Water Games

Negotiations are especially difficult when you are responding to the other party’s assumed instead of actual preferences.

Psychology of Money

Are you sure you want to spend your money on THAT? Dan Ariely wants you to wait and think. Same for having children.

The Shadow and His Wanderer

Indulge me in 3 lines of thought: Nietzsche on free will. How to talk to strangers on a plane. Car key design.

Making the Grade

Let’s take a look at the psychology of receiving a good or not so good grade, and reflect on feet.

Kanns' Vergessen

Psychological Science (from the eponymous journal) occasionally penetrates the academia/public membrane. Some findings go viral or merely fungal, and sometimes for the wrong reasons. See here for two examples and a word of the day for your edutainment. Never mind the title of this post. Just read on.

Game of Zoë

Following simple rules, people move around in a group until interesting patterns emerge. One sees this more clearly, though, in a computer simulation.

Verde Primaverile

As in previous, Italian-titled posts, I put together some fragments for your enjoyment and mulling. Two of today’s chips are on happiness.

Alien Landing in Sindelfingen

Imagine a world in which “learning” is easy. Believe anything! Such a world exists. It was recently put on display in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Heisenberg Capacitor

Here’s Part III of my effort to strike a blow for hedonism by nullifying Nozick’s experience machine. Reality as it is is good enough. Enjoy it.

The Experience Machine Reloaded

In a famous thought experiment, philosopher Robert Nozick tried to refute hedonism, or the idea that pleasure is the best and pain is the worst. But not so fast, please.


Breaking up is easy to do but difficult to digest. Here’s some consolation. Sort of.

Sarcasm Bites

Are you ready for sarcasm? Yes? Yeah, right!


I found 26 blog posts on happiness in my blog archive. Here’s a list of them with a brief statement of contents for each. Peace and happiness!

Happy Pie

Some say that 50% of happiness is due to genes, 10% to circumstance, and the rest to what you do. I want to believe that but can’t.

Waldeslust - Joy of the Forest

Spending a little time in Nature can break the yoke of self-domestication and bring peace and happiness. Begin with a walk in the woods.

Hoax, Dehoax, Rehoax

What harm is in a hoax? The recent hoopla over about the alleged encounter of a temporarily dead priest with mother God is instructive.

Three Dead Grannies, or the Psychology of Deadlines

A deadline is a blunt cudgel to beat students (and others) into submission. Can we do without them? [this is a rhetorical question]

Flow and Happiness

What is the relationship between the state of ‘flow’ and happiness? I suggest here that flow is beneficial but limited in scope because it is bound up with work and expertise.

Brooks's Brothers

David Brooks outed himself as an admirer of religion. When religion rears its head, reason goes down the culvert. Take a look at what he said.

Staying Home

There are two psychologies of religion. One shows that religion is a poor way of ‘knowing.’ The other shows that religion is a stubborn social phenomenon.

Revelation vs. Science

Does theistic religion offer transcendence or a psychological straightjacket?

Revelation and Conquest

Faith and knowledge must not be confused. There is a firewall between them. Knowledge depends on evidence and argument; it critically remains open to uncertainty, investigation, and revision. Faith is a well-imagined rock.

Normative Happiness

Is happiness a subjective, inner, feeling, or is it subject to analytical examination? If so, can your life and your happiness be objectively evaluated? Many philosophers but few psychologists believe so.

Real Happiness

Is there such a thing as bogus happiness or bovine contentment among humans? Yes, there is: at least in thought experiments. Unabashedly hypothetical, thought experiments can show you what you would not want.

Naturalizing God

God is dead, but Neo-Darwinian psychologists believe that she must live in your imagination so that you may live in a prosocial and thus prosperous society. Really?

All That Jazz

Jazz is a hotbed for creative expression. The collaboration among the members of the band and the improvisations by the soloist are the two sides of jazz’s creative dialectic.

Interstellar Parochial

Emotionally unidimensional McConaughey’s Cooper unifies quantum and relativity theory, saves humanity, and finds love. Meanwhile, Michael Caine and Matt Damon explore life on the other side of the wormhole as supporting actors.

Not a Prayer

Brown University commencement exercises include a non-sectarian prayer. I think it is time to let it go.

Lazy Professor

What do professors do before they walk into the classroom and after they leave? It’s a mystery all right. Well, no longer. Here’s a partial list of activities.

Social Mindfulness

Giving up a choice so that someone else might have it shows social mindfulness. How is this different from just being nice? It is surprisingly hard to tell.