Psychology quotes 201 to 250

  1. ‘Their experiment, the authors write, suggests that when we do something with another person, we pay more attention to that experience than we would if we weren’t sharing it, even though we now have somebody else to think about.’ Anna North
  2. ‘You and your friend are listening to Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring.’ Thoughts about this piece of music are now intertwined with thoughts about your friend. Even though you are both focused on the melody, you are also highly aware of one another. Thinking about your friend and his or her mind might therefore cause you to think more about the ‘Rite of Spring,’ because that is also what is on his or her mind.’ Anna North
  3. ‘The research distinguishes between sharing or ‘self-disclosure,’ which is associated with positive friendships and positive feelings, and dwelling on problems, concerns and frustrations. Dwelling and rehashing issues can keep girls, who are more prone to depression and anxiety than boys, stuck in negative thinking patterns, psychologists say.” Anna North
  4. ‘Our research suggests that doing an unpleasant task together can make it worse,” she explained, “but that we can get relief from the negativity if the person we’re with is instead focused on a different task. In other words, what really matters for experience amplification seems to be the locus of the other person’s attention. If someone else is attending to the same thing you are, your experience will be more intense than if that person is attending to something else.” Erica J. Boothby
  5. ‘We cannot cure existential anxiety, but we can show that there is no necessity to have big ideas worth dying for in order to find small pleasures worth living for.’ Adam Gopnik
  6. ‘When you are alone you have to face all your problems alone – there’s no one to discuss them with. But in all the time that I have spent alone, I have never felt lonely. I had so many things that I wanted to see. I loved it so much, doing things in my own rhythm, drifting along streets and looking at things just as I wanted to. It is a great luxury.’ Dorothea Bluemer
  7. ‘When we’re inactive or slow down the pace at which we live, we can’t help thinking of features of our lives we’d prefer to forget – above all, the fact that we’re going to die. By being always on the move and never leaving ourselves without distraction, we can avoid such disturbing thoughts.’ John Gray
  8. ‘Blaise Pascal (a Mathematician) suggested that humans are driven by a need for diversion. A life that’s always time-pressed might seem a recipe for unhappiness, but in fact the opposite is true. Human beings are much more miserable when they have nothing to do and plenty of time in which to do it.’ John Gray
  9. “It’s the principle of reciprocity. If someone does something for you and you feel obliged to do something back. It’s the same principle that marketing people use when they give you free samples.” Sandy Mann, on why giving free food to employees might increase their productivity
  10. ‘Maslow described a “hierarchy of needs” for human beings. The most basic are physiological – including food and shelter – and a feeling of safety. If these are taken care of, employees can move on to the next stages – feeling socially accepted and gaining a sense of self-esteem. Once freed of such ordinary human concerns, Maslow argued, they can progress to “self-actualisation” – a full-on commitment to their work which leaves them feeling fulfilled.’ Justin Parkinson
  11. ‘From then onwards (after detesting aristocracy), Dostoyvesky realised that human life was not a movement from a backward past to a better future, as he had believed or half-believed when he shared the ideas of the radical intelligentsia. Instead, every human being stood at each moment on the edge of eternity.’ John Gray
  12. ‘Dostoyevsky suggests that the result of abandoning morality for the sake of an idea of freedom will be a type of tyranny more extreme than any in the past.’ John Gray
  13. ‘So rather than trying to override your decision-making impulses on splurging on expensive items, a better strategy might be to try to change them. And recent research suggests that an effective way to do that is by cultivating the emotion of gratitude.’ David DeSteno
  14. ‘Findings show is that certain emotions can temporarily enhance self-control by decreasing desires for immediate gratification. While feeling happy doesn’t do much to increase patience, feeling grateful does.’ David DeSteno
  15. ‘Working longer, in other words, only guarantees achieving more if you’re confident that every minute is well spent.’ Gaby Hinsliff
  16. ‘Are you really, really happy or are you just comfortable?’ Unknown
