Essential Reads

Why Some Math Anxiety Might Actually Be a Good Thing

Research explains the interplay between math anxiety, motivation, and learning.

In the Age Of Emoji, What's in a Word?

Emojis can be even more powerful than words.

Family Background, Creativity, and Genius

Behind the motivations of science Nobel laureates and literary prizewinners.

Do Video Games Measure IQ?

A new study suggests video games measure intelligence.

Recent Posts on Creativity

Fostering Creative Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians (STEM)

The National Science Board, which governs the National Science Foundation, convened an expert panel on August 25-26, 2009 to discuss ways to foster science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent. Getting ready to participate, Bob asked you some months ago what you would do if you could train the next generation of scientific and technological innovators. Here's his report on the meeting. 

5 Writing Tips from Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on September 07, 2009 Creating in Flow
Don't say too much; don't say too little. That's what it takes today to be a very good writer. A hundred or so years ago, Emerson figured that out. First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process collects and explores some of Ralph Waldo Emerson's best advice on how to write...

Counting Whats

My life was a pile of whats. Everywhere I looked there was a what. I was surrounded by whats. What I ate, what soap I washed with, what kind of gas I put in my car. 

Water in The Belly

By Cami Walker on September 03, 2009 Get Your Give On
I was in a relationship without intimacy or trust. We had sex once in a while, were polite with each other, but the thrill had gone. Moving to a new and better house did nothing to reduce my nagging anxiety or fatigue. As the saying goes, we “pulled a geographical” by changing location, but moved our unfinished business and denial in with the food and furniture.

Which You, Which Intelligence?

From the title it seems as if I will be talking about probable universes or alternate realities. But I'm not. Instead I will be talking about an issue that is dear to us all. That is, what are our talents and how can we benefit from them?

Julie and Julia Pursue their Dreams

We tend to equate creativity with some extraordinary talent that results in the ability to produce masterpieces. Julie and Julia shows that the creative path is quite different--it requires most of all a willingness to take risks, and pursue whatever passion you have with a dogged determination.

Is Regret Experienced Differently Across Cultures?

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on August 30, 2009 Homo Consumericus
Take a minute to think about your greatest regrets in life. Perhaps you wish you had enrolled in dance school instead of becoming an accountant. Or maybe you could take back that short-lived affair that you had a few summers ago. These two examples demonstrate a crucial distinction in the psychology of regret namely the difference between regret due to actions taken versus that of inaction. Over the past 15 years or so, psychologists have tackled this fascinating distinction even going so far as to explore whether culture can affect the likelihood of succumbing to one form of regret more so than the other.

7 Attention Training Tips for Students

Step into the classroom with confidence.

Why Are We Obsessed with Sex?

Sex is mysterious, often sublimely so. Sex can open us to ridicule, or to enlightenment. Nothing about sex is for sure, except that it's consequential. 

Sex and ADD or ADHD

Sex and the brain dynamics of ADHD provide an interesting chemistry. Blamed for many divorces the sexual behavior is different from other groups, but this is not to say it is not adventurous and creative.

Conventional Schooling Conflicts With Trustful Parenting

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on August 26, 2009 Freedom to Learn
As I write this essay, children and adolescents all over America are frantically completing their assigned summer reading, so they can turn in their book reports, due on the first day of class. Or, they are blowing off the assignments while their parents are frantically trying to get them to do them. If your child fails to turn in those reports, you may be blamed...

“200 Pound Tumor” and the Competition for Eyeballs

Do you know what is the most-watched show on Discovery Health?

New Eating Disorder, New Fears

By Anneli Rufus on August 17, 2009 Stuck
Another kind of eating disorder is on the rise, according to representatives of mental-health organizations in the US and Britain. This time, it's orthorexia nervosa -- a compulsion to eat only "pure" or "healthy" food. Based on the Greek words for "correct" and "appetite" -- though "correct" in this case is a bit ironic -- and identified by Colorado physician Steven Bratman, orthorexia can manifest in a staunch refusal to eat any meat, fats, carbohydrates, cooked meals, and/or the contents of entire food groups.

