The 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.
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.