Oh No, Pokémon Go!

We have an infestation of Pokémon on my campus and in my community. Have you seen any Pokémon lurking around your home, at work, in parks, or on the streets near you?

The Orlando Mass Shooting: Terrorist Attack or Hate Crime?

Was the Orlando mass shooting a terrorist attack or a hate crime? How we think about and describe the massacre matters. It really matters.

Get Your Head in the Clouds

Problem solutions like to play hide and seek. We seek. And they hide. The harder we search, the more they hide. Here are 3 steps to help you find creative solutions.

What If Money Can Buy Happiness?

Money can’t buy happiness and it can’t buy love. But what if it’s a myth. What if there are ways in which your money can make you happy?

Was It Really Love at First Sight?

Do you remember the first time you met your partner? Was it love at first sight?

But I Knew That!

Students frequently express frustration when reviewing tests. They see the correct answer and wonder how they missed it. They knew that one. But did they really?

The Unshakeable Power of Rumor

Have you heard the latest? When we hear rumors, we make guesses and draw conclusions. But can we correct our mistaken beliefs when we receive more accurate information?

The Appeal of Donald Trump

Why is Donald Trump still leading the polls in the republican presidential race? The pundits keep expecting him to crash and burn. Try a high risk gamble at the Trump casino.

Save Me From the Fact-Checkers

Politicians lie. They also exaggerate and misremember. Each creates an autobiographical past that makes a great story but which probably isn’t completely true. But we are just like the lying politicians except for one critical difference.

Teach Your Children to Lie

Lying is an incredibly important skill. But lying is pretty tricky and depends on a basic cognitive capability that young children lack and need to develop. You may have to teach your children how to lie effectively.

Attack of the Killer Robots

The killer robots are coming after you. While this is a common plot theme in science fiction, it isn’t just fiction. Robots have killed before and will kill again. Beware beautiful robots who seem to be aware. Don’t let them out.

Between the World and Me: Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes

To understand someone else, the advice is to walk a mile in that person’s shoes. Putting on shoes isn’t the way into another person’s existence. I need to get inside that person’s experiences. But how can I walk a mile inside someone else’s skin? I know one way to move inside someone’s experience – and it isn’t by putting on shoes.

No Regrets

What regrets do you have? Although I’ve heard that we should live with “No Regrets,” I suspect we all have a list of regrets. Regrets invade our thoughts, occupy our minds, and keep us thinking about the things we wish we had done differently. But there may be ways to barricade your mind and stop ruminating about your regrets.

Race, Violence, and Illusory Correlations

A young man walks into a church. He shoots and kills 9 people in a prayer meeting. Why? How do you explain such a horrific action?

How to Stop Thinking About Someone

You meet someone new and attractive. Temptation strikes. Perhaps you’re a little infatuated. The eye looks and the mind wanders. You find your thoughts keep returning to the encounter and the possibility for romance, sex, or a relationship. But if you’re already in a committed and happy relationship, you may not want those thoughts. How can you stop those thoughts?

Is That Memory of Yours Even Real?

Have you, or anyone you know, ever been the victim of memory theft? Has someone ever stolen one of your memories and told the story as his or her own? You might be surprised by how frequently this crime happens—you aren’t alone if your memories have been stolen.

Can You Break the Mood-Memory Cycle?

Does it ever seem that the only thoughts that come to mind are negative? You only remember the painful and sorrowful experiences from your life. Someone reminds you of something happy, but you struggle to remember it. And remembering that happy experience may make you feel worse rather than better.

Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, Two Seconds, and a Death

Two seconds is not much time. Not enough time to evaluate a situation. Not enough time to negotiate. But it is enough time for implicit attitudes and emotions to drive responses. It is enough time to shoot and kill a 12 year old boy playing in a park.

Superstitions and the Super Bowl

Put on your team jersey and don your special hat. Make sure you have the right chips and dips. Are your friends ready? Will everyone be in the correct seat on the couch drinking the exact right beverage? Your team is depending on you. You’ve got to help them win. If you get any of this wrong, your team will lose and it will be your fault.

Hands Up, Don't Shoot

When he was shot and killed, was Michael Brown trying to surrender or starting to attack? Why don't the witness memories agree on this critical issue? Maybe because they did not see the same event.

Why We Have Small Memory Failures, Every Day

Did I lock my door? I don’t know. I don’t remember. I have a frequent memory failures like this. Did I respond to that email? Have I told my class about this before? What was I supposed to get at the store today? I bet you have these errors frequently too. But the real question is should we worry about these small, consistent, everyday memory failures.

Don't Touch My Phone!

Would you let someone use your cell phone to make a call? How about to search the internet? Or send a text message? Just how private are you with your cell phone?

Controlling My Intrusive Thoughts

I know I have little control over many things in my life, but I’d like to control the contents of my mind. My thoughts seem to have their own ideas about who is in charge. My mind runs in unintended directions and unwanted thoughts intrude at the worst possible times. But I’m not giving up. I’ve been working on a few methods to take control of my intrusive thoughts.

Ban Computers and Cell Phones from Classrooms

We should ban the use of computers and cell phones in classrooms. I love computers and I love my cell phone. But we need to ban them in classrooms and probably work meetings as well. I know that is a radical statement and one that will generate controversy. But what else can we do?

Smart People, Dumb Decisions

Generally, we assume it’s good to be smart. We expect smart people to make smart decisions. But smart people may be so good at reasoning that they can logically reach the conclusion they want rather than the correct answer. Maybe critical thinking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

On a Date with You and Our Cell Phones

You see two people out to dinner or maybe sharing a cup of coffee in a neighborhood cafe. Their cell phones are with them; perhaps on the table, occasionally intruding into the conversation, and eventually disrupting their relationship.

How Social Networks Can Inflame Jealousy

When a relationship ends, memories change. We rewrite memories to reflect current emotions. But the internet doesn’t change. People update their relationship status–changing from “in a relationship” to “single.” But Facebook accumulates and maintains detailed photographic evidence of a wonderful relationship past. Should you edit Facebook to match your memories?

Video Games Invade the Real World

Turning off the videogame may not end the game. People continue thinking about the game and may experience the game in the real world. Gamers will respond to real world stimuli as if they were the game stimuli. The videogame has invaded their minds.

The Dangers of Going on Autopilot

How is it possible to drive home and have no memory of the trip? I’m sure you’ve done this. I do this while walking too. I walk and drive on autopilot. Your autopilot can move you around an object. But your autopilot will fail to notice that the object was money hanging on a tree. If money grew on trees, would you see it?

The World in My Pocket

My students carry the world in their pockets. All the knowledge in the world is constantly available through a computer, a tablet, or a smart phone. I’m still not used to constantly available knowledge. But my students have grown up with constantly available knowledge and it is changing their relationship to knowledge.

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