The Dirt Psychology

Predecessor site archive.

The Armchair Collective started in 2013 as The Dirt Psychology.

The idea there was to take psychological scholarship and turn it into something more intelligible, with a special focus on those ways in which psychology could help us build our connections to others. The Armchair Collective tries to go a little further than just psychology. As time goes on, we will update these posts to remain current, but you will always be able to find them in our archive, here.

Elemental Personalities


Why people lie to you (and you let them)


What lies beneath? The uncomfortably vague 'unconscious processes'


Common sense isn't as helpful as you'd like, and neither is the truth


Avoiding the scientific ego problem


Why catharsis is a (dangerous) lie


Alert - IQ scores are meaningless


The three reasons why everyone is so 'cliquey'


Attractiveness might be more about the environment, than about you


Coming together - the pattern of friendship and love


Learned helplessness is darker (and less understood) than you think


The most powerful way to get someone to like you, is to like them first


Sexual Attraction - What turns us on in others?


Why your unconscious isn't the bad guy


How being clumsy makes you better looking (according to psychologists)


Why polygamy might be more natural than you thought


The Friendship Checklist


Four ways to be attractive (and one you've probably overlooked)


How being selfish can make people like you more


The five stages of grief are a lie


Why the best part of your brain is hiding under the stairs


Alert - your brain leaves you open to manipulation


What do dreams really mean?


Four definitions of attractiveness that'll change how you view it


Take action - be more creative (and other things)


Why being 'needy' isn't such a bad thing


Three ways science is being corrupted by money


Why some science is ignored (even when it's crucial)


Why no one ever takes your advice (and how to fix that)


How scientists are lying to you


Four models of psychopathology (all of which are problematic)


Why a 'scientific fact' isn't quite what they taught you in school


The five types of couple (which one are you?)


Academic publishers - the biggest evil you didn't know existed


How our bodies treat rejection like physical pain


How the media screws you with 'science'


The real origin of the saying 'happiness is a way of travel'


How fake research articles are making you fat


The brain quirk that changes what (and who) you like


Four reasons you'll always agree to this kind of request


Why you would jump off a bridge if everyone else was doing it


Warning - getting rejected messes with your DNA


How reading (good) non-fiction books builds your empathy


Why kids can't lie but you can (the key to emotional intelligence)


How to replicate Christmas cheer the rest of the year


How to win Christmas (according to psychology)


The psychology behind three common job interview questions


The secret to remembering


The three aspects of the unique human experience


Three reasons why you’re unhappy in the workplace


The psychology behind four horrible job interview questions


Seven ways to hack a conversation


Two ways to beat those early conversation jitters


How to make stereotypes useful (and how not to mess it up)


The (game-show like) future of job interviews


How to read research like a pro in five minutes


Why other people's failures will stop you from achieving


How to remember effectively (and why you're doing it wrong)


How to boost your 'intelligence' (and what intelligence really is)


Why job interviews make it harder to get a job


Why we ignore the biggest part of who we are


You don't understand negative reinforcement


How the term 'role model' came into being


You're studying wrong; encoding specificity


Four reasons you should meditate (according to the science)


What kind of (armchair) psychologist are you?


How our memory is divided (and how to maximise it)


How always being right makes you dumber


How memory works, learned from a person with half a brain


Your mind ain't telling you the whole truth


Children strike back - Bobo doll experiments


How to terrify an infant


The struggle to be good; early psychology


The 'inkblot test' ain't worth your time


Mommy and I are one - subliminal messaging is bloody weird


Talking to yourself ain't crazy (but you're doing it wrong)


How conversation sparks intimacy


The power of touch - Four extraordinary effects


How to get people to pay attention


What is love?


The 'love' hormone isn't so lovely


Learning isn't all about memory


The 'truth' about social anxiety and just how debilitating it is


Coming apart - the pattern of relationship breakdown


How your brain determines your religion (and other things)


What drives our sexual preferences; babies or people?


Are you brave enough to be creative?


Why you can't get rid of the rubbish in your garage


The 'truth' about panic attacks (and why everyone is vulnerable)


Broken Brains - the terrifying things everyone is capable of doing (Part 4)


How some 'psychics' use psychology to screw you


How poverty stops you thinking straight (and other things)


One simple sentence literally doubles your persuasiveness - But-You-Are Free


How a dodgy source will persuade you better - the sleeper effect


Photoshop for the mind - the halo effect


Why you aren't as happy as you could be


How having choices makes us unhappy (and how to make them work for you)


How 'self-control' might make you unhappier (and other things)


Why incompetent people are unaware of how incompetent they are


Why we're committing ecocide - the psychology (and other things)


Don't waste time on 'promising' relationships


Why 'control' isn't always a bad thing (but can be)


The sixth sense is real and it's usually right (and other things)


How to stop your partner leaving you


Why OCD is a lot worse than you thought


Why you should always wear your nice clothes (and other things)


How hypnotism works? Four common myths BUSTED


Warning - you aren't in control of your behaviour


The Quest for Charisma Chapter One


The Pursuit of the Perfect Relationship Chapter One


You're lying to yourself (and it's a good thing)


People think you're a jerk (here's how to fix it)


The secret behind why so many people are jerks (and how to get rid of them)


The four ways we learn (and how they limit us)


Broken brains - the terrifying things everyone is capable of doing (Part 2)


Domestic Violence - More Common Than You Think (and more dangerous)


Broken brains - the terrifying things everyone is capable of doing (Part 3)


Broken brains - the terrifying things everyone is capable of doing (Part 1)


Are people always shutting you down? This might be why (and the reason might surprise you)


Why do we speak in tongues


Your smile might have more effect on you than those you're smiling at


Five tiers of success - the hierarchy of needs


The Difference Between Anger, Hurt and Hate—it's about power


Three random things that make you more attractive


Do you believe in destiny? Or growth? The rules that govern relationships


What we want in our partners (it's more simple than you think)


Three hidden needs that control our relationships


Don't always believe what you read


How to never get mad again (kind of) (part two)


The four most common causes of conflict in relationships


Making good first impressions - a quick guide to presence


Approach anxiety - step one to shaking it off


What's an anxiety disorder and why should you care?


What everyone ought to know about Jealousy


What's the deal with cheaters?


What's the value of Friendship (hint - it's more important thank you think)


The secret to sexual satisfaction (and it's not what you've been told)


Fighting with your friend or partner? Here's why


Are homosexuals and heterosexuals different when it comes to relationships?


Five kinds of arguments that get us nowhere


Four common problems men and women have when talking to each other


Who else wants to know what the point of love is?


Why some people are 'cold', others are 'clingy', and some just can't let go


How to make any fight in your relationship work in your favour


The five types of couple and the 'magic' rule for relationship stability


Five ways of thinking that'll spell relationship trouble


Is being 'gay' a choice? Science says yes (but not in the way you're thinking)


Sex is about more than making babies.


Why having smart friends isn't always good for you (and how to make sure that it is)


Why people think they're your friend (when they aren't)


How to never get mad again (kind of)


The Four Types of Relationships


Four Sure Signs Your Relationship is on the Rocks


What's Love Got to do With It?


Seven ways psychologists think about relationships that you can hack to better your own


The Types of Love - From Friends to Flings


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