeed published 15 such tests in one 24-hour period. It seems every day on my Facebook news feed, someone has posted new results from one of these quizzes. Online personality tests have expanded beyond the traditional format of telling us certain traits we possess, although those do still exist (try here and here). Now, there are also tests that give us information about ourselves by co........ Read more »

Gollwitzer, P. M., & Kirchhof, O. (1998) The Willful Pursuit of Identity. J. Heckhausen , 389-423. info:/

  • March 28, 2014
  • 10:56 AM
  • 39 views

Parenthood, Trial or Tribulation? Part 2

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

On New Year’s Day I became a parent, sparking my curiosity in the research on parenting and well-being and inspiring a four-part series on parenthood and happiness. This is the second post. Check out the first post here.Are parents happier than non-parents? Researchers have generally set about trying to answer this deceptively simple question in three ways:Are people with children happier than those without children?This is the most common approach to research on parenthood and well-being. In ........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 05:46 PM
  • 23 views

Parenthood: Trial or Tribulation?

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

This is the first post in a four-part series on parenthood and happiness. On New Years Day I celebrated not only the start of a new year, but a new phase in my life. A few (long) hours after midnight I became a parent, and my life was irrevocably changed. In the journey to parenthood I knew one thing to be true—that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Would becoming a parent bring me joy, love, and gratitude greater than I had previously known? Would I find myself anxious, worried, d........ Read more »

  • February 7, 2014
  • 12:44 PM
  • 126 views

Ten Findings About Facebook for its 10th Birthday

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE ... Read more »

Kross E, Verduyn P, Demiralp E, Park J, Lee DS, Lin N, Shablack H, Jonides J, & Ybarra O. (2013) Facebook use predicts declines in subjective well-being in young adults. PloS one, 8(8). PMID: 23967061  

Burke, M., Marlo, C., & Lento, T. (2010) Social network activity and social well-being. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1909-1912. DOI: 10.1145/1753326.1753613  

Fernandez, K.C., Levinson, C. A., & Rodebaugh, T. L. (2012) Profiling: Predicting Social Anxiety From Facebook Profiles. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(6), 706-713. DOI: 10.1177/1948550611434967  

Buffardi, L. E., & Campbell, W. K. (2008) Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(10), 1303-1314. DOI: 10.1177/0146167208320061  

Clerkin EM, Smith AR, & Hames JL. (2013) The interpersonal effects of Facebook reassurance seeking. Journal of affective disorders, 151(2), 525-30. PMID: 23850160  

Forest, A.L., & Wood, J.V. (2012) When Social Networking Is Not Working Individuals With Low Self-Esteem Recognize but Do Not Reap the Benefits of Self-Disclosure on Facebook. Psychological Science, 23(3), 295-302. info:/

Bond, R.M., Fariss, C.J., Jones, J.J., Kramer, A.D., Marlow, C., Settle, E., & Fowler, J.H. (2012) A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization. Nature, 489(7415), 295-298. DOI: 10.1038/nature11421  

  • January 7, 2014
  • 11:10 AM
  • 129 views

The psychology within the biggest news of 2013

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

As we ring in the new year, every major news outlet is publishing their “top” lists of 2013: the top movies, the top tweets, the top sports moments, the top medical breakthroughs, the top business blunders - the lists go on and on. To add a bit of psychology to this “top” list trend, in this post, I take the three top news stories of 2013 as chosen by CNN.com’s readers and highlight what psychological research can contribute to each of them.
... Read more »

McCullough ME, Rachal KC, Sandage SJ, Worthington EL Jr, Brown SW, & Hight TL. (1998) Interpersonal forgiving in close relationships: II. Theoretical elaboration and measurement. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(6), 1586-603. PMID: 9914668  

Pettigrew, T.F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008) How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology, 922-934. info:/

  • January 3, 2014
  • 11:38 PM
  • 155 views

Why Do We Blame Victims?

