The Impostor Syndrome

The impostor syndrome is the feeling that you are a fraud. That you’ve slipped through the system, but will soon be found out. That on the surface you may look deep, but deep down you know that you are shallow. It’s a feeling that I get when I sit down to write a blog for Psychology Today. Especially this one, on the syndrome itself and my experience of it…

The Power of Procrastination

Stanford philosopher John Perry has just been awarded a spoof IgNobel Prize for his 1996 theory of "structured procrastination." Perry suggests that we draw up a list of jobs in priority order, with the job at the top being one that seems terribly urgent, but actually isn't. But are there other types of job that we could use?

Jung's Explosive Visit to Freud

A little-known incident in the life of the great Carl Jung concerns the time when he became convinced that he had made a bookcase in Sigmund Freud's study explode by mental force alone. But what really happened? And what does it tell us about the development of our own beliefs? ...

So You Want to Be a Writer?

A story is told of a famous writer who was invited to address a group of aspiring authors. He arrived at the venue, walked onto the stage, and looked down at the upturned faces of his admiring audience. "Ya wanna be a writer?" he said "then **** off home and write."With that, he pocketed his check, and left.

Game Theory, Shmame Theory: Let’s Find a New Name That Doesn’t Put People Off

Game theory is about the strategies that we use every day in our interactions with other people. It analyzes the consequences of those strategies, exposes the traps that we can get ourselves into, and suggests ways that we can escape from those traps. It is a terribly important adjunct to psychology, yet few people realize its power and usefulness. 

John Nash's Beautiful Mind and You

Today marks the 60th anniversary of John Nash's discovery of a major stumbling block in human relationships. It is something that we should all know about - a Catch-22 logical trap that can damage relationships, foul up society and even block our efforts to resolve important problems like global warming. The discovery won him a Nobel Prize, and fame as the subject of the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind. Yet few people know what Nash's discovery actually was, and fewer still realize just how often we encounter it in our daily lives.

Strategies for Bargain Hunting: Lessons from the Octopus

The coconut-carrying octopus bears an uncanny resemplance to a shopper triumphantly carrying an armload of bargains. But the comparison doeasn't end there ...