The Psychological Roots of Terrorism

The terrorist mentality is a form of psychopathy rooted in a deep sense of existential anxiety and disorientation, which is especially acute during adolescence and early adulthood.

More Than a Chemical Imbalance

To treat depression as the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain — and to try to fix the problem with medication — is naive, misleading and possibly even dangerous. This is not to say that brain chemistry isn't involved in depression. But it’s certainly not the only factor.

Transpersonal Psychology

While transpersonal psychology has been on the periphery for a long time, its significance may be increasing. It is becoming increasing important for us to explore the "farther reaches of human nature."

Understanding Empathy

Empathy is more than just "putting yourself in someone's shoes." It can stem from the ability to actually sense what another person is experiencing; the ability to "feel with" another person in a way that transcends separateness.

How Acceptance Can Transform Your Life

An attitude of acceptance can transform your state of mind. This article explains a simple four stage process of acceptance.

The Problem With Wanting

Wanting make us unhappy. The more desires we have, the less satisfied we are with what already have. How can we stop wanting things we don't really need?

The Kindness of Strangers

There's no need to make excuses for human kindness. We should celebrate it is one of the most fundamental aspects of human nature.

What's Your Purpose?

I would like to enlist the help of Psychology Today readers with some research I'm doing into different types and levels of purpose.

The Quiet Zone

Quietness and solitude don't have to be enemies - once we get used to them, we'll find that they have a great calming and healing effect.

The Psychology of Denial

Climate scientists are almost unanimously convinced of the reality of man-made global warming. But only 50% of Americans believe in it. What are the psychological reasons for this discrepancy?

Bringing Yourself Back to the Present

We spend our lives switching in and out of three different psychological states - abstraction, absorption and awareness (or the ‘Three As’). It’s most beneficial for us to be in a state of awareness, in which we’re fully present. How can we spend more time in that state?

Can You Stop Thinking?

Why do our minds chatter away so much? Why involuntary mental chatter is bad for us, and how can we quieten it.

3 Ways to Well-Being

We can find happiness through changing the way we live, changing the way we think, and experiencing the natural happiness of being itself.

Does Happiness Lie Within?

Consciousness has a natural quality of well-being which we tap into when our minds are quiet and empty

The Possibility of an Afterlife

Is it possible for atheists to believe in life after death? There are some rational reasons why the possibility of some form of 'after-consciousness' shouldn't be rejected out of hand.

Happiness Comes from Giving, Not Buying and Having

If you really want to be happier, don’t focus on earning more money and buying more material goods - be more generous, and give more away.

Dogmatic and Spiritual Religion

How can religion generate both savagery and nobility? How can the principles of religious faith be used to justify terrorism, and at other times encourage acts of great altruism and justice? This only makes sense if we distinguish two fundamentally different types of religion.

How Valid Is Evolutionary Psychology?

How valid are the assumptions evolutionary psychologists make about prehistoric human life, and about 'human nature'? Perhaps evolutionary psychology is appealing because it offers a simple explanation of a wide variety of human behaviors, and because its narrative of competitiveness and individualism fits with the values of our culture.

Touching the Earth Again

What can we learn from Indian Americans' attitude to nature? Why were they so shocked by European-Americans' treatment of the natural world? And what was the fundamental psychological difference which generated such a different outlook?

Transpersonal Purpose

What are the different kinds of purpose we can experience in our lives? And what happens we no longer have a purpose, but become a purpose?

A Sense of Purpose Means a Longer Life

A strong sense of purpose can extend our life span, as well as increase our well-being. Rather than stopping us from living in the present, it can actually enhance the present, by making us more connected, more energetic and more appreciative.

The Puzzle of Consciousness

In order to explain consciousness, perhaps we need to think outside the box - that is, outside the brain.

The Puzzle of Near-Death Experiences

Are near-death experiences just hallucinations caused by unusual brain activity, or do they hint at something more mysterious?

If Women Ruled the World

A harmonious and egalitarian society may not be an impossible dream.

On Surviving a Car Crash

After surviving a car crash, I feel incredibly fortunate to be healthy and alive. There seems to be an enhanced freshness and ‘is-ness’ to everything I see. Why does appreciation have such a powerful positive effect? Why is it the most important factor in overall well-being?

The Psychology of Terrorism

What Makes Young Men Prepared To Kill for a Cause?

Appreciation Experiences

What happens when we stop taking the "goods" of our life for granted? What happens when we suddenly realise how lucky we are? And why can't we keep hold of this appreciation?

How Self-Sufficient Are You?

What is Self-Sufficiency in a psychological sense? Is it an important factor in well-being? Help me find out by filling out this short questionnaire.

Are You Ready to Forgive?

Resentment drains us of our energy and well-being. We may feel that it's a way of punishing the person who has wronged us, but it usually only serves to punish ourselves further. Letting go of resentment through forgiveness can be a liberating process which transforms our lives.

The Power of Appreciation

Research shows that gratitude is the most important and effective constituent of well-being. So why do we find it difficult to appreciate the good things in our lives? And how can we transcend the "taking for granted syndrome"?