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Two months ago Jonathan Martin, a football player on the Miami Dolphins, left the team due to mistreatment from teammates, which included receiving threatening phone messages from another player. The incident raised concerns about hazing within the NFL, but it also prompted some to suggest that Martin himself bears at least partial responsibility for his fate. For example, another NFL player stated in an interview that Martin is "just as much to blame because he allowed it to happen" and shou........ Read more »

Ritter, C., Benson, D. E., . (1990) Belief in a just world and depression. Sociological Perspectives. DOI: 10.2307/1389045  

  • December 6, 2013
  • 01:47 PM
  • 67 views

The Regifting Dilemma

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

It’s the first week of December, and we’re back in another holiday gift-giving season! For a psychologist, this is an especially fun time of year because it seems like people are all trying to get inside each other’s heads. As gift-givers, we do our best to predict what others will like and appreciate the most. Maybe we purchase the latest trends or use our own talents to create a special gift for our loved ones. Sometimes the perfect match is even sitting right in our closet - a gift init........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2013
  • 06:24 PM
  • 50 views

What Your Resistance to Halloween Candy Predicts About Your Life

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Tempting Halloween candyThanks to yesterday’s festivities, both kids and adults have a few more sweet treats on hand than normal. With a big bowl of candy sitting at home on the kitchen table or stashed in a desk drawer, many of us now face the annual challenge of eating our Halloween candy in moderation. Some of us will succeed; others won’t. We face situations like this constantly in life, where we are tasked with resisting temptations and overriding our impulses.  What might our response........ Read more »

  • October 23, 2013
  • 12:54 AM
  • 62 views

The Art of Constructive Self-Criticism

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Normal 0 0 1 839 4785 39 9 5876 11.1539 0 0 0 When we fail at something important to us, whether in relationships, at school, or at work, it can be very painful. These experiences can threaten the very core of who we think we are and who we want to be.To cope with failure, we often turn to self-protective strategies. We rationalize what happened so that it places us in a more positive light, we blame other people, and we discount the importance of the event. Th........ Read more »

  • October 21, 2013
  • 12:00 AM
  • 162 views

Six Guidelines To Interesting Research: The Remix

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



I may get back pain every now and then when I lift my daughter up off the ground, but I am still relatively early in my career as a social psychologist. And being young, I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my writing and scholarship. This pursuit is great for me, because as my research improves, I conduct better science and help the world understand itself more completely. It's also great for you here at PYM, because if I learn something useful I like to pay it forward to you, t........ Read more »

Gray, K., & Wegner, D. (2013) Six guidelines for interesting research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 549-553. info:/

Cohen D, Nisbett RE, Bowdle BF, & Schwarz N. (1996) Insult, aggression, and the southern culture of honor: an "experimental ethnography". Journal of personality and social psychology, 70(5), 945-59. PMID: 8656339  

  • October 4, 2013
  • 03:17 PM
  • 259 views

A Learning Tip from Dancers

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

If you watch any of the numerous dance
shows on TV, such as Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, or
even Dance Moms, you know that dancing at the elite level requires a lot more than strong muscles, a flexible body, and fierce determination. Professional dancers are smart. Not only are their bodies working at a high level, but their minds are as well. When performing, dancers are juggling numerous thoughts as they strive to execute each movement as precisely as
possible. “Poi........ Read more »

Warburton EC, Wilson M, Lynch M, & Cuykendall S. (2013) The cognitive benefits of movement reduction: evidence from dance marking. Psychological science, 24(9), 1732-9. PMID: 23863756  

  • September 19, 2013
  • 12:42 AM
  • 126 views

SWAG: My favorite reason to "Just Post It!"

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



Every Wednesday Thursday afternoon, I gather with a bunch of faculty and graduate students at the University of Illinois to discuss a journal article about social psychology, and to eat a snack. This blog post reflects the discussion we had during this week's seminar affectionately called Social Wednesdays Thursdays and Grub (SWTAG)--we're going STAG now!

In last week's journal club we read about a recent paper in Psychological Science with a very clear message: It should be th........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2013
  • 11:47 PM
  • 200 views

A Single Factor Model for Success in Graduate School

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



Graduate School: The Playground of the Mind

If you've come to the internet more than once, then you know that blogs often discuss the difficulties of coming out of graduate school with a tenure track faculty appointment in psychology or other fields (here and here). For those of you out there considering a research career at a major university--keep in mind that it's not for everyone. PYM has also tried its hand at one or two lists of traits needed to succeed in graduate school. These........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2013
  • 03:36 PM
  • 287 views