  17. ‘A friend with a degree in positive psychology and who is a “psychotherapist and resilience coach” distinguishes between two ideas of happiness: hedonism and eudaimonia. The first is defined by pleasure and consumption, the second by virtue and excellence. Hedonism is a source of fleeting feelings of pleasure, but it ultimately fuels dissatisfaction. Eudaimonia, by contrast, is the idea of human flourishing, of how human beings thrive when they choose certain ways of living. A central concept in Aristotle’s Ethics, it is about the good life as an end to strive for, not as a thing to possess or consume.’ Lydia Lim, a ST editor
  18. ‘The more we learn, the more we are able, by linking our areas of knowledge together, to come up with creative ideas…Thus the more we know, the more we can create.’ Philippa Perry (How to Stay Sane)
  19. ‘It has been an important experience to see how people can take ordinary things and transform them into meaningful symbols. We can create aesthetic experiences — not only aesthetic, but ecstatic — by paying attention to what’s around us, finding the beauty in things that you normally pass over.’ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  20. ‘Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to be heroes overnight. Just a step at a time. Meeting each thing that comes up. Seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared. Discovering we have the strength to stare it down.’ Eleanor Roosevelt
  21. ‘We can’t live outside time, we begin to age the moment we’re born. But the emerging age-acceptance movement neither decries nor denies the aging process. It recognizes that one can remain vital and present, engaged and curious, indeed continue to grow, until one’s dying breath.’ Anne Karpf
  22. ‘When alternatives are on a par, when the world doesn’t determine a single right thing to do, that doesn’t mean that value writ large has been exhausted. Instead of looking outward to find the value that determines what you should do, you can look inward to what you can stand behind, commit to, resolve to throw yourself behind. By committing to an option, you can confer value on it.’ Ruth Chang
  23. ‘When we choose between options that are on a par, we make ourselves the authors of our own lives. Instead of being led by the nose by what we imagine to be facts of the world, we should instead recognize that sometimes the world is silent about what we should do. In those cases, we can create value for ourselves by committing to an option.’ Ruth Chang
  24. ‘Writing about your feelings, a practice long embraced by teenagers and folk singers, is now attracting attention as a path to good health. And a recent study suggests that reflecting on your emotions could help you get over a breakup.’ Anna North
  25. ‘There’s a really delicate balance between avoiding and getting over-involved for every stressful event, and so you touch on it, you think about it, you put it out there, you reflect, and then you sort of create some distance.” Dr. Sbarra
  26. ‘Because being easy on the eye won’t give you an easy pass to online success (dating websites). Instead, having people think you are unattractive can actually work to your advantage.’ Hannah Fry
  27. ‘And the maths behind this algorithm comes with an important result: those who do the asking (take initiative) will always end up with much better partners than the group who sit back and accept a suitor’s advances.’ Hannah Fry
  28. ‘When choosing a profile picture (dating website), don’t be afraid to put some people off. You’re not trying to appeal to the masses, so don’t make yourself bland. Play up to whatever makes you different – that’s the best way to attract the people who matter.’ Hannah Fry
  29. ‘As almost a century of research on romantic relationships has taught us, predicting whether two people are romantically compatible requires the sort of information that comes to light only after they have actually met.’ Eli J. Finkel
  30. ‘Curated text and a handful of pictures will never be able to tell you whether the first-date conversation will crackle or whether you’ll feel a desire to discover what makes this person tick.’ Eli J. Finkel
  31. ‘But for open-minded singles — those who would like to marry someday and want to enjoy dating in the meantime — Tinder may be the best option available now. Indeed, it may be the best option that has ever existed.’ Eli J. Finkel
  32. ‘The more you express your happiness, the stronger it becomes inside you. If you hold your happiness in and never express it, it gradually dissipates. Express it clearly and visibly and it gets stronger and lasts longer.’ Alexander Kjerulf (Happy Hour is 9 to 5)
