Orange Is the New Black: The Prisoner’s Dilemma Compounded?

The Netflix women’s prison series Orange Is the New Black opened its second season by posing a problem in which two prisoners must each admit a dangerous truth or lie about it. They may face a social dilemma in which each may suffer in different ways if they do not both do the same thing, but is their predicament really social psychology’s so-called Prisoner’s Dilemma?

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Sole Survivor Finds Hope in a Hogwarts Wizard’s Words

Sole survivor Cassidy Stay memorializes her slain parents and siblings with words from the fictitious Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts’ school headmaster in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of novels: “Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” Her courage, her resilience, and her choice of words speak for themselves.

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Heroism Conference: The Hero Round Table with Phil Zimbardo

The cross-disciplinary Hero Round Table conference will look at heroism in today’s world. Program content includes presentations by experts from a variety of areas as well as hour-long breakout sessions and academic poster sessions. Dr. Phil Zimbardo, founder of the Heroic Imagination Project, discusses what it takes to rise above the situation to do the right thing.

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San Diego Comic-Con Program 2014: The Comics Arts Conference

This year’s Comics Arts Conference explores the psychology of race, gender, sexual abuse, resilience, and more. A scholarly meeting surrounded by a comic-con differs from a psychology conference, where panels start early in the morning and where nobody dresses up in fantastic costumes. When will we see Skinner or Freud cosplayers at our psychology association conferences?

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Haunted by Sigmund Freud: Adaptation or Defense Mechanisms?

The term “defense mechanisms” fit Freud’s original concept, but they’re not always about defending against anxiety. “Adaptation mechanisms” may be more appropriate. They are about adapting to life and functioning in this world. Their purposes are not necessarily defensive or even offensive. Humor, for example, can certainly be a defense, but that’s not always its purpose.

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Heroes of Cosplay: Can We All Play Together? (Part 1)

The original Syfy TV series Heroes of Cosplay follows people engaged in cosplay (costume play), as they craft creative character costumes and compete in contests at various comic-cons. Cosplay community reactions to Heroes of Cosplay have ranged from enthusiastic praise to vitriolic condemnation. Why the attacks? Why cosplay at all? Many benefits may reward cosplayers.

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Super Sex Theorists: "Hung up on Superheroes’ Sex Organs"

Discussions on superhero sex lives inevitably prompt people to quote three different authors. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham rattled the comic book industry with insinuations of homoerotic and sadomasochistic subtext. Sci-fi master Larry Niven wondered whether Superman could reproduce. Through the film Mallrats, Kevin Smith answered Niven’s concerns and raised new questions.

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Ye Olde Masters of Sex: Sexology Before Masters and Johnson

While the Showtime series “Masters of Sex” dramatizes Masters and Johnson’s groundbreaking sex research, it is worth noting that many others preceded them in studying sex. Sexology has many pioneers from Parent-Duchatelet’s report on prostitution in 1837 through the Kinsey Reports of 1948 and 1953, with Krafft-Ebing, Freud, Hirschfeld, Ellis, Mead, and others in between.

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