Understanding Social Life

Human beings are social animals, and the tenor of our social life is one of the most important influences on our mental health. Without positive, durable relationships, both our minds and our bodies fall apart. We begin life dependent for survival on the quality of relationship with our primary caregiver, usually Mom. And the nature of that relationship typically influences all others in our life. Our survival as a species similarly hinges on our capacity for social living. Most of human history was spent in small groups in which each was dependent on the others for survival, and evidence suggests this is the condition to which we are best adapted.

Recent posts on Social Life

These Three Moves Will Help You Stop Feeling Lonely

By Psychology Today Editorial Staff on December 11, 2017 in Brainstorm
A scientists gain a more detailed understanding of loneliness and its hazardous effects on our health, they’re also gathering evidence on ways to overcome it.

Two Ways to Spot When a Suitor Is Becoming a Stalker

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
When it comes to attention, there can be too much of a good thing. When focus becomes fixation, it is time to end a relationship that has crossed the line.

Ten Tips for Preventing Infidelity

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on December 10, 2017 in Emotional Fitness
Preventing infidelity isn't something you have to worry about as long as you and your partner stay communicative about your desires, your dreams, and your devotion.

Want to Seem Approachable and Likable? Start Nodding "Yes"

By Christopher Bergland on December 09, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
New state-of-the-art research on body language identifies specific psychosocial cues triggered by nodding "yes" as opposed to shaking the head "no."

The Many Mini Ways to Show You Care

It doesn't take a grand gesture to show someone that you care. With a "micro" act of kindness, according to new research, the payoff can be surprisingly high for both of you.

Moral Relativism Is Tricky, but Smarter Than the Alternative

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 09, 2017 in Ambigamy
When push comes to shove, we dig in our heels, pretending that nature or the supernatural stands for what we stand for. That's a problem worth keeping an eye on.

Why You Talk about Your Relationship with Friends

It's not what we say, it's why we say it.

A Game-Changer for Difficult Holiday Dinner Conversations

Dreading spending the holidays with relatives whose politics you can't stand? Doing this one thing is a game-changer.

Toxic Tagging: Be Careful What You Post About Your Friends

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 08, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Avoid posting too much information about your connections; not everyone is comfortable sharing personal information online.

5 Ways Group Therapy Empowers You in Relationships

Want more out of your relationships? Group therapy can help.

Are We Allowing Social Media to Dictate Our Happiness?

“A fixation with connecting with 'friends' online comes with the risk of disconnection with friends waiting for you to be present in the offline world.”

Kids, Would You Please Lower Your Weapons?

With authoritarians on both the Right and the Left dominating political discourse, it's tough (and sometimes unsafe) for the sensible center to get a word in edgewise.

What Is Curbing the Impact of Cyberbullying on Teens?

By Sue Scheff on December 07, 2017 in Shame Nation
New research suggests teens who face online bullying likely recover in a week.
burst at pexels

It's Better Going With the Dogs

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on December 07, 2017 in The Power of Rest
The many advantages of humanity's best friend.

Is Psychology a "Self-Correcting" Science?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Is psychology a science? If so, where is the "scientific self-correction"?

Bayes Odyssey

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in One Among Many
Some of the pioneers of statistics were deeply religious. Little seems to have changed.

America’s Mission Statement Is Our Light Against Bigotry

By Rupert W Nacoste Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in A Quiet Revolution
America's mission statement is "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." Here's how you can use that light to stand up against everyday bigotry.
Pexels

How to Handle the Holidays When You Have Hearing Loss

By Shari Eberts on December 06, 2017 in Life With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can make the holidays tricky, but there is no need to miss out on all the fun. Follow these tips and enjoy a festive and joyful holiday season.

Three Things You Should Never Share on Facebook

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 06, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Facebook is the virtual water cooler. Oversharing, about yourself or others, can be dangerous because not everyone in your network is your friend.
CC Commons

Writing Letters for the Holiday

By Diana Raab PhD on December 06, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Are you wanting to do something different this holiday season or perhaps connect wit those who you haven't spoken to in a while? Try crafting a handwritten letter.
J. Krueger

The Kingdom of Bayes

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in One Among Many
Will there be a second coming of the Reverend, or is the Bayesian revolution a matter of rhetoric? Consider some eschatological perspectives.

The Vulnerability Hangover: A Fresh Take on Modern Eroticism

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in Standard Deviations
A psychotherapist/sex therapist explores eroticism and the 'vulnerability hangover', a new phenomenon in modern sexuality.

3 Common Friendship Mistakes for Kids

Every child faces friendship challenges at some time, in some way, but broadly speaking, there are three main ways that children struggle socially.

Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas?

By Melissa Burkley Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in The Social Thinker
Why is it that writers often can’t tell us where their story ideas truly come from? The answer has to do with the fact that the human mind is a dual-process system.
Helen Schwartzman Collection

Shopping Alone

What do we miss when we shop online?

The Psychology of Death and Dying

How many people fear death, how many embrace it, and what makes the difference?

Why the Embarrassment?

Too busy fixating on your "flaws" this holiday season?

Mandatory Implicit Bias Training Is a Bad Idea

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on December 02, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Mandatory implicit bias training is all the rage. And seriously counterproductive.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

What's the World Coming to?

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on December 01, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
Where would Aesop be if he had been unable to craft his stories, each fable fitting a definite moral?

Is Facebook Bad for You?

Find out if the way you use Facebook is helping or hurting your happiness.