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  • Of Spellbooks & Spirits: Why do we believe in magic?
    If you’d lived in Ireland or Great Britain around 200 B.C., Halloween would have been completely different for you. The Celtic holiday of Samhain marked the beginning of a new year, the end of the harvest, and the arrival of winter. It was the moment when the spiritual world entangled …

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  • Recipe for Murder: What makes a serial killer?
    Ted Bundy. Ed Gein. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Do these names ring a bell? You guessed it—these are some notorious serial killers. To some extent, we could say that serial killer stories fascinate us. The cold-blooded, mad genius of a criminal who goes into unimaginable scrutiny to take lives …

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  • The Fear Factor: Why we have phobias
    Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to grab a glass of water and felt compelled to hurry through the house, lest you find something lurking in the dark? Too easy for you? How about walking at midnight through a graveyard? If these thoughts are scary …

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  • Bloodlust, Craziness, or Curiosity? Why we like horror
    Stephen King, Scream, Silent Hill. Horror encompasses a multitude of genres and a legion of fans. But why do some people love horror while others hate it? For some, wanting to be frightened makes no sense. But for horror fans, well, it’s quite literally in the name.[1] For them, the …

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  • Harry Potter Houses: The science behind the fiction
    We all love fiction. Heck, we love it so much that we gladly dive straight into our screens and books, and live vicariously the adventures of the characters. One such story is Harry Potter’s. In 1998, its magical world introduced the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry and its four …

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  • How much optimism is too much optimism?
    “When Dr. Fauci said 12 to 18 months, I thought that was ridiculously optimistic,” says Dr. Paul Offit, an expert in infectious diseases and immunology. What he’s referring to here is the ambitious timeline of developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Optimism is generally taken as a positive trait. In this …

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  • All Work, No Playlist: Do we work better with or without music?
    Here is a scenario you’re probably familiar with: you grab your computer and sit down to finish that assignment you’ve been dreading. You grab your headphones, pick a playlist and get into the fray. Five minutes in, you realise the music is distracting you too much. The headphones come off …

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  • Why do people tend to stay in unhappy relationships?
    Love is hard. Keeping a healthy relationship takes effort, but sometimes it’s just not possible. And when the moment to recognise a significant other might not be “The One” arrives, we’re reluctant to pull the plug. Why do we have such a hard time giving up on unhappy relationships when …

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  • Why ‘Free’ is our favourite F-word
    We all like free stuff. If you don’t, you’re lying to yourself.  From a free sample in the supermarket to a special Buy-1-Free-1 offer on Amazon, there is no doubt that the word ‘free’ catches our attention (especially if it’s in ALL-CAPS), and most of the time, a free shipping …

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  • “Wait, why did I come in here?” How doorways can erase your memories
    Imagine this: You are sitting comfortably on your couch, reading a book. Your mother asks you to get her bag from another room. As you get up, you see a notification on your phone and open it. When you’re done reading, you look up. You find yourself standing in another …

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  • COVID-19: A real life zombie apocalypse?
    Here’s a thought exercise: you wake up one day and check the news. An unknown virus has emerged in a faraway country and is making headlines. You don’t think much of it and go about your regular life. Weeks later, you see more news about this disease becoming deadlier and …

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  • Lockdown Violence: The unheard cries amidst global crises
    Trigger Warning: The following article directly discusses the topic of domestic violence and partner abuse. Although the post aims to explain and inform the reader about the link between domestic violence and natural crises, the psymplified team is against any kind of violence, especially that rooted in abusive relationships. If …

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  • Social distancing: Why are some people more ‘social’ than ‘distancing’?
    On the 11th of March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. WHO experts advised governments to introduce “social distancing” measures to slow down the spread of the virus. This was also to help to prevent healthcare systems from becoming overcrowded.[1] In the span of a …

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  • What’s the theory behind conspiracy theories?
    Here’s a brain teaser for you: How does one connect the outbreak of a highly contagious and viral infection to the destruction of wireless network posts? If you don’t know the answer to this, then you may be pleased to know that you have not yet fallen into the pit …

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  • Do we, as humans, really need haircuts that badly?
    There is something strange about people rallying against safety measures during a pandemic. Yet that is exactly what went down on the 15th of April in Michigan, USA. After the stay-at-home order was extended for two more weeks, dissenting citizens shut down the streets of Lansing and gathered on the …

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