Conformity and Its Influences

There are ten “timeless influencers” of conformity, suggests the literature on the topic, and by understanding what these influences are–and how to use and counteract them–we are provided with some insight into our and others’ behaviour in many situations. To that end, PsyBlog helpfully provides a summary of the ten core factors that influence conformity. […]

Reliable Lie Detection Cues

We mistakenly attribute fidgeting, stuttering and avoidance of eye contact as outward signals of mendacity, suggests recent research into lie detection, showing that these are some of the least accurate ways to predict whether or not someone is lying. Instead, the most reliable way to tell if someone is lying is by listening carefully: Professor […]

Evidence-Based Methods to Become Lucky

In an attempt to discover whether there were genuine personality traits that separate the lucky from the unlucky, Richard Wiseman studied 400 people over a number of years and discovered that there are indeed behavioural differences between the lucky and luckless—and that we can ‘learn’ these traits to improve our luck. Wiseman states that the […]

Applying Knowledge and Not Understanding Ourselves

One of my favourite reads–the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Research Digest–has recently published its 150th issue. To observe this occasion, Digest has asked what twenty-three psychologists still don’t understand about themselves. I’ve mentioned a number of the featured psychologists here on Lone Gunman before,  including Robert Cialdini, Alison Gopnik and Richard Wiseman. As Vaughan notes, many of […]

Goal Setting and Affluence

You’ve heard of the Yale Goal-Setting Study, right? The one that goes like this: In 1953 a team of researchers interviewed Yale’s graduating seniors, asking them whether they had written down the specific goals that they wanted to achieve in life. Twenty years later the researchers tracked down the same cohort and found that the […]