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B.F. Skinner and the Hopelessness of It All

B.F. Skinner is not nearly as famous as Freud, and if you Google his name you won't find nearly as many hits as you will even for Jean Piaget. And yet it could be argued that his influence on childrearing, management, education, and self-help goes well beyond both of those fellow 20th century greats. (For example, how many people realize that when they use "time-out" with a child, this is based on Skinner's work?) I often wonder why Skinner is not more famous -- I still meet people who have never heard of him -- and I can probably come up with many reasons. But the case can be made that his view of human behavior, even though it fell short in certain very important areas, can better explain the world and its problems than any other, and offer some of the best solutions for solving these problems as well.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder: No, this is NOT All About Mel "Mad Max" Gibson!

Intermittent Explosive Disorder: No, this is NOT All About Mel "Mad Max" Gibson!

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on July 15, 2010 in Evil Deeds
Do domestic batterers and other violent offenders (and their victims) suffer from some type of anger disorder? This posting is not about talented movie actor and gifted director Mel Gibson, the alleged notorious telephone tapes and lurid (as yet unproven) charges leveled against him by former girlfriend and mother of their eight-month-old daughter Oksana Grigorieva. Nor is it about the curious connection between creativity and evil. (See my previous post regarding Roman Polanski.) It is really about our runaway rage epidemic ( a subject I've been writing on for thirty years) and what we can do to manage this menacing mental health crisis. 

Evaluating the actions of others

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 15, 2010 in Ulterior Motives
We make decisions about the characteristics of other people from their actions. We decide that someone is aggressive if they yell, make rude comments, and try to push people around. Often, though, a specific behavior is ambiguous. It is not entirely clear what it signals. For example, if someone goes skydiving, he might be adventurous or he might be reckless. How do you decide?
Take This Job and Love It
The Career of Your Dreams
Constructing a Career
The Shy Job Seeker

Marital Satisfaction, Health & Happiness

By Diana Kirschner Ph.D. on July 14, 2010 in Finding True Love
Marriage by itself is not an answer to all of life's problems. Being single today coupled with a strong social network of family and friends, is a very viable alternative to even a healthy marriage. So relax. If you do decide to tie the knot, choose a man who is a good match, someone who is devoted to you and committed to handling the inevitable bumps and potholes that you will face on your journey. Because if it does not go well and you divorce, the research suggests that you will suffer more than if you had never been married.

Three Essential Pillars Of Health and Resiliency In Today's World

Upgrade To Career 4.0; Practice "Harnicissism;" and Become a Good Ancestor.

Reptilian Media: Sex, Violence, and Emotional Education

By Ross Buck Ph.D. on July 14, 2010 in Spontaneous Emotion
Maturation of neurochemical systems at puberty is associated with increases in sexual and aggressive feelings and desires that are difficult to deal with via social biofeedback, resulting in motives to model and imitate sexual and violent behaviors via media.
Does Your Boss Trust You?

Does Your Boss Trust You?

Does your boss pop into your office at the most unexpected times to check up on you? Does he ask endless questions, micro-manage your work schedule or demand to know exactly what you're doing? Do you want to take on more responsibility, but your ideas get shot down? 
Look Alikes?
The Influence of Others
Friends You Can Count (On)
iStock

Why Changing Somebody’s Mind, or Yours, Is Hard to Do

Our opinions are castle walls, built to keep us safe.

Parenting by Angst

By Jacqueline Hudak M.Ed., Ph.D., L on July 13, 2010 in FamilyLife

Seeing and Hearing Song Lyrics

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 13, 2010 in Ulterior Motives
When I was in high school, I spent the summer of 1983 fixing video games. I had some background in electronics, so a guy who owned video arcades around my home town hired me to sit in a workshop and repair broken games. That whole summer, my closest companion was a little radio in the shop, which played the songs of the summer repeatedly.
Cultivating Resilience
Doomsday Do's and Dont's
Manning the Front Lines of Disaster

The Psychology of Penalty Kicks

By Matthew Hutson on July 12, 2010 in Psyched!
Yesterday's World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands nearly ended in a penalty shootout. If it had, the kickers and keepers would have done well to know about these bits of psychological research on penalty kicks.

O.J. Gibson: Mel and the Rage Instinct

By Nando Pelusi Ph.D. on July 12, 2010 in Locus of Control
Is Mel on his way to slowly motoring a white Ford Bronco?  

Friend Poaching: It's Complicated

Dear Irene,I'm 45 and feel like a 7th grader with a mutual friend situation. I have been good friends with two neighbors for over 10 years. I introduced them last year and they hit it off great. However, lately, they invite me to some parties but sometimes make plans and do not include me.
Are You Really a Procrastinator?
End Procrastination Now!
A Matter of Discomfort Intolerance
Why You Put Things Off

Why Don’t Teenage Girls Swoon for Middle-Aged Billionaires?

By Satoshi Kanazawa on July 11, 2010 in The Scientific Fundamentalist
Here’s another question that poses a puzzle only for evolutionary psychologists, not for anyone else. Why do pubescent teenage girls swoon for teen heartthrobs like Justin Bieber and Taylor Lautner, but not for middle-aged billionaires like Bill Gates and Richard Branson?

Mirror Image People--Are Lefties Different?

By R. Douglas Fields Ph.D. on July 11, 2010 in The New Brain
Does it matter which side of your brain does what?

What Is Bisexuality?

Skepticism about the existence of people attracted to both men and women has come from heterosexuals as well as gays and lesbians. Even within the scientific community there has been debate about the existence and meaning of bisexuality.

How to Get a Job During Tough Economic Times

By Ray Williams on July 11, 2010 in Wired for Success
The whole process of recruitment and job hunting has changed because the nature of the economy. It is now a world of impermanence.

Paying Attention

By Alison Bonds Shapiro M.B.A. on July 11, 2010 in Healing Into Possibility
Attention is the key to so many things related to our lives. We have to pay attention to walk across the street. We know our relationships are more satisfying if we actually pay attention to one another. Our business affairs require our attention. All of this seems somehow self evident. We know that attention is important, but we may not know that attention has direct b
Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Is Divorce Contagious?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 11, 2010 in Living Single
I don't think very many couples take divorce lightly. When they see their friends divorce, they don't just shrug and decide to do the same thing themselves. Maybe what's contagious isn't just divorce but reflection and contemplation.
Why Daydreaming Matters
Our Own Psychic Cinema
Save that Dream!!!
Night School

Her friend's done a 180: Can their friendship survive?

I've had the same best friend for more than 20 years. We were so close that we even have matching tattoos. We don't live near each other, but have maintained contact and been through school, marriage, kids, etc together. She's been a huge part of my life.  

The CEO Salary

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on July 09, 2010 in Hidden Motives
Do They Need to be Exorbitant?Time was when CEO salaries were far less than the 300 times entry-level workers they are now, and actually CEOs seemed OK with that. But then several things happened. 

Power of Place / Power of Art

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on July 09, 2010 in Sensoria
Overnight in a remote rustic cabin. No phone. No television. No radio. No computer. Why, you might ask?