The Psychology of the "Psychology Isn't a Science" Argument

Every so often the internet is set ablaze with opinion pieces on a familiar question: Are "soft" sciences, like psychology, actually science? Most of the time the argument against psychology as a science comes from people from the so-called harder sciences. Today, I consider the arguments suggesting that psychology isn't a science, and find them mostly insufficient.

The Daddy Chronicles II: Immune Function

Sometimes we think of children as sticky little disease vectors. And yet, despite all the runny noses and spit ups, parents have boosted immune systems relative to non-parents of the same age. In today's post I consider why this might be the case!

The Daddy Chronicles: What Happened to My Testosterone?

New fatherhood comes with many life changes. What surprised me (and still does quite frankly) is how much it changes your hormones and biology. In particular, testosterone decreases in new fathers. Find out why in today's post.

Do Professors Live a Stress-Free Life?

A few months ago, Forbes magazine published a list of the least stressful jobs in 2013. At the very top of the list was the college professor. Is Forbes right about stress in the ivory tower?

Do Genes Influence Personality?

We all know intuitively that genes influence personality. The problem is developing the right paradigm that can accurately answer the question "how much?"

Psychology at the Movies

I have always loved the psychological drama that movies tackle in an intimate and provocative way. In this post I discuss psychological constructs in recent films like Looper, Skyfall, Cloud Atlas, and the Queen of Versailles. Enjoy!

Early Life Shapes Political Attitudes

New research suggests that early infant environments and temperament independently predict political attitudes at age 18.

Oxytocin and the Zombie Apocalypse

Researchers used to think oxytocin was the cuddle hormone. Oxytocin's relationship to sympathy and cooperation is more complicated than it's cute nickname suggests, but it's still critical for the survival of human beings and the passing on of their genes.

Status Hierarchies: Do We Need Them?

It is difficult to think of examples of social groups or organizations that do not have a social hierarchy. This leads to the question: Why is that? Is hierarchy a natural part of human society?

Testosterone and Dominance

How do hormones relate to dominance behavior? The popular HBO series Game of Thrones provides some surprisingly accurate insights.

How the Rich are Different from the Poor II: Empathy

A growing body of empirical research suggests that working class individuals have a greater capacity for empathy.

NOT Advice About Searching for an Academic Job

Last week I read Tal Yarkoni's excellent blog post on the things he learned during a failed academic job search last year. Reading that piece brought me back to my own memories of the two job searches I've attempted (one successful).

Power Moves: Lessons From AMC's Mad Men

When Mad Men started it's fifth season on AMC, I was treated to a pretty good laugh when I was alerted to the hashtag #draping.

A Game of Thrones: Lessons About Status

Attaining Status Can Be Like "A Game of Thrones." In this post I discuss how the popular television show and book series provides some unique insights into the achievement of status, power, and influence in face-to-face social groups.

An Inconvenient Truth: Race In America (Part I)

Is anyone immune to racial bias?

Intelligence Is Not (Just) Genetic

People (researchers included) often debate about whether intelligence is genetic or learned. Here I discuss why this is the wrong debate.

The Happiness Chronicles II: Does Money Buy Happiness?

This is the second installment in a three part series examining the pursuit of happiness. Last time we considered whether there is a potential dark side to happiness. In this post, we consider an important question: Does money buy happiness?

The Happiness Chronicles I: The Dark Side to Happiness?

Are there hidden costs to pursuing happiness? New research suggests that happiness might have a darker side that actually hinders health and wellness.

Mitt Romney, Impression Formation, and Social Class

Presidential candidates often engage in impression management. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney has been unable to shake his perception as a member of the elite upper-class. Here I explore why this identity is hard for Romney to escape.

Jeremy Lin: Beyond the Numbers

What makes Jeremy Lin a special point guard? One answer might be that his teammates trust him.

Is Graduate School a Ponzi Scheme?

In an article published several years ago in The Economist, the pursuit of a Ph.D. degree was assessed as a waste of time. Whether or not you agree with this perspective, it is important to consider the points being made. If you are, or have been, a graduate student, you probably learned much of this during your time in grad school.

Why Should We Care about Inequality?

I admit it, I've lived a relatively charmed life. When you come from the type of privilege that I do, it is easy to forget that others aren't so fortunate. The truth about life in America is that things are much less equal than we realize. Today I review some of the evidence!

Go Tigers!

How can the Southern USA be the simultaneous location for southern hospitality and smash-mouth football? The answer lies in the Southern Culture of Honor.

Skeptical about Scientific Research?

Recently politicians and media experts have questioned the validity and integrity of scientific discoveries. These opinions have real influence on the future of government funding of scientific research. Today, I take a look under the hood of science, to examine why it's okay to be skeptical, but also trusting of scientific research and its conclusions.