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The sudy of the mind and of human behavior

Psychology is the science of behavior and mind, including conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope and diverse interests that, when taken together, seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains and all the variety of epiphenomena they manifest. As a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

Notable Topics


Interview with David Kelley, by David Kelley, Raymie Stata, Full Context, Jun 1993
Topics discussed include: the Institute for Objectivist Studies, ties between IOS and classical liberal institutions, the Objectivism movement, the split with the Ayn Rand Institute, the marketplace of ideas, open questions in philosophy, and psychology
Q: How does psychology fit into that picture? Do psychological needs count as survival needs ...? For example, there seems to be a psychological need for different kinds of human contact, and while there are certain survival benefits to such contact, these benefits don't seem to fully explain our needs in this area ...
Kelley: Well it's absolutely true that psychological evidence is relevant to ethics ... I think there's definitely a large need to integrate the valid psychological evidence—there's a lot of hokum in psychology—with the basic principles of the Objectivist view of human nature.
The Myth of the Rational Voter, by Bryan Caplan, Cato Unbound, 6 Nov 2006
Posits that voters mistaken beliefs, in particular about economics, do not "cancel each other out" but instead they compound; lead essay of forum on "Majority Fools: Irrationality and the Limits of Democracy"
[W]hy are there some areas—like politics and religion—where irrationality seems especially pronounced? ... If you underestimate the costs of excessive drinking, you can ruin your life. In contrast, if you underestimate the benefits of immigration ..., what happens to you? In all probability, the same thing that would have happened to you if you knew the whole truth. In a sense, then, there is a method to the average voter's madness. Even when his views are completely wrong, he gets the psychological benefit of emotionally appealing political beliefs at a bargain price. No wonder he buys in bulk.


Curing the Therapeutic State: Thomas Szasz interviewed by Jacob Sullum, by Thomas Szasz, Jacob Sullum, Reason, Jul 2000
Subjects discussed include involuntary commitment, the insanity defense, ADHD, government drug policies and physician-assisted suicide
I once asked a psychiatrist I knew if he was familiar with Szasz's work. "Oh, he's crazy!" he exclaimed, inadvertently illustrating Szasz's point that such labels are often used to stigmatize people who offend or disturb us ... [T]his psychiatrist ... was expressing an intellectual ... judgment. But Szasz's critique of psychiatry suggests that such distinctions are ultimately arbitrary. A psychiatrist could, if he were so inclined, diagnose as mentally ill someone with whose worldview he disagreed—which is essentially what it means to say that a person is "suffering from delusions."
UpdInterview with Nathaniel Branden, by Nathaniel Branden, Karen Reedstrom, Full Context, Sep 1996
In two parts; topics range from David Kelley, objectivism, Ayn Rand, his memoir Judgment Day, Barbara Branden, Leonard Peikoff, homosexuality, self-esteem and more
Branden: ... [I]t's foolish to imagine that our physical differences do not result in any psychological differences, at least as tendencies ... [A] psychological study isolated a group of men and women ... judged to be highly creative individuals. They gave [them] tests and ... found ... that creative men tended to exhibit a high number of traits the world calls feminine, and that the women manifested a high number of the traits that the world calls masculine ... I have an explanation ...: highly creative people are at least in some respects more independent than the average person ...

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Psychology" as of 10 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.