Neuroscience and Psychology: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind

brain mind illustrations

Discovering the relationship between the brain and the mind is one of greatest challenges that scientists face in the 21st century. The implications of such a discovery will radically change our conception of what it means to be a conscious being, and will have radical effects on neuroscience, metaphysics, judicial law — and psychology. Even the concept that humans act with free will, an idea that is central to our conception of who we are, may turn out be false.

The relationship between mind and brain is currently the subject of great debate. The conventional view dates back to 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes and his major work, Discourse on the Method, and is known as Cartesian Dualism in his honor. Descartes separated the mind from the body with his famous statement “I think, therefore I am,” a phrase known as “the cogito” after the Latin translation “Cogito, ergo sum.” Descartes laid the foundation for the way that we usually think of ourselves, today — that our mind is separate from the matter of our bodies, and it’s the source of our feelings, decision making capabilities, and all of the aspects that make us who we are. Our mind, a kind of indefinable “ghost in the machine,” gives the orders, and the subservient brain simply makes our bodies carry them out. Continue reading Neuroscience and Psychology: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind

The Psychology of Greed

wolf of wall street scene best picture nomination

In The Wolf of Wall Street, stockbroker Jordan Belfort gains a massive fortune by committing crimes in the financial sector. Eventually his greed backs him into a corner. The F.B.I.’s pursuit leaves him with a choice: relinquish control of his company and give up his career in finance or risk losing everything. Despite words of caution from his father and the fact that he already has money and opportunities to last a lifetime, Belfort continues his pursuit of even more wealth. This mistake ultimately leads to his demise.

What exactly was running through Belfort’s mind when he made that decision? What about his innate characteristics and experiences made him so insatiably greedy, willing to put the desire for more income and assets over family and his own freedom?

There are millions of people like Belfort who have inspired researchers to explore the psychology of greed. Here is what psychologists have learned so far: Continue reading The Psychology of Greed

The Psychology Behind Success and Failure

light bulb broken lit on table

Need a little inspiration? Inc has a nice list of quotes to inspire success. I’ll just share with you the top three:

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston S. Churchill

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” — Herman Melville

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” — Colin R. Davis

Notice anything these have in common?

All three involve success and failure. There’s a reason for this, and it’s the key behind the psychology of success and failure. Continue reading The Psychology Behind Success and Failure

Why Do Some People Enjoy Being Scared?

women couch horror movie scared

There are two kinds of fear: the kind no sane person would pay for and the kind millions of people line up for.

The former comes from actual threats. Imagine someone attacked you on the street or a car almost ran you over. You would experience a rush of adrenaline from the fight or flight response, a sort of high. This feeling is pleasurable for some people, but no one can savor it when they believe their life is in danger. Continue reading Why Do Some People Enjoy Being Scared?