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You'd better suppress your anger!

Two prominent American psychologists give lectures at UM

We use only 10 per cent of our brain capacity. In love, opposites attract. It is better to give vent to anger than to suppress. These are just a handful of misconceptions from the book Great Myths of Popular Psychology. One of its authors, Scott Lilienfeld, will give a lecture at the Faculty of Psychology and neurosciences next week. The professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta will discuss science and pseudoscience in psychology.

First the corrections: research has shown that everything in the brain is used, otherwise it would disappear; people who are alike feel attracted to each other; and airing one’s anger only generates aggression in others. A lot can be said about everyday sayings. Together we are strong! That just depends on how you look at things, the authors write. “The chances of us being saved in a case of emergency is greater when one other person is present than when there is a whole group of bystanders.”

The selection of myths can be disputed. Take for example: visual perception may be accompanied by minor emissions from the eyes. Whatever it means, it is not a widespread fallacy. Similarly, not many students will believe in such a thing as the Transylvania effect (more crimes are committed when there is a full moon). Nevertheless, the same students will read this book with great pleasure and value it as a reference book. So say the authors.

Not only Scott Lilienfeld, but also professor Gail Goodman from the University of California, will briefly visit Maastricht. She will give a lecture on the reliability of children’s memory, and how the legal system should deal with memories of abuse and mistreatment.

 

Maurice Timmermans

Gail Goodman’s lecture, Monday, 13 December, 16.00hrs; Scott Lilienfeld’s lecture, Wednesday, 15 December, 16.00hrs. Both in the Akenzaal, Uns 40

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