A cartoon about hypercritical student attitudes.
A cartoon about the trend for students’ grievances and dissatisfactions to be translated into action, such as in the form no platforming or the demands for statues of out-of-favour people to be removed.
The action is often seen by some as self righteous, self indulgent, censorious and intolerant (ironically, as the students often think that they are acting for the greater benefit of others).
The cartoon shows the danger of the students adopting a feeling of over entitlement and thus taking their attitudes out into the wider world beyond their colleges.
The inspiration for this image was a news story about students disapproving of a sculpture by Henry Moore, and demanding that it wasn’t displayed on their university campus.
Cartoon reference: a734
A hipster explaining to his father that modern young people listen to music on vinyl – as though it’s a new format that older people wouldn’t understand.
This cartoon is about the way that young people often feel superior to older people because older people aren’t necessarily up to date with technology.
The cartoon is about the psychology of youth – about the way that young people often fail to appreciate the fact that their modern world was created by people who went before them.
The fact that the music format being used is an old fashioned or retro format, while the young person in the cartoon still feels superior to the man who grew up with the technology, is part of the joke about youth setting itself up as superior to age.
The young person in the cartoon is a hipster – a youth sub-culture of the 2010s.
It’s a cartoon about the generation gap.
A cartoon about infantilisation in modern society.
An animal hat worn by an adult.
A cartoon showing an adult wearing a hat with an animal face on it. These hats are currently very popular for small children. There is a tendency for these animal hats to be adopted by young (and not so young) adults, usually female.
The person is reading a sociology book that is a critique of the trend towards the infantilisation of culture.
A chessboard on which the chess pieces are not only black and white but are also shades of grey.
The idea of the cartoon is that conflict occurs when things are seen in black and white or when people are polarised in outlook. With shades of gray or nuances of opinion conflict is less likely – specifically as on the chessboard in the illustration.
The cartoon is a comment on the fact that people tend to analyse things in black and white, as “either/or” or in binary.
A joke showing people being deceived by a special offer in a shop.
The customers see a sign with the special offer of “Two for the price of Three’ and they automatically think that this is a good deal due to the way that the offer is framed (interpreting it in the same way as “Two for the price of three”).
A cartoon about marketing, persuasion, selling, manipulation, misleading offers.
Cartoon of a young man waiting for his mother at an airport arrivals gate.
He is holding a notice saying “Mum”.
A cartoon about relationships between parents and their children.
Cartoon of an elderly man commenting that a celebrity is looking old.
The man is remembering what the celebrity looked like when the man himself was younger, and is forgetting that he is the same age as the celebrity.
The celebrity in the cartoon is Harrison Ford.
A cartoon about aging, denial, youth.
Cartoon reference number: h695
Cartoon – a car as a protective shell or carapace.
An image illustrating the psychology of motoring and the human relationship with cars
A cartoon about cars, car use, traffic, psychology.
Original version drawn: 1990
Cartoon showing a controversial depiction of men and women in contemporary art
Cartoon depiction of gender in modern art.
Sculpture titled “Man and Woman” where the woman is a washing-up brush and the man is a hammer.
The cartoon is an illustration of the standard’ male and female gender roles, where men perform hard physical tasks and women perform domestic chores such as washing up.
Part of the joke in the cartoon is that the concept of the male and female roles depicted in the sculpture are extremely conservative, so this particular work of art is controversial because of its conservatism rather than because of radicalism (which is the usual reason why modern art is controversial).
Of course the art work may be a piece of feminist art which is pointing out and questioning the standard gender roles in society. Feminism and art are meant to be the two themes of the cartoon.
I particularly like the fact that the hammer representing masculinity is hard while the washing-up brush representing femininity is soft. Very much caricatures or cliches of gender characteristics.
The sculpture depicted owes something to Marcel Duchamp, Dada and the use of ‘ready-mades’ in works of art.
Cartoon reference number: a156
Medicalisation of deviant behaviour cartoon
Neurological origins of behavioural traits
Neurocriminology and its implications
A cartoon about the possibility that criminal behaviour or deviant behaviour may sometimes (or often) have its roots in a person’s biology.
The idea that personality may be determined by biology is one aspect of the nature v nurture debate, and has implications for the concept of free will
An illustration about the medicalization of behaviour. This may include behavioural syndromes ranging from psychopathic tendencies and deviance to conditions such as hyperactivity, ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), rebelliousness or non-conformity.
The cartoon illustrates the tendency of criminal lawyers to sometimes claim, for instance, that particular parts of dna or neurological makeup are responsible for criminal behaviour – thus removing responsibility from the person and placing it on the person’s dna or neurology.
The subject of neurological origins for criminal behaviour is dealt with in the book The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine
The cartoon was first published in Philosophy Now magazine
Teamwork or management cartoon
There’s No ‘I’ in ‘team’
An illustration about group psychology and team dynamics.
It suggests that while a group or team may be important, it’s also important not to suppress the individual too much (as individuals are usually more creative than groups)
This cartoon is suitable for publications about motivation, or in presentations about group dynamics or by motivational speakers.
