Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis?
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How to Handle Master Manipulators
Dale Hartley MBA, Ph.D.
When told by police that a stalker tried to purchase a gun to kill him, Stephen Spielberg obtained a restraining order. Do such orders deter or inflame stalkers?
Understanding the dystopian world that confronts us requires having words and ideas that accurately express what is happening.
Poe was found semi-conscious in a Baltimore tavern wearing someone else's clothes. Delirious and hallucinating, he died four days later. Strange clues point to what happened.
When positive psychology is used as a means of gaslighting and manipulating people, it is rendered into something saccharine, superficial, abusive, and distorted.
A mother who was also a psychologist practicing marriage and family counseling reportedly killed her children and then herself rather than share custody. What led to this tragedy?
Here is a true tale that could have been penned by Edgar Allen Poe. The setting: a sepulchre late at night, where beauty and untimely death meet psychotic love and necrophilia.
Freud kept a small metal porcupine on his desk as a reminder of "the porcupine dilemma," which he considered essential for understanding relationships.
The disease model is helpful in understanding how QAnon's outlandish and unverifiable claims gained wide acceptance. Three cases illustrate the viral spread of QAnon.
If a plasma center offers double payment to donors with Covid-19, would people deliberately infect themselves just to score a few dollars more?
To avoid cognitive dissonance, some people suppress awareness of contradictory beliefs. See a man assert contradictory political opinions twice within 30 seconds.
Recent research has identified 7 types of stalkers who target public figures, based on their motivations.
The plague came to England the same year Shakespeare was born. Compare the reaction of 16th century Europeans to 21st century Americans.
She set her stories in "the Christ-haunted South." Her characters are from a place and an era of segregationist Baptists, tent revival Pentecostals, and itinerant Bible salesmen.
All complex systems, including humans, have limitations or "constraints." The theory of constraints offers a process for eliminating or improving them.
Resilience is coping with and enduring adversity. Why not gain strength and thrive?
This case study of my encounter with a manipulative couple illustrates how confusion, puzzlement, and sense of "having been had” are typical of encounters with High Machs.
"The amount of energy needed to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
An elderly couple is killed in their gated community. He is decapitated. She is dumped in a lake 6 miles away. No forced entry, and nothing is taken. Now the case has gone cold.
Going along to get along can minimize conflict and dispel cognitive dissonance. It can also produce dire consequences.
Salespeople and service technicians who make house calls know what lurks behind the closed doors of suburbia. And what tales they can tell!
In this case, the alleged killers are female, African-American, and one is a family member who was not slain, but who allegedly participated in the crime.
Just as he (or she) cons victims before abusing them, the predatory pedophile cons himself or herself as well. This leads to a sense of power and invulnerability.
How can celebrities know which stalkers are dangerous and which are merely pests?
Street hustlers target Crescent City tourists and conventioneers with scams both old and new.
Mothers who murder their children usually have one of these five motives.
Research has identified three types of fathers at high risk of killing their children.
Needless psychological distress can arise from avoiding and evading more mundane problems. "Every form of refuge has its price."
Choosing what's in our best interest is sometimes obvious, uncomplicated, straightforward—and wrong.
Intense analysis of the shooter's motives by The New York Times and other outlets misses the point.
Dale Hartley is an associate professor and chair of the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences division at West Virginia University, Parkersburg.