How Your Social Life Affects Your Self-Regulation

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Part of being human is the desire to control or change what
we do, what we feel, and what we think. We all struggle with tasks of
self-regulation, like cooking more nutritious food, limiting our emotional outbursts,
and paying attention in class. I’m sure you can find countless reasons on the
internet and within the self-help literature to explain why you’re not so good
at regulating your behaviors, emotions, and cognitions. Maybe you didn’t learn
how to control your actions well in ........ Read more »

Baumeister RF, DeWall CN, Ciarocco NJ, & Twenge JM. (2005) Social exclusion impairs self-regulation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 88(4), 589-604. PMID: 15796662  

Cacioppo JT, Ernst JM, Burleson MH, McClintock MK, Malarkey WB, Hawkley LC, Kowalewski RB, Paulsen A, Hobson JA, Hugdahl K.... (2000) Lonely traits and concomitant physiological processes: the MacArthur social neuroscience studies. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 35(2-3), 143-54. PMID: 10677643  

Hawkley LC, Thisted RA, & Cacioppo JT. (2009) Loneliness predicts reduced physical activity: cross-sectional . Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 28(3), 354-63. PMID: 19450042  

  • September 6, 2013
  • 02:51 PM
  • 291 views

How is your sleep affecting your relationship?

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

For the first few years of college, I maintained the typical college-student sleep schedule: in bed between 2am and 3am, dragging myself up at 9am for my 9:30am lecture which I inevitably slept through (in the front row… what was I thinking?!?). Chronically sleep-deprived, I would rather be spending time with my new friends and boyfriend than catching those precious zzz’s. Many of those nights made for wonderful memories, but other times I’d find myself inexplicably upset over some small i........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2013
  • 10:21 PM
  • 208 views

From the Archives: This is NOT Advice about the Academic Job Search

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

It is job season again for academic psychologists everywhere! In that spirit, I thought it might be a good idea to re-post this piece on my experience searching for an academic job. Enjoy!

The annual job season always brings back my own memories of the two job searches I've attempted (one successful). I remember the anxiety a lot, the feeling that there may not actually be a job out there for you (this is a common concern). Then there is also the feeling that you may not, in fact, be as aw........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2013
  • 01:18 PM
  • 295 views

External Validity and Believability in Experiments

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



Imagine for a moment that you are an experiment participant in a dystopian future university thirty years from now. At birth, you were taken from your natural parents and assigned to two robotic parental unit alternatives. The first unit is cold and metal, it has a big frowny face, and all it's good for is dispensing the occasional hot meal through it's midriff. The second unit provides no food, but this unit is fashioned with a luxurious coat of fine fur that feels warm to the touch.
........ Read more »

  • August 14, 2013
  • 12:05 PM
  • 277 views

The Psychology of the "Psychology Isn't a Science" Argument

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



Tom knows a pseudoscience when he sees one! (wikipedia.org)

Every so often the internet is set ablaze with opinion pieces on a familiar question: Are "soft" sciences, like psychology, actually science? Most of the time the argument against psychology as a science comes from people from the so-called harder sciences (you know, people who don't know ish about psychology). Of course, every once in a while we throw ourselves under the bus by declaring that for our softer sciences to........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2013
  • 01:33 PM
  • 246 views

Why "Never Give Up" is a Bad Motto

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

“Never give up” has become one of the most popular pieces of
advice in Western culture. It’s not popular with me, though. I do
agree that persistence in the face of obstacles is necessary, important, and
admirable. Many worthwhile goals require serious commitment and perseverance in
order to achieve them. The problem with this advice is that at some point in
our lives, we all have goals that are unattainable, and this is where “never
give up” falls short. When faced with an unatt........ Read more »

Heckhausen, J, Wrosch, C, & Fleeson, W. (2001) Developmental regulation before and after passing a developmental deadline: The sample case of “biological clock” for child-bearing. Psychology and Aging, 400-413. info:/

  • July 22, 2013
  • 05:20 PM
  • 238 views

You Are Not a Bridezilla

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind



The word "bridezilla" was reportedly first used in the mid-1990s to refer to the bride-to-be who turned into a monster while planning her wedding, throwing tantrums when she didn't get her way and making ridiculous demands on her friends and family. But in recent years the derogatory term, a reference to a fictional giant mutant dinosaur-like creature who went on crazed killing sprees (i.e., Godzilla), has almost become synonymous with "bride," encompassing behaviors ........ Read more »

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