It’s also a image about questioning authority, questioning established viewpoints and about individualism
Cartoon – the evolution of humor
An illustration using the classic ‘evolution of man from ape’ tableau, showing modern man developing a sense of humour.
Humour is depicted using the trope of a banana skin
Cartoon reference number: a549
Lemmings cartoon – the possible consequence of following an authority figure
A cartoon showing lemmings jumping off a cliff
One of the lemmings is warning against following a leader – “Never trust an authority figure – and definitely don’t follow one.”
This isn’t a cartoon warning about all authority figures, or all forms of following – after all, we need a bit of respect in our society. It’s a cartoon about blind allegiance and where it can take you, especially when the person who is being followed has his head turned by power
Cartoon reference number: a536
Altruism cartoon. Mindless violence and mindless altruism
A cartoon about the emergence of altruism in nature.
The cartoon shows prehistoric men or cave men fighting. Another prehistoric man is rushing to the scene of the violence to care for the wounded. Yet another caveman is wondering about the evolution of altruism as a personality trait.
Cartoon reference number: a535
Vaccine scare cartoon. Health scare hysteria
A cartoon about media driven hysteria over health issues.
The cartoon shows a doctor looking at a hyperdermic syringe and thinking “One of the side effects of this vaccine will be a hysterical reaction in the media.”
A jpoke about medicine, doctors, hypodermic syringes
Cartoon reference number: a530
A cartoon about child development and shopping.
This joke was inspired by seeing children’s toys such as brightly coloured radios with words printed on them such as “My First Radio”
A humorous idea about nature or nurture, social attitudes, capitalism and social conditioning.
The expression “Born to shop” comes to mind
Cartoon reference number: a473
Life as a game of chess – cartoon
Showing a chess board on which people are standing, with chess pieces on their heads like hats
A slightly surreal cartoon about chess. The concept is that life is a game of chess, and we are all players
It’s also about life strategies, competitiveness, power struggles, inter-human dynamics, interpersonal politics, sociology, game theory.
Cartoon reference number: a426
A humorous quotation about pedantry
“I’m not a pedant (in the strict definition of the term)
The quote is my own
A typography-based image showing a funny quote about pedants
The humour is in the fact that only a pedant would qualify their lack of pedantry as quoted here
Thinking, Fast and Slow.
Tortoise and Hare Cartoon
A cartoon of the tortoise and hare from Aesop’s fables.
The hare is reading the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, is about the theory that the cognitive functions of the brain operate in two distinct systems, one that operates impulsively and on reflect and one that operates on a more thoughtful and considered level. Both are necessary for survival, with the impulsive system making the snap decisions that are needed to keep you out of trouble.
In my cartoon the tortoise (representing the fast, impulsive part of the brain) is sitting on the back of the tortoise, with the implication that it’s trying to be a bit less impulsive and a bit more thoughtful.
A cartoon about psychology, evolutionary psychology, the mind, fables.
Cartoon reference number: a344
Cartoon: how to communicate with men – talk balls
A joke about male obsession with sport, especially sports that involve balls
A humorous comment aon the communication gap between men and women.
The cartoon is also a criticism of some women’s dismissive attitudes to male interests.
Thie cartoon deals with issues concerning gender differences, gender specific interests, hobbies, women’s view of men, feminist’s attitude to men, feminism, male stereotypes, stereotyping, sports fans
Cartoon reference number: a343
Questioning authority – cartoon.
A student questioning the authority of a lecturer
Cartoon showing a lecture on politics authority
A joke about authority, questioning, totalitarianism, anarchy, anarchism, authority figures
The joke is that the student is questioning the authority of a lecturer who is telling the audience to question authority.
This illustration first appeared in BBC Knowledge magazine.
Cartoon reference number: a332
Mobile phone cartoon. Cell phone cartoon.
You’re never alone when you’ve got a phone – cartoon
A cartoon showing a person sitting alone with a mobile phone on the table.
The cartoon is an observation about people who place their phones on the table when they are on their own, to signal to other people that they have friends
A cartoon about mobile phones, cell phones,social media,loneliness,solitary people,communication.
Cartoon reference number: a324
Cartoon showing a procession of people following each other in a circle.
A cartoon that is possibly about lack of leadership and lack of direction within groups, or on a larger social scale possibly about inward looking insular societies, restrictive religious, social or cultural traditions that stifle thought and progress.
A cartoon about leadership, followers, leaders, following like sheep, insularity, conservatism, orthodoxy, narrow mindedness.
Cartoon reference number: a051
Cartoon showing two people following each other, and as a result going round in circles.
A cartoon that is possibly about lack of leadership and possibly about lack of direction.
A cartoon about leadership, followers, leaders, following like sheep, insularity, conservatism, orthodoxy, narrow mindedness.
Cartoon reference number: a050
Cartoon about statistics, statistical probability, statistical bias and unreliable statistical surveys.
A cartoon showing a person collecting statistics but deliberately ignoring a statistic that doesn’t fit with his preconceived bias as to what the results should be.
