It's one of our five major personality traits, and arguably, it's the worst one. Why are some human beings neurotic?
- Scoring high in neuroticism is associated with a slew of negative outcomes for your physical and mental health.
- However, it appears to be an inherited trait, one that has persisted through the many thousands of years of human evolution.
- Some researchers argue that in the environment where humans first evolved, being a little neurotic may have been highly beneficial.
A new study says curiosity and creativity are computational errors.
- If the job of the brain is to find the safest decision, why do creative people come up with the most interesting ones instead?
- Scans show that the brain silently registers such "non-greedy" decisions as errors.
- The experiments suggests we're not curious or creative, just fallible.
The results have startling implications about the evolution of psychopathy in humans.
- The researchers asked about 50 male university students to participate in a mock dating scenario.
- Men with more psychopathic traits were seen as significantly more desirable by women who watched videos of the encounters.
- Psychopathic traits may help men to mimic the qualities women are looking for, but it's a short-term strategy that comes at a cost.
Cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman hypothesizes we evolved to experience a collective delusion — not objective reality.
- Donald Hoffman theorizes experiencing reality is disadvantageous to evolutionary fitness.
- His hypothesis calls for ditching the objectivity of matter and space-time and replacing them with a mathematical theory of consciousness.
- If correct, it could help us progress such intractable questions as the mind-body problem and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics.
The animal we fear most? Spiders.
- Researchers in the Czech Republic ranked 25 animals we fear most in a new online survey.
- While predatory animals evoke fear, they rarely raise our sense of disgust.
- By contrast, parasites, spiders, and snakes make us fearful and repulsed.