Ben Ambridge: 10 myths about psychology, debunked
Ben Ambridge - Psychologist
Ben Ambridge is the author of "Psy-Q," a sparkling book debunking what we think we know about psychology. Full bio
your general intelligence,
about what makes you tick,
at predicting other people's behavior
about psychology is wrong?
the top 10 myths of psychology.
that when it comes to their psychology,
and women are from Venus.
are men and women really?
by looking at something
gender differences on the same scale.
do really differ on
a normal distribution curve.
and a few men not far at all,
the same distribution as well,
quite a big difference.
can throw a ball further
some psychological gender differences
at spatial awareness than women --
for example -- and it's true,
at the size of this difference.
together they almost overlap.
than 33 percent of all men,
would be exactly equal.
difference and the next one I'll show you
psychological gender differences
that women are better
on the standardized grammar test.
but the lines are so close
are better than the average woman,
complete gender equality.
a case of Mars and Venus.
Mars and Snickers:
slightly nuttier than the other.
the famous Rorschach inkblot test.
two bears or two people or something.
they're saying hello.
they are high-fiving.
saying hello or high-fiving,
nasty, aggressive person.
three everyone shout out what you see.
some kind of two-legged animal here,
that you have difficulty
where there's a lot going on.
it doesn't mean that at all.
have basically no validity
by modern-day psychologists.
that when you do try
using Rorschach inkblot tests,
perfectly normal participants.
a very visual type of person.
quick quiz to find out.
so hands up for each one again --
a recipe book with pictures?
as you go along?
are a visual learner
is presented in a visual style.
you're an auditory learner,
is presented to you in an auditory format.
that you're a kinesthetic learner,
and do things with your hands.
as you've probably guessed,
the whole thing is a complete myth.
not supported by scientific evidence.
tightly controlled experimental studies,
or an opposite style,
amount of information that they retain.
for just a second,
that this has to be true.
the best presentation format
but on what you're trying to learn.
telling you what to do
and without writing them down?
for your architecture exams
if you're a kinesthetic learner?
is match the material to be learned
your GCSE results.
what you were hoping for,
your learning style,
to think about blaming is your genes.
recent study at University College London
and their GCSE results
so how can we tell?
the relative contributions
100 percent of their environment
share 100 percent of their environment,
share only 50 percent of their genes.
GCSE results are in identical twins
and performance is due to the environment
about 58 percent due to genes.
that you and your teachers here put in.
that you were hoping for,
your parents, or at least their genes.
or right-brained learner,
the left brain is logical,
so the right brain is better at music.
because nearly everything that you do
of your brain talking together,
like having a normal conversation.
why this myth has survived
a slight grain of truth to it.
more creative than right-handed people,
your brain controls the opposite hands,
is slightly more active
is more creative.
than right-handed people.
for different tasks,
than one-handed people,
talk to each other a lot,
in creating flexible thinking.
that being ambidextrous
left-handers than right-handers,
of the creative left-hander,
probably heard of
10 percent of our brains.
even the most mundane thing,
quite as well as we could.
to boost our brainpower?
to a nice bit of Mozart.
of the Mozart effect?
to Mozart makes you smarter
performance on I.Q. tests.
about this myth
there is a grain of truth to it.
Mozart music for a few minutes
sat in silence.
some people who liked Mozart music
the horror stories of Stephen King.
the music or the stories.
Mozart music to the stories
from the Mozart than the stories,
the stories to the Mozart music
from listening to the Stephen King stories
to something that you enjoy
and gives you a temporary I.Q. boost
listening to Mozart,
in the long run.
not only cleverer but healthier, too.
seem to be true
to the music of Mozart almost every day,
killed him in the end, syphilis.
should have bit more careful, perhaps,
is sometimes spread a bit by sociologists
partner are a product of our culture,
 different cultures across the globe,
across the globe,
on physical attractiveness in a partner
on ambition and high earning power.
who were younger than themselves,
who were older than them,
"Everybody needs a Sugar Daddy."
to score with a partner
or football or whatever your sport is.
hot-hand streaks, Americans call them,
we sometimes say in England,
like this guy here.
if you analyze the pattern
nearly always at random.
from the randomness.
to come out somewhere in the randomness,
patterns where there are none,
and attribute meanings to them
get the same pattern
hits and misses at random.
is penalty shootouts.
at penalty shootouts in football
in penalty shootouts,
than countries with a better record,
they're more likely to miss.
could improve people's performance.
and seeing if that improves them.
can improve performance,
thought they were testing
and punishment experiment
if you're a psychology student.
were prepared to give
electric shocks to a fellow participant
in a white coat told them to.
for three reasons.
wasn't white, it was in fact grey.
were told before the study
they raised a concern,
they were not fatal
no permanent damage whatsoever.
didn't give the shocks
in the coat told them to.
after the study,
that they firmly believed
served a worthy scientific purpose
enduring gains for science
discomfort caused to the participants.
for about 12 minutes now,
sitting there listening to me,
and body language
take any notice of what I'm saying,
or whether I'm lying,
probably completely failed,
we can catch a liar
and speech patterns,
over the years have shown
police officers and detectives,
to detecting lies from body language
when the relatives are missing
murdered the relatives themselves.
to shake their heads, to look away,
will return safely
"taken from us" rather than "killed."
it's about time I killed this talk,
to give you in 30 seconds
a collection of interesting theories,
and all of which have something to offer.
in the past few minutes
makes you smarter,
presented in your preferred learning style
are testable empirical predictions,
against the data
that we can hope to discover
are well supported,
I've told you about today, are myths.
About the speaker:Ben Ambridge - Psychologist
Ben Ambridge is the author of "Psy-Q," a sparkling book debunking what we think we know about psychology.
Why you should listen
Ben Ambridge is a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Liverpool, where he researches children’s language development. He is the author of Psy-Q, which introduces readers to some of the major findings in psychology via interactive puzzles, games, quizzes and tests.
He also writes great newsy stories connecting psychology to current events. His article "Why Can't We Talk to the Animals?" was shortlisted for the 2012 Guardian-Wellcome Science Writing Prize. Psy-Q is his first book for a general audience.
Ben Ambridge | Speaker | TED.com