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Mass suggestion: A way to save the world? 

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Psychological research has had a tendency to study negative effects of behavior both on the individual and cultural level. But new research has started to focus more on the positive aspects of behavior. I like this shift, as I think it will change how we interact with the world. In one TED talk I watched, scientists were studying genetic superhumans. That is, people with genetic ‘flaws’ that has proven to give these people abilities normal people don’t have. By getting more knowledge about these ‘superhumans’ we are also a step closer to knowing which environmental, psychological and biological factors contribute to their genetic make-up.

Mass suggestion 

Humans in a big crowd have an inclination to behave the same way. It is difficult to resist the force of it. This is why people, who ordinarily are sensible, can do things that they regret afterwards . It is also the reason people who normally are harmless can become violent.  

There are thousand different ways we can be affected by mass suggestion, both in a negative and positive sense.

A mass-suggestion experiment

If I could do a study as a researcher, I would want to look at how positive mass-suggestion could affect us . Let’s for fun’s sake call it a social media experiment. If every person shared the research hypothesis I’m about to present with one person, it would be interesting to see what would happen next.

My hypothesis would be something like: Can we by mass-suggestion, make people around the world do the same thing on the same day?

For example I could propose that the 30th of september, every one of us tried to do one random act of kindness. What do you think would happen? Could it affect us all in a positive way?

The date could be set one year in advance to make sure that many get the message, but as information can spread like fire in the right circumstances maybe it would not be necessary to wait that long.

So, would somebody be interested in an experiment like that? What can each and all of us do by simply being kind towards others?

Why not try? We got nothing to lose.


More:

Mass suggestion ideas

Mass suggestion in society

Introduction

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I am a 29-year-old girl from Norway where I work as a psychologist. On my free time I love to read, travel and experience new things. I also like taking photos and creative activities like scrapbooking and decoupage. My personality? For those of you who know the BIG 5 personality test, I am high on 20130623-181833.jpgOpenness, Conscientiousness, middle on agreeable and on extroversion/introversion. It basically means that I`m a flexible person, work hard, usually don`t make a fuss and love to be with others, while also needing to be alone to think and calm down. I also want to add that I love the Italian language, my family, Haruki Murakami, good music and my friends. I am VERY emotional, but calm when I have to be. Earlier I had a tendency to put other`s needs first, believing that I wasn`t worthy of any attention myself. Luckily I have grown in heart and mind since then, and learnt that being there for others mean taking care of your own needs first.

This blog is a blend of my personal story (called narrative or the sound of..) topics related to psychology and just random things I find interesting. I work daily as a clinical psychologist, and most of my clients have been abused and neglected in heartbreaking ways. Many of my posts will cover subjects related to trauma and dissociation. I am quite open and honest in my posts, because I believe it might make us psychologist less mysterious.

Most of the psychologist I know are kind, intelligent people. Some with their own stories, but all with a genuine wish to help. In this blog I want to share what I know about overcoming challenges and following your dreams.

IMG_0377Since more and more people have started to read this blog, I unfortunately found it necessary to password protect some of my more personal posts. If you want to read them, feel free to contact me at forfreepsychology@gmail.com. I am also on twitter (@ninjafighter), instagram and Facebook. I also have two other blogs that are dedicated to psychology and the “Kindness project” that I started one year ago, You find them here: Free psychology and The kindness project.

In the last blog I post interviews with different people. I ask them questions about good things they do, and my hope is that their answers will inspire others to do be kind towards others. I have also invited guest bloggers to share their stories on “Free psychology”. They are brilliant writers, so feel to explore their story on this blog. I am always open to invite more bloggers who want to write, so feel free to contact me at any time if you`d like to write about topics relevant for the blog. 

I started my blog three years ago, and it has grown so fast I almost can`t believe it. I am really proud of it, and grateful because I have made new friends and found other blogs that I like.

