Who Watches Reality Shows, and Why?

From toddlers in tiaras, to top models to pawn stars, reality television presents an insider’s view of the common and not-so-common experiences of everyday life. These shows present viewers with the opportunity to get a peek into behind-the-scenes views of other people’s lives. Recent research shows ways that you can learn whether, and why, you’re truly a TV voyeur.

Is Birth Order Destiny?

Myths and stereotypes about birth order in the popular literature shape our beliefs about how a person’s order in the family influences everything from life success to attitudes, values, and goals. Three recent studies provide new insights into this perennial issue and will help you understand the role of birth order in your own life.

Despite Popular Opinion, Psychopaths Can Show They Care

People high in the trait of psychopathy, in which they show callous disregard for others, may seem to have no interest in benefiting the lives of others. However, a recent study of college-age psychopaths-in-the-making shows that they can be primed to identify with a cause larger than themselves. A caring psychopath doesn’t necessarily have to be an oxymoron.

9 Types of Compliments and Why They Work (or Not)

It is wonderful to receive a true compliment, but confusing and perhaps annoying to receive one that fails to hit the mark. Psychology’s research on the topic is surprisingly a bit scattered on the topic, but putting it all together, these 9 tips will help you get, and give compliments that are sure to please.

A Man's Drive for Muscularity and His Views about Women

The drive for muscularity reflects a man's desire to fit the cultural ideal of men as strong and dominant. New research shows that the men most dissatisfied with their body images are also most likely to feel negatively toward women. Whatever your gender, you can benefit from rethinking your views about male-female roles, and in the process more fully accept your own body.

What the DSM-5 Changes Mean for You

Virtually every variation in human behavior appears somewhere in the DSM-5.This makes it fascinating reading and gives it extremely wide scope. The publication of the DSM-5 is causing psychology, psychiatry, and the general public to rethink what we mean by disease. It's important to know how the DSM-5 will affect all of us, both for worse and- we may hope- for the better.

Why Are Narcissists So Darn Sexy?

Narcissists seem to specialize in putting others under their spell. Many emit a kind of charisma of self-confidence and self-assurance that causes them to dominate a room, if not a relationship. As a result, it’s easy to be attracted to them, often at our own peril. Intriguing new research shows why we find them so appealing and suggests ways to resist their pull.

Five Ways to Tame Your Wild Side

We’ve all experienced the downside of acting impulsively. Whether it’s a risky business venture, a wild night out on the town, or a casual hookup that ended badly, by acting without thinking first, we may live to regret a poor set of decisions. Research on impulsivity shows both how this type of behavior may be caused, and suggests ways to tame your rashness.

A Top 10 List of Psychology’s Big Questions, and the Answers

Psychologists may be defined as people who answer a question with a question, but as it turns out, we have some pretty intriguing questions ourselves. In fact, we also have answers to many of these questions. This top 10 list of questions shows how, across a wide range of areas, psychology deals with- and helps answer- many of life’s great mysteries.

The Lingering Psychological Effects of Multiple Sex Partners

The psychological consequences of having multiple sex partners were long thought to include greater rates of anxiety and depression. As it turns out, however, new research from a study of young adult New Zealanders shows that alcohol and drug problems are the most likely long-term consequences of frequent sexual encounters.

Your Helping Instincts May Be Stronger Than You Realize

Reaching out to help others in need may be one of our most basic human tendencies. Despite the attention that psychology gives to the bystander effect, or the tendency to ignore others in distress, research on small children shows that starting at a very early age, most of us are eager and willing helpers.

What Makes a Man a Great Romantic Partner?

Of the many factors that influence relationship quality, mutual respect and liking are at the top of the list. Having a man with non-sexist attitudes is one way to guarantee that you’ll get that respect. New research shows how these key beliefs are shaped early in life and how you can use this knowledge in ways that will enhance your current and future relationships.

The High Cost of Facebook Exhibitionism

Facebook exhibitionism, the over-sharing of highly personal photos and updates, can cost you plenty. New research shows why people engage in this risky behavior, as well as the ways their exhibitionism can land them in trouble.

13 of Psychology’s Newest and Coolest Ideas

Psychology is a field holding never-ending fascination. Whether or not you’ve taken a psychology course, you’ll find these 13 ideas, many of them fresh to the year 2013, to be ones that you can use in your everyday life. Even if you don’t actually use them, you’ll find them cool just to think about.

What’s Your Sexual Life Expectancy?

Sexuality is a key aspect of well-being and happiness, but to make the most out of your sex life, you need to stay physically active and healthy. Large-scale national surveys show how to predict how long you’ll be able to keep your sexuality in peak condition and how to extend your sexual life expectancy.

