Browsing: Jim Davies

You don’t have to look very hard to see that our culture has some pretty powerful associations between colors and feelings. As a recent example, the new Pixar film Inside Out has characters representing emotions, and the color choices for these characters—red for anger, and blue for sadness—feel right. Red, specifically, is one of the […]

Have you ever been walking in a dark alley and seen something that you thought was a crouching person, but it turned out to be a garbage bag or something similarly innocuous? Me too. Have you ever seen a person crouching in a dark alley and mistaken it for a garbage bag? Me neither. Why […]

Artistic appreciation is a deeply subjective process, perhaps the most essentially personal thing that humans do. But are there some explanations for why we like what we do? Why, for instance, does a particular song get popular? Some of it has to do with the quality of the music—and by quality, I mean that there’s […]

Imagine that tomorrow I were to show you a newspaper article describing a deadly wildfire. Do you think you’d be more upset upon reading that 10,000 people died than if you read that five people died? This scenario makes people engage in affective forecasting—predicting their future emotional states. We expect that hearing about 10,000 deaths […]

The “marshmallow experiment” has become a famous way to measure the self-control of children. (This is a version of the test made for entertainment, not research, purposes.) Every year since 1988, my friend Lou and I have picked a New Year’s resolution together. We meticulously keep to each promise for exactly one year. The 2014 […]