Pain reduces feelings of guilt

Physical pain can reduce your feelings of guilt. Why does that happen?

Your beliefs about intelligence affect your beliefs about learning

If you believe intelligence is a talent, you treat hard learning differently than when you believe that it is a skill.

Building during brainstorming

Brainstorming in a group may not always be effective. When do groups come up with good ideas? They can be particularly effective when combining ideas.

The costs of changing your mindset

People have lots of broad strategies for solving problems. Switching between those mindsets may affect your self-control.

How does physical experience affect mental movement?

We use mental images to help us plan lots of actions like moving a couch. Does the ease of performing the actions in the world affect the ease of transforming these mental images?

Speed and confidence

Sometimes thinking fast makes people confident.  Sometimes thinking slow makes people confident.  In what situations are fast and slow thinking most prized?

Cheating, thinking, and memory

There are mechanisms at work that keep people from feeling too guilty about cheating.  How do they work?

Incompetent doesn’t mean clueless

The poorest performers often over-predict their performance. But that doesn't mean that they are overconfident.

Your beliefs affect the strength of the placebo effect

How do your beliefs about a placebo influence the way it affects you?

Optimism Persists in the Face of Experience

Optimism can help get you motivated. But how is your tendency to be optimistic affected by experience?

Political and financial bubbles

What are some of the psychological factors underlying political and financial bubbles?

Watson Is So Cool, Part II: Relevance

Watson, the computer that won the Jeopardy tournament, is amazing because of its ability to figure out what information is most relevant for answering questions.

Watson is so cool I: Why you’re not impressed

You may be unimpressed with Watson's performance on Jeopardy.  Here's why you're not impressed, though you should be.

The past hurts worse when it will return

It is common to say that time heals all wounds.  And generally, it does. But not when you are going to experience the event again.

Gestures help you imagine movements of objects

Does this ability to move objects around also help you to think about the movements of objects that aren't physically present? 

What is an apology worth to you?

What is the value of an apology after a violation of trust?  It may be less than you think.

Focusing on differences lets me understand you better

There are many situations where our success depends on whether we can take someone else's perspective.  New research explores how to let you do that more effectively.

Comparison and choice: When something is better than nothing

When you make choices, you focus on the information that matches up between the options.  Research suggests that can lead you to make bad decisions.

Understanding what we learn from not doing by looking at the brain.

When you think about thinking, you probably focus most often on your ability to make decisions or solve complex problems.  An important part of your thinking abilities, though, is the ability to predict what is going to happen in the future

Priming National Identity: Small Things Can Have a Big Impact

For a little while after the tragic shooting of 19 people in Tucson in early January including Rep. Gabriele Giffords there was increased sense of national unity. In this context, I was reminded of a 2007 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What you do affects what you learn

Part of learning about anything new involves learning about the objects and individuals in that arena. This issue is particularly important in classroom settings.  So, what is the best way to teach people about objects?

Using the conflict between doing and not doing

There are many activities in your life where you might choose between doing an action and not doing that action. A new study explores the contribution of these kinds of goals for people's choices of what seem to be contradictory actions.

Uplifting lyrics can reduce aggression

There is power in uplifting lyrics to cool aggressive behavior.  In light of recent events, that matters a lot.

Using awareness to increase willpower

Self-awareness can improve your ability to overcome obstacles even after having to exert a lot of self-control in another situation.

Two modes for dealing with conflicts between goals

Our goals often conflict.  Research suggests that we have two modes for dealing with these conflicts--an active mode and a passive mode.  Which one is active matters a lot for how likely you are to achieve your goals.

A good mood enhances some kinds of learning

When you're in a good mood, it often feels like you can do anything.  Can a good mood actually help you learn, or does it just make you feel better about your performance?

Language makes you smart by naming roles

Having words that refer to roles is something that helps make people smart. These labels help us to recognize when we see some new object that also plays the same role in a situation.

It matters whether you believe in willpower

The idea that willpower is a resource that can be used up is called ego-depletion. One factor that affects whether you show ego-depletion effects is whether you believe that willpower is a limited resource.

Why do parents think the DVDs work, then?

Do DVDs that aim to teach babies new words really work?  A new study examines this question.