New Data Confirms Increased Political Polarization

As the Presidential election in the US approaches, it is interesting to think about how political affiliation works.

Should You Play Brain Games?

Brain games are marketed as a way to improve general mental agility. A new analysis explores the (shaky) evidence for this claim.

Why Some People Blame the Victims of Crime

There are many situations in which people blame the victims of crimes for what happened to them. Are there factors that predict when this happens?

Kids Learn That Robots Are Not Just Things

One of the most complicated tasks children have to perform is learning about the types of objects in their world. Robots are a particularly complicated kind of object.

People Think Popular Actions Are the Right Actions

How do people figure out what they should be doing? New research explores the relationship between the way you explain things and your ethical judgments.

Video Game Play Benefits Coordination

Over the years, I have written a lot about both the potential dangers and benefits of playing video games. Does game play benefit coordination?

Kids, Chimps, and Cooperation

People are pretty good at sharing when they are cooperating. When does that ability develop? Is it uniquely human?

Talent Matters for Excellence

When looking at the performance of a world-class performer like Usain Bolt, it is easy to ask about the role of talent in highly skilled performance.

This Is the Secret to Getting Anything Done

We've all had the experience of intending to do something and then forgetting when the time comes to do it. This happens because you are not reminded to perform the action.

Specific Commitments Can Change Behavior

Psychology has learned a lot in experimental studies about how to change behavior. Will that work in the real world?

Juries, Lawyers, and Race Bias

Juries are a central part of the legal system. Racial bias can cause significant problems in juries. Are lawyers sensitive to the biases of jurors?

Parents Affect Their Children’s View of Intelligence

It is not surprising that parents influence their children's beliefs about intelligence. How they do it is surprising.

Power, Status, and Perspective-Taking

Power can make you less sensitive to other people's perspective. But, what about status? New research explores differences between power and status.

Skilled Performance Takes More Than Practice

There has been a big debate in psychology about whether elite performance reflects talents or skills. A new meta-analysis helps to resolve this question.

Choices Are Based on Feelings Not Value

New research explores the relationship between people's feelings and the choices they make.

Do Depressed and Anxious People Ruminate and Worry?

Research on depression and anxiety has looked at many factors underlying these disorders. One important factor that has emerged in many studies is rumination.

Knowing and Doing Are Separate in the Brain

I play the saxophone, and I have been in a few bands over the past few years. Sometimes, there is a disconnect between my conscious sense of a song what my muscles want to do. Why?

How Are Gesture and Speech Related?

People may learn gestures by watching the speakers of their native language. But new research suggests the language itself can shape these gestures.

The Concept of a Cause Has Gotten More Important Over Time

Over the past 100 years, the world seems to have gotten more complicated, a new study finds. Does that affect people's interest in causal knowledge?

Need a Hand? Just Ask (Really)

We often underestimate how likely someone is to comply with a request. Why is this so—and why does it matter?

How Does Forgiving Someone Affect Their Behavior?

Forgiveness is a statement that the particular bad behavior will not affect the relationship going forward. How does this affect the behavior of the person forgiven?

There Are Cognitive Predictors of Longevity

Women live longer than men. Nonsmokers live longer than smokers. What other factors predict whether someone will live longer?

Do Changes in Income Affect Life Satisfaction?

When I was first starting my career, I used to daydream sometimes about making more money. Like many other people, I assumed that would make me happy.

Negotiators Are Motivated to Agree

Negotiations involve situations in which there are two (or more) parties with conflicting interests. Good negotiators don't always reach an agreement, though.

Can Psychology Explain Humor?

Humor is a pervasive part of human experience. If you watch people in social groups, they spend a lot of time laughing. But, what makes particular events funny?

Even Young Children Avoid Mean People

In order to enforce the norms and values of our culture, adults will give up resources to punish other people. How early does this develop?

Social Comparisons Can Make You Give Up

Competition can often be motivating. Yet, in ordinary life, social comparisons can also be de-motivating.

Positive Mood Makes People Gamble More

In order to take a risk, you have to feel as though that risk will pay off in some way.

What Kinds of People Think BS Is Profound?

There are a lot of people in the world who want to impress us with what they know and with their ability to provide deep and meaningful insights into life.

Emotion Dominates Fast Choices

There are many situations in which you have to make choices quickly. Walking through the grocery store, you are moving through the aisles and pulling items from the shelves.