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

The Personal Erotic Myth and the Rise of Fetishsexuality

A new sexual concept paves the way in understanding the role of the unconscious and psyche in exploring authentic sexuality.

More Than Just a Pretty Face: Unmasking Furry Fandom

Recent research debunks common misconception of the furry community as a bunch of sexual "deviants" or misfits.

Connecticut Bans Conversion Therapy for LGBT Youth

By Jack Turban MD MHS on May 12, 2017 in Political Minds
Connecticut makes it illegal to practice conversion therapy on gay or transgender youth.

Do You Need Mother's Apology? What Should Your Mom Say?

Nobody said being a mother was easy; perhaps it's time to say that being a daughter to a certain kind of mother is very, very hard.

Blasphemy!

By Robert J King Ph.D. on May 09, 2017 in Hive Mind
Religious and Secular blasphemy accusations come from a similar source. And we need to call a halt to this nonsense.

Why You Might Have Low Self-Esteem and How to Cure That

When you believe the lie from others that you are worth less than the rest, then you sometimes believe it. Don’t.

To Meaningfully Talk About Gender

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on May 08, 2017 in Pop Psych
Words need agreed-upon meanings if you want them to do anything useful.

Beyond Binary: How Bisexuality Shifts Orientation Science

Current research on bisexuality challenges our understandings of orientation as a simple, homogeneous concept.

Sex Work and Higher Education: A Mix of Disparate Identities

Recent research on student sex workers shatters societal misconceptions about sex work as connected with pathology and criminality/trafficking.

Why Do Animal Shelter Workers Burn Out?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on May 04, 2017 in Animals and Us
Animal shelter workers who believe they have a gift for relating to animals may be the most likely to leave.

We're All Artists

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 29, 2017 in Minority Report
"Aren't we all artists?" was the response I received when I asked a Parisian shop owner if he was an artist or if he just sold art. This experience redefined how I saw "artists".

How Much Does a Blog Title Matter?

By Emily T. Troscianko on April 29, 2017 in A Hunger Artist
Lately I’ve begun to wonder whether A Hunger Artist is an awful name for this blog. How do you interpret it? How do I worry you do? How would I like you to?

Save Your Mixed Tears™ and Other Tips for Mixed Living

“Grappling with everything that comes with being mixed can be painful and feel conflicting, but one of your strongest allies in that journey is yourself.”

Too Young to Be Old: Love, Learn, Work, and Play as You Age

By The Book Brigade on April 27, 2017 in The Author Speaks
Everyone has a “psychological portfolio,” and it’s especially important to update it as you age.

What Is "American"?

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 25, 2017 in Minority Report
In today's political climate, the question of, "What is American?" is being challenged by those who find immigrants and people of color not fitting into their image of "American"..

"Us" and "Them"

By Jann Gumbiner Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in The Teenage Mind
Many of the principles studied by social psychologists after WWII apply to our current political climate.

Fragmentation of Personality

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on April 24, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
Given the complexity of our online lives, how do we define the totality of who we are? Is this changing how we think of being integrated human beings and our creative lives?

#MarchForScience, Social Media, Diversity and Identity

UCSF showcased a panel of scientific leaders at their Stand Up For Science day. What does this tell us about diversity in science, and about social media?

Religious Conflict Makes Porn Bad for Relationships

By David J Ley Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Women Who Stray
A new research study finds more evidence that the alleged harms from porn are actually caused by religious conflict, shame, and the "porn addict" identity.

Linguistic Smoke and Mirrors in Leadership

Is it advantageous for our leaders to potentially maintain an inflated moral self-image through indirect speech?
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The Self is Not an Illusion

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on April 14, 2017 in Out of the Darkness
Spiritual teachings that tell us that to become "enlightened" means to lose your sense of self may be misleading. Spiritual awakening means a new self, not no self.

Vehicular Trauma Syndrome

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on April 14, 2017 in The New Normal
A new syndrome related to vehicular trauma is identified.

Why Elite White-Collar Criminals Are Rarely Punished

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on April 09, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
White-collar criminals benefit from institutionalized non-enforcement practices, regulatory policies and legal representation not available to street criminals.

Can Religious Identity Inspire Pro-Environmental Action?

Religious identity can shape worldviews, build community, and provide networks of communication. So why is it so hard to motivate adherents to take pro-environmental action?
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The Passionate Art of Storytelling

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Do you feel as isolated from people and their stories? Do you have difficulty telling stories? Here are some reasons why sharing stories unites us, and how to tell a story.

60 Sex-Relevant Terms You May Not Know – and Why You Should

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in Living Single
Here are 60 terms related to sex, relationships, sexual orientations, and gender identities, many of which are new or unfamiliar. More than vocabulary is at stake.

Life as a Banana

Assimilation can be good for Asian Americans' mental health. But there may be hidden benefits of being Asian in the United States.

What’s in a Name?

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on April 05, 2017 in The Me in We
How does one's name influence identity and guide one's destiny?

What Animal Are You?

Psychological health means constructing a version of oneself that is essentially human.