Altruism Essential Reads

Why Is It So Hard to Be Altruistic?

Cooperation and generosity are the norm, not the exception.

Is It Truly Better to Give Than to Receive?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 05, 2017 in Talking Apes
When we give, we reap more than we sow, as long as we do so willingly and believe it will help.

Helping Your Neighbor

We often help others with expectations of help in return at a future point. Turns out, this is a basic feature of what it means to be human.

On Raising an Honest Child

How do we teach our kids to be honest, even if it means admitting to breaking the rules? Research on children's lying behavior might be able to provide us with some helpful hints.

5 BIG Ideas on Who We Are

To truly understand what it means to be human, an understanding of evolution is essential. Here are five eye-opening reasons why.

Can I Trust Him? The Psychology and Philosophy of Trust

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 07, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What is trust, when does it pertain, and can it ever be absolute?

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Helping

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on February 26, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Helping someone you love, through providing needed assistance, filling their request, assuming their task, or even taking care of yourself can enhance intimacy, respect, gratitude.

Status in a Group Affects Generosity Toward the Group

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
Groups of people naturally form groups that have status hierarchies. How does someone's status affect their generosity toward other group members?

The Pure Hubris of "In His Shoes I'd Have Acted Differently"

Judge people for what they do. But don't pretend you can understand why they did it, or whether their motives were good.

Kurt Lewin, the Refugee Who Founded Social Psychology

A refugee from Nazi Germany, Kurt Lewin, founded social psychology. Imagine a world where the U.S. shipped him back to die with his mother and sister in the concentration camps.

What Leading Critics Get Wrong About the Film, Toni Erdmann

By Stanton Peele on January 02, 2017 in Addiction in Society
The new film, Toni Erdmann, named after a mocking character, is seen as the new intellectual solution for our lives mired in corporate inanity. But it's actually inhumane mockery.

Giving Love and Support to Others Could Help You Live Longer

By Christopher Bergland on December 24, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Making an effort to take care of people within—and beyond—your immediate family is associated with longer life expectancy for the caregiver, according to a new international study.

How Parents Raise Children to Fit In

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in The Human Beast
There is a lot of skepticism about whether parents truly affect their children. Comparing kids in different societies finds links between parenting and outcomes.

Darwin’s Parenting Tips

For many of us, parenting is our #1 priority and challenge. Here is some guidance on the process brought to you by good old evolutionary psychology.

Giving Your Heart and Selling Your Soul

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in In the Name of Love
It seems that when love is not all you need, it is unthinkable to give your soul.

Soulmate Marriages Are "Greedy," New Research Shows

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 05, 2016 in Living Single
Is marriage a greedy institution that monopolizes couples’ time and attention? Maybe so, especially when wives think of marriage as a union of soulmates.

Man's Fate

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 18, 2016 in Saving Normal
Easter Island tells us all we need to know about our greatness and our fallibility- and also about our prognosis as a species.

Animal Altruism?

Why do humpback whales go out of their way to save the lives of seals? In this post, we discuss what could motivate such incredible behavior.

How Beneficial Are You?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 01, 2016 in How To Do Life
A self-assessment: How positive or negative are your impacts?

Can Listening to Music Increase Cooperation at Work?

New research shows happy music helps boost cooperation.

The Virtues of Sexual Generosity in Relationships

Generosity is very valuable for our well-being and health. Is this also true for sexual generosity?

Money for Nothing, but the Chicks Aren't Free

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Pop Psych
New research finds that altruists (or at least men) tend to have a greater degree of mating success. As usual, however, the matter is more complicated than that.

Olympics Bare Extreme Range of the Human Spirit

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
While we can aspire to Olympic ideals of decorum we often fail to adhere to their real life practice...a short coming not restricted to high performance athletes, of course.
Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz

Above and Beyond

Why would someone donate a kidney to a complete stranger?

Yes, You Can Do It! Self-Control May Be an Infinite Resource

Researchers are beginning to question the notion that self-control is a depletable resource. This is good news for anyone looking for inspiration and motivation to seize the day.
Wonder woman0731/Flickr

How Can Introverts Help Heal the World?

The world needs all of us to pitch in and make it a better place, but how can we do that when we really prefer not to leave our living rooms?

5 Ways That Helping Others Is Self-Serving

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on July 07, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Recent research suggests that caring for others may be as important as caring for ourselves when we're feeling stressed.

Ask and You Shall Receive

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 06, 2016 in Talking Apes
Approaching a stranger to ask a favor can be difficult, but refusing a request can be just as hard.

Why Do People Buy Guns? A Behavioral Economics Perspective

Emphasizing the prevalence of guns in America (as gun control advocates often do) might lead people to buy more guns. I use behavioral economics to explain why.

Understanding Others

Understanding other peoples’ feelings is a catalyst for human connection.