Why Are We so bad at Detecting Lies?

In an important review paper based on data from many thousands of people, Maria Hartwig and Charles Bond showed why humans are so bad at detecting lies. It turns out that the most popular theory – among laypersons as well as academics – is wrong.

Have You Experienced Discrimination? Keep Quiet or Else!

Have you been accused of playing the race card or the victim card or any other such card? Research shows that people are very harsh in what they say about people who claim discrimination—even if it is clear that the people in question really did experience discrimination. Maybe making the race-card accusation says more about the accuser than it does about the target.

Is Marriage a Status Symbol or a Rebuke to Uppity Women?

What do college-educated American women have in common with Merida from the movie Brave, Diane Lockhart of The Good Wife, Kate Beckett of Castle, Alex Blake of Criminal Minds, and Bridget Jones? Should they be proud?

Why Do We Call Them ‘Single Mothers’?

There’s something wrong with the term ‘single mothers,’ how it is used, and how it shapes our view of their lives.

Are Single People Mentally Stronger Than Everyone Else?

For decades, social scientists have been predicting that getting married makes people happier and healthier. The media has been persuaded, and has blithely perpetrated singlism and matrimania. A close look at the findings, though, shows that single people fare far better than theories or mythologies have led us to expect. What are we not understanding about single life?

Is It Healthier to Live with Someone?

If people who are not married acted more like married people in one particular way – by living with another adult – would they be healthier? Does it depend on whether the unmarried person is divorced or widowed or has always been single? Is it naïve to assume that married people are healthier, regardless of living situations?

When Isolated People Are Not Lonely and Connected People Are

A 20-year study that followed people into old age found that some who were objectively isolated were not at all lonely, and others who were not at all isolated were lonely. Who were these people? What were their lives like?

Are Married People Less Likely to Kill Themselves?

In the late 1800s, Durkheim said that married people are less likely to commit suicide than people who are not married. In the 21st century, that claim still echoes through the media. But we have better studies now, analyzed more rigorously. If you are looking for people especially likely to kill themselves, don’t look at people who have always been single.

Do It My Way: Women Telling Women How to Live

Lots of women are getting tons of attention for the unsolicited advice they are heaping on other women. The content of this how-to-live genre is varied, but the bottom line is not. All of these presumptuous dispensers of life lessons are saying that their way is the only good and noble way to live. That’s not progress.

Alone, In Pain, Dirty, Burdened, Poor…and Utterly Fulfilled?

How can an experience marked by so much that is scary, painful, and threatening end up so utterly transforming? Shouldn’t healing experiences be comforting ones?

Get a CLUE About Singlism! Sometimes People Do

We have been talking about singlism – the stereotyping and discrimination against single people – here at Living Single for more than 5 years. Now dozens of bloggers are all-in with a newly-launched campaign to educate and inform, and ultimately create a more just world for people of all marital and relationship statuses, not just married people.

If You Are Single, Every Day Is Tax Day: 19 Examples

Contrary to the myth that single people do not contribute their fair share, growing evidence shows that single people are actually subsidizing married people in many ways. Income taxes are just one of the 19 ways in which singles pay more and get less.

The Fraudulent $100,000 Claim about Happiness

Have you heard the one about how getting married will provide you with the equivalent in happiness of an additional $100,000 in income? That claim has been making the rounds for about a decade. I found the original study, and you will not believe what it actually says.

Oh, Wonkblog, You Blew It on Marriage and Happiness

At the Washington Post Wonkblog, usually great at evidence-based arguments, a contributor gets tripped up – perhaps by matrimania – and ends up making a claim about getting married and getting happy that he knows he can’t make. He got it at the beginning of the piece, but by the end, he lost his mind.

Princeton Is for Husbands? Icky, Retro, and Proud of It!

The advice to undergraduate Princeton women to hurry up and get married – to Princeton men – has been thoroughly mocked and ridiculed. There are, though, a few things left to say: about the author’s attitude, about how she establishes her “facts,” and about one thing I actually think she got right.

SCOTUS Unwittingly Makes the Case for Singles’ Rights

In 2010, when a California judge struck down Prop 8, the anti-gay-marriage proposition, the arguments he used were actually arguments for singles’ rights. Of course, that reading went unrecognized. The same thing is happening in the arguments before the Supreme Court now.

What ‘Living Single’ Readers Like Most: A 5-Year Report

Looking back over 5 years of writing the Living Single blog, I collect the most popular posts that were on-topic and the most popular of the off-topic articles. I also ‘fess up about the post that was the biggest loser, and describe some surprises as to what does and does not interest Living Single readers.

5 Years of Living Single: My Biggest Failure

I was among the handful of bloggers around when Psych Today first launched its blogs five years ago. I have had many wonderful experiences but I am also frustrated with my biggest failure so far.

11 Ways the World Will Be Better When Single is the Norm

Once single people are in the majority and put their stamp on things, the world will be a better place. Guest blogger Eleanore Wells points out 11 such improvements, ranging from how we live to how we shop to who counts as family and what policies will rule the land.

Marriage and Happiness: 18 Long-Term Studies

In 18 studies, people reported their happiness or satisfaction starting before they got married and continuing for years afterwards. Getting married did not change people’s happiness. Around the time of the wedding, people who got married and stayed married reported an increase in life satisfaction, but it did not last. Satisfaction with their partner decreased over time.

Great Quotes About Single Life

Here are some great quotes about single life. If you are expecting the usual (e.g., “marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready to be institutionalized”), you are in for a surprise. Take a look at these, then share your own favorites.

You’re on Notice, Travel Industry!

It is not just single people who sometimes want to travel on their own. In an important article in the New York Times, a reporter urges companies to drop the single supplement and start catering to solo travelers. She also lists cruises and tours that are on the way to offering solo travelers the same great deals offered to everyone else.

The Scarlet Letter S: Getting Branded For Being Single

Amidst all of the discussion of the official forms of discrimination against singles, there is, suggests guest blogger Diane Torre, an under-appreciation of varieties of singlism that plague singles in everyday life. Hurtful comments and unkind assumptions about people who are single are rampant, and perpetrators are not self-conscious about acting in these cruel ways.

A Child of a Single Parent Asks, Why the Hurtful Digs?

Some of the people in public and private life who say, essentially, that the children of single parents are doomed to a lesser life, really believe that’s what the science says. They are wrong.

How Two White Men Are Coaxing American Women to Have Kids

Several recent media stories have claimed that women’s choices not to have kids “may spell disaster for the country.” What interests me are the psychological approaches the authors take to coaxing women to have kids.

In Sitcoms, Singles Are Not Alone; in Movies, Marriage…

Sitcoms don’t get the respect that movies do. But are they telling deeper truths about married and single life?

Without Unmarried Equality, Gender Equality Is Not Enough

Gender equality is not just about husbands and wives sharing equally in paid work, care work, and housework.

The Crisis in Squishy Science and Trouble for Journalists

There’s lots of angst these days about the state of the squishy sciences. What does it mean when different studies produce conflicting findings? What if one point of view has more emotion and more resources behind it? What can journalists do to write more accurate stories?

More Than Sex: 11 Meaningful Facts About Single People

A recent survey of single people asked mostly about dating, sex, and online profiles. The real lives of single people are about much more than that. Here are 11 meaningful facts about single people.

Myth-Buster: How Going Solo Takes Lonely Out of Alone

Eric Klinenberg, author of “Going Solo,” talks about the myths about living alone, the unrecognized care work done by single people, the responses to his book over the past year, whether singletons will start getting the attention they deserve, and more.