Project Archive of:

The Dirt


A screenshot of the old The Dirt Psychology Website

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. As time goes on, we will update these articles to remain current at the Armchair Collection, but you will always be able to find them in our archive, here.


The nuance in Maslow's Hierarchy

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

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'

Happiness is a direction

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

Rejection changes 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

Useful stereotypes

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

The 'love' hormone isn't so lovely

What is love?

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

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