Essential Reads

Evolutionary Basis to Differences Between Cats and Dogs

An Almost-Serious Scholarly Debate on Evolved Behavioral Differences

The Effects of Crying

Some information concerning crying ...

Can a Building Make You Sad?

New tools can help us to understand the emotional impact of buildings.

Why the Experts Are Wrong About the Genetics of Happiness

Be wary of simple explanations for unruly humans

Recent Posts on Environment

Why Are We So Prone to Feeling Crazy?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 27, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
How our nature nurtures feelings of insanity. If we’re not stressed out and feeling crazy right at this moment, we’ve probably paid a recent visit to that neighborhood – and are likely to return in the very near future. Our own thinking may twist us – but it can also uncrumple us again.

The Superhuman Athlete

Find out how Olga Kotelko stays fit physically and mentally at the age of 95.

Child Proofing versus Tool Using

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Benign Neglect
We may be “protecting” children from valuable experiences.

Amazon and Toxic Workplaces

By Ray Williams on August 26, 2015 in Wired for Success
A recent expose of Amazon’s work culture in a New York Times report brings into focus the growing problem of toxic work cultures in North America, one that will take a huge toll on long term productivity and employee well being.

LSD, Suggestibility, and Personality Change

A recent study found that LSD increases suggestibility. Research suggests that psychedelic drug use can increase openness to unusual ideas, such as spiritual and paranormal beliefs, in the long-term. Could this be be due to a long-lasting increase in suggestibility and related personality traits?

Evolutionary Basis to Differences Between Cats and Dogs

Is the denial of evolved behavioral sex differences in humans similar to the idea of denying that cats and dogs differ from each other by nature? (warning: satire alert!)

The Effects of Crying

Although crying results in sympathetic stimulation, it may help by eliciting empathy of others. Additionally, people recall feeling better after having cried.

Psychology for Flourishing

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
“A shared story is the basis of the ability of any people to live together as an organized society.” Cultural stories or narratives shape attitudes and behaviors, influencing everyday psychological functioning. David Korten says that we have our story wrong, one that heads us toward self-destruction. There is an alternative, life-promoting story...

Can a Building Make You Sad?

By Colin Ellard Ph.D. on August 22, 2015 in Mind Wandering
Time worn principles in architecture suggest that we might like buildings that mirror the proportions and harmonies of the human form. But what about faces? New research shows how computer analysis of building facades might be used to show how face-like images on the surfaces of buildings affect our emotions.

Walk in Nature: Good for Brain, Good for Spirit

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in The First Impression
How can exposure to nature enrich our brain and mental health?

Why the Experts Are Wrong About the Genetics of Happiness

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Curious?
Every month, there is a major news article about the gene for god, divorce, or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. There are popular books touting a so-called fact that only 40% of happiness is due to genetics. But what does this mean? What is wrong about these statements? Read on for the answers in 500 words.

Does Where You Live Shape Who You Are?

By Colin Ellard Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Mind Wandering
Recent research shows interesting connections between your physical surroundings and your personality. Mountainous states show higher rates of introversion than flat ones. We don't know yet how much your surroundings might shape such personality variables, but there's little doubt that where you live has an impact on your happiness and life satisfaction.

Careers and Giftedness: Where Will You Thrive?

Managing your career is as important as choosing the right career. And thriving in your career begins with honest self-analysis.

A Moving Experience

By E E Smith on August 17, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
Psychologists list it among the most traumatic things we do as human beings, and I can believe it. I also believe that it gets harder as we grow older. Whether you call it pulling up stakes, relocating, moving on, or as my teenaged daughter used to say, "being uprooted," it can be painful.

The Rise of Green Prison Programs

Can exposure to nature help reduce crime?

When Solidarity Guides Consumption

What happens when informed consumers begin to care as much about the people who make their gadgets as they do about price and performance? Find out why the big brands like Apple don't want you to know. Solidarity is going to get them!

World Elephant Day

By Sandy Olliges M.A. on August 14, 2015 in EcoMind
Elephants are important in nature and as spiritual symbols. Elephants are magnificent mammals that live in social groups and care for their young. They are smart and have feelings. Being a keystone species, elephants create and maintain an ecosystem for themselves and for many other plants and animals.

Yellowstone Kills Blaze, a Bear Who Attacked Off-Trail Hiker

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 13, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Blaze, a grizzly bear who tragically killed an off-trail hiker in Yellowstone National Park, was slaughtered today and plans are being made to place her two surviving cubs in a zoo. Following the killing of Cecil the lion, these sorts of human-animal interactions bring to light our complex and challenging relations with other animals and with spending time "out in nature."

Pets As Ambassadors?

Affection for animals may be expressed in many, possibly interlocking, ways. New research suggests that pet-keeping is linked to positive attitudes towards the natural world, indicating that conservationists may need to rethink their antipathy towards cat owners.

Nurture vs. Nature? As a Practical Matter, It’s Nurture

By Anthony Biglan Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in The Nurture Effect
Beyond Nature v. Nurture: If you want a society full of productive, caring people, then focus on nurturing.

Rainforest and Nordic Countries Vie in Well-Being Index

Social well-being can be measured by various methods that give different results. Now Costa Rica shows that it's not only the Nordic countries that look so good in surveys of well-being and happiness in nations across the globe.

Vacations Can Make You a Better Person

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Awe-inspiring experiences reduce self-focus and increase prosocial behavior.

Can the Mystery of the Dog Be Solved?

By Mark Derr on August 10, 2015 in Dog's Best Friend
Dogs did not domesticate themselves in early human garbage dumps, despite what many believe.

Seeing Inequality--or Not

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Hidden Motives
The rich not only tend to care less than the poor about our growing economic inequality, but also they just don’t see it, according to recent studies reported in Psychological Science.

Living Closer to the Bone (Part 4)

By Michael Jawer on August 08, 2015 in Feeling Too Much
Some animals have truly distinctive personalities. The passing of one such pet created an enduring mystery while also hinting at the spiritual nature of emotion-laden family ties.

Research Reveals a New Way to Stop Ruminating

How can you stop ruminating and silence the inner critic? Research reveals new insights.

Wild and Structured Consciousness

Understanding how attention is related to consciousness requires some knowledge about the philosophical debates on the nature of consciousness, which essentially can be described as being both wild and structured.

Home Is Where the Heart Is, but Where Is "Home"?

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
“Home” is the place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a predictable and secure place. In the words of poet Robert Frost, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." In short, home is the primary connection between you and the rest of the world.

How Do We Really Seek Partners?

Human reproductive strategies are shaped by evolution to shift as a function of environmental conditions. Same goes for wild garlic. We can learn a lot about ourselves from the world around us.

Planned Place Loss

By Lindsay J. McCunn on August 01, 2015 in iEnvironment
What happens when we expect homesickness?