Essential Reads

Equality Under the Law ≠ Equality of Outcomes

All individuals are not created equal

Madness in Civilization

A new cultural history of insanity

The Modern Savage: A New Book Questions Why We Eat Animals

James McWilliams' new book is a very thoughtful book about our meal plans

The Flynn Effect as Adaptive Change

Our brains rise to the challenges of modern life thereby boosting intelligence.

Recent Posts on Environment

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2014-2015

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on April 01, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
The Pacific Heart celebrated some milestones this year, including a viral Op Ed in The New York Daily News last weekend! Here are my top blog posts of the last year.

Equality Under the Law ≠ Equality of Outcomes

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Homo Consumericus
I describe the equality bias, a form of faulty reasoning wherein equality under the law is confused with equality of outcomes. Legal equality does not translate into equal potentiality or equal life trajectories.

Madness in Civilization

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

The Modern Savage: A New Book Questions Why We Eat Animals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Animal Emotions
James McWilliams' book "The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals" is a very thoughtful work about our meal plans where he covers the ecological and ethical reasons for not eating other animals and shows that labels such as "cage free," "free range," and "humanely raised" are not necessarily sound and ethical. There's a good life beyond beef and after meat.

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?

The Emotional Lives of Rats: Rats Read Pain in Others' Faces

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows that rats are able to read the pain that other rats are suffering. When are those people who are responsible for writing legislation to protect animals from invasive and abusive research going to use the scientific information that is readily available to protect them from unnecessary harm, pain, and death? The federal Animal Welfare Act is lame.

Jealousy Hurts Love, or Does It?

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Insight Therapy
Jealousy in relationships is common and universal, with deep evolutionary origins. Research shows it can affect relationships in complicated and surprising ways.

Custodians of the Neighborhood

We like to keep our neighborhoods in good condition—free of graffiti, broken streetlights, litter, and potholes. Who are the custodians of our neighborhoods? And are they wasting their time?

How Young Is Too Young?

Do you remember feeling pressure as a child to do better at school, fit in socially, or behave more appropriately? Making the right decision was not always as easy as adults and cheerful children's books sometimes painted it. Luckily, stumbling slow motion through a decade or so of dysfunctional days (aka natural childhood development) was an expected and accepted part...

Is the Earth a Sentient Being?

The planet senses threats and changes its behavior to reduce those threats. Is it alive?

Announcing a New Journal in Psychology

By Jesse Marczyk on March 31, 2015 in Pop Psych
It's time to fix the false positive problem in psychology.

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!

Cooperation Is Natural

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in The Green Mind
Nature contact facilitates mental and physical development, improves learning, makes us more cooperative, and promotes pro-environmental choices. These are the qualities we need for a prosperous society and that negotiators in tough negotiations need for positive results.

The Self-Deceptions of Recycling

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in The Green Mind
It’s important to keep in mind that recycling not only takes large amounts of energy and resources to turn materials into products again, it also may lead to greater consumption and avoidance of better solutions. It’s better to instead focus on the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Language

Language represents a huge developmental leap. Think of all the things we can accomplish with our words and language. We can enhance relationships with our children. We can share feelings and ideas.

The Internet Is Not a Playground

Browsing online can be a wonderful thing—until it's not such a wonderful thing.

The Catch-22s of Anxiety

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on March 31, 2015 in In Practice
Why don’t people seek help so they can live life more fully, without being limited by anxiety? Obviously there are practical barriers like cost, time off work, and child care. However, there are also some key psychological reasons that are specific to anxiety: Aspects of anxiety itself get in the way of people seeking treatment.

Does Everyone Really Love a Joker? (Does Anyone?)

Every school classroom seems to have a class clown—the nightmare of most teachers. However, we know very little about what happens to them when they enter the world of work, home, and community. When they grow up, these “wits” or jokesters can also create havoc to the other adults who inhabit their world.

Clumsy Left-Handers: Fact or Fiction?

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

Discover the Joy of Missing Out

Turn down the noise from our wired world to reconnect with your true self and your true life.

Want to Change a Habit?

By Gretchen Rubin on March 31, 2015 in The Happiness Project
I truly do believe that it’s possible for us to change our habits—even when we’ve failed before.

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.

Being Misunderstood

By Lynne Soraya on March 30, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Looking back at my life, if I were to identify a common theme, it is feeling misunderstood. It sounds so much like a cliché, that many roll their eyes when hearing the phrase. “Everyone feels misunderstood,” they say. But what’s interesting is that those in my life who have said that, have gradually come to realize that it is true.

Mental Health Screening Wouldn't Have Saved Germanwings 9525

By Jean Kim M.D. on March 30, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Screening must balance concerns of rare high-risk cases versus the vast majority of functional people with mental illness trying to overcome stigma and judgment

High School and Beyond

As a parent, you understand the desire to help your child succeed in the world and have the best future possible. Many parents dream their child will be successful, obtain postsecondary education, excel academically and most of all: find a career that is rewarding and satisfying. After all, isn't that the American dream?

Do Orcas Go Crazy Because of Petting Pools and False Hopes?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Orcas who lived in petting pools show higher levels of aggression than other killer whales. This essay lays out the details of what is known about aggressive encounters and early experience. It is objectively clear that there is a correlation between “petting pool” history and significant later orca aggression. Now we need to know more about why this is so.

Adoption in the Life of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs' adoption provided an environment that helped him become the co-founder and major influence of Apple Computers, but his genetic inheritance was also crucial.

Leaving our Legacies Mindfully

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Works in Progress
We have choice to make when it comes to leaving an impact on others. It is important to live life and invest in those who care about you, while keeping in mind the legacy we want to leave.

The Facts of (Business) Life

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in A Sideways View
Is the Business School degree the ideal passport to health, wealth and happiness?