Do you want to reflect back a clear, positive image that emphasizes a person’s potential, or a distorted one based on assumptions, stereotypes, and misunderstandings? This reflection is what we refer to as social mirror theory. Social mirror theory is the theory that people’s relationships with others create a social mirror that reflects images of themselves back to them and affects their paradigms. This is essentially the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy. Learn how social mirror theory works and why others’ opinions of you matter.
What are the Circles of Concern and Influence? Where do you focus your time and energy? How many of those things can you impact? The Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence both affect how we structure our lives and tend to things and people. Read on to find out the differences between Circle of Influence vs. Circle of Concern, and how to direct your energy towards your Circle of Influence.
Are facial expressions universal? It seems clear that some facial expressions, like those expressing sadness or happiness, are universal–but are they? We’ll cover the research on whether facial expressions are universal. Along the way, we’ll look at some of the dangers of making assumptions about people based on their facial cues and body language.
The primary reason that most people cannot immediately identify when a stranger is lying is that human beings default to assuming truth in others. This is called the Truth-Default Theory. Is it possible to learn how to spot a liar? We’ll cover why it’s so hard to know how to spot a liar and discuss some biases to look out for.
In our modern, seemingly borderless world, we have no choice but to interact with strangers. Yet we, as a society, are incompetent at making sense of the strangers we come across. So what should we do? Can we learn how to talk to strangers? We’ll discuss the three problems that cause us to have failed interactions with strangers and discuss how to talk to strangers in ways that are more successful. From Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers.
Being able to detect lies seems like an unequivocal good. The Russian archetype of the Holy Fool demonstrates the benefits of being able to see the truth of a situation. Who is the Holy Fool? The Holy Fool is typically an eccentric character, sometimes even a crazy one, who has access to truths that other characters don’t have access to. The Holy Fool can be seen particularly in Russian stories and those by Hans Christian Anderson, such as “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” In modern times, the “Holy Fool” in society is often a whistleblower. We’ll cover the attributes of the
Do people make the same facial expressions in different cultures? More importantly, do they mean the same thing? We’ll cover one study that indicates that facial expressions in different cultures do not indicate the same feelings. Learn why you can never make assumptions about how people feel based on their faces, especially people from different cultural backgrounds.
What is alcohol myopia theory? Why do you tend to get really focused on, even obsessed with, one thing when you’re drunk? What are the negative consequences of alcohol myopia? Alcohol myopia is a state in which the drinker’s mental and emotional field of vision becomes narrow. This can cause the drinker to fail to take in the context of a situation and to make short-sighted decisions. We’ll cover what alcohol myopia theory says about what alcohol does to our decision-making abilities and look at the problems with alcohol myopia.
What is a word stem completion task? Is the way you complete it indicative of your personality? And what do answers to that question say about your bias against strangers? We’ll look at how the word stem completion task works, whether your answers to the task are random, and how your assessment of the task can reveal your biases.
Why do people experience memory loss from drinking? What’s happening in the brain? What are the consequences? The effects of alcohol on memory are startling. At a blood-alcohol level of approximately 0.15, the hippocampus shuts down entirely. At that point, all memories disappear completely and there is nothing to recall. Even in this state of total blackout, when the hippocampus is entirely shut down, it is possible for the drinker to continue to function like a “normal” drunk person. In fact, it can be impossible to tell when someone else has reached the point of blackout. Learn more about drinking and