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Everday paranoia in London?

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King's Building, Strand CampusImage from Wikipedia

I use Zemanta, the new semantic search engine that searches the web for you as you write. It comes up with surprising things. While I was writing about social media elsewhere, it produced a link to this report from psychologists at King’s College, London. My colleagues over at Kings used a virtual reality program of the London Tube to test our responses to people, or avatars actually, staring at us, fidgeting, standing too close, etc.

40% of people experienced a paranoid thought or two!

That surprised me a little. I rather like the London Tube. I had the following thoughts.

1. Now they have suggested feeling paranoid on the Tube, am I going to start feeling wary of my fellow passengers?

2. Are the paranoid part of a club with constant or ever-changing membership?

3. Once we feel paranoid, what next? Does pros-social behavior decrease, as positive psychology, would suggest?

4. I haven’t seen their lab protocols. How many people experienced positive thoughts and a joie de vivre on the Tube?

5. Did people experience both reactions and, if so, in what order?

6. Why did they study paranoia rather than feelings of optimism, buoyancy, and good will?

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