Currently viewing the tag: "psychology"

Real-life encounters and face-to-face contact with other people are on the decline in a world that is becoming increasingly computerized. Many routine tasks are delegated to virtual characters. People spend hours role-playing through virtual-reality video games by taking on the persona of a virtual character or avatar.

Such video games can even lead people to acquire and practice real-life skills and new viewpoints. Weger and his fellow researchers therefore explored how role-playing video gaming influences social behavior and decision-making. Participants in their study first played an immersive game for seven minutes as an avatar. Afterwards, they completed a job selection task in which they had the option of overriding incorrect choices made by a computer.

It was found that role-playing as the avatar in an immersive video game, compared to merely watching others play, makes people identify with a computer. They do so to such an extent that they actually start to conform to its decisions and follow its judgment — sometimes even if it is downright wrong. This shows that people conform, even when opinions are voiced by nonhuman agents. This is especially prevalent in ambiguous cases. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who becomes his/her avatar.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about online gaming and interacting with people you only know through their avatars?

Art Prompt: Avatar

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about this study and what it means for them if they are gaming online.

Photo Credit: Ben Jeffreys on Flickr

Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe in and confess to committing crimes they didn’t actually commit. New research provides lab-based evidence for this phenomenon, showing that innocent adult participants can be convinced, over the course of a few hours, that they had perpetrated crimes as serious as assault with a weapon in their teenage years…

“All participants need to generate a richly detailed false memory is 3 hours in a friendly interview environment, where the interviewer introduces a few wrong details and uses poor memory-retrieval techniques.”

Importantly, the false event stories included some true details about that time in the student’s life, taken from the caregiver questionnaire.
Participants were asked to explain what happened in each of the two events. When they had difficulty explaining the false event, the interviewer encouraged them to try anyway, explaining that if they used specific memory strategies they might be able to recall more details.

In the second and third interviews, the researchers again asked the students to recall as much as they could about both the true and false event. The students also described certain features of each memory, such as how vivid it was and how confident they were about it.
Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story about someone who is led to believe that he/she did something terrible.

Journaling Prompt: What is the worst thing you remember ever doing?

Art Prompt: Coersion

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how easily people can be convinced that they committed a crime.

Photo Credit: Chris Tse on Flickr

ON A COLD JANUARY NIGHT in 1924, a young woman flaunting a stylish bobbed haircut slinked into the Thomas Roulston grocery store in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She was dolled up in a fine sealskin coat, beaded gray dress, black shoes, and stockings. Just as the male clerk was wrapping up her order of a dozen eggs, she suddenly whipped out a .25 automatic pistol from her fur coat and shouted: “Stick ‘em up! Quick!” …

The grocer and five other clerks had become the first victims of the eventually infamous “Bobbed Haired Bandit”—a now-forgotten criminal who was an icon of liberated women in 1920s New York. For three and a half months in 1924, married couple Celia and Edward Cooney embarked on a series of armed robberies around Brooklyn, inspiring tabloid news stories, satirical cartoons, and political and cultural agendas. Depending on what paper you read, the Bobbed Haired Bandit was a ruthless libertine, a heroine of the lower class, a weak woman controlled by her husband, or a trailblazer of the feminist movement. –How We Forgot the Bobbed Haired Bandit by Lauren Young

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an unusual thief.

Journaling Prompt: What circumstances would push you into breaking the law? 

Art Prompt: Bobbed hair

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about an infamous bandit with an emphasis on what drove him/her into a life of crime.

Photo Credit: dvdflm on Flickr

The people in my head seem to have been there for a very long time. –Hiking in My Head by Gareth D Jones

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: What do the scripts running in your heads try to tell you?

Art Prompt: The voices in my head

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the thoughts they have that seem like they are coming from somewhere else and what they should do about the disturbing ones.

Photo Credit: Janine on Flickr

Kurwa, she uttered to no one but the wind. It was the foulest word she could say in Polish, so foul she could only bear to say it to people who didn’t speak the language; it was just too vulgar. She used it like English speakers used “fuck,” but kurwa was a much better word. Depending on whom she was talking to and how pleased or pissed off she was at the time, it could mean “whore,” “your mother is a whore,” “bitch,” “bastard,” “cunt,” “prick,” “fuck you,” “fuck off,” “fucker,” or merely “fuck!” Sometimes she said it with a smile on her face to a flirtatious but arrogant climber who didn’t know if she was coming on to him or telling him to get stuffed. She liked that. Keep them wondering. But sometimes she said it in pure disgust to a particular jerk or bastard in her way, like now. –Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women of K2 by Jennifer Jordan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a female in a male world and the methods she uses to express her true feelings.

Journaling Prompt: What swear words to you enjoy saying? If you don’t swear, what do you say instead?

Art Prompt: Swear word

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of swearing.

Photo Credit: Masa Sakano on Flickr

“It’s safe to say you killed them . . . isn’t that right?” –Last Winter, We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about something you feel guilty about.

Art Prompt: Guilty conscience

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about your guilty conscience.

Photo Credit: Craig Sunter on Flickr

They entered the observation area looking in on the interrogation room. Inside, a wiry young man sat at an empty table. His fingers entwined with one another in tight knots. His heels bounced on the floor. His nostrils flared. His eyes darted from wall to wall with the tension of a trapped animal. –The Mysterious Mauling by A. C. Spahn

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write an interrogation scene.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt like you were being interrogated? What emotions did you feel? 

Art Prompt: Interrogation

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about modern interrogation techniques.

Photo Credit: Shuayb Popat on Flickr

It wasn’t deja vu, but the perpetual expectation of it. –The Black Bough by Conor Powers-Smith

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a person who lives with deja vu experiences on a regular basis.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you had deja vu.

Art Prompt: Deja Vu

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the scientific basis for deja vu.

Photo Credit: chris white on Flickr

They gave her all the crazy ones. The guys thought it was hilarious to watch her try to deal with men who claimed to be from Mars, people with ghosts in their apartments, and little old ladies who said they were sea monsters. –The City’s Gratitude by Meg Candelaria

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about someone who specializes in customer service for people with psychosis.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the craziest thing you ever believed.

Art Prompt: My crazy life

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous speech about a time when you went “crazy” about something.

Photo Credit: Wellcome Images on Flickr

“I’m so sorry.”

As the words slipped from Jane’s mouth, another blue Line of Apology on her arm disappeared in a searing–but brief–slice of pain. She only had ten Apology Lines left. Most people her age had blue streaks marking their arms all the way to shoulder. –Apology Accepted by Kathryn Felice Board

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a world where empathy is a real, but limited power. How will your protagonist use it?

Journaling Prompt: Write about the best and worst apologies you’ve ever recieved.

Art Prompt: I’m so sorry

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to apologize properly.

Photo Credit: bronx. on Flickr