Intelligence Essential Reads

Happiness With Life 10: Practice Curiosity

Contrary to popular wisdom, curiosity enriches the cat, not kills it. Learn the benefits to your happiness in being curious and the five strategies to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Can Evolution Explain All Human Behavior?

Evolutionary explanations of human behavior abound and they call on what we know about evolution. However, proving the validity of these explanations is another story. Why is that?

Why Do Men’s Preferences for Wives and Daughters Differ?

When asked to select from a list of ten items the two or three traits that they most valued—including different ranking of intelligence, attractiveness, sweetness, independence, and strength—men report different priorities for wives as for daughters. What does this tell us about men’s relationships to women and their attitudes regarding gender equality?

Build Your EQ With These 7 Constructive Thinking Tools

The quality of your emotional intelligence, or “street smarts,” can help you achieve greater success in your daily life. These 7 types of constructive thinking will help you understand and improve your ability to put your EQ to use.

How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development

By Peter Gray on June 03, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
In the absence of an appropriate intellectual foundation and motivation to learn, students acquire academic skills by rote, in shallow, meaningless ways. This not only wastes students' time, but can cause serious harm to their future intellectual and academic development. Here's some of the evidence.

Game Theory: How to Put Oneself in Someone Else's Shoes

By Eyal Winter on June 03, 2015 in Feeling Smart
About the John Nash I knew and his magical theories.

Should You Start Worrying About Your Mind?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
I speak to a lot of corporate audiences. Regardless of the topic I am speaking about, I get a lot of general psychology questions from the crowd. The most popular question is about cognitive performance and aging. People in their 50s and 60s begin to worry that they are not going to be able to keep up mentally with their younger colleagues.

Is Life Just a Sequence of Random Events?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How do we understand the role of luck in our lives? If value and meaning can only be achieved by a sequence of events, does that sequence reflect a pre-determined pattern? Whose pattern? Where does this line of thinking take us in terms of planning? How are artists and entrepreneurs different from the rest of us? How do we find meaning in life?

Is Birth Order a Myth?

Most people believe that birth order shapes our personalities and has impact on the careers we choose, and the ways we behave. Is this real, or merely an illusion? What do we really know about birth order effects?

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

By Peter Gray on April 11, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been giving their children some of the same freedom that they themselves enjoyed as children, in a world that is safer than the one in which they grew up. As a consequence, they have been visited by police, and the county Child Protective Services have threatened to take their children away. Here is my interview with Danielle.

A Strength-Based Approach Helps Children

The positive psychology movement has started to ask "what is healthy," "what is working," and "what are a child’s strengths" as central—and often more important—than what is wrong or what disorder or illness does a child have... and this can change lives.

The APA and Guantanamo: Actions, Not Words

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on April 07, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
APA leaders have an abysmal track record when it comes to meaningful action that runs counter to the Pentagon’s own policies on detention and interrogation operations. Time and again in these situations, the APA has trumpeted its commitment to psychology’s do-no-harm ethics but then retreated into the shadows when those principled words required principled actions.

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.

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.

Work-Life Balance is Dead

By Ron Friedman Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Glue
Technology has made work-life balance obsolete. Here's why we should aim for work-life integration instead.

A Tipping Point: We've Finally Noticed Boys' Struggles

For several years now a bipartisan group, which includes experts in the area of boys’ issues and fatherhood—and many of these are women, some of whom strongly identify as feminists—has been pushing for a White House Council on Boys and Men which would parallel the one that President Obama established for women and girls shortly after he took office in 2009.

Secrets Your Brain Hides From You

Why you can't trust your brain

Praising Kids for Unimpressive Accomplishments

Overvaluing your kids accomplishments may result in self-centeredness and low achievement.

Yes, You Should Get Paid to Watch Basketball at Work

By Ron Friedman Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in Glue
Think watching basketball on the job is a waste of company time? Think again.

Is Atheism Just Another Religion?

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in Homo Consumericus
Do strident atheists practice a form of religious zealotry? Does atheism lead to violence? Is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins as likely to engender violence as say religious texts rooted in genocidal hatred of non-believers?

Why Childhood Stress Crimps Academic Performance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
Animals from an environment full of risk remain vigilant and avoid exploring their surroundings. This promotes survival but has the indirect consequence of reducing their cognitive ability. A similar pattern applies to humans and shows up as academic under performance.

Scalding Live Chickens Is an Accepted Brutal Business Model

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Nicholas Kristof's NYTimes essay "To Kill a Chicken" is a must read. It begins: "IF you torture a single chicken and are caught, you’re likely to be arrested. If you scald thousands of chickens alive, you’re an industrialist who will be lauded for your acumen." I leave it to you to decide whether to read it, but be assured that when you eat chicken you're eating pain.

Science and the Online Dating Profile

Online dating is the new singles bar, one in which your words won't be drowned out by the music. But which words should you use? There is some scientific evidence about relatively more effective ways to turn an online contact into a real huggable moment.

Collusion? Where the APA Investigator Should Look

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
There have been many allegations that the American Psychological Association colluded with the Bush Administration to support the use of psychologists in abusive detention and interrogation operations. APA’s standard response has followed the CIA’s unofficial motto: “Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter-accusations.” But now an investigation is finally underway.

The Borderline Father

Women are more likely to have Borderline Personality Disorder, but men can be impacted as well. Here's how a Borderline father can affect you and some tips about what you can do about it.

The Brave New World of Connectional Intelligence

By Tim Leberecht on March 09, 2015 in The Romance of Work
Connectional intelligence highlights an evolution that has been quietly taking place across workplaces all over the world—just like traditional intelligence is “out,” so is the old way of working. It’s a whole new world in more ways than one; there’s less emphasis on conventional hierarchies, more on reshaping office environments and workdays for improved collaboration.

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

By Joe Navarro M.A. on February 27, 2015 in Spycatcher
Why exercising social intelligence matters and why it can dominate a news cycle

Anti-Vaxxers Love Their Children Too

Anti-vaxxers are seen as crazy or stupid. Psychology says otherwise.

An Ode to Common Core Kindergarten Standards

There is much wrong with American kindergartens—but Common Core State Standards are not to blame. If interpreted correctly, Common Core standards for literacy enable us to help enhance the kindergarten experience for all kindergarten children—from the underprepared to the most gifted and advanced.

How Old Is Language?

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in Language in the Mind
Can the time-depth of language be uncovered without a time-machine? Recent evidence, ranging from genetic dating, to new archaeological finds, is transforming what we know about language's vintage.