How to Write a Final Exam

Feel your final exam is unfair? It may be. Writing good final exams is an art, but based on the science of assessment and measurement. It's a lot harder than it looks.

Is Your Parenting Psychologically Controlling?

Parents try to influence their children's behavior in dozens of ways every day. But using guilt or coercion to get the child to feel or believe what parents want is going too far.

Sharing Privacy and Secrets Betrayed

Communication Privacy Management Theory describes how privacy becomes a shared commodity.

Privacy and the Rights of Sex Workers

Trying to protect women from sexual traffickers can invade the privacy of legal sex workers and those trying to buy the services of willing prostitutes. The right to privacy is not without costs.

Should Parents Impose a Dress Code?

Whether parents and children think it's okay for parents to set a dress code rules is complicated. One factor is how the issue is defined. Another is whether parents are telling kids what they HAVE TO wear or whether they are telling them what they CAN'T.

Three Reasons To Love Middle Schoolers

The very things that can make middle schoolers so frustrating can be their biggest strengths.

The More I Know The Stupider I Feel

Growth makes us more aware of all there is yet for us to do. Does that mean we're always doomed to feel inadequate?

Achieving A Healthy Weight Part I: A Thousand Small Decisions

But think about what a pound of fat is. You probably have a clear visual image of it right in your refrigerator. It's called butter.

I Could Do That: Why Role Models Matter

When little Jacob touched the President's hair, he learned something important - someone like me can change the world. Before we act and before we aspire, we need to know both that something can be done and that it can be done by some like us.

Psychopaths, Children, and Evil

Are callous, unemotional children who may grow up to be adult psychopaths born that way? Do they just need to be 'broken'? Or is there another way to think about it?

My Phobia: Now You See It, Now You Don't

Specific fears can often be treated.

Why the Real World Is Better for Kids Than an iPad

Will eReaders and iPads really do more for our babies than banging on pots and messing around in the mud? Insight from a middle schooler's roller coaster project.

Can We Thank Hand Sanitizer for the Rise of Conservative Politics?

Reading Heidt's new book on the psychological underpinnings of the liberal/conservative divide, I was reminded of one of my most effective classroom exercises: "Spit into a cup. Now drink it."

Old Age and Treachery

Does strategic use of pragmatics—treachery—allow older people to compensate for lower overall levels of functioning?

Parenting, Guns, Shooters, and Suicide

Kids shouldn't have the responsibility for deciding whether their schoolmates' threats are serious.

Are Today's 20-Somethings Slackers?

Media reports abound with portraits of young adults mooching off their overly protective parents. Is it true? Or is something else really going on?

Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized

How to help your middle schooler stay organized so they do the homework assigned and turn in the homework they do.

Frail and Aging Parents? 8 Good Habits

Sometimes its hard to help the people we love - especially elderly parents. Eight small habits we can build to help more effectively.

Why Do Daydreamers Fail?

When our family talks about 'model railroader syndrome,' we're talking about someone who sees a completed project in their mind so clearly that they don't actually have to build it. Now there's a new study out that may tell us more about why this is such an easy trap to fall into.

Sex Hormones Heal Injured Brains: Why Research Matters

Why do female rats—and humans—recover much faster from brain injury than males do? The answer is in our hormones.

Does Music Make You Deaf? Music Part I

We often worry that listening to loud music - particularly with earphones - destroys hearing. But can it help you as well?

Are Today's Kids Programmed for Boredom?

Boredom can be a sign that you've never learned what you like to do or how to make that happen. Or a sign of rebellion. Or a symptom of a childhood spent too well entertained. Which is it for your kids?

The Stigma of Depression: Mea Culpa

The prejudice we hold again people with mental illnesses like depression comes out in subtle ways.

Surviving Tough Times

When things are easy, gazelles win out. But you want a warthog in the mud. Hard times are like that.

Pirates, Piaget, and the Null Hypothesis

Pirates, Piaget, and the Null Hypothesis. Can science tell us whether pirates wore eyepatches to help them see better in the dark?

Is it Okay to Let Your Toddler Play with the iPad?

Babies and cats with iPads are just too cute. And it's SO tempting to let them play when we're busy. But is it okay?

Hey Guys! Watch This! For Teens, Friends Make Risk More Fun

Why are movies funnier, roller coasters more exciting, and car crashes more common when teens are with friends? New fMRI studies provide some clues.

Teens Respond to Pleasure, Not Pain: Parent Accordingly

Teens' risky behavior and dumb choices drive parents crazy. But teens respond better to advice if you talk to the reward part of their brain, rather to the punishment part. Here's how a scientific paper changed my parenting for the better.

Facebook As Sexually Transmitted Disease: The Dark Side of Tags

Facebook is like a sexually transmitted disease, in that your risk is proportional to that of your highest risk 'friend'. And just like sexually transmitted diseases, there are things you can do to protect yourself. A 'How To' primer.

The Gorilla In Times Square

Our expectations shape what we see in profound - and pretty funny - ways. What are you missing because you're not paying attention?