Psychology   197951

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So cute you could crush it? | University of California
"Until now, research exploring how and why cute aggression occurs has been the domain of behavioral psychology, said Katherine Stavropoulos, an assistant professor of special education at the University of California, Riverside. But recently Stavropoulos, a licensed clinical psychologist with a background in neuroscience, has taken formal study of the phenomenon a few steps further.

In her research, Stavropoulos uses electrophysiology to evaluate surface-level electrical activity that arises from neurons firing in people’s brains. By studying that activity, she gauges neural responses to a range of external stimuli."

"Another result that Stavropoulos said lends weight to prior theories: The relationship between how cute something is and how much cute aggression someone experiences toward it appears to be tied to how overwhelmed that person is feeling.

“Essentially, for people who tend to experience the feeling of ‘not being able to take how cute something is,’ cute aggression happens,” Stavropoulos said. “Our study seems to underscore the idea that cute aggression is the brain’s way of ‘bringing us back down’ by mediating our feelings of being overwhelmed.”

Stavropoulos likened this process of mediation to an evolutionary adaptation. Such an adaptation may have developed as a means of ensuring people are able to continue taking care of creatures they consider particularly cute.

“For example, if you find yourself incapacitated by how cute a baby is — so much so that you simply can’t take care of it — that baby is going to starve,” Stavropoulos said. “Cute aggression may serve as a tempering mechanism that allows us to function and actually take care of something we might first perceive as overwhelmingly cute.”

In the future, Stavropoulos hopes to use electrophysiology to study the neural bases of cute aggression in a variety of populations and groups, such as mothers with postpartum depression, people with autism spectrum disorder, and participants with and without babies or pets.

“I think if you have a child and you’re looking at pictures of cute babies, you might exhibit more cute aggression and stronger neural reactions,” she said. “The same could be true for people who have pets and are looking pictures of cute puppies or other small animals.”"
nervio  cuteness  2018  psychology  katherinestavropoulos  neuroscience  cuteaggression 
yesterday by robertogreco
I Used to Insist I Didn’t Get Angry. Not Anymore. - The New York Times
The phenomenon of female anger has often been turned against itself, the figure of the angry woman reframed as threat — not the one who has been harmed, but the one bent on harming. She conjures a lineage of threatening archetypes: the harpy and her talons, the witch and her spells, the medusa and her writhing locks. The notion that female anger is unnatural or destructive is learned young; children report perceiving displays of anger as more acceptable from boys than from girls. According to a review of studies of gender and anger written in 2000 by Ann M. Kring, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, men and women self-report “anger episodes” with comparable degrees of frequency, but women report experiencing more shame and embarrassment in their aftermath. People are more likely to use words like “bitchy” and “hostile” to describe female anger, while male anger is more likely to be described as “strong.” Kring reported that men are more likely to express their anger by physically assaulting objects or verbally attacking other people, while women are more likely to cry when they get angry, as if their bodies are forcibly returning them to the appearance of the emotion — sadness — with which they are most commonly associated.


Confronting my own aversion to anger asked me to shift from seeing it simply as an emotion to be felt, and toward understanding it as a tool to be used: part of a well-stocked arsenal. When I walked in the Women’s March in Washington a year ago — one body among thousands — the act of marching didn’t just mean claiming the right to a voice; it meant publicly declaring my resolve to use it. I’ve come to think of anger in similar terms: not as a claiming of victimhood but as an owning of accountability. As I write this essay eight months pregnant, I don’t hope that my daughter never gets angry. I hope that she lives in a world that can recognize the ways anger and sadness live together, and the ways rage and responsibility, so often seen as natural enemies, can live together as well.
Women  psychology 
yesterday by cnk
How the Brain's Face Code Might Unlock the Mysteries of Perception - Scientific American
Profile of Doris Tsao
Via Linda Chang
"The brain is not just a sequence of passive sieves fishing out faces, food or ducks, she says, “but a hallucinating engine that is generating a version of reality based on the current best internal model of the world”. Her ideas draw on Bayesian inference theory; only by combining perception with high-level knowledge can the brain arrive at the best possible understanding of reality, she says."
psychology  perception  neuroscience  vision  SciAm  profile 
yesterday by pierredv
Judging employees based on results could just be rewarding luck
As Kahneman put it, "it's much harder to evaluate the process than to evaluate the outcome. And it's much more intuitively attractive and compelling to evaluate outcomes than to evaluate the process. So that's what people do."
work  psychology 
yesterday by mjs

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