Essential Reads

Constant Phone Interruptions Affect Toddlers

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on July 26, 2017 in Media Spotlight
New research suggests that constant phone interruptions can have more serious consequences for parents of toddlers than you might think.

The Charter for Animal Compassion for Non-Humans and Humans

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 26, 2017 in Animal Emotions
The soon-to-be-launched Charter for Animal Compassion champions the science of animal sentience and envisions "a world in which human and non-human animals flourish."

The Silver Lining in the ADHD Cloud

Is your ADHD getting in your way? Learn how to turn it into a valuable asset.

How To Explain How Genes Affect Politics

How do genes affect political attitudes and behavior? At least one guy knows how to explain it.

More Posts on Cognition

H1N1 (Swine Flu): Healthy Paranoia, Panic or Propaganda?

By Allison Kahner Psy.D. on November 12, 2009 in Therapy in Mind
Swine Flu, H1N1. We can’t escape the news if not the germs. If you feel overwhelmed and confused about the level of danger, you are probably not alone.

Magical Thinking

By Alex Lickerman M.D. on November 12, 2009 in Happiness in this World

Cognitive Dissonance, the Need to Belong, and Mass Murder

Although there are many causes of aggression, two social psychological concepts, the need to belong and cognitive dissonance, may be especially important in explaining Nidal Hassan's behavior.

What Does it Mean to Say "We'll Adapt" to Big Cities and to Little Nature?

By Peter H Kahn Jr., Ph.D. on November 08, 2009 in Human-Nature
A reader posted the following response to an earlier discussion of mine. He said, "We can't turn back time, we need to adapt." But adaptation is many things. Sometimes when we adapt it's good for us - biologically and psychologically. And sometimes it's bad for us. I'd like to discuss different types of adaptation. This discussion forms part of the argument for smaller cities, fewer people, and bigger nature.

Introducing a newborn to a dog -- or a dog to a newborn

By Alexandra Horowitz Ph.D. on November 08, 2009 in Minds of Animals

Two Different Worlds We Live In - The Hasan Murders

By Stanton Peele on November 07, 2009 in Addiction in Society
Divided responses to the Fort Hood Killings illurate how reality follows perception, and how the United States is hopelessly split.

Why Did He Do It?

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on November 06, 2009 in Mental Mishaps
This week a horrible tragedy occurred at Ft. Hood army base.  According to the news reports, an army major went on a shooting spree.  In the period since the news broke, a consistent focus of discussion has been:  Why did he do it?  These discussions will tell us more about the beliefs of the people talking than the actual motive of Major Hasan. 

Breeding Babies

What will it take to convince us that humans are not made to breed litters of babies. Maybe a recent government report showing abominable American statistics will finally persuade doctors and patients to take a closer look at the increasingly wacky baby business. 

A child’s way of counting reveals why we are so smart.

By Susan R Barry Ph.D. on November 06, 2009 in Eyes on the Brain
Children first count with their fingers, a skill that depends upon specific brain-body wiring. Is our intelligence in general dependent upon brain-brain connections?

David Chalmers and the Singularity that will probably not come

By Massimo Pigliucci on November 06, 2009 in Rationally Speaking
David Chalmers is a philosopher of mind, best known for his argument about the difficulty of what he termed the “hard problem” of consciousness, which he typically discusses by way of a thought experiment featuring zombies who act and talk exactly like humans, and yet have no conscious thought (I explained clearly what I think of that sort of thing in my essay on “The Zombification of Philosophy”).

Reality as a Horror Movie: The Deadly Sweat Lodge (Part 2)

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on November 04, 2009 in Evolution of the Self
Motivational speaker and self-styled guru James Arthur Ray advertised his short-term retreats as transformative experiences that would alter participants' lives forever. . . .

High school teacher suspended after assigning an article on homosexuality in animals

Yesterday, Mr. Delong, a 10th and 12th grade Honors English teacher in Piasa, IL was suspended for assigning an article about homosexuality in the animal kingdom to his students. Should teachers ask their students to read about controversial topics? Should we allow parents veto power over the curriculum?

