Are Virtual Experiences Real?

Can a virtual church on a computer give you feelings of spirituality? Our recent research explores this.

How We Can Catch a Ball When We Don't Know Where It Will Be

Does our mind actually have two different ideas about how the physical world works?

If History Were a Pool, How Much Water Would Your Life Be?

Simple cells formed 3,600,000,000 years ago. That’s three billion, six hundred million. How can we picture that?

What Happens to Consciousness When Your Brain Splits?

What happens to consciousness if your brain is split, and then you regrow a full brain from each half?

The Psychology of Hating the Star Wars Prequels

Why do people seem to dislike the Star Wars prequels? People can give you reasons, but how do we know whether they are right or wrong about themselves?

Is It Possible to Feel Sympathy For Many People at Once?

Why do we feel more sympathy for a single person's tragedy than many?

Do You Think You're a Bad Writer?

Is writing a talent?

Man's Search for Meaning and Korean Karaoke

We search for meaning even in places where we should know better. Why?

Is This Documentary Fair?

What does it mean to be fair to two sides of an argument?

Using the Wisdom of the Crowd in a Computer Game

A free game that uses the wisdom of the crowd.

Are Desires Real?

Don't be too quick to dismiss someone's abstract concepts in psychology. You probably have many of your own.

What's the Best Color for a Triangle?

Before reading this article, do me a favor: decide what is the most natural color of a triangle? How about a square? A circle?

Passwords and the Limits of Imagination

We're often asked to think of "good" passwords. How good are we?

Why Your Inner Child Might Not Be So Creative After All

Creativity gurus sometimes say to get in touch with your inner child. But are children really that creative?

An Imaginative Computer

Can a computer program have imagination? Judge for yourself.

A Better Way to Look at "Failed" Relationships

If you go on vacation, is it a "failed" vacation just because you eventually came back home?

How You Raise Your Kids Doesn't Affect Religion Much

How much affect on religion does raising your kids with religion have? The answer will surprise you.

The Good Science You Never Hear About

We use peer-reviewed scientific papers to know what's true about the world. But not all of the good science that's done gets published, which can lead us to misunderstandings about our world.

Societies We Cannot Imagine

Imagine trying to explain life in New York City to members of an undiscovered tribe in a rain forest. Now try to imagine understanding a society that is much more advanced than ours. Our imagination is limited by what we know.

Genes Affect Culture; Culture Affects Genes

The nature-nurture debate continues to rage in scholarly studies of human behavior. How can we tell the relative contributions of each?

What's the Intuitive Way To Cross the Street?

Designers should strive to make intuitive artifacts. But are intuitions ever in conflict?

Creativity and Star Trek Alien Foreheads

Are the designers that make aliens for television uncreative, or are they working under constraints that we don't understand? Part of the answer has to do with the nature of television production, but the other part has to do with you.

How Much of What You Believe Did You Hear From Other People?

We seem to know a lot of things we hear or read about. Sometimes it seems that most of what we believe comes from other people. Does it?

You Should Not Believe All of Your Beliefs

How can we believe and not believe something at the same time?

Should We View Animals As Humanlike?

People will often attribute minds and mental states to things that aren't people. It seems silly to believe that storms actually are angry, but what about when we attribute something like jealousy to a dog?

New Year's Resolutions and How to Boost Your Willpower

Are you someone who never makes resolutions because you have no hope of keeping them? Here is why people with low willpower benefit *most* from trying to keep resolutions.

Do You Really Need To Say That?: When To Shut Up

Should you be more reluctant to speak when there are lots of people around?

Computer Games: Art or Not?

Are computer games art? The Museum of Modern Art has cast its vote.

What Is a Penguin For, Really?

How we are making computers imaginative, and how that relates to the functions of objects.