Ep 154: 5 Reasons Why Your Brain Tells You Casey Anthony is Guilty

I give you 5 reasons why your brain is telling you that Casey Anthony is guilty. These are 5 reasons why we tend to think that a lot of people are guilty even before they’ve been tried. The trial of accused child murdered Casey Anthony is over and Casey was found not guilty. Most people are extremely upset because she appeared to be guilty for many reasons. None of these are based on evidence, but instead on what might be going on inside your mind that made you think she was guilty. Caution: open mindedness required!
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Episode 133: Replacing Your Doctor With a Robot?

Are you embarrassed to take your clothes off in front of your doctor? Most of us are. Well, what if your doctor was a robot? Would this make it easier or harder to remove your clothes? Before you answer – would it matter if the robot looked like a real person or if it looked like R2-D2? That’s the question we examine this week on The Psych Files.

Robots and Emotions

Why are fictionoal – and real – robots often built to look like us? Probably because it’s easier to relate to them. Learn more about how we develop feelings for robots on this article I found at The Week: Falling in love with a bot.


Episode 130 (video): Why Are We So Fascinated by Famous People?


If you’ve ever met a famous person you know how exciting that feels. But why? What is it about fame that draws so many people to it? In this episode I examine fame from two very perspectives: the Basking in Reflected Glory theory and Terror Management Theory. Along the way we’ll see what this all has to do with the rock band Queen, baseball and Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.

Thanks again to Beth Benoit of Granite State College and to Melissa Kennedy of Holy Names Academy for pointing me in the direction of the following sources:

Resources on the Psychology of Fame

  • Cialdini, R. B., Borden, R. J., Thorne, A., Walker, M. R., Freeman, S., & Sloan, L. R. (1976). Basking in reflected glory: Three (football) field studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 366–375.
  • Greenberg, Jeff, Kosloff, Spee, Solomon, Sheldon, Cohen, Florette and Landau, Mark(2008). Toward Understanding the Fame Game: The Effect of Mortality Salience on the Appeal of Fame’,Self and Identity
  • You can learn more about Terror Management Theory here.
  • Terror Management Theory: Yes, Virginia, you're going to die – The

    HowStuffWorks.com blogger Josh Clark writes about Terror Management Theory which is the idea that everything we do is in reaction to our fear of death.

    Publish Date: 02/17/2011 15:53


  • Terror Management Theory | Mrs. Neutron's Garage

    Terror management theory is based heavily on the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, and in particular his book The Denial of Death, for which he won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize. According to TMT, humans, having

    Publish Date: 04/03/2011 8:24


  • Sheldon Solomon – Anthropology 322 (4)

    Sheldon Solomon speaks about Ernest Becker and Terror Management Theory to an anthropology class at the University of Washington called Comparative Study of Death

Episode 119: Are You Lying in that Email?

Have you ever been less than truthful in an email? Or perhaps a little more blunt or emotional than you might have been if you delivered your message in person? Why is it that people can sometimes be so mean in their online comments? In this episode I explore why we communicate differently in the online world than we do in person by discussing an article on the "finer points of lying online".

Moral Disengagement

  • The article discussed in this episode is : The finer points of lying online: E-mail versus pen and paper. Naquin, Charles E.; Kurtzberg, Terri R.; Belkin, Liuba Y.
    Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol 95(2), Mar 2010, 387-394.
  • Definition of Moral Engagement from Wikipedia:

Moral disengagement is a term from social psychology for the process of convincing the self that ethical standards do not apply to oneself in a particular context, by separating moral reactions from inhumane conduct by disabling the mechanism of self-condemnation.