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 or an apartment or 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

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.

Let's Honor Leonard Nimoy and End Smoking in Rehab

By Jason Powers M.D. on March 04, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Leonard Nimoy, an icon to millions of Trekkies as Mr. Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human first officer of the Enterprise, fell victim to the most human of all diseases: addiction.

Could Narcissism Be Getting a Bad Rap After All?

While living in a Facebook, celebrity driven, reality show, and selfie environment, how can we not become more narcissistic? Ultimately, we have to learn to balance and manage our narcissistic tendencies in a way that considers the needs and rights of others. Easier said than done but we must do so to live in a better world for all of us.

Getting Rid of Your Feelings: Does It Help?

Because feelings can be so overwhelming, we often have the misconception that the best way to deal with them is to get rid of them. We imagine that life would be so much easier if we could just shut them down entirely and for good.

Is Friendship in Decline?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 04, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Face-to-face conversations extending over decades is indeed evaporating.

Hiding From Relationship—In Relationship

The suppression of the emotional vitality that we call passion is both the benefit and the cost of irrelationship, and a side effect of the process that creates it. Relationships can be enlisted in the service of defense in many ways. In irrelationship, the enlistment is constructed by two people, and enforced by both.

Gone with the Wind and Xica: Two Myths of Slavery

Seventy-five years ago, Gone with the Wind was released, a movie that romanticized slavery with stereotyped images of African-Americans that remain familiar to this day. Slavery in Brazil was more widespread and lasted longer than in the U.S. The Brazilian movie Xica is also about slavery, but its stereotypes of Afro-Brazilians are very different from the American ones.

The Scientific Case for Owning Up to Your Porn Use

Many people believe that porn use should be hidden from a relationship partner. However, a new study suggests that when women think their partners are honest about their porn use, they tend to be happier with their relationships.

Creepy New Marketing Targets Female Sex Hormones

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in The Human Beast
During the fertile phase of their monthly cycle, women are prone to greater risk taking. For psychologists, this means that they are more likely to initiate sexual affairs. Marketers discovered that women are more likely to try new brands as well. Now they plan to use this fact in targeted marketing. Assuming that they get away with it, will the scheme work?

How to Say What You Truly Mean

Saying what you mean is more than a matter of finding the right words. It’s the intonation, or tone of voice, that adds punch to our language. If you’re a victim of “uptalk,” without knowing it, you may be leaving people with a wrong, and confusing, impression.

Singles, You Can Lower Your Risk of Divorce

Many singles are interested in marriage but fear divorce. You can do things before marriage to increase your odds of lasting love in marriage.

Theo Fleury Is Teaching Us How to Heal

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Former professional hockey player Theo Fleury is no stranger to confrontation, both on and off the ice. In 2009, he bravely and publicly confronted a very personal issue—sexual abuse and alcoholism. He explains how communication is pertinent to well-being, and even though the road ahead may not be easy, he truly believes that people can learn to heal.

What Does “Facebook Stalking” Mean for Your Relationship?

Social networking websites like Facebook give us unprecedented access to others’ lives, and the opportunity to spy on our romantic partners like never before. A new study investigates how this kind of Facebook surveillance is related to the types of relationships we have.

The Brain Is Not an Octopus

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in Mind Change
Engaging in several tasks at once might seem like a wonderful solution for keeping pace with the speed of twenty-first-century life, but the price paid could be high.

Facebook and Happiness

Given results in social psychology, should we be very careful of using Facebook passively, lest we too succumb to a decline in affective well-being?

The Borderline Mother II

A borderline mother can you hurt a child (even an adult child) in the blink of an eye. Here's what happens and how you can respond.

Why The Internet Is So Addictive

We often over-use the Internet as an escape hatch from our daily lives, which can eventually develop into a technology addiction.

How Youth Wind Up Taking Antipsychotic Medications

Yes, the number of kids taking antipsychotic medications is rising, but what does that mean? A new study begins to illuminate the process being the prescriptions.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Resilience

By Peg Streep on March 02, 2015 in Tech Support
When we speak of someone being "resilient," we tend to think of it as a character strength. But what is resilience anyway, and what does it take to weather the setbacks in life? A look at the research reveals much...

Loneliness and Internet Use

At any given moment, hundreds of millions of people from all around the world are surfing the Internet, People rely on such networks to build and maintain their social contacts. Whether this new opportunity to be in social contact around the clock has enhanced people's well-being ?

Are Canadian Voters Really This Dumb?

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in Caveman Politics
One of the nonpolitical shortcuts people use when evaluating politicians is their nonverbal displays—the messages they send with their facial expressions, body movement, eye contact, voice, and touch. How much does style matter over substance in politics?

A Dress of a Different Color

By Maureen Seaberg on March 01, 2015 in Sensorium
The dresses of the year, are, in fact, marsala!

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

“Side Effects” Turns A Million

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in Side Effects
The blog "Side Effects" receives its millionth consecutive click.

Is Writing a Hit TV Series In Your Future?

By Katharine Brooks Ed.D. on February 28, 2015 in Career Transitions
Is writing for television one of your career dreams? If you’re ready to transform your ideas into reality, here’s a book that can help you every step of the way.

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

How (Not) to Win the War on Terrorism

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How can we protect society against a few committed radicals who can disrupt society by marshaling powerful communications networks? In the good old days, we tracked the movement of physical assets as early warning signs of trouble. What can we do now, when weapons are intangible and untraceable? Might it be possible to mobilize the mainstream as a balancing force?

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

By Joe Navarro M.A. on February 27, 2015 in Spycatcher
Why exercising social intelligence matters and why it can dominate a news cycle

Why You Were Born to Gossip

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Talking Apes
Since our brains are finely tuned for coordinating our relationships with others, it’s not surprising that language is structured to convey social information.

They Talk, We Listen

By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Bear in Mind
"I don’t know what happened, my Sweet Girl is gone. Yesterday she left in the morning and didn’t even say good-bye. She just left. I waited all day yesterday and she never came home, and today she’s still not home. I am really, really sad. I don’t even know what I am going to do with myself."