In Memoriam

Some of your strange (paranormal?) experiences you just have to live with. Here's mine.

Divano Letto

I begin this post with a consideration of altered states.

Psychology of Volunteering

Why do people (fail to) volunteer? Psychology has too many answers. Help me whittle down the number.

Volunteer's Headache

The folks of Alpha Centauri are coming. They will blow up Planet Earth unless at least one human steps forward to be abducted and ritually sacrificed. Can we count on you?

Prosper With Projection

If we reasonably expect others to choose and act in ways that are similar to how we choose and act, the prospect of successful cooperation does not seem quite as remote.

Trust in Children

In this post we will tell you whether interpersonal trust increases of decreases during childhood.

Decision and Illusion

Is making bad decisions like falling prey to a visual illusion? Prominent decision scientists see it that way, but their vision may be blurry.

Fine Cantiere

As the Bergamo days are winding down, it’s time for a review.

Love, Justice, Vengeance

I was as shocked by Woolwich as the next person. Now what?

Frutti di Bosco

Some thoughts fructify when the mind wanders.

Passo Carrabile

In Italy, my thoughts return to the unpredictability of human behavior. ‘Passo carrabile’ means ‘stay clear,’ as in ‘don’t block the driveway.’ Metaphorically, I ask you to keep on open mind.

Senza Piombo

Having gassed up with unleaded (senza piombo), I arrived in Bergamo to teach psychology. This post begins with a Neo-Freudian view on shame and blame and ends with notes from the road.

The Mystery of Trust Deepens

The decision to trust (vs. not) is recurring and of vital interest. People use all the cues they can get to make this decision, including invalid ones. If we could only tell the difference between the trustworthy and the untrustworthy by just looking at them. But we cannot.

Corto Circùito

Some thoughts are short-circuited. That does not make them false necessarily. Perhaps they can stimulate genuine insight. I am trying this for you in here.

Conspiracies (Plural) Theories

To believe two contradictory conspiracy theories at the same time is be irrational on steroids. There is some evidence that this occurs, but I cling to the possibility that the case is overstated.

And One More Thing

Lacking much-vaunted female intuition, I settle for unedited mentation.

Is National Defense a Public Good?

Let those who have the most to lose pay for national defense.

The Trinity of You

There are (at least) three different ways of thinking about the self. They are all true and they are all yours.

Freedom & Power

Power implies freedom. If freedom is an illusion, what is power?

Guess, Guess Again & Average

The inner crowd is alive and well in all its wisdom. Estimating the number of M&Ms in a jar is one way to see it, but some of us believe the findings generalize to, well, almost everything.

Branding Conservatives

Are conservatives afraid to try new consumer products? Why knows (cares?). Are liberals prone to statistical illusions? Here’s a case of 1.

Conservatism as Disease

From the cutting edge: Conservatives prefer familiar brands over generic or novel products. The finding says more about the state of psychological science than the state of the union.

Truth, Impact, and Reputation

Reputation is the currency of science and impact scores are the numerical expression. Scientists crave recognition and are intoxicated by impact. It’s a dangerous addiction.

Trust, Lies, and Social Intelligence

The ability to detect deception, defection, and lies is the hallmark of social intelligence. Prosocial individuals (trustors, cooperators) have both higher and lower social intelligence than self-regarding individuals. How can it be?

Vanishing Violence

Steven Pinker has found that violence has declined for a long time. This is an aftcast. Now what is the forecast?

How I Met Your Mother, Personalitywise

Continuing the quest to understand the personalities of fictional TV characters we turn to How I Met Your Mother. If Barney is awesome, what does that mean in terms of The Big Five? We throw in the Dalai Lama and the observers’ selves to get context.

Battle of the Exes

Coordinating one’s actions with the actions of others is hard when there is no communication. It is even harder when we are trying to do whatever the other person is not doing, that is, when we try to achieve negative coordination.

Trusting Leaders

If you want people to trust you, you have to trust them. It is more easily said than done, particularly if there is a power differential.

Got Meat?

I consulted His Holiness’s autobiography to get the scoop on the menu. His account of how he abandoned vegetarianism is medium rare.

I Don't Care About the Dalai Lama

The success of the Dalai Lama is a social psychological phenomenon. A simple monk who made good.