Have you ever been green with envy?

Jealousy is an emotion that actively effects a person’s motives and goals.  The majority of the time, jealousy results in a negative outcome.  Oftentimes the main source of conflict in a specific book or movie is a result of the jealousy of one character.  For example,  in The Count of Monte Cristo, the character of Danglars frames Dantes and has him placed in jail because he was jealous of Dantes’s success and happiness.

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Poetry and the Brain

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Nostalgia

An emotion heavily popularized as of recently,  nostalgia is characterized by a sense of loss from the past.  Often triggered by a stimuli, such as a photo, a certain piece of music, or even a smell, oftentimes nostalgia results in a net feeling of happiness.  For example, in All Quiet on the Western Front, the main character often returns to his childhood memories and school memories.

Here are some links related to how Nostalgia works and how it affects the brain:

http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/07/the-psychology-of-nostalgia-in-under-300-words.php

http://www.sciencefriday.com/blogs/04/16/2013/why-do-i-get-nostalgic.html?series=28

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/benefits-of-nostalgia_n_4031759.html

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201311/what-does-nostalgia-do

Desensitization

Desensitization to violence and aggression is a topic debated and discussed in this age and time.  Often video games are cited as the reason for desensitization of children today.  The movie, Paths of Glory, shows desensitization to the point of senseless loss of lives.  In the movie, a troop is essentially condemned by a general as it will help him ascend through the ranks of the military.  The general talks with another about percentage of men that will be lost with indifference.  This level of desensitization is the main cause of conflict in the movie.

The generals discussing how many men would be lost.

People become desensitized after excessive exposure to violence or violent situations.  It often happens because the violence is impersonal, and does not affect someone.

Here are some links for better understanding:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525151059.htm

http://www.livescience.com/11056-constant-violence-desensitize-bore-teens.html

The Power-Full and the Power-Less

There are several philosophies on what happens to a person when they are given power.  Books such as All Quiet on the Western Front describe power in military and the suffering enacted by higher ranking officers onto lower ranking soldiers.  In the first 3 chapters alone, the protagnist’s troubles are described with detail as he suffers at the hand of a commanding officer.  Lord Acton’s famous quote “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, suggests that power is the sole cause of corruption and changes the character of people.  David Brin suggests the contrary, which is that the corrupt aim to be powerful, “It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible.  The sane are usually attracted by other things than power”.  In Plato’s Republic (Book 1), it is argued that people only go into positions of power if they are forced into it or if they receive a sort of payment.

Power affects the brain in several different ways.  In an experiment conducted, it was found that people who were made to feel powerful made less effort to understand others and to be quicker in judging people (in other words, to be FULL of it), while others who were made to feel helpless behaved with more understanding and being slower to judge.  There is also an idea of the “winner effect” (dubbed so by Ian H. Robertson), an effect of feeling powerful that causes a possibility of more success with power in the future.

For Further Research: http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/archive/archive_home.cfm?volumeID=26&editionID=223&ArticleID=2235

http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/130704_power.htm

The Several Stages of Love

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Never Give Up.

How many times can you count hearing those three words, or a similar cliché phrase?

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Public Speaking: America’s #1 Fear

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Money: The Great Motivator

Lewis Lapham argues that there is a great “American faith in money.”  Others may argue that it is not just Americans, but people in general that have faith in, a want of, a need, for money.  It is not just the fact that money signifies wealth, security, and prosperity.  The reason people do this is because money signifies something else.

Power.

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The Curious Case of the Giggles.

Laughter.

This sudden feeling of joy is inexplicable and goes as soon as it comes.  Often times people laugh and do not know the reason for the laughter.

Why do we laugh?

Laughter is a social tool used to strengthen relationships and comedy is often used to lighten up a mood in bad scenarios.  It is an experience that can not be enjoyed alone, but has to be shared.  Here are a few links describing why this happens.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/laughter1.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200011/the-science-laughter

Ted talk describing how comedy is used to communicate:

 

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