All About Identity

"We contain multitudes," wrote Walt Whitman, referring not to the highly contested diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder but to the fact that we see ourselves radically differently in different contexts. Everyone struggles with that existential plum, "Who am I?" For people who are overly concerned with other people's impressions, or who feel a core aspect of themselves, such as gender or sexuality, is not being expressed, this struggle is acute.

Recent posts on Identity

Our Evolving Sense of Identity

Renew you spirit with these scientific discoveries.

How to Love People When You Hate Their Political Choices

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Freedom to Grieve
This presidential election seems to be harder than others. How do we survive this election? Here are seven places to start.

Don't Touch Our White Women!

By Peter Glick Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in The Enquiry
Why did the Access Hollywood tape uniquely lead White male conservatives to defect from Trump? To preserve a benevolently sexist self-image as women's protectors and providers.

The President's Personality

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on October 11, 2016 in Face It!
Are there certain personality traits that help predict the success of a president? Do our current candidates embody these?

Why You Stay Stuck and Unhappy

Fall is a great time to take stock and review what you have done so far this year, where you hoped to be, and what steps you need to take to get where you want to go.

Trump: How Dark Is His Dark Side?

Is Trump a true misogynist—or maybe even a sexual predator? And does the latest video of his “locker talk” with Billy Bush tell us anything about him that we didn't already know?

How Your Regrets Can Actually Help You

Today in America the dominant opinion on regret is to get over it, let it go, or—if you’re a New Yorker—“fuhgeddaboudit!” In her TED Talk on the subject, Kathryn Schulz notes . . .

The Psychology of Being Middle Class

Poll after poll reveals that most Americans think they’re part of the middle class even if they’re clearly not.

Rethinking Prejudice

Prejudice is a “resource system,” an arsenal of weaponry–cultural, social, and personal–that remains in storage most of the time but can be taken out and used strategically.

Can Movie-Making Be a Form of the Talking Cure?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in Sensoria
Can movie-making be talking therapy?

Can You Be Secular and Still Love Jesus?

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in The Secular Life
Can one admire Jesus, even if you don't believe that he's the Son of God?

Parenting to Support the Twin Purposes of Adolescence

To maintain caring and communicative connections with their adolescent, parents need to treat detachment and differentiation as functional parts of growing up.

You Can Be Fired for Wearing Dreadlocks

A federal court and court of appeals held that an Alabama company had the right to rescind its offer of employment to an African American woman who insisted on wearing dreadlocks.

Trump's Appeal to White, Christian America

By Nathan A Heflick Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in The Big Questions
Can nueroscience research provide clues into the support of Donald Trump among White, religious people in America?

Watch Your Language and Give Me Back My Control!

By Dawn R. Norris, Ph.D. on September 29, 2016 in The Next Step
No, it’s not about your two-year-old; it’s about the “unemployed” identity.

8 Crucial Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Pride

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
The term "pride" is saddled with negative connotations. But it can be a good thing, too. So is pride a matter of degree, as in "too much of a good thing"? Or is it something else?

I Just Can’t Get Over Him!

When a man walks away from a marriage, particularly when the wife didn’t see it coming, it is often a profound emotional injury, which leaves her feeling abandoned.

New Study Finds the Average American Woman is Now Plus-Size

Although it is widely acknowledged that the standard sizing system is flawed, being designated as plus-size is nevertheless something of a damning fate for many women.

A Weird Trick To Free Yourself From Your Identity

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Are you worried about your identity labels limiting your freedom? This simple reframing trick could be all you need!

Butterfly Professions: Handling the Ending Edge

Coping at an early age with the end of a career that's defined who you are--for athletes and dancers--offers challenges and solutions.

On Being a Weird American on 9/11

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Do you ever struggle with your identity as an American? A simple reframing can really help!

Why Do British Accents Sound Intelligent to Americans?

By Kevin Bennett on September 09, 2016 in Modern Minds
My American baby is speaking British! Is it still acceptable to discriminate based on accent?

Recent Findings From the CDC on Gay Youth Are Flawed

A flawed study from the CDC could potentially harm sexual-minority youth.

Feminism Is Good for Your Heart

By Karlyn Crowley Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in Woman Power
Women are dying from broken hearts because systems are broken not because women themselves aren’t doing enough. We need feminism to help us diagnose the problem.

Stresses & Risks for Transgender Teens

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Connected
What social stresses might transgender youth face?

An Anti-Establishment Theory of Trump

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Theory of Knowledge
This blog lays out a framework for understanding the social and political forces that have influenced the rise and success of Trump's candidacy.

Is Female Sexuality Flexible?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 06, 2016 in Open Gently
Sexuality is fluid. Be gentle to yourself when you feel changes and conflicts.

How Should Market Researchers Ask About Gender In Surveys?

New gender identity research shows we need to rethink the answer for designing accurate and inclusive surveys.

Is our DNA our Identity?

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on September 04, 2016 in The Stories of Our Lives
Get your DNA tested for fun. But make sure you listen to the family stories that truly define your identity.

Can Life Be Lived With No Libido at All? No Sex Ever?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on September 01, 2016 in All About Sex
"Asexuals," up to 1 percent of adults, never feel sexually attracted to anyone—and feel fine about it.