Essential Reads

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

By Joe Navarro M.A. on February 27, 2015 in Spycatcher
Why exercising social intelligence matters and why it can dominate a news cycle

Born to Gossip

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Talking Apes
Since our brains are finely tuned for coordinating our relationships with others, it’s not surprising that language is structured to convey social information.

Living in the Here and Now

By Susan Hooper on February 26, 2015 in Detours and Tangents
For most of my life, I have wanted to be somewhere else, living an entirely different life. A calendar from years ago showed me that I had then—and may even have now—a life that other people might envy.

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In Love and War
Typically it’s the big milestones that we document most diligently—the weddings, births, graduations, professional achievements. These are the events we expect we’ll most want to revisit down the road. But research suggests that revisiting ordinary, everyday experiences can bring us a lot more pleasure than we realize.

Can Law Improve People's Lives?

Can law make people's lives better? The answer is yes, and treating mental illness more effectively is one place to start.

Think You Can't Get Drunk on Soda Water? Think Again.

Don't blame it on the alcohol! Blame it on your expectations about drinking.

Does Science Really Say That Hot Guys Are Jerks?

There have been many recent media stories—with titles like "Science Says: Hot Guys Are A-Holes"—about a new study on attractiveness and behavior. I was lead author on this study, and I'll clarify here what our study really showed.

Red vs. Blue: Which Should You Choose?

By Jamie Madigan Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Mind Games
Has anyone ever done research on whether playing on the red team or the blue gives one a mental edge in games? Yep.

Having a Baby: When You Don't Agree

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on February 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Being on different pages about having children can be a major relationship roadblock. The key is uncovering the problem under the problem -- some likely suspects.

Do Generations Exist?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Is it misleading to speak about a self-absorbed “Me Generation” or jaded, cynical GenXers, overeducated and underemployed?

What Color Should You Wear on a First Date?

Maximize your attractiveness in that online dating profile pic or on that first date

One Way to Use Someone Else to Strengthen Your Good Habits

By Gretchen Rubin on February 25, 2015 in The Happiness Project
Because accountability is so important, I’m always looking for new, ingenious ways that people have created accountability.

Anti-Vaxxers Love Their Children Too

Anti-vaxxers are seen as crazy or stupid. Psychology says otherwise.

Four Reasons to Worry About "Personalized Learning"

By Alfie Kohn on February 24, 2015 in The Homework Myth
When kids create their own meaningful projects, the learning is personal. When kids are fed prefabricated skills and constantly tested (via computer), the learning is "personalized." The latter is profitable for corporations, but not so great for our children.

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

A+ Students/C- Learners: Education’s Report Card

By APA Division 15 on February 24, 2015 in PsychEd
Today’s educational system is contributing to an undesirable and unanticipated problem—the production of many achievement-oriented, high-performing students who are, at best, mediocre learners. This is a bold and controversial claim that demands substantiation. beginning with what distinguishes good students from good learners.

Traveling Through Time

By Dr. Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
Our ability to mentally travel back and forward in time gives us our sense of self and enhances our lives and coping abilities in many ways.

How to Save Your Career From Social Media Meltdown

By Nancy Rothbard Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in The Science of Work
Sharing the wrong thing on social media can cost you your job.

How Technology is Tricking You Into Tipping More

By Nir Eyal on February 23, 2015 in Automatic You
Digital payment systems use subtle tactics to increase tips, and while it’s certainly good for hard-working service workers, it may not be so good for your wallet. Here's the hidden psychology of why you unconsciously pay more.

Pages