Sunday, December 28, 2008

The "Big Five" Personality Traits

12/28/08. In the 1970s research teams lead by Paul Costa and Robert R. McCrae of NIH, and Warren Norman and Lewis Goldberg, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Oregon, respectively, discovered that most human personality traits can be described using the following five dimensions:
  • Extroversion
  • Openness
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Neuroticism
Where are you on the Big Five scale? Take this free personality test and find out.

Radio Web Site: All the Music Fit to Hear

12/28/08. Terrific radio site.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Risky Business

12/22/08. Women make passes at men who...skydive, or climb mountains, or ride motorcyles, or...

Deceit R' Us

12/22/08. Telling lies is more human --- and nonhuman, than otherwise.

Monday Quotations


Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents.

--- Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he is buying.

-- Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

Where the Wild Things Are.

--- Maurice Sendak (1928 - )

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When Altruism Isn't Enough

12/17/08. There are many people waiting for organ transplants --- and many of those people will die waiting because of the shortage of organs.

The psychiatrist Sally Satel, M.D. --- a recipient herself of a kidney transplant ---brings together experts to discuss the idea of compensating people for donating their organs to address this tragic shortage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Quotations


The ego's relation to the id might be compared with that of a rider to his horse. The horse supplies the locomotive energy, while the rider has the privilege of deciding on the goal and of guiding the powerful animal's movement. But only too often there arises between the ego and the id the not precisely ideal situation of the rider being obliged to guide the horse along the path by which it itself wants to go.

--- Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.

--- Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)

To doubt everything or to believe everything
are two equally convenient solutions; both
dispense with the necessity of reflection.

--- Henri Poincare (1854 - 1912)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not with a Bang But a Whimper

12/13/08. This is a review of Theodore Dalrymple's collection of essays on the The Politics and Culture of Decline. The essays are filled with unconventional wisdom, honest observations about human folly, and striking stories written by a former prison psychiatrist.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday Quotations


Happiness depends upon ourselves.

--- Aristotle (384 B.C. - 322 B.C.)

Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight. Equilibrium is pragmatic. You have to get everything in proportion. You compensate, rebalance yourself so that you maintain your angle to your world. When the world shifts, you shift.

--- Tom Stoppard (1937 - )

A child of five would understand this. Send somebody to fetch a child of five.

--- Groucho Marx (1895 - 1977)

On the Journey to Oblivion

12/8/08. Joseph Epstein reviews "Nothing To Be Frightened Of," by Julian Barnes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hysteria in Four Acts

12/7/08. Psychiatrist Paul McHugh brings to life the history, understanding and psychiatric misadventures associated with the concept of hysteria.

Robert Zajonc dies

12/7/08. Robert Zajonc was a psychologist who made many important contributions to psychology --- linking workings of the mind to social behavior.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Quotations


A man brings some very fine material to a tailor and asks him to make a pair of pants. When he comes back a week later, the pants are not ready. Two weeks later, they still are not ready. Finally, after six weeks, the pants are ready. The man tries them on. They fit perfectly. Nonetheless, when it comes time to pay, he can't resist a jibe at the tailor.
"You know," he says, "it took God only six days to make the world. And it took you six weeks to make just one pair of pants."
"Ah," the tailor says. "But look at this pair of pants, and look at the world!"

---- cited in "Jewish Humour," by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

My wife was an immature woman...I would be home in the bathroom, taking a bath, and my wife would walk in whenever she felt like it and sink my boats.

--- Woody Allen (1935 - )

To the man-in-the-street, who, I'm sorry to say,
Is a keen observer of life,
The word 'Intellectual" suggests straight away
A man who's untrue to his wife.

--- W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)