Save us from ourselves

The allure of believing we are multi-tasking superheroes is irresistible.  The time has come for the government to save us from ourselves.

A psychologist dissatisfied vs. a dog satisfied

My dog can't introspect or observe her own behavior, so it's not surprising she isn't aware of her personality.  But what's our excuse?

LeBron's brilliant self-insight... and total self-delusion

LeBron displayed incredible self-insight about his limitations on the basketball court, and astonishing delusions about the consequences of his off-the-court actions.

What your friends know about you that you don't

Are you your own best expert? When it comes to your own personality, you should know, right? Maybe not. A study of mine that just came out in this month's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that there are plenty of areas of our personality that we don't know very well, and our friends do.

Does Obama know how we see him?

We don't like people who think they're more popular than they really are.

You're not the kind of man who...

Most of us don't know how we would act under the most dire circumstances. Few people ever have to find out. But that doesn't stop the rest of us from speculating.

So your mom thinks you're beautiful...

During today's online chat with Dear Prudence, a woman asked why she can't find a boyfriend even though "people always tell me I'm really pretty, smart, fun, nice, and adventurous".

A case of national self-deception?

The U.S. media is in a frenzy over the election in Iran. I agree that the results were probably rigged, that it was not a fair election, and I, too, would have liked to see Ahmadinejad defeated. But what amazes me is how un-self-aware we Americans are in the face of a stolen election.

Supreme court acknowledges existence of unconscious bias

In a 5-4 ruling this week, the supreme court ruled that a judge should recuse himself if there is a risk of actual bias, even if the judge himself has searched his soul and concluded that he has no bias. I agree with the court that on issues like this, the judge should not be the judge of his own bias. 

Does Sotomayor know her own biases?

Prominent Republicans have been calling for senators to ask Sotomayor about how her ethnic identity influences her judgment during her upcoming confirmation hearings. Some have even gone as far as accusing her of racism. Others have argued that we don't ask straight white men how their identity biases their judgments, so it would be a double-standard to ask Sotomayor.  But can Sotomayor, or anyone, tell us how her ethnic identity biases her judgment?

The limits of self-knowledge

It's pretty uncontroversial to say that there are some things people are not very good at knowing about themselves. It's not easy to know how funny you are, or whether people find you charming. But surely there are some things you know beyond a doubt, like how happy you are or how you're feeling right now. Or do you?

Seeing the forest for the trees

Seeing the patterns in our own behavior.

Would you want to know?

Is self-knowledge necessary for happiness?