Launching Into Multi-Dimensional Thinking

Can we tap into "three-dimensional" thinking?

Why We Settle for Less While Wanting More

How mental habit keeps us from fulfilling our desires. What to do after becoming a bit too accustomed to unacceptable circumstances.

The Benefits of Autopilot Thinking

How mental habits ease the pain of decision-making. But at what cost? Can well-worn grooves of mental routine free our minds, or do they get us stuck in ruts?

Risky Business: The Psychology of Facing Danger

How we arrive at the willingness to take calculated risks. Specific components of mental conditioning are often required to face moments of grave danger.

Mental Voice-Over?

Do internal sound-tracks color your communication? Experienced communicators can often make more from less, predicting what will come next before messages are complete.

Mind Control: Psychology by the Numbers?

How addition and subtraction affect our behavior. Are we truly in charge of our own choices, or does simple math routinely intrude to manipulate our mental equations? Just who or what is in control of our minds?

Fortress of Fear: Why We Sometimes Sabotage Opportunity

Is psychic re-wiring worth the effort after the damage is done? When our experiences teach us to fear, opportunity-sabotaging anxiety, isolation, and distemper can result. The causes of fear are numerous and wide-ranging. Is turning the tide with new behavioral history worth pursuing?

Getting a Leg Up on Optimism

How positive associations enable learning. None of us can learn without relationships. It turns out that variety and fun provide the spice that keeps both going strong.

Why Are We So Prone to Feeling Crazy?

How our nature nurtures feelings of insanity. If we’re not stressed out and feeling crazy right at this moment, we’ve probably paid a recent visit to that neighborhood – and are likely to return in the very near future. Our own thinking may twist us – but it can also uncrumple us again.

Fading Fast: Is 'Thank You' a Thing of the Past?

How to reinvigorate the power of appreciation. Despite our well-meaning efforts to appreciate our fellows, our favorite phrase of acknowledgment seems to be ringing hollow these days. Can “Thank you” be restored to its former glory by capitalizing on the psychology of message delivery -- or are we doomed to a thankless world?

Will the Arguing Ever End?

Why things get worse before getting better. We all argue now and then. Chronic arguing, however, requires thoughtful and ongoing work. Happy endings are possible—but there may be a storm or two before the calm.

Sounding Off About High-Volume Friends

How to reclaim our personal quiet zones and restore peace. High-volume blusterers are often chronic—even if unknowing—offenders, and they are generally among our least favorite folks to encounter. Otherwise pleasant personalities become ones we avoid. The psychology of behavioral shaping offers a polite way to turn down the volume.

Getting to the Goal

How focusing on the positive helps us overcome obstacles. What we want is often more powerful than what we fear. But if we’re not careful in how we frame our goals, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment—and inadvertently turn our fears into reality.

Violent Expression: Sign of Our Deep Need to Communicate?

When notions of fair play are violated, our ability to speak helps keep the peace. We are capable of sudden, violent physical outbursts, but calm expressions of anger through language can keep us from resorting to brute force – sometimes.

Lashing Out: Why Do We Blame?

The scapegoat psychology of snappy judgments. Our pressing need to vent the stress of negative emotions makes us prone to lash out, even at those who don’t really deserve our ire. But knee-jerk responses don’t always solve our long-term problems—and can even make the world stage a darker, more dangerous place in which to live.

Meditating on Mindfulness

How meditation boosts mental dexterity and eases the pain of depression. Science shows that our malleable minds have more power than we sometimes give ourselves credit for when it comes to dispelling the darkness within. Recent studies indicate that meditative practices confer other psychic benefits as well.

Why Sex Can't Always Be Stellar

How hit-and-miss intimacy keeps us strongly connected. Our best efforts in the bedroom don’t always produce the fireworks we’d like. Why isn’t the love we take always equal to the love we make?

Your Guilty Conscience's Secret Message

What guilt might be saying about your friendships. When our consciences kick up a guilt-ridden fuss, it is often in an effort to preserve something that is most precious to us, namely friendship. Feelings of guilt could mean we owe someone – big time.

Working Hard or Slacking Off?

What down time tells us about our drive. Why workplace slacking isn’t really a question of character, but more a response to the nature of the workplace itself.

Career Advancement or Child Sacrifice?

Can the search for security be a cradle of infanticide? The slaughter of innocents can never be pretty. Is the impulse to kill offspring the product of an unhealthy mind or a starkly adaptive form of evolutionary advancement? The evidence is far from clear.

Are Colleges Policing Our Thinking?

The psychology of crime prevention. “C’mon, punk, make my day” sounds just right when accompanied by a cold stare and a very large hand gun, but there’s little room for Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry on today’s college campuses, where police are turning to behavioral psychology to keep the peace.

Now Arriving: A Cure for Lateness

Why we are late and what we can do about it. Nearly everyone is late occasionally. But when the problem is persistent, and better-late-than-never isn’t getting us the outcomes we want, is there a solution? It turns out there is – if we are willing to play games.

The Secret Life of the Multi-Tasking Mind

How to achieve peak performance when it comes time to focus. A new study reveals that we don’t multi-task in quite the way we are accustomed to imagining. How do the best teachers, trainers, and coaches help us unlock our fullest potential?

Going In Alone or Friends With Benefits?

Why we need the company of others. There may be more benefits to companionship than bosom buddies might suspect, especially when it comes to overcoming ourselves.

Anatomy of a Brain Fart

Why we blow mental raspberries. Train of thought – derailed. Familiar names – gone. What gives? Why do our brains betray us in such awkward, embarrassing ways?

Can Smiling Make Us Happy?

How facial expressions influence our moods. Feeling down? Stick a pencil in your mouth. But be careful where you place it. Altering your facial features to create smiles or frowns might well alter your mood and affect your outlook on life—at least for a while.

Monsters of the Mind

Is there a perceptual basis for the darkness that lurks within? Primed by cultural metaphor, we know just what to do with primitive fears when they are triggered – we make monsters. Studies of perceptual illusion and false memory tell us we are highly susceptible to the darkness within.

The Shocking Truth about Identity

How surprises can alter our sense of self. By the time you arrive home today, you may not be the person you are now. That’s because surprises can come at any time—and they set off chemical cascades that rearrange our inner landscapes, affecting our view of ourselves and of the world around us.

'Now Please' -- Getting it in the Moment, Whatever it Is

How to get what you want sooner rather than later. What happens when the desire for instant gratification (ours) meets perpetual procrastination (theirs)? It turns out that our own messages – especially our hidden ones – can heavily influence our outcomes.

Motivating the Joy Response

Is the exuberance of joy a natural pressure relief valve for stress? It may well be that joy is the emotional payoff for persistence when life seems most overwhelming.