Curing Conservatism: Psychology’s Abuse of Research

biased, anti-conservative psychological researchIn 1994, the controversial book The Bell Curve examined intelligence in American society and asserted that whites outperform other races on IQ tests. The American Psychological Association was quick to respond, launching a task force to meticulously scrutinize the methodology behind the book. Throughout dozens of publications, a veritable contest took place: who could most eloquently and irrevocably discredit The Bell Curve? The book was called polarizing, biased, and specious. …

How to Spot a Broken Study: The Baby Conservative Project

baby-conservative-studyLast month, I examined one of the studies embraced in the current Psychology Today article, “The Ideological Animal” (Dixit, 2007). That study asserted that conservatives, among numerous other deficits, are lower in openness to experience and integrative complexity than liberals, and that people choose conservatism because it serves to reduce their inherent fear and anxiety (Jost, et al., 2003). The poor dears. …

Do Delusions Usually Involve Aliens and Government Agents?

strange-hallucinationQ: After reading your answer to Michael regarding drug-induced insanity, I began to wonder why almost all descriptions of paranoid delusions seem to involve secret electronic surveillance by government agencies or aliens. Are these themes really so common among people suffering from paranoia, or are they just convenient examples used by writers on the subject? If they are ubiquitous, how would you explain so many people having the same delusion? If not, what other delusions are there? What do people in other cultures delude about? – Mulder

Can Animals Recognize Symbols?

animal-symbol-recognitionQ: Is there such a thing as memory fluid? And can shapes affect your thoughts? Or can any other things affect your thoughts? Me and a friend are doing a science fair project and we are testing hamster memory. We will make three different mazes and put the hamster in, and see how many times it takes for it to remember the route. She suggested varying the materials, but I said I don’t think that’ll affect it, so let’s use shapes instead. But do the shapes or the materials (or both) affect your thoughts more? – Johnny

Is My Ex-Wife Possessed?

satanic possession in different culturesQ: I have an ex-wife who turned into another person. When I first met her, she was fine. But after a while she changed. I did not think much of it until I noticed the bed levitating on its own one night. Then as I was talking to her, her head turned 360 degrees on her neck. Full circle… It was the damnedest thing. She started talking all growly to me in some bizarre voice and I grabbed a cross and left after she puked on me. Was that wrong? Should I have tried counseling? – Damien

It’s Time for Domestic Violence Treatment to Grow Up

alternative domestic violence treatmentThe crime of domestic violence is given special status in the U.S. criminal justice system. Rather than simply facing financial penalty or incarceration, batterers are often remanded to special treatment programs with the purpose of diverting them from the prison system. The most common forms of treatment for men who abuse women stem from the Duluth model (National Institute of Justice, September 2003). The underlying theory of this model is that batterers act out of a need to control their partners, and that changing the need to control others is the most efficient way to eliminate battering behavior. …