The Giving Return

By Cami Walker on August 13, 2009 Get Your Give On
Giving is reciprocal and self-balancing. As you give more, you experience a psychic shift that heightens your awareness of the many things you receive. The giving part is easy, the receiving can be more difficult and more uncomfortable. We're programmed to see receiving as a sign of weakness. Overcoming that preconceived notion can take more effort than you'd think, but there's a payoff.

Can You Disengage From Others Negative Emotions?

By Karen Leland on August 12, 2009 The Perfect Blend
As someone who is constantly striving to blend the commitments of work, family, friendships and creativity, I'm always interested in the latest on the psychology, biology and sociology front.In her new book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life(Harmony Books, 2009) bestselling author Judith Orloff MD, offers some great new solutions for dealing with emotions in our hyper-tense world.

Paths to Light and to Darkness in the Addiction Field

By Stanton Peele on August 12, 2009 Addiction in Society
Alan Marlatt and I were two psychologists who became involved in the famed early 1980s controversy around controlled drinking treatment for alcoholics.  Alan has gone on to make landmark contributions to the addiction field.  Others in the controversy encountered tragedy.

Never Miss an Opportunity to be Fabulous!

By Tina Seelig Ph.D. on August 11, 2009 CreativityRulz
It’s easy to meet expectations, knowing exactly what you will get in return. But amazing things happen when you remove the cap. In fact, there’s a huge pent-up drive in each of us to blow off the cap! Like a soda bottle that’s been shaken, individuals who remove perceived limits achieve remarkable results.

Anger Disorder (Part Four): Frustration, Madness and Misogyny

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on August 06, 2009 Evil Deeds
Forty-eight-year-old George Sodini was a deeply frustrated, bitter man. Yesterday, his anger, resentment and rage finally exploded into the premeditated madness of violence. Sodini strolled into an all female aerobics class at LA Fitness in Pittsburgh, PA, shot three young women to death, wounded nine, and then committed suicide. What was Sodini so angry about? It appears, based on his own self-published blog entries beginning more than nine months ago, that Mr. Sodini was frustrated primarily about his difficulties with women. He complains of an inability to find a girlfriend since he was twenty-three, not having sex for almost two decades and, most recently, failure to find a date during the past twelve months.Could chronic sexual frustration have caused this catastrophe? To conclude so would be a gross oversimplification of this and other violent offenders' profound existential embitterment, fury and frustration.

The $5 Challenge!

By Tina Seelig Ph.D. on August 05, 2009 CreativityRulz
What would you do to earn money if all you had was five dollars and two hours? This is the assignment I gave students in one of my classes at Stanford University, as part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program... Each of fourteen teams received an envelope with five dollars of “seed funding” and was told they could spend as much time as they wanted planning. However, once they cracked open the envelope, they had two hours to generate as much money as possible. I gave them from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday evening to complete the assignment. Then, on Sunday evening, each team had to send me one slide describing what they had done, and on Monday afternoon each team had three minutes to present their project to the class. They were encouraged to be entrepreneurial by identifying opportunities, challenging assumptions, leveraging the limited resources they had, and by being creative.

Routes Toward Trustful Parenting in Our Time

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on August 05, 2009 Freedom to Learn
Here are six ways to become a more trustful parent and to grant your children more freedom: (1) Examine your own values and priorities, and think how they relate to your interactions with your children. (2) Let go of the idea that you can determine your child’s future or are responsible for it. (3) ...

The Amazing Emanuel Brothers

Three brothers: a natural experiment in the nature and nurture of success. 

Tools for Innovation V: Give it a rest…

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 02, 2009 Ulterior Motives
On Sunday mornings, I like to do the New York Times crossword puzzle. I read most of the clues and fill in a small section. Then, something comes up, and I don't get back to the puzzle until some time later. When I do get back to it, I often get several clues that I didn't get at first. There is a lesson for creativity and innovation here.

More on Emotional Intelligence and Bombs

My latest post, a discussion and review of "The Hurt Locker" spotlighted emotional intelligence, specifically the psychological ability to mind-read others known as empathy and its deceivingly high importance in successful foxhole behavior. Coincidently, this week's NY Times health section features an article that reiterates and expands upon much of what I wrote.