The Latest

Would You Trade Years of Life for Happiness?

Fully half of top athletes surveyed say they would take a drug that guaranteed sports success even if it killed them five years later.  Surveyed non-athletes overwhelmingly reject this Faustian bargain.  Yet nearly everyone engages in activities that potentially sacrifice years of life for short-term happiness or satisfaction. 

The Trouble With Donuts

By Anneli Rufus on January 28, 2010 in Stuck
Last week I interviewed Mireille Guiliano, author of the New York Times bestseller French Women Don't Get Fat, about our psychological and emotional relationships with sweets. Trying to eliminate sugar from our diets "is useless," she said, "but we can develop a system to eat less. What should we do when we want it?"

Twelve Tips for Reading More.

By Gretchen Rubin on January 28, 2010 in The Happiness Project
Of my hundreds of happiness-project resolutions, one of my very favorite resolutions is to Read more.Reading is an essential part of my work. It forms an important part to my social life. And far more important, reading is my favorite thing to do, by a long shot. I’m not a well-rounded person.
Sidestepping the SAD Shadow
Looking for the Light
Cold Comfort
How to Sit with Depression

Self-Harm or a Request For Help?

By Bill Ahearn Ph.D., BCBA-D on January 27, 2010 in A Radical Behaviorist
 In some cases problem behavior seemed to suggest that the person was asking for attention or access to a preferred activity or escape from some activity they found unpleasant.

If Ifs and Buts were Candy and Nuts, the Vikings would be Super Bowl Champions

By John Tauer Ph.D. on January 27, 2010 in Goal Posts
 Why do we engage in the “What if” game? When do we play it? What are the consequences?

Why Do Dogs Love Bones? The Answer Involves Fat, Climate and Evolution

Why would a dog, or any other carnivore, seem to want such an apparently non-nutritious food source to such a degree that it is willing to spend hours working, crushing and grinding it so that it can be consumed? 
Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

9 Vital Tips for the Partner With a Higher Sex Drive

By Michele Weiner-Davis MSW on January 27, 2010 in Divorce Busting
Are you the spouse with the higher sex drive? This post offers 9 tips to approach your partner in ways that will increase the chances that she or he will want to be close to you.

Let's eat to beat cancer

By Conner Middelmann-Whitney on January 26, 2010 in Nourish

The Acid Wars

By Anneli Rufus on January 26, 2010 in Stuck
Timothy Leary refused to get Andrew Weil high. It was 1960, and Leary -- who was then a pioneering psychology professor at Harvard -- had an agreement with the university allowing him to test psilocybin on grad students. Weil was a freshman. But he "would not take no for an answer," says Don Lattin, who recounts this revenge story in a fascinating new book.

"Middlemarch, Improvisation, and a Little Bit Married."

By Gretchen Rubin on January 26, 2010 in The Happiness Project
From time to time, I post short interviews with interesting people about their insights on happiness. During my study of happiness, I’ve noticed that I often learn more from one person’s highly idiosyncratic experiences than I do from sources that detail universal principles or cite up-to-date studies. I’m much more likely to be convinced to try a piece of advice urged by a specific person who tells me that it worked for him or her, than by any other kind of argument.

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children's Mental Disorders

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on January 26, 2010 in Freedom to Learn
Today five to eight times as many young people meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or an anxiety disorder as was true half a century ago or more. Why?

Friday Night Lights: Positive Institutions and Contagious Happiness

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D. on January 25, 2010 in Reel Therapy
Positive institutions are all around us. In the literature they have been studied in various forms, from optimally operating businesses to adaptive familial systems. As civilized creatures we have constructed various institutions to solve big problems and protect from big dangers. We expect the federal government, for instance, to be a positive institution, to operate successfully in the pursuit of making the greater good even greater.

I Don't Vote

By Stephen Mason Ph.D. on January 25, 2010 in Look At It This Way

Parenting: Know Your Children's Enemy

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 25, 2010 in The Power of Prime
You probably know that popular culture is a truly destructive force in your children's lives. In a recent survey, three-fourths of parents believed that materialism and the negative influences from television, movies, and music were a "serious problem" in raising children. Over 85 percent of parents believe that marketing contributes to children being too materialistic, sexual content leads children to become sexually active at a younger age, and violent content increases aggressive behavior in children.

Feeding the Homeless

By Craig D. Marker Ph.D. on January 25, 2010 in Face Your Fear
My main act of compassion so far has been feeding people who are homeless. It has been my mainstay act of altruism. There are relatively many people who are homeless near me and I can do this pretty anonymously. That is, I can 'sneak up' on them and give them a bag of food pretty quickly without getting praise or really even being identified (I often find people who are sleeping). 

Reporting While Distracted

By Christopher Ryan Ph.D. on January 25, 2010 in Sex at Dawn
Are drivers distracted by cell phones a serious danger to Americans? That's unclear, but lame "journalism" like this, heavy on emotional interviews with grieving parents but lacking even the most elemental context or sense of doubt is certainly causing brain damage throughout the country.
Evolutionary Imperative
Sexual Healing
High Fidelity

The Supreme Court and the Hidden Brain

By Shankar Vedantam on January 24, 2010 in The Hidden Brain
The Supreme Court does not understand the unconscious mind.

John Edwards: A Rich Man with a Poor Man’s Problem

It’s not every day you see a rich man with a poor man’s social problem—and the child of a rich man facing a risk associated with poor children in America. But that’s what is playing out now with John Edwards’ paternity drama.

British Newspapers Make Things Up

By Satoshi Kanazawa on January 24, 2010 in The Scientific Fundamentalist
In April 2008, I wrote that British journalists interpret “freedom of the press” to mean that they can make up anything they want and publish it as fact in British newspapers.

How do I know if I have met the perfect partner?

By Michael Batshaw LCSW on January 24, 2010 in Before You Get Engaged
Do you have an idea of what your perfect partner will be like? This was the image that I was carrying of the perfect mate: She was going to be wearing a flannel shirt and jeans. She’d meet me in a café or bookstore and comment on the book I would be reading-- something obscure and interesting. She’d say how she had read it too and loved it. We would then engage in like-minded conversation on life, philosophy, and shared hobbies. Our chemistry would be easy and wonderful and like a flash of lightning we would both realize we had met the person we would spend the rest of our life with.