Cognition Essential Reads

Meaningfully Salient Parenting

Meaningfully salient parenting can be spoken about, but, in essence, it is a deeply heartfelt and intimate engagement between parent and child, mother and father, and all within the family system.

Getting Existential with Josh Rouse

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Josh Rouse shares how he has been able to conquer anxiety through mindfulness.

The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Neuroscientists often quote Emily Dickinson's poem that begins, "The brain is wider than the sky," in support of their view that the mind is nothing but the brain. But they interpret the poem too narrowly, and miss its deeper meaning. Her poetry can teach us about the brain and mind, in ways that neuroscience can't.

Hillary Clinton's Social Media Challenge

Obama was the classic Underdog archetype. Social media wasn’t his communications vehicle, it was part of his story. Don’t ask if Hillary Clinton will have a social media advantage because Obama did or if the Republicans will ever get it right. Ask if Hillary can adapt her archetype to social.

Why Does Game of Thrones' Hodor Only Say "Hodor"?

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on April 10, 2015 in Brain Babble
There's a neurological explanation behind why Hodor only says one word: expressive aphasia.

Emotions and the Gender Similarities Hypothesis

By Gregg Henriques on April 08, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Although I started this blog writing about gender differences, it ended emphasizing similarities.

Why Inappropriate Laughter Is Often Contagious

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 08, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
The worst case of inappropriate laughter I've ever seen—can you resist giggling when you see it?

Lessening Alzheimer’s Discordance: Five Recommendations

Dealing with the differing views of the illness held by the person with Alzheimer's disease and the care partner is a challenging but critical task. Lessening this discordance enormously reduces care partner stress, and is valuable for the person with the disease, as well.

What Your Oldest Memories Reveal About You

What do your childhood memories say about you? Do our early memories merit our consideration?

Madness in Civilization

Madness as a perennial problem, and the problems of contemporary biological reductionism.

The Flynn Effect as Adaptive Change

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in The Human Beast
All living creatures can change to fit in with their environment. Some of that flexibility is due to gene selection but a lot is developmental. The Flynn effect of rising IQ in developed countries is an enrichment effect of modern life. It arises due to the adaptive response of our brain to the increased challenges it faces.

Music, Math, and Sex

Could runaway sexual selection really be responsible for the evolution of music? What would that tell us about human nature?

Creativity Hiding in the Headlines

“Anglo Saxon Eye Remedy Kills Deadly Superbug.” It’s the kind of headline that is sure to attract anyone interested in ancient, complementary and alternative medicines, but why post it in a creativity blog? Well, if you haven’t guessed by now, creativity can hide anywhere, manifest itself in any field, and impart its lessons through any medium. So read on!

7 Ways to Combat Facebook Jealousy

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in Friendship 2.0
Many of us are trapped in a cycle of seeking out social media almost automatically when we're bored or stressed. Sometimes, though, it can do more harm than good—especially if it spurs on jealousy. Here are seven ways to break free.

Clumsy Left-Handers: Fact or Fiction?

There seems to be an ingrained belief in our world that left-handers are clumsy. Is that true?

Socioeconomic Factors Impact a Child's Brain Structure

In the largest study of its kind, a team of investigators from nine different universities have identified a correlative link between family income and a child’s brain structure.

Can You Break the Mood-Memory Cycle?

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Mental Mishaps
Does it ever seem that the only thoughts that come to mind are negative? You only remember the painful and sorrowful experiences from your life. Someone reminds you of something happy, but you struggle to remember it. And remembering that happy experience may make you feel worse rather than better.

Book Review: Wisdom from the Couch

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on March 22, 2015 in In Therapy
Dr. Jennifer Kunst shares the warmer, friendlier side of Kleinian psychology in this interview and book review.

How a Suggestion Can Change Your Life

By Polly Campbell on March 20, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
We are influenced by all kinds of things. But knowing that, we can use those external influences to shape success.

10 Things Your Psychology Professors Want You to Know

An education in psychology is enormous - including information on such diverse topics ranging from how infants perceive shapes to how rats learn to complete mazes - and more. Way more. The list found here distills a traditional education in psychology to 10 things that psychology professors really want their students to walk away with.

Do Dog People and Cat People Differ in Terms of Dominance?

New data suggest that dog people and cat people are selecting their preferred pet because it complements their own personality.

Why Childhood Stress Crimps Academic Performance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
Animals from an environment full of risk remain vigilant and avoid exploring their surroundings. This promotes survival but has the indirect consequence of reducing their cognitive ability. A similar pattern applies to humans and shows up as academic under performance.

Science and the Online Dating Profile

Online dating is the new singles bar, one in which your words won't be drowned out by the music. But which words should you use? There is some scientific evidence about relatively more effective ways to turn an online contact into a real huggable moment.

Comforting Third Spaces

The best third spaces are green spaces.

Do Sex Surveys Pose Any Risk of Harm to Participants?

Surveying college students about their sex lives is often presumed to pose risks to participants, such as psychological distress. However, research finds that sex surveys appear to hold no more potential for harm than general psychological tests.

Do We Age in Stages?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 12, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Today's adults have greater freedom than ever to decide how best to live.

Why Some People Are More Resilient Than Others

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Good Thinking
Everyone suffers at least one negative life event. A recent study discovered two factors that characterize resilient people following negative or even traumatic life events.

Iconoclastic Puritans

Why images of the gods are often targets of religious zealots and why religious zealots will never run out of images to target.

Creativity and Mental Illness

Creating and creativity are healthy processes in contradiction to contentions such as those of Kay Jamison and Nancy Andreasen and others who have carried out weak research purportedly showing connections between creativity and mental illness.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Psychologists may play an instrumental role in reducing inappropriate use of deadly force by law enforcement personnel.