The Latest

Hidden tales of yellow snow: What a dog's nose knows - Making sense of scents

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 29, 2009 in Animal Emotions
Dogs spend lots of time with their well-endowed nostrils stubbornly vacuuming the ground or pinned blissfully to the hind end of other dogs. They have about 25 times the area of nasal olfactory epithelium (which carry receptor cells) and have many thousands more cells in the large olfactory region of their brain (mean area of 7000 mm2) than humans (500 mm2). Dogs can differentiate dilutions of 1 part per billion, distinguish T-shirts worn by identical twins, follow odor trails, and are 10,000 times more sensitive than humans to certain odors.  The hidden tales of yellow snow are quite revealing about the artistry of how dogs make sense of scents. 

10 Methods to Use When Returning to Normal: Part One

By Carolyn L Rubenstein on June 29, 2009 in Now Is Everything
How does one go from overdrive to baseline without losing his or her sanity?

Why are puppies born with their eyes and ears closed?

The idea that puppies are born functionally blind and deaf seems to make no evolutionary sense. However this condition is the result of a deliberate "choice" to improve the ability for wild canines to survive.

Evolutionary Psychology Yields Fascinating and Unexpected Findings.

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on June 29, 2009 in Homo Consumericus
A biochemist recently challenged me to identify a single valuable and/or interesting finding that evolutionary psychology (EP) has produced. Notwithstanding the astonishing hyperbole inherent to such a statement, I decide to take him up on his offer. In today's post, I list a small set of findings originating from the EP framework that I consider to be demonstrative of the field's capacity to generate interesting, innovative, and powerful findings. I am hoping that the readers will note that none of the findings are congruent with genetic determinism; none condone or justify rape or male infidelity; none consist of fanciful just-so story telling; and none posit unfalsifiable hypotheses. Archimedes, as shown in the teaser image, was famous for having had a Eureka moment. Let's hope that I might trigger an Archimedean epiphany in some of the anti-EPers albeit I suspect that their staunchly held opinions are non-malleable. 

Give Away Your Network

By Ray Williams on June 27, 2009 in Wired for Success
It has often been said that your network is your net worth. It can be your greatest asset in developing a successful career and social life. But what is more important, you are in service to others. All too often, people define networking, as a transactional relationship--when you connect other people together, you expect to be repaid in some form for it. In fact, the phrase, "you owe me one" is often heard.t's discovering what you can do for someone else. In other words, networking is not about you and how others can help you. Instead, it's about others, and how you can help them.

Burger King's Seven-Incher vs. Calvin Klein's Threesome

By Paul Joannides Psy.D. on June 27, 2009 in As You Like It
Burger King in the Singapore area has just started to run its new oral sex ad. A quick compare-and-contrast of the Burger King ad with the latest Calvin Klein billboard is the stuff that academics dream of.

A Carrot a Day Keeps the Wrinkles Away

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on June 27, 2009 in Cravings
Eating a vitamin-rich diet can help balance the aging process to keep you looking as young as you feel.

What's Your Attitude Toward Daydreaming?

By Amy Fries on June 27, 2009 in The Power of Daydreaming
It's time to rethink old-school attitudes toward daydreaming.

Repulsion - A Step Towards More Successful Self-Regulation?

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on June 26, 2009 in Don't Delay
A pediatrician who reports being helpless against the forces of a chocolate chip cookie has something to teach us all about self-regulation.

Michael Jackson's Broken Heart

By Deborah King on June 26, 2009 in Mining the Headlines
Was Michael Jackson's death from coronary arrest the result of his lifestyle or from a broken heart?

The Career Aspirations of Shooters

By Peter Langman Ph.D. on June 25, 2009 in Keeping Kids Safe

Free Will at the Tampa SPSP Conference: The Great Debate

By Roy F Baumeister on June 25, 2009 in Cultural Animal
Do human beings have free will? Or is every human action the inevitable result of prior events and external causes? Or both?

De-Clutter Your Life

By Gigi Vorgan on June 24, 2009 in The Simple Life

Anthropomorphic Double-Talk: Can Animals Be Happy But Not Unhappy? No!

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 24, 2009 in Animal Emotions
Over the years I’ve noticed a curious phenomena. If a scientist says that an animal is happy, no one questions it, but if a scientist says that an animal is unhappy, then charges of anthropomorphism are immediately raised. This "anthropomorphic double-talk" seems mostly aimed at letting humans feel better about themselves. It is very misleading. 

Letting A Friend Go: We Usually Know When It's Time To Say Good-bye

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 24, 2009 in Animal Emotions
Dogs trust us almost unconditionally. It's great to be trusted and loved, and no one does it better than dogs. Jethro was no exception. But along with trust and love come many serious responsibilities and difficult moral choices. I find it easiest to think about dog trust in terms of what they expect from us. They have great faith in us; they expect we'll always have their best interests in mind, that we'll care for them and make them as happy as we can. Indeed, we welcome them into our homes as family members who bring us much joy and deep friendship. 

Three fixations of fundamentalist Christians

By Massimo Pigliucci on June 23, 2009 in Rationally Speaking
I’ve been reading Kevin Roose’s The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University, which makes for both irritating and fascinating reading. It’s the story of a semester the author spent at ultra-conservative Liberty University as a (temporary) transfer student from ultra-liberal Brown, with the aim of getting the insider’s view of what fundamentalist Christianity is all about.

The Will Is Caused, Not "Free"

The following is a summary of our side of a recent debate with Roy Baumeister on free will, held at the annual convention of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology last February in Tampa, Florida.

Hooked on Addiction Culture

By Lynn Phillips on June 23, 2009 in Dream On
In medicine the word “addiction” usually indicates a physical dependence on a chemical substance or behavior that messes with your dopamine system. But, as Wikipedia admits, the word is now used much more broadly to mean any old gratifying dependency you have a tough time ending without tears. That’s the definition I’m taking home. So, while occasionally here in “Dream On,” we’ll look at the roles that mind and brain play in the predictable dopaminergic addictions like huffing glue (substance abuse), compulsive Purex use (OCD) and designer purse collecting (shopoholia), most often we’ll focus on the addictiveness of ideas, concepts, and fantasies -- from skewed self-images and the myth of “the American dream,” to the need to pretend that your sex partner is Angelina Jolie, a black stallion or Samuel Beckett.

Professor Anti-Stigma

One might call it Pope’s rule: Your motives are revealed by your focus.   An interesting hypothesis, especially as confirmed in cases like that of Professor Anti-Stigma. 

Can Cops Catch Liars?

By Maureen O'Sullivan Ph.D. on June 22, 2009 in Deception
If it is true that most people are unable to detect deception, what does that say about the accuracy of police investigators?   

Half off! Act now: How to Resist the Spell of a Sale

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on June 22, 2009 in The Why Behind the Buy
At a time when many Americans are working hard to trim their spending, alluring discounts and now-or-never bargains have never been more ubiquitous. Here's how to resist the spell of a sale and make smart shopping decisions - even in the face of a 70% off tag.