Ancient Attention Techniques

By Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. on October 29, 2009 in Attention Training
 Quit thinking and just pay attention.

The Key to Understanding Body Language

By Joe Navarro M.A. on October 28, 2009 in Spycatcher
Many of our behaviors are reflections of how we feel about something, what we are thinking, or intending. Here is an easy guide for reading others.

What is the next change in psychology

By Frank Lawlis Ph.D. on October 26, 2009 in Redefining Stress
The change in psychology is in the air and many clu8es as to what it will be. I am asking what it will be?

Disarming Your Buttons: How Not to Get Provoked (Part 3 of 4)

Part 1 of this post focused on better understanding the origins of your hot buttons, while Part 2 centered on resolving past disturbances that created these buttons in the first place. Now, in the next two parts, it's time to look at ways of preparing yourself in the present to better cope with people and circumstances that still seem to threaten your mental and emotional equilibrium. . . .

Dr. Phil Style Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

By Allison Kahner Psy.D. on October 26, 2009 in Therapy in Mind
Sure, even Dr. Phil admits you can't do effective therapy in one show.  But the modality of therapy he ascribes to Cognitive Therapy also called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been proven effective.

Intelligent Testing

By Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D. on October 25, 2009 in Beautiful Minds
IQ tests have received much criticism over the years, some warranted and some just plain silly. Since so much is at stake with IQ testing, it's important to become more informed about the latest thinking in the field. And one of the most important approaches to intelligence testing is intelligent testing.

Gandhi, Bill Gates, and... Hannibal Lecter?: Creativity and Emotional Intelligence in all the Wrong Places

By James C Kaufman on October 23, 2009 in And All That Jazz
Constructs such as creativity and emotional intelligence are often considered part of Positive Psychology. They are seen, usually, as desirable and good traits. Yet there are many ways that people may use these abilities selfishly, or even, perhaps, evilly.

Economics: Economists are Irrational!

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 22, 2009 in The Power of Prime
I recently read an article by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in which he described the renewed battle between so-called freshwater economists, who are disciples of Adam Smith and espouse the free-market and rational actor models, and saltwater economists who align with John Maynard Keynes and his belief in the need for regulation in financial markets and that people aren't rational actors. The past 50 years have been dominated by freshwater economists who had a reverential faith in the power of free markets and the rationality of people in their financial decisions. Given what has happened to our economy in the last decade, it's hard to believe that any of these "efficient market" adherents still have jobs, much less credibility in how the economy actually works.

Morality in Tooth and Claw

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 20, 2009 in Animal Emotions
Animals are "in." This might well be called the decade of the animal. Research on animal behavior has never been more vibrant and more revealing of the amazing cognitive, emotional, and moral capacities of a broad range of animals. It's becoming clear that animals have both emotional and moral intelligences.

Having the strength to cope with what life throws at you

By Emily T. Troscianko on October 19, 2009 in A Hunger Artist
It's easy - when you're still suffering from anorexia yourself, or when you never have done - to imagine that such an illness affects only the food-related parts of one's existence. But although that's where it starts, and is the most obvious sphere of sickness, in the end it is no more than the epicentre to deeper patterns of turmoil.

Could Your Thoughts Be Criminal? Part II

By Marisa Mauro Psy.D. on October 17, 2009 in Take All Prisoners

Could Your Thoughts Be Criminal? Part I

By Marisa Mauro Psy.D. on October 17, 2009 in Take All Prisoners

Disagreeing with My Politics Is an Error

By Nathan A Heflick Ph.D. on October 14, 2009 in The Big Questions
 Do our brains interpret our values and beliefs as facts (objective truths)?

Singin' in the Wane

By Lynn Phillips on October 13, 2009 in Dream On
Positive thinking is great for you when it's based on solid science, but when not, it can be so very not. In her new book, Bright-Sided -- How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich chases down a long list of happiness quacks and reads them the riot act.