Freud

How Grimm's Fairy Tales Work

Unless you were raised alone in a basement (in which case you may be the subject of one), you probably grew up on fairy tales. That's appropriate because they may be humanity's greatest psychic projection screen.

The walls appear to be closing in more than usual on the field of psychology these days. The bad press over antidepressants -- a survey of six clinical trials found that placebos work just as well as the actual pharmaceutical -- has made psychiatry look a bit bumbling. Psychiatry is, of course, the same discipline that prescribed Ecstasy for marriage counseling in the early 1980s before it was listed at the top of the federal controlled substance schedule. This is not to say that the couples entering counseling in that era didn't have fun, but anyone who's ever made a connection with another person through synthetic chemistry can tell you those ties are fleeting and tenuous. Once the sun comes up at the party, things just aren't the same.

Does this episode seem strangely familiar? If so, you might be experiencing déjà vu, a topic that scientists are beginning to study seriously. Discover the myriad theories about how déjà vu works in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.