The Surprising Ways That Neuroticism Can Boost Your Health

We think of neurotics as anxious worriers who are at high risk for health problems. However, new research from a national sample of adults shows that under certain conditions, neuroticism can reduce the chances of long-term chronic conditions. By adding a little conscientiousness to your neuroticism, you might surprisingly end up healthier.

Fifteen Reasons We Need Friends

Your friends influence and shape your life and your sense of identity in untold ways. In “Friendfluence,” Carlin Flora takes us through the high points and low points of the power that friends have both to help and hurt us. Fortunately, the “helps” can outweigh the “hurts” and in this book, you’ll learn how to make the benefits work in your favor.

Successful Brain Aging: Is Bigger Always Better?

Successful cognitive aging depends in large part on successful brain aging. Though we often think bigger is better when it comes to the brain, studies of "Super Agers" show that the way the brain functions may be more important than its actual size. As we say about certain other bodily areas, size doesn’t always matter; it’s how you use what you’ve got.

How Relationship Conflict can Affect Your Waistline

People gain weight for many reasons, but a recent large follow-up study showed that an unhappy relationship.may play a key role. Controlling for a host of potential contributing factors, researchers found that people unhappiest with their partners were most likely to gain weight over the subsequent decade. The easiest diet may be the one that involves your heart.

10 Ways to Solve Life’s Little Mysteries

Life is full of mysteries, challenging our powers of observation, memory, and problem-solving. Though a fictional character, the brilliant Sherlock Holmes is a model of human logic at its best. In the new book, “Mastermind,” author Konnikova shows us how, through the lens of modern psychology, we can improve these important cognitive skills.

The Six Best-Kept Secrets About Stress

Think you’re familiar with everything there is to know about stress? These six secrets about managing your own life stress are hot off the presses of psychology’s best publications. From coping with bullying co-workers to managing your sleep, this collection of the latest and greatest will help you find your own pathway to managing the stress in your life right now.

How Casual Sex Can Affect Our Mental Health

We are living, increasingly, in a hookup culture in which one-night stands are becoming part of many people’s sexual experiences. A recent large-scale national study examined the psychological costs associated with hookups, showing that casual sex can have unintended emotional consequences that persist long after the one-night stand has ended.

What's New (and Old) in the DSM-5 Personality Disorders

Prior to December 2012, the odds favored a massive restructuring of the DSM-5 which were intended to improve the personality disorders section of the diagnostic manual. However, a vote by the American Psychiatric Association’s Board of Trustees means that this section won’t change. Find out how this decision could affect how people in your life are diagnosed and treated.

That Delicate Work-Family Balance, and How to Have it All

Can women have it all? We’ve all heard this question a million times, at least. Research on work-family enrichment, on both men and women, shows that it’s possible. It just takes some flexibility and support from a boss, and it becomes a win-win situation for all. Learn how to cope with your stress at home, and on the job, and improve your overall well-being.

Is Low Self-Esteem Making You Vulnerable to Depression?

Self-esteem and depression are closely linked to each other. If your self-esteem is high, you’ll feel less depressed, and if you’re less depressed, your self-esteem will be low. New longitudinal research on over 18,000 people supports the vulnerability model that low self-esteem causes depression. The good news is that you can boost your self-esteem through 3 simple steps.

The Myth of the Helicopter Parent

Can a mom or dad ever shower too much love, attention, and material support on a child? If you think the answer is yes, you may be surprised that so-called “helicopter parents” (those who over-indulge their children) may help, rather than hurt, their chances for a successful life.

The Pessimist’s Guide to Happiness

Spending your mental resources seeking happiness may pay off only so much. “The Happiness Antidote” warns us that being too obsessed with the positive may sow the seeds only for our own disappointment. The less-travelled negative path may actually guarantee you a better chance of lifting your mood, if not your chances for life fulfillment.

When Your Relationship Ends, You Need to Save Face

The end of a long-term relationship is one of life's most painful experiences.It feels terrible to be left and almost just as bad to be the one initiating the break-up. Particularly painful is the blow that you take to your identity. You and your ex can ease the damage through "saving face." You won’t restore the break but you can restore your sense of self.

What Your Grandmother Didn’t Tell You About Her Sex Life

We associate aging with loss of sexuality, but a large national survey showed that people keep up their sex lives throughout their lives. What’s more, they engage in a full range of sexual behaviors, as well as maintaining a healthy interest in sexuality. Both men and women until their mid-80s are likely doing things in the bedroom that you think they’ve given up on.

The Inner Life of the Minimal Dater

Minimal daters date infrequently, feel inhibited when they’re with people of the opposite sex, and – most importantly- are unhappy with their social lives. Research suggests that a combination of shyness and introversion sets the stage for a lifetime of poor social skills, loneliness, and social anxiety. By recognizing how these patterns develop, minimal daters can improv