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?

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

In an exclusive interview, authors Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer discuss their acclaimed book, "All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism." Not just any children's book, it includes a reading guide about the challenges and strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum, along with tips and support information for parents and caregivers.

An OCEAN Far Away: Big 5 Personality Factors in Star Wars

Which Star Wars characters characters are the most open to experience while others are set in their ways? Who's conscientious, agreeable, or outgoing? And who's the most neurotic?

The Flash and the Nonexistent Standard DID Med Mix

The CW's television series "The Flash" has featured a recurring character called Firestorm the "Nuclear Man" who is two different people merged together into one body. To treat the chaos in this mix of men, scientists give him a mix of medications that is supposedly standard treatment for dissociative identity disorder. No such standard exists.

The Walking Dead Psychology: A Cannibal Conversation

Actor Andrew J. West discusses playing Gareth from Terminus on The Walking Dead. Why does severe crisis bring out the best in some people and worst in others? Who rises to heroism and who descends into villainy? What does it take to turn to cannibalism? West examines what it takes to break a normal human being who would never previously considered munching on a man's leg.

Project Superhero: Superheroes for All Ages

In "Project Superhero," Paul Zehr combines fiction and nonfiction to explore how superheroes can inspire a younger age group to reach their potential and discover who they can be.

Geek Psych Library From Mad Men Reality to Twilight Fantasy

Books on the psychology of popular culture look films, TV shows, comics, and other entertainment through the lens of psychology and also use the media to look at psychology itself.

Fear Lessons in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Doctor Who

What can fantastic examples reveal about how nonfictional human beings suffer or cope with fears and anxieties?

Who Dies to Fight Ebola? Who Kills in Fear of It?

In the milieu of the deadliest ebola outbreak on record, health workers and others risk their lives to fight the spread of this disease.

Doctor Who: "Listen" to Your Fear

"Doctor Who" explores how fear feeds itself and its function in the fight-or-flight response. If fear itself is not truly a thing to fear, fear instead may be your fuel.

Serpents in a Happy Valley: Does the World Need Villains?

"The world needs villains so there can be heroes," claims Netflix promotion for the BBC show "Happy Valley." Can that be true? Are we ready to take evil among people for granted?

A Visit to the Rape Room: Who Sees Humor in Sexual Assault?

Rape jokes take a variety of forms, with various intent. What has empirical research shown us about how, why, and when people will make light of sex crimes? Who makes these jokes?

Are We Blaming the Famous Victims of Nude Photo Theft?

Why do people even discuss this issue of blame in privacy violations? Is hindsight bias at work in this manifestation of the just-world phenomenon, or is schadenfreude afoot?

Doctor Who and the Neuroscience of Morality Malfunctions

Has the Doctor misplaced one of his hearts? Neural manipulation and traumatic brain injury can alter real empathy and morality in terms of cognition, emotion, and compassion.

Murder by Meme: Slender Man and the Wakefield Anti-Vax Hoax

Like scary Slender Man, viral views over a vaccine-autism link spread from a single human's fiction. After Eric Knudsen created the Slender Man in a photo editing challenge, its myth spread as meme, a malleable open-source horror that inspired a murder attempt. After Andrew Wakefield falsified a vaccine-autism link, it panicked many into campaigning against vaccination.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier–Who Is Bucky?

In "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014), amnesia-ridden James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes has been brainwashed into carrying out assassinations as the Winter Soldier. Does that make him a villain or a misguided hero? Exactly how might we diagnose an individual suffering his particular form of fugue, and is there really any hope for one who has wrought so much wrong?

MythBusters' Kari, Grant, and Tory Leave a Myth Unfinished

Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tori Belleci depart from the Discovery Channel series MythBusters, having tested only half of the Yerkes-Dodson arousal/performance curve.

JL8 Controversy: Is Sharing Phallic Photos Healthy Behavior?

When a children's webcomic artist sends sexually explicit photos, is that simply sexting as part of 21st century life, or is he engaging in sexual harassment or other aggression?

Doctor Who: Regeneration and a Dilemma of Doctor Identities

How do any real world human experiences relate to how the lead character in BBC's "Doctor Who" series undergoes personality change upon regeneration? Is science fiction relevant?

Scarlett Johansson Film Lucy Pushes 10 Percent Brain Myth

The plot for Luc Besson's science fiction action thriller "Lucy" starring Scarlett Johansson with Morgan Freeman hangs on the myth we only use 10 percent of our brains. As the heroine's brain usage reaches 90 percent, she gains skills and psychic superpowers. A long line of neuroscience evidence contradicts this old and enduring myth about brain under-usage in every way.

Star Trek vs. Star Wars: A Look at Bullying on Any World

Children are not the only ones who can find themselves mocked for their interests. Can fantastic fiction empower us and teach lessons on responding to bullies in real life?

Why Are We Writing More About a Suicide Than Ferguson Riots?

Why have psychologists said much more about one celebrity suicide than about a teenager's tragic death and the ensuing protests and riots? We knew Robin Williams in ways we never knew Michael Brown. Is our relatively greater response because of familiarity, race, complacency, information overload, or specificity of issues like suicide, depression, and Parkinson's disease?

Ferguson Protests, Riots, Power Abuse, and Not-So-Quiet Rage

Numerous professionals have shown restraint in covering Missouri's rioting crisis over an incident in which a police officer killed an unarmed young man. Some tweeting about Ferguson in social media have compared it to Milgram's obedience study, but wouldn't Zimbardo's Stanford prison experiment teach us more about how authority roles can create and escalate conflict?

Healer, Teacher, Hero, Villain from Mork to the Angriest Man

Robin Williams played healers, teachers, heroes, and villains. Did he play so many doctors and educators because he wanted to heal and teach, because he yearned for healing and learning, or because we wanted him to help himself and others grow better? Because of his very humanity, because of how he conveyed his humor and his pain, he appealed to the misfit in us all.

Guidelines for Covering Suicide: How Many Have We Violated?

In our need to reach out, have we been careful in what we're doing? The World Health Organization has recommendations for writing about suicide in general or about specific cases.

End Bullying! Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture

The Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition delivers a powerful discussion on how to overcome bullying, including strategies to create witnesses and allies out of bystanders.

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