Ep 145: Why a Tiger Mom Approach to Parenting Does NOT Work

Feeling guilty about not being a Tiger Mom (or Dad)? Let me give you 3 reasons why you don’t have to feel that way. Get yourself ready for the next time that someone says that you (or parents in general) have to be tougher on our kids.

You’ve probably heard about the authoritarian parenting style advocated by Amy Chua in her Tiger Mom book. Lots of Americans think she has good point that the problems with American kids is that they are being raised with too much leeway, and that we’re not being tough enough on them. The reason, they say, that our Math scores are too low is that we’re not strict enough and we don’t have high expectations for our children. Are they right? Or are there other ways that our children are being successful that we don’t take into account? If you’re feeling discouraged about parenting let me raise your spirits.


Tiger Mom, Hold That Growl

Here’s an article worth reading: Why It’s Never Mattered That America’s Schools ‘Lag’ Behind Other Countries.

The United States has never ranked at the top of international education tests, since we began comparing countries in 1964, yet has been the dominant economic and innovative force in the world the entire time……The reason for the apparent disconnect is because schools don’t prepare students for the real world, so broad educational attainment will have a weak correlation with economic power…Research has consistently shown that on nearly every measure of education (instructional hours, class-size, enrollment, college preparation), what students learn in school does not translate into later life success. The United States has an abundance of the factors that likely do matter: access to the best immigrants, economic opportunity, and the best research facilities.

Why Chinese ‘Tiger Moms’ Are So Controlling


Episode 138: Zombies – 6 Reasons Why We Are So Fascinated By Them

Zombie Fascination eBook

Image of zombiesAfraid of zombies? Heard about the coming zombie apocalypse? Have you watched the TV show The Walking Dead or ever seen a movie about Zombies (perhaps Zombieland or Dawn of the Dead)?

Zombie Fascination
What is so fascinating about the undead? Why do many of us get a strange pleasure out of seeing a zombie get killed? In this episode I explore that strange part of ourselves which seems to enjoy watching the undead get really dead.

The Psychology of Zombies eBook!

Looking for a fun way to enjoy learning more about psychology? Then purchase my ebook: Zombie Psychology. In this 22-page PDF, I explore:

  • how Sigmund and Anna Freud‘s ideas apply to zombies (the Death Instinct and Ego Defense Mechanisms)
  • the connection between zombies and Terror Management theory
  • Just World belief and zombies
  • I address the explanation that only the more primitive parts of the brain are active in a zombie. Is this possible? Find out in the ebook and learn a little about the brain along the way.

Only $1.99!

Zombie Fascination eBook

Only $1.99!

Zombie Fascination

  • Film-goers have always loved a good scare, and a shambling collection of neuron-challenged corpses make a pretty terrifying story. And if my zombie-obsessed 14-year-old son is a representative sample, blowing the undead away with heavy weaponry has a solid adolescent demographic appeal. But there’s no question, at least in my mind, that zombies (and Godzilla) are an allegorical representation of our fear that science and the technologies it spawn will lead to our destruction. – James Turner, Forbes Magazine article

  • People are fascinated by phenomena such as ESP, psychokinesis, communicating with the dead, ghosts, vampires, and zombies in part because [they] allow for the possibility of some essence or aspect of us surviving beyond death. One could speculate that these forms of the supernatural are growing in popularity, along with their positive counterparts, superheroes, because of lessened faith in traditional religious conceptions of the supernatural…

    Zombies also deny the finality of death – here are these beings who are functioning after they have died. It’s not a pretty afterlife, but if this is possible, better forms may also be out there.

    …because zombies are “already dead” we can be guilt free and gleefully watch them killed in every way possible no matter how grisly, vicariously aggressing against this substitute source of our fears with complete abandon.”

    Episode 125: False Memories – How Can Your Memory Be So Bad?

    TPFnewLogo600x600WithAsparagus.jpg

    We tend to believe our memories are accurate, but they are far from it. The Supreme Court is finally beginning to realize this, now we even may have A physiological marker for false memories. What we remember is a hodge-podge, a patchwork of images, stories, and bits and pieces from our past. In this episode I describe some of the very interesting research showing how our memories can be manipulated in surprising ways. Learn why you loved asparagus as a kid (really you did, really).


    Elizabeth Loftus and Eyewitness Testimony

    Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has conducted numerous experiments regarding the fallibility of the human memory. She has found that human memory is far from exact. To the contrary, she believes that memory can be manipulated in many different ways.

    What Causes our Memories to be False?

    Stress associated with the traumatic event can be a factor. Introduction of wrong information to the eyewitness can then be processed, and events can be retold by that witness which unknowingly incorporate that misinformation. Depending on the jury’s perception of the eyewitness’s credibility, inaccurate statements can become fact in their minds and this can lead to wrongful convictions.


    • Geraerts, E., Berstien, D.M., Merckelbach, H., Linders, D., Raymaekers, L. & Loftus, E.F. (2008). Lasting false beliefs and their behavioral consequences.  Psychological Science, 19, 749-753.
    • Interview with Elizabeth Loftus: I Could Have Sworn …
    • Lanye, C., Morris, E.K., Bernstein, D.M., Wakefield, B.M. and Loftus, E.F. (2008).  Asparagus, a love story: Healthier eating could be just a false memory away.  Experimental Psychology, 55, 291-300.
    • Loftus, E.L. (1997).  Creating false memories. Scientific American.
    • In New Jersey, Rules Are Changed on Witness IDs
    • Stadler, M.A., Hoediger, H.L. and McDermott, K.B. (1999). Norms for word lists that create false memories. Memory & Cognition, 27(3), 494-500.
    • Related episode: Episode 102: How to Create an Online Experiment on Eyewitness Testimony Accuracy