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Why we do what we do
Nigel Barber Ph.D.
World leaders have committed to ambitious climate targets. Unfortunately, they are doing little to reach them.
Mentors mainly teach us how to approach success, how to be winners. Few teach us a much more valuable lesson—how to cope with failure.
Is criticism of Facebook, and other social media, a case of the paranoia that greets all new technologies, or is there genuine cause for concern?
Social prominence emerged with hereditary wealth and the rise of states, armies, and religious institutions. Influencers acquire a novel form of status on the Internet.
The inclusion of meme stocks on the Robinhood trading platform suggests it is a great time to revisit the origin of memes in evolutionary theory.
How hard people work in different societies offers a fascinating glimpse into both their quality of life and their aspiration for improvement.
Are we as happy and healthy as our remote ancestors? Can we make our way back to their level of social cohesion?
For most great scientists, one big idea is more than enough!
The central topic of evolution is adaptation. Adaptation means solving problems, and this means reacting appropriately to environmental changes, including by modern humans.
The notion of humans being evil is ancient but is it right?
In Asian countries that had lived through SARS epidemics and prolonged mandatory masking, people had no trouble masking up.
Leading polluters are getting together to tackle climate change, manifesting a shared sense of urgency. Why is this urgency finally peaking now?
When customers buy luxury brands, they are investing as much in product reputation as they are in the product.
Large cities have a remarkable force of attraction that tends to overcome disasters such as the pandemic.
New devices have demonstrated that electrical stimulation from outside sources can alter brain function.
As we stand on the brink of climate catastrophe, much interest focuses on electric vehicles as a greener form of travel. The current reality is very different.
While many family groups seem harmonious, sibships often harbor deep division and lasting conflict.
When the pandemic ends, we may feel that we are the same as ever but that the world around us has changed, whether for good or ill.
The carbon footprints of billionaires are being aired publicly. Most of us non-yacht-owners can breathe a sigh of relief—yet our carbon footprint may become as important in the future.
The list of ways that urban neighbors can get on each other's nerves is long. Handling them is tricky.
What responsibility does advertising have for our excessive shopping activities?
Even if the pace of life is speeding up, this does not mean that we must choose to be hurried.
Superficially, the GameStop mania had little to do with the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Yet, both movements involved an attack on power by the alienated.
Some pundits stress inequality. Others prefer to interpret the divide among Americans as a matter of tribal identity.
The pandemic necessitated a shutdown of many leading economies. Did this reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potentially slow climate change?
At the peak of a pandemic, we are acutely aware of the body's immune response to disease. Something similar is occurring in the political response to the Capitol insurrection.
Conservatives love authority, yet they hate government. How is that possible?
The ability of drug companies like Moderna and Pfizer to bring vaccines to the public in record time builds on the work of an unsung pioneer Maurice Hilleman.
Travelers make many plans. Yet a tourist who shows up in a new country without a plan can have a wonderful time interacting with locals.
The increased movement of goods around the globe contributes to landfills and environmental pollution. Is there a way out of this dilemma?
Nigel Barber, Ph.D., is an evolutionary psychologist as well as the author of Why Parents Matter and The Science of Romance, among other books.