Hans Eysenck: Sex and violence on television, the paranormal, graphology, and astrology
Abstract The views of Hans Eysenck and how they have fared in the light of subsequent research are presented for four controversial topics: (1) In the case of pornographic films, and violence as shown on television (and in the media generally), he interpreted the early evidence as indicating social effects that were predominantly harmful and anti-social, especially for predisposed and vulnerable individuals—as predicted by learning and personality theories. Further research has reinforced these views, unpopular at the time, and so they appear to have definitely stood the test of time. (2) In the case of the paranormal, he continued to see the experimental evidence as promising. However, rigorous testing has found that the demand for replicability is simply not met, at least not replicability commensurate with the claims. (3) For graphology, he found there was no evidence of a useful correlation between handwriting and personality, a conclusion that has since been confirmed. (4) For astrology, he found that there was only one replicable finding (the Mars effect), which urgently required an explanation (none were in sight at the time). After much thought and detective work a likely explanation has been forthcoming in terms of social effects that can bias birth times as reported to registry offices—the raw data. In the context of Eysenck's broad interests and his influential role as a teacher and writer, the progress of research into these topics helps to throw light on his approach to controversial issues.
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Over 75 per cent of the population believes in ESP (extra-sensory preception), and a majority in precognition. Reports of apparitions, of telepathy, and other strange phenomena have been rife since antiquity. Science has made such staggering advances in explaining the world around us that paranormal events - those that seem to contradict scientific laws - appear all the more suspect. This book argues that these dismissive attitudes are fundamentally non-scientific. Where evidence for the paranor...
The present study was designed to investigate whether the behavioral characteristics of the people in erotic films and the nature of the targets available for aggression afterward can affect subsequent aggression. In Experiment 1, male subjects were angered by a male or female confederate. They were then shown a neutral film or one of three erotic films. The erotic films differed in terms of their aggressive content (two were aggressive and one was nonaggressive) and the reactions of the female ...
Summary This study reports a test of an astrological prediction according to which extraversion is related to being born under the odd numbered zodiacal signs, and introversion to being born under the even numbered zodiacal signs. Also tested is the hypothesis of greater emotionality for people born under the so-called water signs. Nine hundred seventeen male adult Ss and 1407 female adult Ss were administered the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and their birthdates ascertained. Results for males...
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