I want to thank all my readers and offer some encouragement to everyone who suffers or have done so in the past. I have been in the deepest valleys myself, and felt emotional pain so intense that I was afraid of it.

I hope this blog might prove that the fight for a better life is worth it.

Thank you.

It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism

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This is a reblog from psychcentral

Ohio State researchers believe they have developed and validated a new method to identify which people are narcissistic.

And, the beauty is that the tool is only a single question.

In a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, the researchers found they could reliably identify narcissistic people by asking them this exact question (including the note):

To what extent do you agree with this statement: “I am a narcissist.” (Note: The word “narcissist” means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)

Participants rated themselves on a scale of one (not very true of me) to seven (very true of me).

If you are curious about the test or want to know how narcissistic are you? The test is found at http://tinyurl.com/ovsf54v.

Results showed that people’s answer to this question lined up very closely with several other validated measures of narcissism, including the widely used Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI).

The difference is that this new survey — which the researchers call the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) — has one question, while the NPI has 40 questions to answer.

“People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

“People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.”

Bushman conducted the study with Sara Konrath of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (formerly of the University of Michigan) and Brian Meier of Gettysburg College.

The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

“Understanding narcissism has many implications for society that extend beyond the impact on the individual narcissist’s life,” Konrath said.

“For example, narcissistic people have low empathy, and empathy is one key motivator of philanthropic behavior such as donating money or time to organizations.”

“Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great don’t try to improve themselves,” Bushman said.

“And narcissism is bad for society because people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others.”

Bushman emphasized that the one question tool (SINS) shouldn’t be seen a replacement for the longer narcissism questionnaires (NPI, etc) as other instruments can provide more information to researchers, such as which form of narcissism someone has.

“But our single-item scale can be useful for long surveys in which researchers are concerned about people getting fatigued or distracted while answering questions and possibly even dropping out before they are done,” Bushman said.

He noted that if it takes a person 20 seconds to answer the single question in the SINS measure, it would take him or her 13.3 minutes to answer the 40-question NPI.

“That is a big difference if you’re doing a study in which participants have to complete several different survey instruments and answer a long list of other questions,” he said.

The 11 different experiments took a number of different approaches to determine the validity of SINS. Some used undergraduate college students, while others involved online panels of American adults.

One experiment found that SINS was positively related to each of the seven subscales of the NPI which measure various components of narcissism (vanity, exhibitionism, exploitativeness, authority, superiority, self-sufficiency, and entitlement).

Another study found that that participants tended to have similar scores on SINS when tested 11 days apart.

One experiment replicated past work that showed people scoring high in narcissism were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and had difficulty maintaining long-term committed romantic relationships.

“People who scored higher on narcissism on the SINS had both positive and negative outcomes,” Bushman said. They reported more positive feelings, more extraversion, and marginally less depression.

But they also reported less agreeableness, and more anger, shame, guilt, and fear. In addition, people scoring high on SINS showed negative interpersonal outcomes, such as having poor relationships with others and less prosocial behavior when their ego was threatened.

“The advantage of SINS compared to other measures,” Bushman said, “is that it allows researchers to identify narcissists very easily.”

“We don’t think SINS is a replacement for other narcissism inventories in all situations, but it has a time and place,” he said.

Source: Ohio State University

More

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 1, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/08/06/it-takes-just-one-question-to-identify-narcissism/73260.html

The price of love 

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“Get a free sample of our new mascara!”

Commercials all around us. Giveaway blogs. For many of our waking hours, we are bombadeded with tips and free samples that will make our lives better. And it works. The blogs and sites that sell things, or even allow their readers to get something for free, are popular. Search engines find your blog if you include commercial in some way or another. And people want it, they search for it for hours to get small boxes delivered to their doorstep.

Statistics show that we buy more and more commodities on the internet. Local shops have to close as people desert them. It is much easier and more practical to just push a button on a computer. I don`t want to look like a bitter saint, because I am one of eager net-shoppers and I also type in my email if I can win something. I even share pages on facebook to increase my chances of winning. Sometimes I loathe myself for it, how can I support something I know will be negative for people who have spent hours trying to build up small authentic boutiques?

