Essential Reads

Social Engineering May Be Our Best Hope To Prevent Violence

Even the experts, never mind politicians, advocates, and celebrities, can't offer a more powerful strategy to prevent violence and sexual exploitation than social engineering.

The Fake News Game

By Sander van der Linden Ph.D. on February 22, 2018 in Social Dilemmas
How good are you at spreading fake news? Get as many followers as you can!

Why You Should Not Brag on Social Media

By Utpal Dholakia on February 19, 2018 in The Science Behind Behavior
Boast posts of professional accomplishments on social media have negative repercussions.
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How to Think About Terrorism

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in Anxiety Files
The terrorists want us all to be afraid. But should we?

More Posts on Media

Smokescreen for a Serial Killer

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 23, 2018 in Shadow Boxing
Police officer-turned-journalist explores errors in complex investigation of the Yorkshire Ripper and links more crimes.

The Peterson-Newman Aftermath

What is the solution to emotional belief-based side-taking in controversial debates? How do we stop news journalists from getting death threats from angry viewers?

5 Reasons Why Polyamorous Families are Reluctant to Be on TV

This blog explains five reasons why polyamorous folks might not want to be on reality television and a few of the remedies that might help poly folks feel safer about being on TV.

The Racial Politics of Black Panther

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D. on February 20, 2018 in Between the Lines
Want to delve a little deeper into the Black Panther's racial symbolism? Both the characters and story arc are ripe for unpacking.

Art Therapy and Social Media

Social networking platforms are technically not "tools" found in a proverbial digital art therapy toolbox—or are they?

The Shock We Share

We are all affected by this week's shocking news about another school shooting. Here are suggestions about how we can engage in compassionate witnessing.

The Mythology of 'The Lone Wolf'

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in The First Impression
What does social science add to the dialogue regarding mass public shootings? Why are these findings largely neglected by our political institutions?

"The Kind of Kid You Would Expect To...."

Instead of reinforcing these characterizations (where has that have gotten us?), it is important to understand their limitations.

Speeches for School Shootings

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in Addiction in Society
Every mass killing is followed by the same set speeches, interviews, and narratives.

Mental Health and School Shootings

A mountain of studies have demonstrated that mental health problems are increasing. This may partly be why mass shootings have become normalized. We can do better.

Why Popular Culture Psychology? What's the Point?

What do trains, baseball, and Batman have to do with teaching real math or science, including psychological science? What does real science have to do with fictional characters?

Why Are Older Hollywood Actors Paired With Such Young Women?

Ever since Casablanca and Gone With the Wind, Hollywood has paired older men with much younger women. Is Hollywood culture to blame, or human nature?

Them! And Us

By Jeffrey Lockwood Ph.D. on February 13, 2018 in The Infested Mind
Where did we learn to be frightened by hockey masks and chainsaws? The movies, of course. And films have promoted a fear of insects, from giant ants to brain-boring antlions.

Parents, Cyber-Sex, and Children

By Mark Banschick M.D. on February 12, 2018 in The Intelligent Divorce
Cyber-sex isn't going away, and children are naturally curious about their parents. Something has to give, and sadly, it can be a child's innocence.

The Wisdom of Crowds

What can we really glean from social media? A new study suggests our comments on Twitter can go a long way.

I Am Woman, Hear Me Crunch

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Beauty Sick
We don’t need quieter junk food. We need a complete revision of our relationships with food and our bodies.

Ghosts, Zombies, Vampires, and the Apocalypse

By Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in The Hero Within
Horror is today's most profitable film genre. Why do we like these movies, and what are they telling us?

Flaws in the Algo: How Social Media Fuel Political Extremism

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Side Effects
New research documents just how forcefully social media algorithms are driving polarization.

Techlash: Foxconn's Wisconsin Con & Bitcoin's Carbon Bubble

More and more Americans are getting mad about the massive losses to environmental well-being hidden by all the wizardry and hype surrounding digital devices and cryptocurrencies.

"Lovesick Fool" Depicts Dating in the Post-#MeToo World

By Melissa Burkley Ph.D. on February 08, 2018 in The Social Thinker
The award-winning animated film "Lovesick Fool" depicts one man's attempt to find love in the current world of Facebook likes and Tinder swipes.

Time to Rethink Our Relationship to Technology

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on February 05, 2018 in The First Impression
What would you spend your time doing if you weren't spending so much time on your digital gadgets?

Constructing Modern Selves 2: The Electronic Self

We moderns support the idea that cultural selves – typically jolly, attractive, and ready to please – are more appealing than the ordinary people we are confronting now.

A Legendary Creative Math Genius: Srinivasa Ramanujan

By V. Krishna Kumar Ph.D. on February 02, 2018 in Psychology Masala
Ramanujan and Hardy, legendary collaborators, were different yet united in purpose.

In Pursuit FROM Excellence

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 02, 2018 in How To Do Life
How society is now devaluing excellence.

"Strong Is the New Skinny": Do Women Like Their Bodies More?

By Jessica Alleva Ph.D. on February 01, 2018 in Mind Your Body
Do women feel any better about their own body as a result of this new ethos? Recent research has the answers.

We Live In a Culture of Violence

By Ana Nogales, Ph.D. on January 31, 2018 in Family Secrets
Violence: not just a mental health issue, but a social and political problem too.

Logic Brings Suicide Prevention to the Grammy Awards

By Shainna Ali Ph.D. on January 30, 2018 in A Modern Mentality
In a powerful performance of their song, 1-800-273-8255, Logic, Khalid, and Alessia Cara spark a much-needed conversation about suicide in the USA.

"American Crime"—an Addiction Tragedy

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on January 30, 2018 in Addiction in Society
"American Crime," a true-to-life television crime series, offers a startlingly different — and accurate — portrayal of addiction.

Is Facebook Destroying Society and Your Mental Health?

Former Facebook insiders as well as researchers are raising red flags about social media. Here's what you need to know to make your decision about using social media.

Using Harry Potter to Teach Your Children About Stigma

By Philip Yanos Ph.D. on January 28, 2018 in Written Off
Children’s books and movies tend to reinforce negative stereotypes about mental illness, but J.K. Rowling’s books are different