Why Are Older Hollywood Actors Paired With Such Young Women?

Ever since Casablanca and Gone With the Wind, Hollywood has paired older men with much younger women. Is Hollywood culture to blame, or human nature?

Do Conservatives Have a Monopoly on Antiscientific Thinking?

In recent years, conservatives have rejected scientific consensus on global warming and evolution. But new psychological research asks: Are both sides selectively antiscientific?

Does Thinking Out Loud Help Your Performance, or Hinder It?

If you want to think more clearly, is it a good idea to "think out loud"? The answer depends on your cultural background.

Can You Predict Whether a Partner Will Cheat?

Research suggests that most people fantasize about cheating, yet simultaneously find infidelity unforgivable. What predicts who is most likely to actually cheat?

Give Yourself 9 Kinds of Happiness

A review of studies from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology suggests 9 distinct positive emotions. Here are some suggestions about how to gratify all nine.

Do You Know These Nine Varieties of Positive Emotion?

A review of neuroscientific and evolutionary evidence suggests there is more than one type. Can you guess what they are?

How is Meaning in Life Different from Self-Actualization?

Eudaimonic well-being is a fancy term for living a meaningful life. New research examines the different motives behind different kinds of self-fulfillment.

Do You Have to Be Self-Centered to Be Self-Actualized?

What would you do to reach your highest potential? A new series of studies raises doubts about the classical view of self-actualization.

Why Are Crowded City Dwellers Living the Slow Life?

The big city means the fast life, unrestricted sexuality, street gangs, and hordes of uncaring people. Right? Maybe not, according to a recently published series of studies.

Who Was Psychology's First True Genius?

The first great experimental psychologist did not define himself as a psychologist. But his brilliant ideas and findings remain important in psychology to this day.

Trivia Quiz: How Well Do You Know Psychology’s Pioneers?

When he delivered his now classic book to his publisher, which author apologized that it was a "loathsome, distended, tumefied, bloated, dropsical mass?"

Why Hillary Won The Popular Vote: Part 2

In a 3 minute video, Mark Van Vugt describes his research on the male warrior hypothesis. I also respond to some amusingly hostile comments on the earlier post.

Why Hillary Clinton Won the Popular Vote

There were two surprises in the 2016 election. Some little known but important social psychological research can help us explain both.

Would You Wear a “Great/Together” T-shirt?

Would you wear a t-shirt emblazoned with “Great” in red and “Together” in blue, combining the messages of both opposing candidates in the recent election? Here’s why you should.

Does Trump’s Election Disprove the Existence of God?

Trump's handy win among Christians, who value traits such as kindness, humility, and non-violence, raises interesting questions about the psychological functions of religion.

What is Psychology’s Single Most Brilliant Discovery?

What is the most profoundly important thing we've learned from 150 years of scientific psychology? Here is one nomination.

Supernatural Stimuli: Why Women Love Vampires

Women should be repulsed by those blood-sucking shadow-dwelling vampires. Is there a natural explanation for why women are instead unnaturally attracted to these villains?

Pre-Suasion: Before You Try to Persuade Someone…

In Pre-Suasion, Robert Cialdini asks: What is most important if you want to persuade? Hint: it’s not so much what’s IN your message, as in what happens in the moment just BEFORE.

Do Racial Stereotypes Have Nothing to Do with Race? Part II

Some readers objected to my coverage of research suggesting race stereotypes are often ecology stereotypes. Steve Neuberg, an author of that research, responds thoughtfully.

Are Racial Stereotypes NOT Really About Race?

New research, published in the prestigious journal PNAS, suggests that stereotypes about race are, mostly, not about race at all. How can that be?

Is Donald Trump an Alpha Male?

Do we need to be more precise in applying terms such as “personality disorder” and “alpha male” to political candidates?

Who Are Psychology's Geniuses? Part 2

I offer a few more nominations for psychologists whose contributions deserve to be called ingenious, and some analysis of what makes them stand out. See if you agree.

Are There Any Geniuses in the Field of Psychology?

Does psychology have any geniuses comparable to the geniuses of computer science (such as Alan Turing or Jack Kilby - who won a Nobel prize for inventing the silicon chip)?

A Link Between a Prostitute's Age and Her Income

A new study links a prostitute's age with her income. Although a seemingly narrow salacious topic, these findings address a broader scientific question that concerns us all.

7 Tricks for Turning Mega-Threats into Micro-Triumphs

How do you convert big fat ominous threats into bite-sized micro-triumphs? Here are a few suggestions, based on some of the best applications of psychological research.


I expected last Friday to be one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Instead, I had a series of micro-triumphs. Here’s what I learned, Alexander.

The Most Inspiring Book I've Read

Want to be blown away by a tale you should already know but likely don't, about brilliant characters who should be as famous as Einstein, but aren't well-known? Read this book.

What Kind of a Leader Are You?

Dominant leaders use force to keep subordinates in line. Prestige-oriented leaders base their status on skills and information, using very different tactics. Which is better?

Is there any way to save the world?

Do our big comfort-seeking brains doom us to destroy our world? A self-sustaining community called Earthship raises hope, but psychology is needed to change our choices.

Rate Yourself on the New Motivational Pyramid

How do you differ from your friends, and coworkers in the motives behind your everyday decisions? A new scale measures individual differences in Fundamental Social Motives.