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

Personality and Income

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 28, 2016 in A Sideways View
Many things determine your salary: education, the job sector, the state of the economy. But also your personality: your motivation, how hard you work and your work relationships.

A Different Approach to Political Divisiveness

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 27, 2016 in Ambigamy
Confusing ourselves to diffuse our political tensions.

Ambivalent About Taking a Trip With Friends

Camping with friends (or taking any other type of trip, for that matter) can be a wonderful bonding experience if you are with the "right" friends under the "right" circumstances.

The Top Five Gifts of Pokemon Go to Parents

"Thanks Pokemon Go for giving my kids a modern version of a 1970s summer!”

5 Effective Ways to Respond to Backhanded Compliments

Do you find yourself at a loss for words when someone offers a backhanded compliment? Try these responses.

What Explains Demographic Gaps? Simpson's Paradox

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 25, 2016 in Rabble Rouser
Racial, gender, and other gaps do not always reflect discrimination

Why Is Pokemon Mania Becoming Such a Pain in the Neck?

By Steve Sisgold on July 25, 2016 in Life in a Body
With millions of people distracted by something other then what is in front of them, problems can occur. Here’s some solutions to enjoy the game.

How to Say What You Mean without Sounding Like You're Mean

In a time when opinions are key to almost any dialogue between people, you may wonder- what’s the best way to express yours? This simple approach will help you find your voice.

The Rules of Engagement in Controversial Discourse

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 22, 2016 in Rabble Rouser
How to engage in civll discourse on controversial topics without really having to try all that hard.

Why Do Run-Down Schools Trigger Lower Test Scores?

A new study from Cornell University identifies a chain reaction that occurs in run-down schools which results in lower test scores for students from all walks of life.

Looking Serious

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 22, 2016 in On Having Fun
How seriously should you take your abilities to be taken seriously?

10 Models of Our Self

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on July 21, 2016 in Rethinking Men
“Know thyself” advised the oracle at Delphi. “Show thyself” is the motto of today. Do we truly know ourselves?

5 Reasons We Tell People More Than We Should

There are many reasons why oversharers insist on telling you more than you want to hear.

How Common Is Road Rage?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on July 20, 2016 in Media Spotlight
A new research study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that road rage is far more common than you might think.

Time Alone Saps the Willpower of People Who Are Neurotic

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 20, 2016 in Living Single
For some people, time alone is rejuvenating. New research shows that for neurotic people, just thinking about spending time by themselves can instead undermine their motivation.

Is Honesty the Best Policy in the Bedroom?

Research on close relationships recommends that you be honest with your partner. Does this honesty extend to your sexual past as well?

Aliens and Monsters

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on July 19, 2016 in Play in Mind
Science fiction authors always mean to open readers’ eyes wider, intending to broaden their perspective.

The Disunited States of America and the Bystander Effect

By Sean Cort on July 18, 2016 in The Power of Perspective
Our nation is actually a 'nation-family' and we are suffering from an illness that could prove fatal.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: The Poké-Demic of 2016

By Ryan Anderson on July 18, 2016 in The Mating Game
In 2016, the mobile gaming world has thus far been defined by one thing above all others: Pokemon Go. This article looks at some of the ingenious psychology behind the app

Are Facebook "Likes" a Barometer of Friendship?

The dark side of social media is when we use it to judge ourselves.

We’re All a Bit Racist

It may be unintentional, but we’re all a little bit racist.

Acceptance and Transformation

Should left-handers demand that half the baseball diamond be reversed?

The One Big Secret of Social Media Success

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 15, 2016 in Hide and Seek
How to make your posts more popular.

D.W. Sue: Microaggressions Are NOT Always Racism

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in Rabble Rouser
Promoter of the term "microaggression" regrets its weaponization and chilling effect on campus free speech.

5 Pieces of Advice You Should Ignore After a Breakup

Coming to terms with the end of your romantic relationship or marriage? Here are five well-meaning pieces of advice you shouldn't take to heart.

Why It Is So Easy to Hate Each Other

One of the oldest and most pernicious of human qualities is the ease with which we put people into categories.

Play Foul and Fair

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in Play in Mind
Rule breakers come in three varieties: the cheater, the spoilsport, and the game changer. We despise the first, we puzzle over the second, and usually, we admire the third.

Scientists, Police, and the New Civil Rights Revolution

As the US desperately searches for answers to police-community tensions, do social scientists have an obligation to dive into the national conversation? History says yes.
Quick and Dirty Tips

5 Surprising Tips for Taking the Sting out of Rejection

Your worse rejection story is probably not as terrible as you think.

The Revealing Questions No One Is Asking About Single Life

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in Living Single
Single life isn’t marriage minus the spouse. It is a whole different experience, meaningful in ways that are rarely acknowledged.