Essential Reads

Let It Go! Your Stuff, That Is

The under-appreciated psychological benefits of de-cluttering your space.

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

Might rising rates of autism feature in the emissions testing controversy?

Paging Dr. Ben Carson: Homophobia Calling

Homophobia, the shadow, and the problem of projection

Once More With Feeling

On the importance of the so-called replicability crisis and what it means

Recent Posts on Environment

Is Dance Religious?

By Kimerer LaMothe Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 What a Body Knows
Is dance religious? The question has always troubled me. It presumes a definition of religion (as separate from dance) that has already proven instrumental in the attempted destruction of dance traditions around the globe. I prefer a different question: Is religion dance? Take the case of Ron Brown's dance "Journey of Great Mystery."

Let It Go! Your Stuff, That Is

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 The Web of Violence
The benefits of improving your immediate physical environment are under-appreciated.

How Nature Restores our Sense of Balance

Getting back in touch with the natural world can restore our balance.

How Autumn Leaves Color Our Inner Lives

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on September 29, 2015 Minding the Body
We love the brilliant hues of fall foliage — but why? Two experts reflect on the sensory appeal and emotional allure of autumn leaves.

Giving Psychology Away

SPSSI's 2016 Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota will explore theme of “giving psychology away.” What does it mean to “give psychology away?” What is it that we want to give away, and how can we best do that? December 10 is the deadline to symposia, presentations, discussions, and poster ideas.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Perceived Risk

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on September 28, 2015 The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the sixth post in a seven-part series.

Whither the Weathering of Wuthering Weather

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 28, 2015 Overcoming Pain
Autumn has begun, the days are shorter, the leaves taking a more prominent place outside the front door. The thought of winter’s approach crosses the mind; and for some of us, the specter of more musculoskeletal pain begins its yearly haunting. But should we believe in the ghosts of chronic pain?

Are Diesel Cars Responsible for Rising Rates of Autism?

A recent study and several previous investigations have found associations between air pollution and autism. These studies suggest increased chances of having a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder following higher exposures to diesel particulate matter, as well as in connection to proximity to a freeway.

Transpersonal Psychology

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on September 25, 2015 Out of the Darkness
While transpersonal psychology has been on the periphery for a long time, its significance may be increasing. It is becoming increasing important for us to explore the "farther reaches of human nature."

Large City Parks and Green Spaces Promote Well-Being

By Christopher Bergland on September 24, 2015 The Athlete's Way
A new study confirms the importance of both large city parks and smaller green spaces for maintaining the well-being of both urban residents and a city's ecosystem.

Seasons Change: Creating a Winter Oasis to Prepare for SAD

By Brad Waters on September 23, 2015 Design Your Path
Creating a winter oasis in your home: A holistic how-to for preparing for and coping with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Paging Dr. Ben Carson: Homophobia Calling

The simple truth—that being gay is an expression of nature’s beauty, truth, and love—is not available to a mind closed by orthodoxy. Instead, our gay sisters and brothers are projected upon and viewed as sick and dangerous. Here's some light to illuminate the shadow of Carson's thinking.

Living with an Open Heart

It is part of our human nature to be sensitive to life and other people. But oftentimes, we're criticized for being too sensitive. This article differentiates between being sensitive and being reactive. As we become more aware of our triggers, we can heal the wounds that lead to reactivity, which allows us to live with a more open, accessible heart.

The Hero Round Table With Phil Zimbardo: Prepare for Heroism

At the Hero Round Table conference, Dr. Phil Zimbardo explains how to become heroic. How does a person prepare for heroism? Heroism, according to Zimbardo, is positive deviance. What distinguishes the reactive hero from the reflective hero? How do bystanders stop standing by? And what does wearing orange pants have to do with standing up, speaking, out, and taking action?

Trauma Outpaces Our Ability to Adapt

Trauma is not some bizarre thing that happens to us and mysteriously sends everything off kilter. It is a violent extension of the routine processes of the brain, as to how we write our plays of consciousness through the limbic system. All throughout life, trauma defines the negative element of our environment. Trauma consists of abuse: sadism and cruelty; and deprivation.

Why There Is No Gene for Language

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 17, 2015 Talking Apes
All human behavior is influenced by genetics. But claiming there’s a specific gene for language or any other complex psychological phenomenon reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the laws of behavioral genetics.

Is Outside the Box Learning Really Possible?

Some creative educators are helping students learn based on strengths and more importantly, weaknesses.

Once More With Feeling

By Robert J King Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 Hive Mind
Crisis schmisis. This is how science works. People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Is Civilization Really Worth the Trouble?

By Christopher Ryan on September 14, 2015 Civilized to Death
Are the pyramids miraculous or pathetic?

Women by Design, Transforming Home, Transforming Self

By Toby Israel Ph.D. on September 12, 2015 Design on My Mind
A patchwork of life experiences lies just beneath the surface of our outdoor and indoor places. Do you want to reveal this rich tapestry of life?

Living Closer to the Bone (Part 7)

By Michael Jawer on September 10, 2015 Feeling Too Much
Sentient creatures share a profound connectedness, with one another and with nature. The concept of soul can be understood in context of this innately felt connection with creation.

Can You Really Catch Madness From Your Cat?

By Guy P. Harrison on September 08, 2015 About Thinking
Billions of human brains are infected with a bizarre cat parasite that seems to influence our personality and behavior. Could they be altering the course of human history as well?

The Nature Imperative

Children as they grow are developing a moral code that expresses concern about and commitment to conservation, habitat protection, and animal welfare. We can learn a lot from children's thinking about nature and the environment.

Can Feeling Sexy in Fitness Class Lead to Body Confidence?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 Fit Femininity
Looking to feel sexy, self-confident, and have fun? Then pole fitness, say some researchers, might be for you.

Living Closer to the Bone (Part 6)

By Michael Jawer on September 05, 2015 Feeling Too Much
Animals that express gratitude, that play, that contemplate nature, that mourn, or that save a fellow creature are all demonstrating aspects of connectedness. This connectedness – underpinned by the ability to feel and emote – is the core of spirituality. It really is a matter of “fellow feeling.”

Is Depression Hereditary?

Depression is one of the most common and serious illnesses in the world, but sadly also the most mysterious. However, we can garner important information by studying depression in families.

Charlie: The Feral Dog Who Came in From the Wild

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 03, 2015 Animal Emotions
A new book about a feral dog called "Charlie: The Dog Who Came in From the Wild" by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma shows the importance of shared trust, love, and deep commitment when one chooses to live with a "difficult dog" who came to the author with very special needs that could only be satisfied by a very special human being. This is a most important book for humans and dogs.

The Nature and Consequences of Noise Sensitivity in Dogs

Recent data suggests that noise sensitivity in dogs may be based upon genetic and physiological factors and may also predict separation anxiety, fearfulness in novel situations, and even some age-related changes in stress responses.

What Would YOU Have Done in Milgram’s Experiment?

When Stanley Milgram studied the nature of human obedience, he shocked the world. Most people today say that they personally would never have obeyed an authority figure to the point of danger. But what they say may bear little resemblance to what they would actually do.

Meet the Methyl Toxic Chemical Family

Earlier this summer, the CDC released a report on a family vacation gone terribly wrong. Back in March, two adults and two teenagers vacationed at a condominium resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Unbeknownst to them, a pest control company was fumigating the condo below with the highly toxic chemical methyl bromide.