So what’s all this about?
This aim of this completely free-to-use website is to explain:
why we feel things
why we think things
why we do things
There is no magic or mysticism here. The website draws together a wide range of established ‘facts’ about human psychology, facts that have been demonstrated in countless experiments. And it makes practical sense of them.
The aim is to enable anyone to understand how their own and other people’s psychology works – and use that knowledge in their lives.
I especially hope the website will be useful for young people and their parents or carers. One of the most serious social problems today is that so many young people are growing up to think that there is something wrong with them.
Most of the posts here set out an everyday question, an event or a concern – and then use a hundred years’ worth of psychology to try to answer or explain it.
The subjects covered here range widely – exploring everything from why we all have prejudices to the effects of pornography on young minds and adult relationships.
Some articles focus on social or political issues – like BLM, Meghan’s truth and what happens to soldiers when we send them to war. Other articles are just for fun or fancy. Why do our cats and dogs do the things they do? Why do we have bad dreams? Will we see driverless cars in our lifetimes? Will there soon be killer robots with AGI?
I hope to add a new article or post every few days [update: just free from the oncologist so working at it again!] – so keep looking in! The website is interactive – comments and questions are welcome.
So how is this website different from others?
It focuses on the inbuilt psychological processes that are present in all of us. These are the ‘pillars’ of psychology. They have been demonstrated in countless experiments and, happily, they are all quite easy to understand.
These universal processes include, for example, the specific ways by which we learn new things (how we learn our habits; how we learn the things we should be afraid of, for example). They include the process of ‘stereotyping’, by which we all simplify our world and make it more manageable. Another inbuilt process is called ‘cognitive dissonance’, through which we justify the things we do, feel, think to ourselves. And there are many others.
So psychology is not all about mental disorders?
It will probably surprise many readers that a website about psychology is not mostly about how to ‘spot’ mental disorders and overcome them.
Psychology is (or it should be!) about mental experiences, rather than mental health. These experiences are sometimes good and sometimes bad. But they are almost always the result of processes that are ‘normal’ – and not disorders.
What about self-help psychology?
The big problem with advice from ‘self-help’ books is that it is often narrow and it is always inward looking. Even if Paul McKenna or Tony Robbins really could ‘unleash the power within’ and make us into slim, rich, mindful and happy non-smokers in a week, they would still answer none of life’s less navel-gazing questions…
Why did my son carry a knife to school? Why did my daughter run off to join ISIS? Am I the only person who feels the way I do? Why do people racially abuse football players? Why are my children always so rude? What makes the Taliban so unquestioning in their beliefs? These are often the questions that people want answers to.
Usable answers to these types of real-life questions are vanishingly rare in books about psychology. So this website is intended to show people where the answers might lie.
In my view, an understanding of how everyday psychology works can make people happier, wiser and more tolerant.
And it offers the chance for what I like to call ‘preventative psychology’. If we know how our psychology works we might be able to anticipate problems in our psychological lives before they happen – in a context where ‘preventative psychiatry’ is almost meaningless.