Soft-Serve Psychology

Beyond physics and envy: why it is so hard to work in a soft science.

My Post-Shamanistic Bio

I wrote, as an exercise in self-discovery, a short bio. Go forth and do likewise.

Judgment Under Uncertainty: Statistics and Biases

In this essay, you can learn something about intuition (and statistics). But you really care about intuition. Am I right?

The End of P?

Good science should be replicable – though not all replicable science is good. How can psychology become more replicable? I advocate testing less bold hypotheses.

Enforced Trust

You think your doctor and lawyer will take care of you. And often they do. But then again, they also have to worry about the bottom line.


Once you have made a choice, do you still care? Do you still know what you chose? Yes you do – if it matters.

Fit For Happiness

The pursuit of happiness should fit the fit between personality and purchase

Radical Sabbatical

Professors take sabbaticals to rejuvenate their minds, find creativity, and sample the vintages in the South of France. We shall keep the sabbath holy.

Notes From Hohenschönhausen

You have heard of the Stanford Prison Study. Textbook, right? Now consider Hohenschönhausen and enter the world of the Staatssicherheit.

Wrong Personality for the Job

Have you ever been interviewed for a job and rejected on account of your personality? Here is the story of a personality psychologist whose phone interview did not go well.

Stand Up For Yourself

Before positive psychology and before the self-esteem movement there was assertiveness (and training).

How I Broke With Freud

When you read, admire, and seek to live by psychoanalysis, be careful what you wish for.

How to Review a Book

You know that Oprah didn’t read all those books on her list. She’s a businesswoman, not a book reviewer. In this post, I offer a few pointers on how to become the latter.

Rollo May and the Courage to Create

Would you like to be more creative? Good news: You can. Bad news: You will have to get off that couch.

Ultimatum X

When do you agree to do something for nothing (or little)? Economic games are elegant research paradigms for the study of this question. Add psychology, and all hell breaks loose.

Creativity in Time and Place

The Leonardos of the world have appeared in clusters over historical time and geographical space. Popular writer Eric Weiner tries to make sense of it for you, sort of.

Creeping Moralism

If you lack in self-control, you are probably an immoral person. This claim has recently been made in the starkest possible terms by prominent social psychologists. Let’s not

Mr. Rogers on Creativity

Creativity requires bold action, risk-taking, and tolerance of ambiguity. Carl Rogers (hm hm) outlined a theory 60 years ago. Let’s review it.

Schopenhauer Talks Back

Before your next argument, review Schopenhauer’s “Art of being right.” Beg the question, turn the tables, or make your point ex concessis. Whatever it takes!

The Germans and Their Crowds

When Germans blame foreigners and the world blames the Germans, it is time for a second look.

Mexican Standoff

The Mexican Standoff is a cinematic trope and a hopeless trap from a psychological perspective – unless you add foresight.


The psychology of seeking help or asking for favors rarely considers the underbelly of strategic reasoning. Here’s an attempt to do just that.

Gulliber's Travails

Critics go hard-core with "science-based" medicine (and other practices and beliefs), but few readers will be impressed.

Dalai Does Brussels

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will rock Brussels in September, 2016. Here's an unenthusiastic preview.

Lightman's Universe

Alan Lightman says the universe is accidental. I believe that, although he says there can be no proof.

Not Even Bullshit

Deepak Chopra recently became the poster-boy for bullshit (in Frankfurt's 2005 sense). I submit that this charge does not go far enough.

Nomination Dilemma

Suppose you can give love to others but not to yourself. How much would you give?

Gullibility Gulag

At a 'congress' of Russian stagemen and women (you can't call them scientists), alternative worldviews were free-wheelingly bandied about.


Let us take a look at some of the lesser-known aspects of self-love and an unconventional perspective on insurance. There’s always a psychology in that.

My Return to Theism

Theism – Atheism is a false dichotomy. Setting aside deism as anemic theism, I distinguish between theism with love and theism without love. The former is easy to refute, as has been done many times by children and philosophers. The latter is far more resistant to disproof and psychologically more plausible.