The Science of Happiness, Well-Being and Twinkies

As you’re reading this, ask yourself one question: Are you happy? Okay, maybe just one more: Wouldn’t a Twinkie make you happier? The answer depends on how you define happiness.

One Powerful Tool to Help Your Child Learn Math

Executive function, school placement, math identity, reading skills, IQ and more: Here's what matters (and what surprisingly doesn't!) for improving math skills in elementary and middle schools.

How To Manage Situations and Emotions of Acute Stress

The ability to keep stress in a productive “Goldilocks zone” depends less on what you have to deal with and more on how you deal with it. Here's how.

Whether to Wake Up or Snooze, and Why It Matters So Much

To snooze or not to snooze? The answer can determine whether you start the day with energy or insight.

If You Want to be Creative, Keep Trying

Test yourself: how many creative ideas can you generate for things to eat or drink at Thanksgiving dinner? Now, how many more do you think you could come up with if you persisted in trying again? The answer might surprise you.

Relational Reasoning Shows How Kids Think Without Thinking

Study shows how young children intuit relationships that older children over-think and can't see.

Study Shows That 40% of U.S. Kids Are Insecurely Attached

I was at the park the other day throwing pine cones at my kids when a mother asked, “How can you hit your kids with pine cones!” I said it was actually pretty easy—and surprisingly fun!

Calvin's Dad Was Right: How to Communicate Science to Kids

Though Calvin's dad's explanations may stretch what we adults consider scientific credibility, they are linear, logical and—at least to the brain of a young child who hasn’t yet pruned branches from the tree of possibilities—perfectly plausible. That’s why Calvin goes back for more: The quality of his dad’s explanations keep him Calvin's oracle of information.

A New Kind of Reward Increases Intrinsic Motivation

Even my wife, a psychologist, falls prey to the seductive idea that a $5 trip to Target after a violin lesson will eventually result in our son associating violin practice with good things.

The Brain Works Through "Openness" to Boost Creativity

Researcher: "Cultivation of the basic personality features of openness to experience in children and adolescents may increase an individual’s trait creativity and, thereby, facilitate divergent thinking and creative achievement."

Inside the Brains of Child Prodigies

For every prodigy, there's a profile: Distinct brain abilities help to make astounding performance possible.

Study: The Difference Between Shyness and Social Anxiety

Some shy babies become shy, happy children. Others become withdrawn and socially anxious. A new study shows the difference.

Intuition, Emotion-Based Learning, & the Iowa Gambling Task

Why, so often, does emotion-based learning fail? And how can you ensure your emotion-based learning leads your intuitions in the correct direction? The answers come from 20 years of research with a gambling game.

Wisdom and Narcissism: What Makes a Good Leader?

It seems that rather than knowing anything or being able to do anything or understanding life's changing complexities, what we want from a leader is simply the ability to courageously march into the unknown and make it safe for the rest of us to follow.

The Nature and Nurture of Kids' Reading Development

You've seen the infomercials: glowing parents gushing over their 2yo who reads Proust. In the original, for gosh sakes! How does that happen? A new study in the journal Child Development lets you largely off the hook.

How to be a Genius

Lacking superior IQ or prodigious talent? Don't worry, anyone can join Michelangelo in the "genius at" category.

Scrabble Champ's Primer on Winning Words With Friends

"Here’s the story of the only truly awesome play I’ve ever made,” Jason Katz-Brown told me when I interviewed him for my book, Brain Trust. Katz-Brown is a former US No. 1-ranked Scrabble player, and co-creator with John O’Laughlin of the gold-standard wordplay site Quackle, so when he talks awesome plays, less-awesome players like me listen.

Your Future Self Knows Best

It's early on a Saturday morning, everyone's asleep, and I just wandered into the kitchen to nuke a bowl of instant oatmeal. But here's the problem: Calling to me from atop the fridge is our early stash of Easter candy. I just want the Peeps. Would my wife even notice?

Nobel Economist Says "Identity" Can Make Your Spouse Do More Housework

Assuming spouses have equal bargaining power, they should settle on equal "personal utilities." So why do relationships in which the wife works more reach equal personal utilities when she also does most of the housework?

Homework Help Hurts Learning

Last Friday was my son's lower elementary invention fair. And his project was resplendent. The thing is, I built it.

This Is Your Brain on Multitasking

98 percent of us don't multitask well—but 2 percent of us have different brains. These people are supertaskers, the leading edge of evolution, according to University of Utah's David Strayer.

How to Choose an Elementary School by the Numbers

Lately, my wife and I have been staring slack-jawed at elementary school options—and so we’ve decided to cede our choice to the numbers. Unlike test scores alone, here are three unexpected numbers that actually DO mean something about school quality.

The Rational Irrationality of Soccer Deaths and Football Bets

As you know, 74 people were killed this Wednesday when Egyptian soccer fans stampeded into a bottleneck after a 3-1 hometown upset win. While certainly tragic, it's far from irrational: it turns out the behavioral economics were stacked against them.