The Psychology of Social Networking

Expanding your social network beyond your familiar circle of friends can have surprising benefits. It's those weak ties that bring fresh ideas and unexpected opportunities: a job, an apartment, a mate. The Internet is providing new tools for cultivating and capitalizing on those networks; someone you've never met in person could change your life.

Recent posts on Social Networking

Bragging on Social Media Can Backfire

New research shows that posting on Facebook about your accomplishments can make you appear immodest, but praise from friends is likely to boost your social capital.

Why Social Media is NOT Smart for Middle School Kids

Wondering why your middle schooler's social media use has ratcheted up your stress levels? Understanding the brain at this age can help you can take back control.

To Understand Big Data, Try Thinking Like a Psychologist

Rich data tells us plenty about what our customers do, but next to nothing about why they are doing it.

How To Be Less Awkward at Ending Small Talk

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Adaptation
Want to be less awkward at ending small talk? Try these 5 things.
Wikimedia Commons

Is Using Profanity a Sign of Honesty?

A recent paper suggests that profanity may be a reflection of emotional honesty and candor. However, closer examination of the studies' results casts doubt on this idea.

Why Do Some Men Get Premature Championship Tattoos?

By Kevin Bennett on March 22, 2017 in Modern Minds
Why do some men get premature championship tattoos? Here are four reasons why you might go for some skin art that predicts a successful season for your favorite team.

The Psychosocial Risks of Social Media and the Internet

By Jean Kim M.D. on March 21, 2017 in Culture Shrink
We need to remain vigilant about the risks of social media's influence on our society and human behaviors.

Looking for Love?

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on March 16, 2017 in Cravings
Where do people look for love and friendship? And where do they actually find it?

Empathy: There’s an App For That!

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on March 14, 2017 in The Empathy Gap
The science behind using mobile phones for good

Animal Behavior and Social Media

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Boundless
What can we learn about human online behavior by watching other species? Social interaction has the potential for both peace-making and aggression.
Getty Images

Ed Sheeran: How Far Will You Go?

By Jane Greer Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in Shrink Wrap
New horizons?

From Post-Truth to Post-Lies

Worried about the dominance of "alternative facts" and "post-truth politics?" Behavioral science points the way to solving this problem!
nd3000/Shutterstock

Cell Phones, Texting, and Relationship Distress

Whether referred to as “phone snubbing,” “technoference” or simply bad manners, cell phone and texting habits can decrease romantic relationship satisfaction.

Social Media Exacerbates Perceived Social Isolation

A new study reports that heavy use of social media is associated with increased social isolation.

Is Facebook Bad for Your Mental Health?

Facebook got you down? A shift in perspective may be the answer.

Three Reasons You're More Resilient Than You Think

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on March 05, 2017 in Adaptation
We all fear stepping outside our comfort zones. But don’t underestimate how flexible, brave, and capable you actually are.

Taking a Facebook Sabbatical

Tired of Facebook? Newsfeeds got you down? Take a hiatus and see what happens. One millennial psychologist did just this and lived to tell the tale.

Commitment Phobia and Hookups

In today’s hookup culture, no one is a priority. People are options, like restaurants. If you don’t like the food, you don’t ever need to go back.

How to Prove You Are Not a Jerk

Recruiters use LinkedIn to identify—and screen out— "jerks."

Should Sexual Predators Be Banned From Social Media?

By Jennifer Golbeck Ph.D. on February 27, 2017 in Your Online Secrets
Some states ban sex offenders from social media. Do these laws protect potential victims? They certainly ignore the fundamental role social media plays in modern communication.

Why Millennials Are Lonely

By Caroline Beaton on February 23, 2017 in The Gen-Y Guide
Mysteriously, loneliness appears most prevalent among millennials. I see two compounding explanations.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Social Media Clutter

The clocks will soon "spring forward" for many of us—that means it's a great time to prepare for the loss of an hour by streamlining your electronic social networks.

Getting Inside the Heads of Consumers

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in This Is America
Why does any product break out of the pack and keep on selling? What is the psychology of hits and the role of social networks through which markets can be reached?

Why the "Like" Button May Be Killing Activism

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Is all the liking, retweeting, and commenting going on in American politics actually doing any good? Or are we just indulging in a form of entertainment and self-aggrandizement?
Psychological Science

Hugs, Tweets, and Physician Reimbursement

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on February 16, 2017 in Scientocracy
As for those of us not in the healthcare reimbursement business, we should focus our energy on hugging people we care about. And minding our tweets.

The Price We Pay for Fake News & "Alternative Facts"

By Ray Williams on February 14, 2017 in Wired for Success
We are inundated with waves of anti-expert, and anti-science information, where opinions in the form of “alternative facts” and fake news are being promoted as the truth.
Courtesy of John Torous

To App or Not to App

By Dora Calott Wang M.D. on February 13, 2017 in The Kitchen Shrink
American Psychiatric Association takes Leadership in the Wild West of Mental Health Apps

Will You Be My Valentine (With a Disability)?

A new dating app seems to provide an easy way to meet partners with and without disabilities. Will it be successful despite the potential stigma?

Small World, Isn’t It?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
Do you believe that innovative design principles can affect behavior?

Constructing a Valentine’s Day Dating Profile

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Love, Digitally
• It is not always the case that males pursue physical attractiveness in a female partner. • There is a difference between deliberate and spontaneous choices in online dating.