Essential Reads

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of Memory and Aging

Now age 93, what does Mr. Holmes (the movie) tell us about memory and aging?

Fear and Anxiety Affect the Health and Life Span of Dogs

Increased stress can shorten the lifespans of both humans and dogs

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid?

With intelligent machines to do the thinking, will our brains get lazy?

Over Ego

Is self-enhancement good for you?

Recent Posts on Cognition

Music Made for Peak Perception

Live music has a special power to evoke human emotions, some extremely intense and meaningful in the contexts of our lives. As performers seek the emotional rewards for themselves onstage, they also strive to provide similar peak experiences for their audiences. There are many factors in play that make live performance so engaging for musicians and music lovers alike.

Another Big Five for Personality

By Gregg Henriques on April 11, 2012 in Theory of Knowledge
Although the Big Five theory of traits represented a significant advance, we still need ways of understanding how people tend to respond to unique situations. This post argues that there are five systems of adaptation that allow us to get a richer sense of who we are as individuals.

Do We All Suffer from Multiple Identity Disorder?

William James suggested we all suffer from a form of multiple identity disorder. In a recent TedX talk I discussed modern research on evolution and social cognition that expands on this idea.

Disorderly Discourse

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 10, 2012 in One Among Many
In earlier posts, I idiotically relied on rational arguments to dispute a line of reasoning that sought to prop up Christian theism with psychological science. No more. Here, I retreat to analogies.

Why Brainstorming Doesn't Improve Productivity or Creativity

By Ray Williams on April 10, 2012 in Wired for Success
Brainstorming is a widely used technique for groups to develop varied and fresh perspectives on an issue, problem or project, and it is frequently used by leaders and consultants, with the assumption that it increases both productivity and creativity. That assumption may not be true.

Brothers Aren't the Half of It!

Comparison of full with half siblings reveals the different contributions fathers and mothers make to the cognitive configuration of their children.

A Mother and Son's Perspective of His Autism

Being empathic, which is not always easy to achieve for parents and other caregivers, is rendered even more difficult when a child or adolescent is on the autism spectrum.

The Psychology of Killing and NonKilling

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on April 08, 2012 in Moral Landscapes
“A United States Army sergeant methodically killed at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children...” A bad apple? Believe it or not, we can each shift into evil thoughts and behavior quite easily.

The National Museum of Animals & Society

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 07, 2012 in Animal Emotions
The National Museum of Animals & Society (NMAS), the first of its kind, centers on the full spectrum of human-animal studies (anthrozoology, our relationships with, and perceptions of, other animals) including the history of protecting animals and the importance of humane education in their collections, exhibitions, and programs.

Why Colds Can Make You Feel Amorous

By Shawn T. Smith Psy.D. on April 07, 2012 in Ironshrink
The immune response has a direct affect on our behavior, including the rather odd effect of making some people feel, um, horny.

Anchoring Base Rates

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 07, 2012 in One Among Many
To conclude the trilogy of posts on the representativeness heuristic, I here propose that base rate neglect can be reduced if base rates are first presented as judgmental anchors.

It’s a Fine Line Between Narcissism and Egocentrism

All of us are egocentric to a certain degree. When our self-centeredness keeps us from seeing how other people view the world, though, we can cross the line into pathological forms of narcissism. By practicing five simple strategies, you can nip your narcissism in the bud.

A Horse Named Champ Rescues A Drowning Filly

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 06, 2012 in Animal Emotions
Horses like many other animals help others in need. Watch Champ, a wild stallion, rescue a young filly in raging water, yet another example of compassion and empathy that are widespread among many different animals.

The Four Secrets to Being Hypomanic Successfully

By Tom Wootton on April 06, 2012 in Bipolar Advantage
This article will introduce bipolars and therapists alike to a four step approach to getting Bipolar IN Order instead of avoidance or leaving it in disorder. We follow the current evidence-based methods to achieve recovery as a critical and necessary first step, while providing a path utilizing the same and more advanced tools for accomplishing something much greater.

Trayvon Martin in Post-Racial America

By George Davis on April 06, 2012 in Modern Melting Pot
With the Trayvon Martin case, Reverend Al Sharpton threw a bucket of reality into the face of one of the most widely-used and fiercely defended American illusion.

The Shabbas Box

How one family uses an old shoe box to support positive behaviors at home.

Why Left Is Less and Right Is More (Sometimes)

By Steven B. Jackson on April 04, 2012 in Culture Conscious
We tend to think about numbers as existing in space. These spatial associations are shaped by cultural factors to some degree, but can also be tempered by experience in the here and now.

The Truth About Texting and Talking While Driving

By Ellen E. Pastorino Ph.D. on April 04, 2012 in Get Psyched!
Several recent studies show that text messaging and conversing on either a handheld or hands-free cell phone while driving slows reaction time more than being drunk or high.

Alcohol Benefits the Creative Process

By Sian Beilock Ph.D. on April 04, 2012 in Choke
Creative thought is something we often aspire to. Whether it’s in terms of artistic products, scientific discoveries, or business innovations, creative accomplishments drive advancement in much of what we do.

Society Doesn't Create Morality and Neither Do Individuals

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on April 04, 2012 in Am I Right?
Religious commandments, social conventions, and codes of conduct can assist you in making moral decisions, but they are no substitute for ethical judgments

The Unseen Injury: Post-Concussional Syndrome.

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on April 03, 2012 in Trouble in Mind
You don’t have to be knocked out cold to get a concussion. If you get a knock on the head, and you still feel tired and grumpy two weeks afterwards, see your doctor! The post-concussional syndrome can be successfully treated with simple behavioral strategies, but the longer you leave it, the harder it becomes.

The Personality Disorder Star

By Gregg Henriques on April 03, 2012 in Theory of Knowledge
This post outlines a new way of thinking about the PDs by clustering them on three relational dimensions of freedom (Cluster A), power (Cluster B), and love (Cluster C). It also depicts major personality disorders on a “star” and shows how some PDs (e.g., antisocial and dependent) should be thought of as diametric opposites.

Can Talk Therapy Help Persons with Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a very disabling psychiatric illness affecting about 2 to 3 million Americans. Contrary to popular perception, it has nothing to do with a “split personality.”