You Can’t Go Home Again

“Home for the holidays” promises “all the comforts of home,” but also brings the sorrows of home. Why do we do it? Is it a homing instinct? An addiction? Just unfinished business?

The Sacred Trance

When a leader uses the idea of the sacred, the word can be inspiring or sinister. Psychology can help us determine which is which.

Big Shot

A wealthy gambler uses an arsenal and a casino hotel to kill 58 concert-goers and himself, wounding hundreds. His actions can help us understand what it means to be human.

Anxiety Is a Leadership Tool

Since leaders use anxiety as a tool to motivate and control their followers, train yourself to recognize anxiety cues.

A Psychology of Rescue

A nurse gave patients lethal injections so he could dazzle colleagues by bringing the victims back to life. He may have been driven by "heroic rescue," one of our core motives.

Bargain Life

The Houston disaster fascinates us because the conflicts reflect storms within us.

A Psychology of Humor

Jokes hold up a mirror in which we can learn to see our hidden hopes and fears and ask, What kind of animals are we?

Americans Intoxicated

It’s an angry era in America. Instead of debating who’s right or wrong, let’s ask what kinds of work anger is doing for Americans now? And what's behind it?

Judging Your Worth

China is developing a digital system to track and evaluate its population of 1.3 billion people. They’re not the only ones.

Conspiracy Pathology

Conspiracy theories shade into mental illness, as in the dream that destroyed David Crowley and family. The ambiguity that gives conspiracy thinking power also invites delusion.

A Psychology of Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theories used to be kooky inventions homemade in somebody’s mental garage. Now they’re tools in mainstream contests for power.

Are Tattoos Addictive?

Do tattoos trigger craving for more?

Zombie Nerves

When reality feels overwhelming, popular fantasies can simplify and highlight important themes.

Dying to Be Great

Astonishment greeted the new president’s inauguration speech about “American carnage,” but it points to the hidden story that brought him to the White House.

Gut Feeling

When Meryl Streep spoke out about vindictiveness at the Golden Globes, was she right to trust her gut instinct?

Snow Job

Most old holiday movies warm your heart and eat your brain. But "White Christmas" can make you wonder what we really want.

Fighting for Life

What do role-playing knights and princesses tell us about the unsettled American psyche?

The Curse of Power

Why does victory bring such strange and disturbing reactions?

Groping for Sex and More Life

Terror Management Theory (TMT) offers a scientific way of understanding the spellbinding effects of Donald Trump's fantasies..

Playing Dead:

Preschoolers' development lags when they're overprotected.

Are You One of Us?

The cognitive process of naming things comes with surprising—sometimes painful—liabilities.

Seduced by Abandon

"Throwing caution to the winds" can be exhilarating or dangerous. In politics the idea manipulates us in wild ways.

The Missing Word Is Panic.

When aggression triggers a moral reflex, it can be blinding. We use it routinely to pump up heroic violence.

Tourist Psychology

In the prison of habit the tourist dreams of mind-blowing abandon

Are They Shooting at You?

The Orlando massacre, and reactions to it, turn flight to fight. The denial is as self-intoxicating as American gun mania.

Conspiracy Theories and You

Conspiracy theories have much to say about who we are and where we're going.

Programmed Life

Much of our experience is programmed. No wonder puppets & robots fascinate us. Some programs enhance life while others create zombies, it makes sense to think about the issues.

Love, Loss, and Heroic Rescue

Everyone wants to be rescued. For better or worse, rescue opens up romance. But it also reveals basic creaturely conflicts that define us.

Have You Read Your Body Lately?

It's spring. When the seasons hum, we resonate. It’s how we’re built. But much of the information is deeply embedded in culture and beyond everyday awareness. Let's tune in.

Trump Towers Vs. Downton Abbey

Enthusiasm for particular stories can reveal much about the political allegiances and values of the audience. Two popular yet very different stories prove the point.