Magical Thinking Essential Reads

Santa Claus Is No Longer Coming to Town

Should you be sad when your child discovers the truth? A different way of looking at your child's growing mind.

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Halloween is upon us. As the fake furry spiders and cotton-woolish ersatz webs proliferate, what's really scary is dry ice in decorative pseudo-cauldrons and other misuses.

How the God You Worship Influences the Ghosts You See

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on October 29, 2017 in Out of the Ooze
While religion may ease our terror of death, it may also increase our chances of being haunted by ghosts and other spirits during our lifetime.

Creepy Halloween Destinations

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on October 01, 2017 in Out of the Ooze
There are a lot of creepy places in the world - and every one of them has a story.

Can Science Provide Insight into the Arts?

By Robert H. Woody Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in Live... In Concert
Research has shown that the diehard talent myth is not only useless in explaining anything but also harmful to people who might otherwise enjoy a more musically enriching life.

What’s the Deal with “Furries?”

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 24, 2017 in Animals and Us
An international team of social scientists has been studying the psychology of "furries" for a decade. What they have found is fascinating.

Unpacking David Lynch's Twin Peaks, The Return

By Judith Eve Lipton M.D. on July 22, 2017 in Peace and War
David Lynch's extraordinary TV series carries a serious message. It may also be the most ingenious and creative video of all time.

Magical Thinking

The critical link between spirituality and science in the recovery process and the hope it offers to the addicted and the people who love them.

Your Brain on Magic

By Jen Kim on June 13, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Do you believe in magic? Maybe you should.

Trusting Your Gut: An Excuse For Not Thinking?

By Hank Davis on January 07, 2017 in Caveman Logic
You're going to have to listen to more than your "gut" to get through life's major decisions. Don't be afraid to question what you hear. It's not a sin to be intelligent.

Freedom of Dissociation

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 20, 2016 in Ambigamy
The freedom that many of us crave is the freedom from having to learn from our mistakes, indeed from facing inconvenient truths at all.

When Ambition Creeps Into Spirituality

By Maggie Rowe on December 14, 2016 in Sin Bravely
Spirituality and personal ambition are often tied together. Is this a mistake?

Haunted Houses: What Keeps the Legends Alive?

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on December 09, 2016 in Out of the Ooze
Whether a place seems truly haunted can very much be in the mind of the beholder.

Madness and Guns

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on September 04, 2016 in Beyond Freud
The ability to control anger, and to distinguish fantasy from reality, are difficult tasks to master. What does this mean for access to weapons?

What Kinds Of People Believe Animals Go To Heaven?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in Animals and Us
Two recent studies have found many people agree that animals from dogs to snakes and insects experience life after death.

A Simple Exercise to Boost Optimism (And Improve Health)

This visualization exercise is easy (and fun) to do and research shows it can have big payoffs.

White Like Me, Nice Like Me

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on July 12, 2016 in Social Studies
"Nice" white people like me insist we are anti-racist. Yet we are "nice" precisely because we believe in our inherent goodness as white people.

6 Biases That May Sub-Consciously Affect Your Thinking

Biases can become habitual over time and can even be triggered by others who wish to manipulate our behavior.

Eureka! Deconstructing the Brain Mechanics of "Aha!" Moments

Overthinking can reduce your odds of having an insightful Aha! moment. Groundbreaking new research helps to explain why being too analytical often sabotages the creative process.

What Do the Blind See When They Dream?

By Eliezer J. Sternberg M.D. on March 09, 2016 in NeuroLogic
The science of perception meets the mysteries of the subconscious.
ZVIKA LAHAV Pikiwiki Israel/ Wikimedia Commons

8 Key Traits of Paranoid Thinkers

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on February 24, 2016 in Science of Choice
Paranoia is not a flaw of character. Paranoid individuals tend to have false ideas about the world and people.

Are You an Intuitive or Analytical Thinker?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 21, 2016 in Talking Apes
There are significant life consequences for people who are willing to engage in analytical thought processes.

The Pull of Death and the Embrace of Life

There is a freedom in acknowledging that I will die.

Star Wars, Christmas, and Constraints on Secular Influence

People cherish their beliefs in a destiny-controlling higher power. But does this power have to be supernatural?

Humankind's Current Growing Pains Are Right On Schedule

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 in Ambigamy
Taking stock is a good use of the holiday season, hard this year what with the calamities all around us. Still, from a broad vista humankind is doing fine, just what we'd expect to be doing now given evolutionary and human history.

This Is Your Brain at 100%

By Kevin Bennett on November 21, 2015 in Modern Minds
Is your brain operating at only 10% capacity? Here is why the answer is a lot like Bigfoot.

Ben Carson and the Mandela Effect

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 09, 2015 in Talking Apes
It’s not just that our memories are unreliable. Our intuitions about how memory works are inaccurate as well.

What Makes a House Feel Haunted?

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
What is it in our evolutionary past that makes some types of houses feel so creepy?

Why do People Believe in Supernatural Evil Forces?

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on October 31, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Do people gain any psychological benefits from believing that evil supernatural forces are real? Emerging research reveals the benefits of believing in evil spirits.
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The Dangers of Uninformed Belief

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on October 29, 2015 in Critical Decisions
Russell Wilson’s pronouncements not only risk convincing his fans to waste money, but could cause some to delay necessary medical care, figuring those concussion symptoms will resolve with a gulp or two of miracle water.