When Grandpa Was A Boy, Were There Any Dinosaurs?

Tag archive: Psychology

Freudian Quip

1905: Two examples from Sigmund Freud’s The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious:

A physician visits a sick woman. As he’s leaving, he shakes his head and says to the woman’s husband: “I don’t like the look of your wife.”

The husband agrees: “I haven’t liked the look of her for a long time.”

Here is another joke, which Freud considered “rather coarse-grained”:

Two Jews are talking about bathing. One says to the other: “I take a bath every year, whether I need it or not.”

Source: Sigmund Freud, The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (2002), pp. 30, 62

“Kindly Firm”

1928: Treat your children as if they were young adults, the psychologist John Watson advised parents. “Always be objective and kindly firm. Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning. . . . Try it out.”

Source: John B. Watson, Psychological Care of Infant and Child (1928), p. 73

Loftus On Language Distortion

1974: As part of her investigation of memory, the psychologist Elizabeth Loftus conducted an experiment in which university students watched film clips of traffic accidents.

After each clip, the students were questioned; one group was asked to estimate the speed at which the cars had “contacted” each other, a second group, the speed at which the cars had “hit” each other, and other groups, the speed at which the cars had “bumped into”, “collided with” or “smashed into” each other.

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