In Førde, many have tried to start something new, but most of them go bankrupt before they had the time to florish. There was this lovely store with beautiful dresses and a little cafeteria surrounded by exquisite design in Førde. Flowers on the wall, that you could admire as you sipped fresh coffee and eat home-made cookies.  You could talk with friends, letting your eyes rest on cups with delicate ornaments. The boutique lasted perhaps a year before they had to throw in the towel together with their dreams. The same comes for restaurants. The big pizza places, always survive, but everyone who tries to do something different that will draw only the very curious and adventurous, realize that they have to quit when the cashflow stops. Førde was one of the first places in Norway, where the german store “Lidl” had to give up before they even began. In Førde, people like safety. Skepticism is as normal as the closed signs that pop up. I don`t want to offend anyone, as I know this is a simplification. Most people want to try new things, but there is a difference between wanting and doing. Many even get disappointed and irritated when something new disappears, like when they discover that someone else took their last piece of chocolate.

What happens when people try to give away love? Love is the most valuable commodity we have, so we should run to the store to get it. It should have a 24-7 open sign. We should talk about it: “Have you seen the latest love? People want to change the world by giving something to others!”. We should nod in happy agreement. It would be like a fairy gave us the present of a lifetime. The giveaway we don`t throw into our garbage when we grow tired of it.
Again I feel hypocrisy washing over me like detergent. Do I practice what I preach? Sometimes, yes. But like everyone else, I struggle. Luckily, I don`t have a television spitting out commercials. I spend time with books and friends, and love every minute of it. But I still get drawn in when I see the “for sale” signs. My heart pumps  extra blood to prepare me for the hunt. My pupils probably dilates to get a better overview over the racks of clothes. Then I come home and realize that the jumper didn`t fit like I hoped.

Can love not fit when you try it on? Off course.

Sometimes we don`t know how to handle it. How we get up the zipper without help. It might be to tight, leaving us out of breath.

Sometimes we want to throw it off in frustration, as if we just discovered that we look to fat in those jeans. It is an art to master love, because it really is a confusing present. When we unwrap the delicate paper, and peek inside, we can`t quite comprehend what we see. Is it something we can eat? Something to try on like shoes? Or something that we shall put on a shelf to decorate our home? Is it a genie in a bottle that grant us our wishes? And where is the user manual? We are uncertain if it will break when we try to build it, so we would simply crave a recipe for love like we crave another hamburger.

But sometimes we are satisfied. We get the same good feeling that we get after a workout followed by a healthy meal, only to discover that someone has put a giveaway-present before our front door.

How do you find giveaways like those? Normally you don`t find them in front of your doorsteps. And you can not find the answer in a manual either. We must find the building materials for love ourselves, and we cannot order the building blocks on the internet either. But we can find them by looking around us. We can sit in a park and watch a mother laughing as her daughter jumps up and down when a fluffy dog comes over. We can see an old couple that look into each other`s eyes with so much love that we glimpse eternity. We can stretch out our fingers, instead of letting them type in ebay.com.

Best of all, we can give some of our love to others. There is still hope for us. 

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Still want to push the button? Try these:

Open And Closed

Love 

Kindness to a stranger

Winner of the kindness award

Protected: The sound of soulmates

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Protected: The sound of healing 

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Protected: The sound of running up that hill

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Protected: The sound of curling

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The sound of running

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Feet hitting the ground, pummeling forward. Leaving everything else behind. One step closer to the goal. Painful steps, after running for hours. People cheering, urging them on. My camera clicking, freezing moments in time. Their emotions captured forever, no matter how far they run.

 

 

Protected: The sound of Walking down memory lane

Protected: The sound of running in my mental maze

The sound of boots made for walking

 

Protected: Blurred lines

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Protected: The sound of angels crying

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Protected: The sound of fleeting moments

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