Risk of child abuse differs between siblings

Are older siblings in a family more likely to be physically abused than their younger siblings? Does the number of children in the family affect the likelihood of abuse?

Modern Fame Means Not Going Hungry

Frank Wills started his Friday night graveyard shift uneventfully. Working as a security guard at an office building, the 24-year-old would soon find something that would launch the biggest political scandal of the century and catapult Frank into overnight fame.

Manage Stress by Creating an Out-of-body Experience

What do you say to yourself when you’re worrying about an upcoming event, like going on a job interview, or speaking in public?

Movies of the Future Will Resemble Real Life Less and Less

In the 1981 film My Dinner with Andre, the entire story depicts two men meeting at a restaurant and having a conversation. Just two guys talking about themselves for 110 minutes, all in the same scene—no flashback sequences, no emotional outbursts, no getting up to use the bathroom.

When Things Go Right

Having read millions of words, we’ve developed habits that affect how we interpret the rest of the world we lay eyes on.

Bringing History Back to Life

Despite how easily you can summon an image of Abraham Lincoln and how much information that’s known about him, we’ll never know what his voice sounded like. We’ll never have a sense of whether he was charismatic, warm, or even likeable.

Imagining Other People's Choices Clarifies Your Own

Many of our decisions are tied to how we view ourselves and how other people see us. We know that getting a tattoo, buying an SUV, becoming a vegetarian, dating on-line, moving to New York City, and getting back together with a spouse who was unfaithful, are all behaviors loaded with personal and social meaning.

Power Connects People

When you think of people who are strongly driven to acquire power, what kinds of things do you imagine they are after? Is power about having: influence over others, money, status, glory, independence, self-confidence?

Why the Fight Against Terrorism Is like the Fight Against Cancer

The campaigns against cancer and terrorism have changed from attacking the enemy head-on to a more indirect attack.

Why Are Grades Highest at the Most Prestigious Schools?

Student grades have been rising steadily over the past few decades, but only at some schools. What causes this, and how likely is it to continue?

How you know eyes are watching you

You know that feeling you get when you're being stared at? Out of the corner of your eye, even outside your field of vision, you can just tell someone is checking you out, sizing you up, or trying to make eye contact with you.

The biggest regret of your life

If you could live your life all over again, what would you do differently?

How do you imagine yourself beyond your 70th birthday?

Think of the last time you went to buy a funny birthday card for a friend. Can you remember what some of the cards said, what their punchlines were? Chances are many of them joked about old age leading to memory loss, senility, loss of sexuality, or physical disabilities. 

Why 'The Wizard of Oz' is the most popular film of all time

The movie delivers powerful messages about adulthood, gender, powerlessness, human nature, Western values, and the significance of Dorothy's last name. 

How to brag about yourself without being seen as narcissistic

By now you're probably aware of a widespread cultural norm that discourages you from boasting about yourself too much, earning you labels like self-absorbed, narcissistic, even obnoxious. 

Prior convictions and the end of ideology

At what point do our beliefs begin to harden and become so resistant to change? 

Increasing self-control by appreciating nothing

Would you rather have one cookie now or two cookies an hour from now? What's missing from this question that might help you (and your kids) make better decisions?

The occupation with the highest suicide rate

It's not police officers, nor military personnel, nor even dentists.      

Sunshine and suicide

If you ever want to stump someone with a trivia question, ask this: "In which month are suicide rates highest?"

Mass Murder is Nothing to Fear

It will be interesting to see what results from the two recent incidents of mass murder than occurred in Alabama and Germany. To the extent that the past is prologue, we should expect to see plenty of public fear and extreme reactions from officials and politicians. Both can be traced, at least to some degree, to a cognitive shortcut called the availability heuristic.

History’s mysteries: Why do birth rates decrease when societies modernize?

Starting in Europe in the late 1800s and continuing today, birth rates have been declining in societies as they become more affluent, industrialized, and technologically advanced. In fact, fertility output is dropping so precipitously in some countries -- such as Japan, Germany, and Italy -- that their total population is now in decline. 

When Parents Play Favorites

A large proportion of parents display consistent favoritism toward one child over another. This favoritism can manifest in different ways: more time spent with one child, more affection given, more privileges, less discipline, or less abuse. We discuss some of the causes and consequences of parental favoritism, which occurs in 1/3 to 2/3 of American families. 

What we see when we see movies

Which of these groups is portrayed most favorably in American movies?a) Smokers;  b) Psychiatrists;  c) CEOs;  d) P.E. teachers Read on... 

Narcissists Don't Make Love

When you think of sex, what are some words that come to mind? Do you think that your partner thinks the same way? If you are more or less narcissistic than your partner, then answer is probably no and this may have implications for your relationship.

The unseen dynamic of good parenting

Much of what determines a child's emotional stability and the skills to develop healthy relationships as they get older has to do with the way parents respond to a child's emotions as they arise in everyday situations. These parental strategies are actually quite simple.

Paranoia and the Roots of Conspiracy Theories

A large proportion of Americans believe some version of a cover-up or conspiracy theory about 9/11. Is this to be expected? Or have we entered an era where conspiracy thinking and paranoia have become a normal reaction to threatening events?  

Advice for Public Speakers: "Just Do It!"

Imagine starting a term paper with the following statements:"Before I begin, I just want to point out that I've had a cold for the past few days so my head's a little cloudy. Also, I didn't get much sleep the last few nights, so I'm really tired. Oh, and I had to kind of write this paper in a hurry. So if it's not the best thing in the world, please bear with me."You wouldn't start a term paper like that, would you? So how come so many students begin their classroom speeches with similar statements?

Why do you worry more than other people?

In which situations do you get inhibited? When you're about to ask someone you know out on a date for the first time? When you want to tell someone to quit doing something that's really annoying you? When you're in the midst of having sex with your partner and you want to ask your partner to do something special for you?

Hysteria of the World: Part II

Do you think our society's morals are starting to deteriorate? We discuss why it might seem that way, and in what ways the values are actually changing. 

Do narcissists really hate themselves deep down inside?

Narcissists are arrogant, self-absorbed, and generally speaking they're not too pleasant to be around. If you're like most people, you probably also assume one more thing--that narcissists dislike themselves deep down inside. A recent study, however, challenges this assumption.

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