Understanding Fantasies

Fantasies are not frivolous. They can be entertaining, distracting, frightening, even arousing, but they also allow for creativity and help us plan for the future. As long as we don't mistake fantasies for reality (as in delusional disorder and schizophrenia) or let them become too rigid (as in paraphilias), they provide a necessary escape from the here and now.

Recent Posts on Fantasies

Are Umpires Racist?

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Umpires call more strikes for pitchers of their own race. Fact or fiction?

A Select Assortment of Books and More

Not every worthy book or DVD gets the attention it deserves. Here are a few you might otherwise miss.

Tattoos and Identity

A website urges you to tattoo a song lyric on "your skin and soul." What's going on?

The Psychology of Conspiracy and Cover-Ups

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in A Sideways View
Who is being most naïve, those who tend to believe in conspiracy theories or those who don't? What are the characteristics of those who tend to have a conspiracist view of the world?

Sex Drive? There's No Such Thing

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in Living Single
The notion of a sex drive is probably one of the most widely accepted ideas in popular culture and beyond. But there are scientific standards for what counts as a drive, and in her new book, "Come as You Are," Emily Nagoski argues that sex doesn't meet them.

The Misery Checklist

The Misery Checklist: A made-up story about a real problem

One More Reason to Unplug Before Bedtime

How does being "plugged in" to an electronic device impact a young child's developing brain?

Fifty Shades of Tattooing: Body Art, Risk and Personality

Women readers of the Fifty Shades trilogy have higher rates of risky behavior So do women who get tattoos. Both of these may be outward signs of a predisposition to take risk rather than a cause of such behavior.

Get Out Of Your Toxic Relationship By Taking These 3 Steps!

Toxic relationships are not good for you. They can break down your emotional health. Here are three steps to get yourself out of your toxic relationship!

Lovely Me

Amy loses weight by squarely facing her emotional eating patterns and envisions living the life in the body of her choice.

Body Smart

Your diaphragm plays a huge role in your tension and relaxation.

Her Marriage, and His

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on April 11, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why it is so hard to make a marriage last.

10 Great Ways to Get to Know New People Without Awkwardness

Icebreakers are a traditional way to overcome the original awkwardness that many people feel when they first form a group. Whether it’s with a class, a set of co-workers, or a volunteer committee, a little psychology will go a long way toward building group cohesion and identity.

Diplomatic Synesthesia

By Maureen Seaberg on April 09, 2015 in Sensorium
Diplomat Mo Sacirbey reports the geometric synesthesia he experiences during negotiations...

Sleep For Sex

Forget better living through chemistry—start with sleep and sex.

Big Love

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 09, 2015 in In Excess
Macrophilia appears to be an increasingly popular sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from a fascination with giants and/or a sexual fantasy involving giants. But what do we know about it from a psychological perspective?

When Did “Victim” Become a Bad Word?

Our culture discourages people from acknowledging and/or talking about a victim's suffering. Many people feel embarrassed when they feel bad.. It’s as if they’ve done something wrong—as if their personality or their character has failed them in some way. It’s no wonder that many victims believe that to acknowledge their pain and suffering is to “feel sorry for themselves.”

Finding Renewal in Springtime

By James Ullrich on April 06, 2015 in The Modern Time Crunch
The great lesson of springtime: Even after the harshest winter, renewal is always possible. But a lingering depression left over from winter must be addressed seriously. There are some easy, cost-free ways to begin recovery right now.

Would you want your brain transplanted into another body?

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on April 05, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
The announcement that a human head transplant may be as close as 2017 raises many fascinating issues, quite apart from the technical feasibility of the surgical and medical problems inherent in such a procedure. Who are you—your body or your head (with face attached)? Would a brain transplant be less traumatic for families than a head (with brain inside) transplant?

What "Fifty Shades of Grey" Got Wrong About BDSM

By Michael Castleman M.A. on April 01, 2015 in All About Sex
Contrary to the portrayal of Christian Grey in "Fifty Shades of Grey," BDSM aficionados are psychologically normal and healthy.

Cinderella: Trash or Treasure?

Is Disney’s new Cinderella just more grist for the princess mill? Is it drivel, schmaltz, fantasy? Or does it go way deeper? Intelligently written, directed, designed, and acted, the filmmakers have created a profound exploration of life, love, spirituality, international politics, and valuable lessons to embrace. Look through a new lens and see what resonates with you.

Another Guy Who Isn't a Sex Addict

By Marty Klein PhD on March 31, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
"Sex addiction" is a very poor way to understand people.

Language

Language represents a huge developmental leap. Think of all the things we can accomplish with our words and language. We can enhance relationships with our children. We can share feelings and ideas.

10 Signs That You're In a Healthy Relationship

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on March 30, 2015 in In Flux
Relationship usually begin with romance and sex being upfront and center. But what really sustains a relationship? Here are some points to keep in mind while you're working on creating that special partnership.

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

The Suicide-Mass Murder Connection: A Growing Epidemic

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Negative and alienating social forces have made suicide the new murder as frustrated and fearful Americans turn their anger onto themselves and take their own lives in unprecedented numbers. These same social forces also explain the sharp rise in mass public shootings as fatalistic individuals increasingly kill themselves and others in catastrophic acts of violent rage.

A Better Way to Prevent Rampage Killings

By Izzy Kalman on March 30, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
To protect their children from a bullied student who wrote a violent novel describing how he kills them, parents at Tidwell Middle School are demonstrating to have him expelled from school. If anything, their demonstrations may be helping to create a monster and putting their children in greater danger. There is a better way to for these parents to demonstrate.

3 Ways Your Romantic Instincts Can Lead You Astray

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in In Love and War
Romantic instincts are subject to a number of biases that can lead us to trust the wrong people and overlook the right ones.

Suicide or Mass Murder? : The Deliberate Downing of Flt 9525

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Evil Deeds
What motivates suicidal mass killings like the deliberate downing of Germanwings Flt. 9525?