Category archives: Psychology

Mapping placebo: learning to self-care

Mapping placebo: learning to self-care

HealthPsychology

By José Viosca

Another busy day unfolds through dozens of medical visits, prescriptions, and auscultations. The next patient, a medication-resistant chronic back pain case, enters the office and asks the doctor whether acupuncture has something to do with placebos. The physician feels like the artful and evidence-based bedrocks of his medical praxis are called into a tug-of-war. A […]

The brain on prejudice

The brain on prejudice

NeurosciencePsychology

By José Viosca

It is a crystalline description of how stubborn mental biases can be. Perhaps Albert Einstein, the alleged author, would have agreed with the proverb: “it is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom”. But ironically and paradoxically, it hides itself a bias behind. Einstein likely never said the sentence. Why so many people seemingly […]

Earworms and chewing gum

Earworms and chewing gum

Psychology

By José Ramón Alonso

An «earworm» is a tune that arises seemingly spontaneously in the mind and becomes “stuck” in the head for hours or days. It is also called brainworm, musical imagery repetition, involuntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome. Sometimes we feel that it is driving us insane hampering a straight thinking and complicating concentration although usually […]

Do some paranormal beliefs develop from the experience of coincidences?

Do some paranormal beliefs develop from the experience of coincidences?

Psychology

By Invited Researcher

Why some people believe in ghosts, haunted houses, or telepathy, while others remain skeptical? This question has been present in the scientific literature for decades and still remains unanswered. Research has discarded several candidate causes for this difference, such as deficits in intelligence or lack of reasoning skills . According to our current scientific knowledge […]

Use of complementary medicine may impair your ability to detect the effectiveness of evidence-based medicine

Use of complementary medicine may impair your ability to detect the effectiveness of evidence-based medicine

HealthPsychology

By Helena Matute

Alternative medicine is often promoted on the argument that it can do no harm. Even though its advocates are aware that its effectiveness has not been scientifically demonstrated, they do believe that it is harmless and therefore it should be used. “If not alone, you should at least use it in combination with evidence-based treatments” […]