Larger than Leif

An ancient Viking comes to larger than life on the History Channel. Love him or hate him, he’s a complete man, in a Nietzschean sort of way.

False Consciousness of Happiness

So you think you know how to be happy? Think again and feel again.

Self-Help Unbound

A trip to the local bookstore (we still have one) ended in the self-help section and an aggravated state of agony.

Love in the Time of Chivalry

Response to temptation is supposed to reveal one's character. Yet, it may not be wise to seek temptation or set it up. Cervantes tells a cautionary tell in Don Quijote.

Grudge: Holding One

Forgiveness at all cost is not a good idea. Sometimes a grudge is worth holding, though it is difficult to know when the time has come.

In Defense of the Eyeball Test

Some findings are perfect without being too good to be true. In such a case, statistics are beside the point.

Bias in Self-Knowledge

When people hold false beliefs about themselves, it is usually their judgment that is blamed. Now there is a proposal to blame—and change—reality itself. Where will that lead us?


The psychology of patricide, the killing of the father.

Accuracy of Self-Knowledge

The lack of perfect self-knowledge is a puzzle. Should we not be the experts on ourselves? A new review of the literature confirms that accuracy is neither nil nor close to perfect.

Ad Lib

Most ads pollute the psychological space. Others entertain, delight, and sell because they respect simple psychology.

The How of High

Social life requires coordination. Setting aside cell phones and social media, how do people do it?

I Am We

The concept of self-stereotyping is intriguing but it has been difficult to isolate empirically. New evidence suggests that this phenomenon might be quite strong.

The Cause of My Success

These days, the boundaries between promotion, self-promotion, science, and story-telling are fraying. When I thought I was at the forefront of this trend, I was bested by Mr. Sperling (or someone who wrote in his name).

Got Game?

Before you punish your kids, run a red light, or bribe the taxman, read this post and see if you got game.

Teutonic Plight

Self-stereotyping is an intriguing but fickle phenomenon. When we see similarities between ourselves and a group, it is usually because we project from us to them, and not because we stereotype ourselves.

Mindfulness: Think About It

Mindfulness is a zen thing. It is associated with good feelings and tranquility. What, however, can mindfulness do for your engagement with the world?

Cheer Up and Create!

Don’t worry – be creative. Research shows that positive moods pave the road to creative accomplishment. The question is then how to get into a good mood and stay in it. Reading the blogs at Psychology Today might be just the thing.

Creativity From the Deep

Freud speculated that we might turn anxiety into creativity. Now there’s evidence that this works. You have to be a pious Calvinist, though.


Some people try to construct an identity by identifying with a group—and thereby sacrificing their personal identity. If this sounds paradoxical, it does because it is.

The Statistics of Impossible Results

When empirically working scientists tell you what’s what, they usually hold a bag of data. What if the data are too weird for their theories? Can clever statistical analyses help?

The Quest for Replicable Results in Psychology

No wonder that many of you are getting impatient with the field of psychology as the head-banging and hand-wringing of what we may presume to know continues. In order to enjoy this post, you need to remember your notes from intro stats.

Fight Bad Style

Bad style confuses and bores. If you write, write lively.

A General Power Game

Human interdependence often involves a power differential. This requires strategic thinking. Are you up for it?

The Pursuit of Creativity

Happiness is great. Creativity is awesome. Punch through the conflicts and paradoxes and make it happen. Or take a random walk and stumble into it. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. [Mixed metaphors are creative—if awkward.]

How Robinson Crusoe Managed His Man Friday

Robinson Crusoe and Friday formed a stable relationship. Game theory can shed light on how they did it.

Creation Science! No Thanks

Nice Science Guy Bill Nye debated Creationism’s Ken Ham. It did not go well. Ham demonstrated the flexibility of the wishfully thinking mind.

Robinson Crusoe, Psychologist

Defoe’s Crusoe is the great English novel and nutshell psychology. Read it and ask yourself: What would you do?

Big Five Admitted

Docs with personalities? Check out the good people at Scrubs. Though they are fictional, their personalities emerge on the Big Five trait taxonomy.

Return of the Donnerbalken

Don’t read this post if you’re delicate. Today’s topic is the social psychology of defecation. And you thought there was no such thing.

My Collapsing Universe

Below the equator and over dinner, we discussed astrophysics, metaphysics, and theory of mind. Hence this post.