The Lost Origin of Coulrophobia, the Abnormal Fear of Clowns

How serious an issue is an abnormal fear of clowns? Where did the term coulrophobia even come from? The answer may be lost to time, locked away behind a wall built by brain trauma.

StarTalk: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Game of Thrones Psychology

Neil deGrasse Tyson conducts interviews on "StarTalk" including this look at the science of "Game of Thrones" with a segment devoted to the psychology of both characters and fans.

Beyond Good and Evil, Beyond Heroes and Villains

Do heroes and villains exist or was a philosopher right to say we should look beyond good and evil. When dark clouds of cynicism spread, can we go farther and look beyond that?

Kurt Lewin, the Refugee Who Founded Social Psychology

A refugee from Nazi Germany, Kurt Lewin, founded social psychology. Imagine a world where the U.S. shipped him back to die with his mother and sister in the concentration camps.

Life (and Death) Lessons Learned from "The Walking Dead"

The Walking Dead offers commentary on the struggles anyone might face in the worst situations. People can struggle to retain their humanity even without an apocalyptic scenario.

Post-Time War Stress Disorder: Doctor Who's Secret Symptom

Can the eponymous hero of "Doctor Who," the longest-running sci-fi TV series, help us understand PTSD?

Freedom vs. Security in Z Nation's Zombie Apocalypse

Z Nation, Syfy's road trip adventure set in a zombie apocalypse, turns darker and explores Erich Fromm's "basic human dilemma," freedom vs. security. Is freedom worth the fear?

Do Suicide Squad Villains Harley and Joker Defy Diagnosis?

The film Suicide Squad toys with the question of whether Harley is genuinely "crazy" or merely putting on an act, but does it suggest any realistic answer?

Why Pokémon GO Can Be Good for You

Can an augmented reality game help us augment ourselves? How might it impact physical and mental health, even social life?

Is Pokémon GO a Virtual Drug?

Is Pokémon GO a revolution or passing fad? Does its form of augmented reality offer new opportunity for therapeutic benefits or are risks like addiction and recklessness too great?

As We Wonder: A Heroine's Wisdom for Violent Times

A superheroine gives wisdom: "Don't kill if you can wound, don't wound if you can subdue, don't subdue if you can pacify, and don't raise your hand until you've first extended it."

Hungry vs. Loyal: Ramsay's Hounds on the Hierarchy of Needs

Game of Thrones villain Ramsay Bolton suggests that he will feed his foes to his ravenous hounds, dogs he believes loyal to himself. Can dogs follow humans' hierarchy of needs?

Naming Evil: Dark Triad, Tetrad, Malignant Narcissism

What is evil? Is malignant narcissism "the quintessence of evil"? Is the mix of extreme and maladaptive psychopathy + narcissism + Machiavellianism + sadism the recipe for evil?

Ramsay Snow Bolton, a Sadist Dark and Full of Terrors

Ramsay (Snow) Bolton may be the greatest sadist in fiction full of cruel characters. What drives this villain in "Game of Thrones" and "A Song of Ice and Fire" to torture and more?

Freedom vs. Security in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War

Erich Fromm believed people too readily escape from freedom to feel safe, and yet fans of Captain America: Civil War say they'd choose freedom first. Would they really? Would you?

Who Can Win the Game of Thrones?

PBS BrainCraft segment looks at psychological issues in HBO's Game of Thrones, particularly the role that self-control might play in determining which character can "win" the game.

Doctor Who Therapy: Can TV's Time Lord Teach Compassion?

Superhero Therapy author describes an empirical study testing whether Doctor Who could teach children learn about compassion or help them with depression and socializing.

Would "Doctor Who" Call Freud, Jung, Myers & Briggs Stupid?

What would Doctor Who's star think of the psychodynamic and related points of view? Would he praise Freud and Jung or mock them? Would he even consider taking the Myers-Briggs?

Hungry for Answers: Questions about The Walking Dead

Students pose questions about character behavior as it relates to what we know about human behavior.

Star Wars Psychology: The Problems with Diagnosing Kylo Ren

What's wrong with Star Wars: The Force Awakens villain Kylo Ren? Borderline personality, psychopathy, intermittent explosive disorder, addiction, or Force-fueled immaturity?

Scientific Reasons Fans Still Hate Star Wars' Jar Jar Binks

Dr. John Paul Garrison pulls lessons from empirical science to discuss why people continue to express such irritation toward Star Wars prequel character Jar Jar Binks.

Star Wars Psychology: How Does a Stormtrooper Learn to Hug?

Raised since infancy to obey orders, one soldier refuses to take part in a massacre. Why does he then readily kill other stormtroopers, and when did he learn to greet with a hug?

#ThisPsychMajor Answers Candidate's Claim We Work Fast Food

After presidential candidate Jeb Bush said universities need to caution students who choose "that psych major deal" that "you’re going to be working a Chick-fil-A," psychology majors took to social media (especially Twitter) in reaction. The #ThisPsychMajor responses keep coming. The message: Do not belittle degrees in liberal arts or employment in service occupations.

Presidential Candidate Says Psych Degree Means Fast Food Job

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush belittled psychology degrees, saying universities need to warn prospective psychology students that they'll wind up working fast food jobs. Online, people respond with facts, figures, and a lot of information about what they themselves are doing with their psychology degrees. #ThisPsychMajor

The Walking Dead: The Further Confessions of Father Gabriel

On AMC's The Walking Dead, Father Gabriel Stokes lets zombies kill the members of his congregation, then projects his feelings about his own cowardice and untrustworthiness onto the program's main characters. After becoming progressively more self-destructive, attempting suicide by walker and provoking someone else, he sees he projected his own worst qualities onto others.

The Hero Round Table With Phil Zimbardo: Prepare for Heroism

At the Hero Round Table conference, Dr. Phil Zimbardo explains how to become heroic. How does a person prepare for heroism? Heroism, according to Zimbardo, is positive deviance. What distinguishes the reactive hero from the reflective hero? How do bystanders stop standing by? And what does wearing orange pants have to do with standing up, speaking, out, and taking action?

Grief Out Of Order: Apocalyptic Loss and "The Walking Dead"

"The Walking Dead" demonstrates how stages of grief follow no universal order. Before we discover how new characters on "Fear the Walking Dead" respond to the zombie apocalyse, look back at how one of the original program's characters faced loss and bereavement. What do these reactions mean for ongoing survival in a complicated world? What might Kübler-Ross say?

Psych Write: Psychology Can Make Sense and Be Fun to Read!

Authors trying to write about psychology for general audiences may err by writing the same way they would write journal articles, or they may err by writing too casually. These tips can help students, psych pros, journalists, bloggers, and water cooler conversationalists achieve the right balance while clearly talking about psychology. Jargon is good. Really, it is.

"Inside Out": Emotional Truths by Way of Pixar

Pixar's "Inside Out" proves to be impressivley accurate to cognitive, developmental, and clinical psychology. Five of the six scientifically validated universal emotions demonstrate what it might be like in the mind of an 11-year-old girl who struggles with having to move away from her friends and to a different city. The film sends a message and has therapeutic value.

Superhero Therapy: Fears Do Not Make Heroes Any Less Heroic

Superhero Therapy star Dr. Janina Scarlet looks at heroes who feel fear. Storm of the X-Men often experiences crippling episodes of claustrophobia. As boy, Bruce Wayne becomes afraid of bats. Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter stories endures crushing arachnophobia. How do these heroes cope with their own fears and find the courage to do the right thing nevertheless?

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