One nagging thing…

Photo by Flickr user jcoterhals. Click for sourceThe BPS Research Digest has a fantastic feature where they’ve invited some of the world’s leading psychologists to discuss one nagging thing they still don’t understand about themselves.

Some take the challenge as a query about themselves as human beings, others about them personally, and the answers are a wonderful mix of the scientific and personal, the profound and ephemeral.

This is one of the many highlights, from social psychologist Norbert Schwartz, cursing his inability to detect his own biases:

One nagging thing I don‚Äôt understand about myself is why I‚Äôm still fooled by incidental feelings. Some 25 years ago Jerry Clore and I studied how gloomy weather makes one‚Äôs whole life look bad — unless one becomes aware of the weather and attributes one‚Äôs gloomy mood to the gloomy sky, which eliminates the influence. You‚Äôd think I learned that lesson and now know how to deal with gloomy skies. I don‚Äôt, they still get me. The same is true for other subjective experiences, like the processing fluency resulting from print fonts [pdf] ‚Äì I still fall prey to their influence. Why does insight into how such influences work not help us notice them when they occur? What makes the immediate experience so powerful that I fail to apply my own theorizing until some blogger asks a question that brings it to mind?

In fact, there are several pieces where psychologists gently bemoan their inability to apply their research findings to their own life, giving the series a slightly wistful feel.

Link to BPS Research Digest ‘One nagging thing…’ series.

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