A cartoon about unreliable statistical analysis, including such things as self-selecting groups, observer bias, prejudice.
A cartoon about statistical data collection and biased analysis.
Cartoon reference number: a035
Cartoon – health and safety gone mad
Health and safety guidelines
A cartoon showing an officious inspector making a judgement on a health and safety issue. A child wrapped in cottonwool to protect it from danger – but the cottonwool itself is judged to contravene health and safety guidelines because it is a choke hazard
A cartoon about the over-zealous implementation of petty rules concerning health and safety regulations
Meat eating partners of vegetarians cartoon
The cartoon shows an gathering of people who’s partners are vegetarians and vegans, but who are not vegetarian or vegan themselves, and who thus crave meat (which they either aren’t allowed to, or don’t like to, eat in the presence of their partners)
A cartoon about the way that people modify their behaviour in the presence of other people, especially to accommodate the other people’s social, ethical and cultural principles or mores.
A cartoon about food, ethics, meat eating, carnivorous or omnivorous diets, annual dinners, support groups, support networks
Old age cartoon
The cartoon shows an old woman walking slowly towards a seat in a park.
It then shows a youth walking pasrt her quickly and sitting in the seat that she was heading for. The final frame shows the youth lying stabbed by the old woman’s walking stick – a punishment for his lack of consideration, selfishness and assumption of self-entitlement.
The final frame of the cartoon overturns the roles played by people in the previous frames (That’s the joke – I’m obviously not advocating that old people resort to acts of violence)
A cartoon about power, dominance hierarchies, male dominance, age discrimination, youth culture, violence, aggression, retribution, justice, respect, law and order, stereotypes, manners
Social status cartoon
The dynamics of male hierarchical status
How males judge their position in the pecking order
The cartoon shows a tall man and a short man, with the tall man assuming dominance and superiority over the shorter man.
However, as a further sign of masculinity the men have antlers, the size of which displays their status and power. The shorter man has much larger antlers than the taller man. So which man is the dominant alpha male?
A cartoon about power, testosterone, men, masculinity, gender signifiers, management, superiority, leadership, alpha males, business, businessmen, businessman, power displays, size matters, office politics, dilemmas, dominance hierarchies, male dominance in work situations, evolutionary psychology
Blind date cartoon
A man and woman out for a meal. He says he wants to dedicate his life to making the world a better place for all humanity. She thinks “Damn, he’s flawed”
A man trying to impress a woman with his concern for the world. It backfires
A cartoon about virtue signalling, ethics, morals, expectations, personality, motivation, concern, selfishness, charity, charitableness, caring, uncaringness, trying to impress someone.
Cartoon reference number: fla710
Child care cartoons
Grandparent childminding cartoon
Zimmer frame cartoon
A grandmother looking after a baby while the parents pursue other activities.
The grandmother is using a walking frame that also acts as a baby carrier.
A cartoon commenting on the way that in the early twenty-first century young professional couples are very reliant on childminding duties carried out by grandparents.
The fact that in the cartoon the parents are pursuing leisure activities implies that these particular parents are taking the grandparents for granted. This is meant to illustrate the ‘have it all’ self-fulfilment ethos of the age.
A cartoon about grandparents, extended families, family, old age, generations.
Cartoon reference number: zim710
Management cartoon. A boss-type figure sitting on a pedestal behid a desk, hoping that no one will notice that he is ineffectual because he can’t reach his desk (precisely because he is sitting on a pedestal). He looks very much alone.
A cartoon about authority, elitism, dictatorship, imperiousness, ineffective, inefficient, management, class, status.
Gurus as authority figures
A cartoon about suspicion of authority.
The cartoon is also related to the tendency towards distrust of experts prevalent in the late 2010s and 2020s (although I personally don’t view gurus as experts!).
It is a cartoon about independent thinking, individualism, gullibility, followers, following authority, suspicion, identifying charlatans, charlatanism, wisdom, wise men, spiritual teachings, false authority, trust, persuasion, anti-authoritarianism.
Cartoon reference number: gur171
Language use cartoon – the evolution of spelling
Cartoon showing young people talking in text message language
The cartoon about the evolution and development of spelling, showing young people in conversation, with the spelling in the abbreviated form of text messages or sms messages. Two older people nearby are saying that they don’t understand a word young people are saying anymore.
A cartoon about progress, evolution of language, corruption of language, texting, sms messaging, c u l8er, linguistics, generation gap, generational differences, intergenerational cultural shifts.
Cartoon reference number: tec003
Cartoon about the psychology of motoring.
Slightly surreal illustration of a man and his car – which acts as a protective shell or carapace
In a car a person is insulated from, and isolated from, the outside world, with the car giving a sense of protection, wellbeing and power to the driver.
The car driver may feel a strong sense of invulnerability when driving the car
Is this a cartoon about sport or about human nature? Or both?
It’s essentially a cartoon about the nature of competitiveness and how it’s an innate component of the human psyche or personality.
The cartoon depicts people drawing the white lines of an athletics track, and spontaneously racing against each other in the process.
Cartoon reference number: spt002