Make Your Own Luck

Good fortune isn't completely out of your hands. How you play the cards you're dealt may be just as important. Plus: How superstition sneaks up on us, and what happens when the numbers favor us.

Cognition

Quite simply, cognition refers to thinking. There are the obvious applications of conscious reasoning—doing taxes, playing chess, deconstructing Macbeth—but thought takes many subtler forms, such as interpreting sensory input, guiding physical actions, and empathizing with others. The old metaphor for human cognition was the computer—a logical information-processing machine.

Happiness

Research on how to increase positive moods and capitalize on your strengths has proliferated in recent years, thanks to the positive psychology movement, and has shed light on ongoing insights into personality, mood, and cognition.