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

Earthquake Shock: Mexico’s Buried Schoolgirl Who Never Was

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in It's Catching
Vanishing Schoolgirl Likely Never Existed

Low Brain Cholesterol—Separating Fact from Fiction

By Georgia Ede MD on September 17, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
How vegan diets and cholesterol-lowering drugs affect mood and memory.

Elise Hooper: Is All Writing Autobiographical?

By Jennifer Haupt on September 05, 2017 in One True Thing
We write fiction and create characters to explore questions, and these questions are often uncertainties we have about ourselves.

Bargain Life:

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on August 31, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
The Houston disaster fascinates us because the conflicts reflect storms within us.

Can Dogs Detect Ghosts, Spirits, or Hallucinations?

Whether dogs can sense the presence of ghosts or spirits is ambiguous; however, they can be trained to alert to their owner's hallucinations.

Debunking 10 Common Concussion Myths

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on August 24, 2017 in Brain Trauma
You may be aware of concussions, but is your understanding based on fact or fiction?

I'll Start Tomorrow

By Frances Kuffel on August 20, 2017 in What Fat Women Want
People lose weight for a million bad reasons, ones that won’t resonate back to them across the years.
fizkes/Shutterstock

Fantasies of Other Lovers? Relax, Almost Everyone Has Them

By Michael Castleman M.A. on August 15, 2017 in All About Sex
While making love with your honey, do you have erotic fantasies of other lovers? If not, you're unusual.

Sexual Disorientation of Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

Sexual abuse disorients you; it does not orient you. Consider straight men who have sex with men due to childhood sexual abuse.

Debunking Neuromyths: Eight Common Brain Myths Set Straight

By Christopher Bergland on August 10, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A new study puts brain myths in the spotlight. True or false: "Some people are left-brained, and some of us are right-brained." Many believe this myth is true. It's not.

Fact and Fiction in Mixed-Race Marriages

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 30, 2017 in Talking Apes
Biracial partners face some special challenges, but mostly they struggle with the same problems as other couples.

The History and Psychology of the Orgy

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 29, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Orgies gave people a much-needed break.

Help, I Married My Father

Why do so many women end up unhappily in relationships with males who remind them of their father? How can we stop this painful habit?
Randi Hutter Epstein image

All Hormones for Menopause Are NOT the Same

Why are some menopause hormones marketed as safer? Here's how to find the truth behind the ads.

Follow the Leader: Authority-Based Relationships Uncovered

An expert on alternative lifestyles shatters myths on these relationships.

My Summer as a Peaks Freak

By Joan Ullman M.A. on July 26, 2017 in Uncharted Customs
David Lynch's return of his surreal TV series traces the origins of evil to in our world to our country's first atom bomb test and to our use of the bombs on Japan.

What’s the Deal with “Furries?”

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 24, 2017 in Animals and Us
An international team of social scientists has been studying the psychology of "furries" for a decade. What they have found is fascinating.

Facts and Fiction About the So-Called “Summer Slide”

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on July 22, 2017 in Freedom to Learn
Perhaps we should call it the summer ladder rather than slide. Children gain skills--especially in mathematical reasoning--in summer faster than during the school year.

Have Fun With Sexual Fantasies

By Ari Tuckman PsyD, MBA on July 21, 2017 in Sex Matters
Sexual fantasies are private experiences, but sharing them with your partner can ramp up the passion and increase your intimacy.

Husbands Watch Porn, Wives Despair—But Why?

By Marty Klein PhD on July 19, 2017 in Sexual Intelligence
When couples argue about porn, they're usually arguing about something else.

Does the Unconscious Really Exist?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on July 17, 2017 in Supersurvivors
One of the oldest ideas in psychology is that we have an unconscious mind that, despite our best intentions, is the real controlling force in our lives. But is this really true?

Yes, You Can’t!—Why You Should Affirm Your Limitations

This title may seem unduly pessimistic—or downright perverse. But as a cautionary note, there are times when your dreams or lofty ideals must bow to inescapable reality.

Westworld, Emotion, and the Dilemma of Machine Consciousness

By Richard Yonck on July 11, 2017 in The Intelligence Report
Will consciousness always separate humans from machines? Don't be so sure.

Americans Intoxicated

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 01, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
It’s an angry era in America. Instead of debating who’s right or wrong, let’s ask what kinds of work anger is doing for Americans now? And what's behind it?

Hey, New Dads: Having Scary Thoughts Is Common

This Father's Day, let's challenge the most pervasive fantasy of all time — that fathers don’t need emotional support.

The Doctor Is In: New Web Series Explores the World of Kink

A new web series provides insight, humor and education about BDSM.

The Good Husband as Failed Lover

Romance can be a form of narcotic for a certain kind of woman, and Emma Bovary is the embodiment of the woman whose life can be shattered by too heavy a dependence on fantasy.

When Fantasies Lead You Down the Wrong Path

By Amy Fries on June 09, 2017 in The Power of Daydreaming
If we don’t take a step back periodically and become conscious of the fantasies that fuel us, we can find ourselves ferociously marching down the wrong path.
Woman writing. Pixabay, Public Domain.

Learning by Writing Fiction

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on June 04, 2017 in Rethinking Thought
Tell co-workers that you're writing a novel, and you're likely to get nervous glances.

Internet Infidelity: Today's Blind-Spot Threat to Marriage

By Zack Carter Ph.D. on June 01, 2017 in Clear Communication
Has your marriage or someone's marriage you know been devastated by Internet infidelity? Here's some tips with how to guard yours against going down that slippery slope.