Essential Reads

Seriously—Do You Have Someone Else’s Conscience?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 03, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
The question posed in this post’s title may sound almost nonsensical. How could you possibly be a victim of another’s conscience? Still, ask yourself: Is your super-ego tyrannical?

Nasal Spray May Prevent PTSD, Study Finds

Nasal spray may help prevent traumatic memories from forming in the first place.
miropink / Shutterstock.com

Moral Function and Moral Perfection

We have a natural morality. But it is limited. Moral perfection requires work.

Why Is Yawning Contagious?

By Eliezer J. Sternberg M.D. on January 11, 2016 in NeuroLogic
Are you a victim of contagious yawning? It might reflect good attributes.

More Posts on Ethics and Morality

The "Wild Man"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 08, 2016 How To Do Life
On getting a terminal diagnosis, a man became radically honest. Was that wise?

How Easy/Hard Is It For Us To Trust?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 07, 2016 Jacob's Staff
What contributes to distrust in society? What happens to innovation when distrust prevails? What changes might we have to make to inspire a positive vision of the future?

Why You Should Cuddle Your Kids: Adult Health and Morality

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on February 07, 2016 Moral Landscapes
Did you receive affection, play freely and feel supported in childhood?

Why People Buy

How do consumers transition from disinterest in a product or service to urgently wanting that same product or service? It is all about psychology.

The Affluenza Defense

Poor black boys who steal booze and cars and recklessly kill people should be treated like the rich white boys, not vice versa.

Punching Anti-Gay Hate Right in the Nose

By Rebecca Coffey on February 01, 2016 The Bejeezus Out of Me
One amazing organization providing safety and support to homeless LGBTQ kids was bombarded by hate — by a church. What happened next will knock your socks off.

Drug Courts and the Restoration of Dignity

Drug courts recognize the humanity of drug users.

The Sexual Ethics of Star Wars

Why must erotic love compromise a person's ability to use the Force for good?

Why the FDA's Move to Restrict ECT Should Alarm Us All

By Amy S.F. Lutz on January 29, 2016 Inspectrum
The FDA is moving to restrict access to a treatment that 100,000 Americans turn to every year to resolve devastating psychiatric illnesses – including my son. We can stop them.

The Worst State in the Country for LGBT Rights?

By Rebecca Coffey on January 29, 2016 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Oklahoma's legislators are currently considering 25 bills that would threaten LGBT rights. Don't they know what Sigmund Freud learned—the hard way?

Day 12: Michael Cornwall on Being Present to "Madness"

The future of mental health interview series continues with Michael Cornwall on being present to "madness."

Achieving Happiness: Advice from Pascal

Pascal wants us to consider the big questions of life and give them the attention and deep thought that they deserve.

Binge-Watching: If You're Feeling Ashamed, Get Over it

Binge watching describes watching multiple episodes of a TV show in one sitting. There is nothing wrong with it, so if you’re feeling ashamed of yourself, get over it. Here's why.

Star Wars: Answering the Big Questions

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on January 27, 2016 Plato on Pop
Who are Rey’s parents? Why exactly did Luke go into hiding? Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? What’s the deal with Kylo’s lightsaber? Careful reasoning might reveal the answer.

Star Wars Psychology: How Does a Stormtrooper Learn to Hug?

Raised since infancy to obey orders, one soldier refuses to take part in a massacre. Why does he then readily kill other stormtroopers, and when did he learn to greet with a hug?

Behind the Mask - Inside a Psychopathic Romance

By Rhonda Freeman Ph.D. on January 26, 2016 NeuroSagacity
Most with psychopathy are nothing like what we might imagine (i.e., the socially awkward loner, disengaged from society, plotting to do harm.) Actually, they often have attractive

Fat = Lazy & Gluttonous, says World Health Organization

Weight stigma is everywhere. Including the World Health Organization.

The Case for Greater Authenticity

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 25, 2016 How To Do Life
We live in a world that rewards hype and dishonesty. Should we capitulate?

The Myth of “Breastfeeding is Optional”

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 24, 2016 Moral Landscapes
The book, Lactivism, purports to shoot down breastfeeding. Let’s examine its wrong baselines and assumptions. Breastfeeding is not an option for a baby who wants to develop well.

The Psychology of Supremacism: Whether White, Male or Human

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 24, 2016 Moral Landscapes
As a child the women around me routinely warned each other not to insult the ego of a nearby male. Male supremacism was not challenged, till later. How about human supremacy?

Should the Social Media Be Called the Antisocial Media?

Some people who commented in an on-line forum on a suicide in Sweden showed a shocking callousness. Did they express it simply because they could?

Creeping Moralism

If you lack in self-control, you are probably an immoral person. This claim has recently been made in the starkest possible terms by prominent social psychologists. Let’s not

Designer Genes

By Diane Tober Ph.D. on January 21, 2016 The Age of Biotech
Rejecting sperm and egg providers because of ADHD and Dyslexia? Cultural myths abound surrounding "disability" and genetics.

Clues To The Function Of Moralistic Punishment

By Jesse Marczyk on January 19, 2016 Pop Psych
Experiments on anonymous and public punishment give us insights about adaptive morality.

The Hidden Message of the University of Missouri Scandal

Was the University of Missouri scandal, leading to the President's and Chancellor's departure, about racism? Political correctness? Student activism? Or something more important?

How to Keep our Dignity While Ceding Human Preeminence

We need not give our robo sapien successors our worst qualities.

The Sounds of Rudeness

Rudeness is sadly becoming the acceptable way of communicating, because models of incivility are loudly displayed in politics, the media, the trolling blogosphere, and conversation

Workover: A Tongue-Lashing on Responsibility

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 18, 2016 How To Do Life
My response to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program

Hey Prof, Can I Make Up the Exam?

One difficult decision we face as instructors is what to do when students miss a test. We should consider why we give tests at all before making judgments or policies.

Ridding Happiness Contaminants: Guilt

No one need be deviled by guilt, no matter what. Learn what causes guilt and, more important, what to do to rid it from your life – now and forever.