  33. “I mused for a few moments on the question of which was worse, to lead a life so boring that you are easily enchanted, or a life so full of stimulus that you are easily bored.” Bill Bryson
  34. ‘We are all human beings. We were born without any guarantee that we would not make mistakes.’ Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger
  35. ‘We pick our friends not only because they are kind and enjoyable company, but also, perhaps more importantly, because they understand us for who we think we are.’ Alain De Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy)
  36. ‘The scientists suggested that a single alcoholic drink could make people seem more attractive because it caused facial muscles to relax, pupils to dilate and cheeks to flush. Rosiness is attractive because it characterizes good physical health characteristics.’ Professor Marcus Munafo
  37. ‘The emotions of hatred, envy and covetousness and lust for domination are life-conditioning emotions…which must fundamentally and essentially be present in the total economy of life.’ Friedrich Nietzsche
  38. ‘Male dogs responded better than female dogs and both groups spent less time standing and barking when the music was being played. Although by the end of the week their heart rates and behaviour associated with kennel stress had returned to normal, the initial findings are very encouraging and show that classical music does have a positive impact on the dogs’ welfare.’ Mendes Ferreira
  39. ‘People who are generally impatient, or who get bored or frustrated easily, are more likely to engage in repetitive body-focused behaviors such as skin-picking, nail-biting or eyelash-pulling.’ Dr Kieron O’Connor
  40. “We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionistic, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform task at a ‘normal’ pace. They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals. They also experience greater levels of boredom.” Dr. Kieron O’Connor
  41. ‘If you ever aren’t sure if you attended the very best party or bought the very best computer, just settle for “good enough.” People who do this are called “satisficers,” and they’re consistently happier, he’s found, than are “maximizers,” people who feel that they must choose the very best possible option.’ Albert Schwartz
  42. ‘A person of kindness and virtue, in whom we find nothing to which to object, can leave us indifferent or cold from a romantic point of view, whereas someone else who is without these virtues may, for reasons that are almost completely unclear, appeal to us profoundly.’ Christopher Hamilton (How to Deal with Adversity)
  43. ”That is why those who are truly addicted to something feel, when indulging the addiction, that the world is theirs. But, of course, when the moment has passed, they feel even more acutely the indifference of the world – which feeds the addiction.’ Christopher Hamilton (How to Deal with Adversity)
  44. ‘Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at the effect of donation on the brain. They found increased activity in the ventral striatum during acts of voluntary giving. This is a region associated with reward, one of the areas that bursts into life under the influence of addictive stimulants like cocaine. Charity can get you high.’ David Shariatmadari
  45. ‘I’m a human being, and the good feeling I get from being generous isn’t something I can rise above. Better to acknowledge that giving to charity is selfish, and keep on giving, all the same.’ David Shariatmadari
  46. ‘‘What’s more, our ability to read for pleasure is taxed by the amount of reading we do. There is such a glut of blogs, emails, texts and tweets that the distinction between literary works and nonliterary works has become badly blurred and people tend to read everything in the same way, pragmatically.’ Lily Tuck
  47. ‘In his book “The Act of Reading,” Wolfgang Iser, known for his reader-response theories, writes that ideally a book should transform a reader by “disconfirming” his habitual notions and perceptions and thus forcing him or her to a new understanding of them.’ Lily Tuck
  48. ”The idea that young people are indefatigable hedonists, forever in search of their next pleasure-fix, surgically attached to social media, utterly belies the fact that young people are more prone to wrestle with life’s meaning and purpose than older and often more cynical adults.’ Anne Karpf (How to Age)
  49. ‘We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.’ Orson Welles
  50. ‘If you were required to choose all your phone settings on your own, you would have to spend a great deal of time thinking about which settings were best, and you might end up frustrated and bored. You might also make a lot of mistakes.’ Cass R. Sunstein



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