Why is yawning contagious?

Why is it that we often have an uncontrollable urge to yawn when we see someone else yawning? It happens all the time, but most of us have no idea why we do it – it occurs completely automatically. Interestingly, this phenomenon doesn’t just occur in humans, it has been shown in primates too (Anderson … Read more

Seeing faces

This week’s post is inspired by some conversations I had over Halloween which¬†got me thinking. Why are faces everywhere at this time of year (think carved pumpkins and ghost masks), and what makes them scary? Last year I wrote about the science behind horror movies and why we find things creepy. But what is it … Read more

Introversion vs Extraversion

Introversion and extroversion are probably two of the most widely known personality traits. Stereotypically, an introvert is characterised by someone who is quiet and shy, and prefers to spend time alone. In contrast, an extrovert is usually loud and boisterous, and always needs to be surrounded by people. The words extrovert and introvert were first … Read more

Not Ill Enough

Imagine living with depression. It affects every aspect of your life, from your work to the time you spend with your family. You experience intrusive negative thoughts. You begin to suffer from insomnia, which in turn increases feelings of anxiety. Imagine living with depression, but being told you are not ill enough to qualify for … Read more

Creativity

Creativity – why does it come naturally for some, but others struggle to use their imagination? What are the best ways to encourage creativity¬† and how do you be more creative? These are just some of the questions I’ve got about creativity, and I’d love to know how to beat the creative block. Read more … Read more

In the Zone

Have you ever had that feeling when you’re working on something where you are totally focused on the task and don’t notice time passing? This feeling of being completely absorbed and ‘in the zone’ is known in the field of psychology as flow. It has been described by one researcher as being the “optimal experience” … Read more

Remarkable Women in Psychology

This week’s post is a special one in honour of International Women’s Day 2018. Whilst some of the most famous figures in psychology are men (think Freud, Jung, Milgram etc), this doesn’t mean that women haven’t made a massive contribution to the field. The work of female scientists should be celebrated, so I’ve picked 5 … Read more

Why do we forget?

I realised earlier today that whilst I’ve written several posts about memory, for example this one, about the different types of memory, the link between smell and memory, whether our memory is trustworthy, and about those with perfect memory syndrome, I’ve never actually written a post about the opposite – forgetting. Why is it that … Read more

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

How are you feeling today? If you’re anything like me and my friends the answer might well be ‘tired’. In modern society it can seem as though everyone is trying to cram as much as possible into their day, with work, family commitments, studying, exercising and fitting in a social life. This coupled with increased … Read more