Essential Reads

Six Reasons Pop Singers Pronounce Some Lyrics in Odd Ways

'Secret Asian Man' and Other Mysteries of Song

Oregon Murders and Risk Factors for Mass Shootings


Why Women Don't Make the First Move

In the rules of dating, it’s all about control

Inside The Mind of the Mass Killer

Can psychology prevent killers such as Oregon gunman Chris Harper Mercer?

Recent Posts on Media

Why TWILIGHT is Worse Than Just a Bad Book

Why is TWILIGHT scary? As a romantic fantasy, it's a damaging one; that even for a trashy book, it's a lousy one; and that even-or especially-as an for escape for a young woman who's longing to break out of her everyday confinements, it's a trap.

Movies in Mind: Our Addiction to the Screen

By studying the allure of movies, we can learn much about how the mind works.

Discrimination, Crime and Media Reporting on Campus

Times are changing. Planning is Learning. Safety, security and equity are essential in enabling students to succeed.

Six Reasons Pop Singers Pronounce Some Lyrics in Odd Ways

By Siu-Lan Tan Ph.D. on October 07, 2015 What Shapes Film?
Why do some pop singers pronounce words in songs in idiosyncratic ways, or seem to pick up or lose accents when they sing?

Textual Relations

In Reclaiming Conversation, Sherry Turkle reprises her concerns about the downside of technology on family life, romantic relationships, friendships, education, work, and the public square. By "reclaiming conversation," she maintains that we can restore our capacity for self-reflection, empathy and genuine intimacy. But it won't be easy.

Because Someone’s Got to Do It: How to Be a Critical Thinker

Why it's good to resist the allure of black and white thinking, single sources of information, and conversations only with persons who always absolutely agree with you.

Oregon Murders and Risk Factors for Mass Shootings

There are clear psychological, biological and situational risk factors for mass shootings. Greater public awareness of what they are can help us figure out preventions.

Why Women Don't Make the First Move

In the traditional world of dating, men ask and women wait to be asked. A new dating app is changing the rules, but what makes women wait in the first place?

Inside The Mind of the Mass Killer

Knoll wonders if the true solution to mass murder might involve a three pronged approach - better media responsibility over reporting these incidents, tighter gun regulation and improved mental health services.

New Peeple App Is Bad for People

The new Peeple app lets you rate everyone from your friends, neighbors and co-workers to ex-romantic partners just like you rate businesses on Yelp. I like technology, but Peeple is a bad idea and is not going to work out well. Here's why.

New Screen Suggestions by The American Academy of Pediatrics

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 Screen Time
Recently this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics made some new recommendations for parents wondering about the dos and don'ts of “screen time.”

Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery Ignores Women's Mental Health

The promise of a "perfect vagina" generates enormous wealth at women's expense.

The Hidden Agenda Behind 21st Century Learning

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 30, 2015 Mental Wealth
High-stakes testing, obsessive data collection, and lofty promises of technology’s potential to “revolutionize” education are contributing to alarming amounts of school-based screen-time—without regard for screens’ numerous impacts on learning and mental health. Teacher and public education advocate Tara Ehrcke describes the deceptive web behind 21st Century Learning.

How to Identify Someone at Risk for Suicide

By Richard Taite on September 29, 2015 Ending Addiction for Good
The most important thing to remember is that while you have no control over what an individual ultimately decides, your calm and concern can save their life.

No, the Dalai Lama is not a Sexist (Taming the Angernet)

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on September 28, 2015 The Pacific Heart
Social media scapegoating hit a new low a few days ago, in the attempted shaming of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A Jezebel article about the Dalai Lama went viral. Here are the facts and a response, and my own reflections on the "angernet."

Smartphones and the Future of Health Care

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 28, 2015 Media Spotlight
A new article published in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal discusses how specially equipped smartphones can transform mental health care by providing state-of-the-art monitoring of people at risk. But how far are we likely to go in terms of using smartphones and other kinds of digital technology to monitor people we believe will be at risk?

Why can't Batman beat the Joker?

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on September 26, 2015 Black Belt Brain
Batman exists in a grim reality and a big part of that reality is the physical toll on the human playing the part of superhero. That toll is inflicted repeatedly by the bad guys he faces and none has been front and center for the repeated toll like the Joker. Why is the Joker so hard to beat?

Truth, Beauty, and Social Media

How do I know when someone's telling the truth? The posts make me uncomfortable. Sometimes I physically squirm. Sometimes I hold back tears. Sometimes I don’t want to push “Like.”

Must Feel TV

TV fans are addicted to the feelings we experience through our connections with the story world and its players.

Predicting Mobile Trends

Tech and media design is a chess game. Every decision has consequences. Predicting mobile behaviors is not about the tools. It’s about how well the technology satisfies human goals and needs. This is the heart of media psychology.

70% of Wives Kill Their Husbands: I Read It on the Internet

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D., LMFT on September 22, 2015 Intersections
The internet and TV are wonderful sources of fictional truths. Consume multiple sources critically.

Remembering a Medical Man for All Seasons

By Jeffrey Lieberman M.D. on September 22, 2015 Shrink Speak
A wise and gentle voice of humanity bids farewell.

Video Games Impact Your Feelings in Real Life

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 The Squeaky Wheel
With an estimated 59% of the population playing video games, it’s time we paid more attention to their psychological impact.

6 Reasons Why Selfie-Taking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Another death by selfie: a 66-year-old Japanese tourist fell down a flight of steps at the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie. Questions that arise include reactionary suggestions of governmental requirements for ‘cautionary messages’ on selfie taking and even legislation. If regulatory bodies want to do something useful, they should teach people more biology.

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?

To Like or Not to Like: Facebook’s Proposed New Button

Mark Zuckerberg is talking about introducing a dislike button on Facebook. The implications here are layered. First, how will Facebook users react and click? Second, how will the marketers figure out what the consumers are actually doing so they know how to adjust their ad strategies?

The Art of the Non-Apology

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 Good Thinking
When the hosts of the talk news show The View mocked Miss Colorado's monolog about her work with Alzheimer's patients, they faced a backlash of angry viewers. So they responded with a non-apology. Here's what they should have done instead.

Bringing an “Empathy” button to Facebook

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on September 16, 2015 The Pacific Heart
Facebook announced that it was working on an alternative to the "Like" button. Some users clamor to "Dislike" posts, but here are some other, more pro-social options.

Vowels on the Move: Learning With Tablet Toys

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 Screen Time
Tablet devices are now common in many homes. There are other ways to engage besides swiping, tapping and clicking. A psychomotor perspective may assist.

How to Begin Life Again?

Can trauma and transformative healing be responsibly portrayed in movie entertainment?