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

Building Blocks of Creativity

Consider this blog like a set of toy dolls or action figures. Or, better yet, a box of building blocks. In each post, we plan to explore in playful spirit the people, the places and the stories-in short, the who, what, where, when, why, and how-of creativity.

Uncertainty, Emotion & Task Delay: I May Have Fear, but I Need Not be My Fear

In a recent discussion with a friend about procrastination, he said, "I find I always procrastinate when I don't know what to do next." The research literature reflects his personal experience, uncertainty is related to procrastination, but it's more than just not knowing what to do next. As I said in response to him, "It may also be about how the uncertainty makes you feel."

Are All Memoirs Fiction?

A few years ago Oprah Winfrey famously criticized James Frey for fabricating large parts of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, the story of his recovery from drug addiction. Since then, calling into question how truthful any memoir really is.

Are We Coaching The Play Out Of Our Kids?

It is increasingly difficult to find a college freshman who has ever played or even practiced their sport without a coach or other adult around.

The Dilemma of Genetic Engineering and Landmines

There are an estimated 45 million landmines still scattered around the world.  A Danish biotech company has developed a rather ingenious way to detect their presence using a simple weed.  Do we line up with the "dark green" side of the environmental movement, which is pushing us toward a romantic, back to nature approach to saving the planet? Or do we move toward the "bright green" side of the environmental movement that is looking toward innovation in the application of technology to fix what we have broken?

Is Your Workplace Personality Out of (Birth) Order?

Are your siblings to blame, or to thank, for your workplace personality?

Presidential Character

Character does matter, all would agree, whether it is the character of our nation's leaders or the character of ourselves, our family members, our friends, our colleagues, and our fellow citizens. Election 2008 has seen no shortage of discussion of character and no lack of strong opinions and pronouncements.

Is Every Child Gifted? Probably not

Every parent wants to think his or her child is special. And rest assured, parents—your child is special. At least, there is no other child on earth with the same precise mix of genes, experience, and pattern of strengths and weaknesses. But is every child gifted? Probably not.

Jealousy is a Killer: How to Break Free from Your Jealous Feelings

Jealousy can be a killer. You feel the anxiety and rage building up in you and you don't know what to do. How can we make sense of jealousy and how can we cope?

Emotional Pollutants II

The chronic negative feedback produced by entitlement, resentment, anger, superiority, pettiness, sarcasm, victim identity, and enmity can do nothing but create more emotional pollution.

Sex and Art

Poets Love Being in Love 

Introducing Beautiful Minds

Introducing my new blog Beautiful Minds.

Ruminations on the IQ and Virtue

By David Elkind Ph.D. on May 07, 2008
High intelligence carries with it a moral imperative

Procrastination and Flow Experiences: A Tale of Opposites

Procrastinators rarely engage in their lives in a way that creates the experience of "flow." They're rarely "in the zone" or "find their groove." What's flow? Why are the optimal conditions for flow just the opposite of what promotes task delay?

Art and Neurodiversity: When Is Art Just Art?

By Lynne Soraya on May 04, 2008 Asperger's Diary
Should any type of diagnosis, psychological or neurological, come into play when looking at art, or is art just art?

The Art of Neurodiversity

Artist with autism Stephen Wiltshire has an uncanny gift for capturing any scene on paper with photographic accuracy. But is it the result of a mental aberration, the mind of a savant, or the work of an outsider artist? Or perhaps it’s neurodiversity.

Mental Illness and Creativity: Does Treatment Hurt or Help?

By Peter D Kramer on April 29, 2008 In Practice
Are the mentally ill especially creative? If so (or if not), should afflicted writers and artists seek treatment?

The Psychology of Psychopharmacology

How psychopharmacology and its implicit psychology is understood and employed in psychotherapy is key: Is medication used merely to deaden metaphorical demons? Or to support confronting and coming to terms with them?

You’ve Got Soul!

Maybe you don’t take it with you, but you’ve got soul. Keeping it central to daily life can be a path to a sense of wellness. So go ahead, sing that silly song.

Why Politicians Get Laid More: The Low Road to the High Life

By Stanton Peele on March 30, 2008 Addiction in Society
Cheating to get ahead is bad – unless you want to lead the free world. We certainly wouldn’t let our kids do such things!

Neurological Disorder or Natural Diversity?

By Lynne Soraya on March 28, 2008 Asperger's Diary
Many of us on the autism spectrum have come to realize that our disabilities often come with a compensating ability.

Art Matters

Some of you are probably wondering why Psychology Today would have a blog called “The Healing Arts.” My world view of health and healing grew from more than two decades of working as an art therapist and expressive arts therapist, a professional who uses all the arts [visual, music, dance and movement, drama, creative writing, and play] as modalities to help people recover, restore, and revitalize. After more than 20 years of engaging in this work and making it an almost daily practice in my own life, I have come to believe that art and imagination are equally as important to health and well-being as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and meditation.

Sex in Prehistory -- How Do We Know?

By Christopher Ryan Ph.D. on March 11, 2008 Sex at Dawn
An astute reader asks, "If your book is about the origins of human sexuality 'before agriculture and writing,' how did you develop your basic thesis? Without written records, what are your theories based on?"Good question.

Brett Favre's Brain

By Steven Kotler on March 11, 2008 The Playing Field
Brett Farve was one of the most creative quarterbacks to ever play the game—but what does that really mean?

Lost in Translation

By Matthew Hutson on March 05, 2008 Psyched!
In 1937, a long-lost Vermeer was revealed at auction, heralded by experts as one of the Dutch painter's greatest works. Only it wasn't a Vermeer at all. A man named Han van Meegeren had produced this and many other expensive forgeries. Once he stepped forward, their value dropped like the jaws on his customers. Why?

Beware Geeks Bearing Gifts

By Matthew Hutson on March 03, 2008 Psyched!
Open source projects are like high-tech barn-raising. There's been some recent and salacious speculation on the motivations of Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, but what motivates us mortals to contribute to open source enterprises? And do people who write code for software projects like Firefox have different drives than people who contribute content to projects like Wikipedia?

Expert Tease

By Greg Dillon M.D. on February 25, 2008 MetroPolar
Do you have to have had cancer to treat cancer? Do you have to be a crack addict to truly get the jones and the pain? Do you have to be an artist to really understand creativity? These questions range from rhetorical to hmmm, but it's tricky.

Self-Portraits on Speed

By Carlin Flora on February 05, 2008 Under a Friendly Spell
We all know today's youth are a bunch of narcissistic exhibitionists. Well, maybe not quite.


By Matthew Hutson on January 31, 2008 Psyched!
The New York Times has an article this morning ("Economists Dissect the ‘Yuck’ Factor") about the role that disgust plays in moral intuitions. We've evolved to judge that things are wrong if they feel unnatural somehow.