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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… a Heuristic

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is heuristic. A heuristic (from the Greek “to discover”) is a mental rule of thumb or shortcut that allows our brains to process information and arrive at conclusions more quickly. I recently wrote about philosophical razors, which are …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Moralization: When Preferences Become Values

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is moralization. The term moralization was introduced by psychologist Paul Rozin in the late 1990s to describe the process by which people’s preferences are transformed into values. Rozin’s research looked at how, for some people, vegetarianism had become …

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honesty word cloud

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Honesty?

Honesty is the best policy, right? I say no, no, no, no. And let’s add on one more no, just for good measure. I would also like to propose two kinds of “honesty”, only one of which I think actually involves honesty. First, you’ve got things that can be answered or described objectively. Let’s say …

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Are there actually toxic people, or is that just a toxic positivity label?

The “Toxic Person” Label and Mental Illness

The internet is full of talk about toxic people. Searching for “toxic person” yields 295 million hits on Google. That’s a whole lotta toxicity. If someone is abusive, you deserve to a) be free from them, and b) call them toxic or whatever else you might choose. But those 295 million online hits aren’t all …

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Am I a bad person? Or maybe that's the wrong question

Am I a Bad Person? Or Is That the Wrong Question?

“Am I a bad person?” It seems to be a fairly common question. Searching for that question on Google yields 263 million hits. I’ve also seen it raised in the blogosphere. Regardless of what the answer may or may not seem to be, though, is it a valid and/or useful question? What exactly is a …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: Nonviolent Communication

Book Review: Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg describes a form of compassionate communication. The foreword is by Deepak Chopra, which wasn’t a great start for me, as New Age really isn’t my thing. Rosenberg and I seem to look at the world very differently, so this is less book review and more …

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Judgementality: some judgments are inevitable. What you do with them is not.

What Is… Judgementality

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is judgementality. [As a quick spelling geek comment, judgementality is spelled with an e after the g, while judgmental is more commonly spelled without an e.] According to Psychology Today, being judgmental involves getting satisfaction out of making …

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