Social psychology


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A cemetery in Bristol, England, seen from a hot air balloon flight in August 2009. Photo by Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Essay/
Death
This mortal coil

The fear of death drives many evils, from addiction to prejudice and war. Can it also be harnessed as a force for good?

Jeff Greenberg

Photo by Andy McGowan/Getty

Essay/
Social psychology
Houses of horror

A ragged curtain, a creaking attic, a dark cellar – what explains the architecture of creepiness, and its enduring appeal?

Francis McAndrew

Hypnotism (c1845), daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple. Courtesy the Met Museum, New York

Essay/
Social psychology
Debunking debunked

Secular modernity requires the weeding out of all the baloney. Yet it’s not clear that we are any less credulous than before

Emily Ogden

Gregory and Nora Bateson with pet gibbon, Hawaii, 1970. Photo courtesy the Bateson Idea Group

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Impossible choices

Learning from his family, his animals and his work with tribal people, Gregory Bateson saw the creative potential of paradox

Tim Parks

The Niha are tireless orators, with festive payments the invariable topic. But what figures in speeches is not the enumeration of debts – the ultimate concern – but the ‘hearts’ of protagonists. Photo by the author

Essay/
Anthropology
The emotional lives of others

On Nias island, the heart can be ‘squeezed’, ‘hot’, even ‘hairy’. What can anthropology say about unfamiliar emotional zones?

Andrew Beatty

Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty

Essay/
Love and friendship
How to find The One

Hold out for the perfect partner or settle for good enough? In the calculus of love, flourishing means getting it right

Aaron Ben-Ze’ev