Archive | Areas in Psychology

Griffiths: Cognitive Bias and Skill in Gambling

“… Rational choice theory predicts that people will not gamble, thus it is theorised that regular gamblers gamble because they make the wrong decisions – that cognitive bias (irrational thinking) distorts their reasoning. The aim of this study was to increase understanding of the cognitive processes and behaviour of persistent fruit machine gamblers.” Almost 18 […]

Questioning the Banality of Evil

There has been an almost widespread consensus amongst social psychologists that tyranny triumphs either because ordinary people blindly follow orders or else because they mindlessly conform to powerful roles. Much of this consensus has been influenced by the work of Milgram and Zimbardo However, more recently, British psychologists S. Alexander Haslam and Stephen D. Reicher […]

Zimbardo on Milgram and Obedience

There’s a nice little two part piece on The Situationist which has Zimbardo commenting on Milgram’s work. Well worth a read. “Milgram left us with a vital legacy of brilliant ideas that began with those centered on obedience to authority and extended into many new realms—urban psychology, the small-world problem, six degrees of separation, and […]

Is a home smoking ban enough to stop teen smoking?

We all know the power of role models and I have written about the effect of role modes on behaviour many times before: from the moving ‘Children See, Children Do‘ campaign to talking about the effectiveness of the pictures of death and destruction that now adorn our fag packets. All these ideas are supported by […]

The BBC Prison Study

Did you struggle teaching the BBC Prison Study? I did and was annoyed at myself because I knew it was a good addition to the core studies and I believed that my enthusiasm for this new study, and in particular Reicher and Haslam’s critique of the flawed Stanford Prison Experiment, would reach my students. However, […]

The pressures of being a ‘role model’

If you’ve ever seen the Channel 4 comedy Teachers then you might understand why the GTCE is considering implimenting a ‘role model’ code.  But is this really needed or necessary?  Yes, role models are influential, especially in the earlier years of childrens’ development, but shouldn’t they be allowed a private life? Teachers are  set to […]

Are we over interpreting fMRI results?

Recently we have looked at the impressive progression in the ability of fMRI scanners to record brain activity in ‘real time’ but are we over interpreting these results?  Over the last decade-or-two more-and-more researchers have been turning to fMRI scanners to open the ‘black box’ which is the brain. These scanners measure brain activity by […]