Essential Reads

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What the gold-white, blue-black dress debate reveals about how our brains work

Social Intelligence and Nonverbal Communications

Why something so simple as touch matters

Living in the Here and Now

Chronic restlessness has blinded me to my life’s many blessings.

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

Research suggests that we tend to underestimate the joy of rediscovery.

Recent Posts on Memory

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

Social Intelligence and Nonverbal Communications

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

3 Fascinating Ways To Improve Your Wellbeing

When it comes to improving your wellbeing, what would you be willing to try? With studies suggesting, more than seventy percent of people around the world report they are struggling or suffering, as they face into each day ahead it’s clear many of us need a little extra help when it comes to thriving. So where does the science suggest starting?

Living in the Here and Now

By Susan Hooper on February 26, 2015 in Detours and Tangents
For most of my life, I have wanted to be somewhere else, living an entirely different life. A calendar from years ago showed me that I had then—and may even have now—a life that other people might envy.

Should We Fan the Romantic Flame?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In the Name of Love
All human experiences, including romantic ones, can be boring. The remedy for boredom is often change and novelty. Should we then change our romantic partners in order to fan our romantic flames? Although change is indeed essential to emotional intensity, there are several types of changes, and emotional intensity is far from being the whole story when it comes to romance.

They Talk, We Listen

By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Bear in Mind
"I don’t know what happened, my Sweet Girl is gone. Yesterday she left in the morning and didn’t even say good-bye. She just left. I waited all day yesterday and she never came home, and today she’s still not home. I am really, really sad. I don’t even know what I am going to do with myself."

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In Love and War
Typically it’s the big milestones that we document most diligently—the weddings, births, graduations, professional achievements. These are the events we expect we’ll most want to revisit down the road. But research suggests that revisiting ordinary, everyday experiences can bring us a lot more pleasure than we realize.

ADHD and Weed: What’s the Draw?

Does marijuana help with ADHD?

Think You Can't Get Drunk on Soda Water? Think Again.

Don't blame it on the alcohol! Blame it on your expectations about drinking.

Not Just High Achievers

By Hilary Levey Friedman Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Playing to Win
How can we understand the impressive performances on Child Genius? It's more than just brains, it's also achievement patterns.

The Psychology of Wonder

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Statistical Life
Who we are is a consequence of our internal model, and when we change that by learning something new, we change our understanding of ourselves.

Coping With Traumatic Brain Injury

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Talking About Trauma
Tricia Williams, a clinical neuropsychologist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, explains how to improve child development and mental health for individuals coping with a TBI.

Some Things Get Better With Age

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on February 26, 2015 in Off the Couch
My ninety year old aunt complains that she does not have much energy anymore. She doesn’t like it that she can’t remember what day it is, or the names of new acquaintances. But when it comes to emotional advice, there’s no one better to ask. Research has shown that as we age, not all of our cognitive abilities are on a steady downward path.

Should You Write With a Partner?

By Dennis Palumbo on February 25, 2015 in Hollywood on the Couch
Learn the pros and cons of writing with a partner.

How to Integrate Mindfulness Practices into the Classroom

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in The First Impression
How may college students benefit if mindfulness practices are introduced into their classes?

Grief: Is It Different for Suicide?

26 years after I first began figuring out how to tell people that my dad died by suicide, I’m still figuring it out. It’s not any easier.

You Can't Be Mad at Your Mind - Part 2

By Elizabeth R Thornton on February 25, 2015 in The Objective Leader
How often do you do this? You have the power to do this less by learning to be more objective!

Enough Already!

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Play in Mind
This winter is one for the books. The usually jovial Al Roker has become a regular on the nightly news, frowning with grave tidings of clippers bearing down from Alberta and screamers screaming south from Saskatchewan. Here at home the snowpack is the deepest in 15 years. We built a snowman (really a snow moose) in the back yard during Winter Storm Neptune.

How Changes in Media Use Can Transform Mental Health

By Rebecca Jackson on February 24, 2015 in School of Thought
Morning grouchiness is not an uncommon complaint from parents—especially parents of teenagers. But what happens when your child's mood doesn't improve throughout the day—when your child seems to be terminally bad-tempered? This case study examines the effect of media multitasking on a teenage boy's mental health.

Ebb and Flow

By Stephen Gray Wallace on February 24, 2015 in Decisions Teens Make
Overuse of technology by young people may result in distraction, stress and impaired performance. Help them find flow!

Dogs Don't Believe Information From Liars

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 24, 2015 in Canine Corner
Dogs keep track of whether people lie or tell the truth, and they use these memories to determine whether they can trust particular humans and any new information that they get from them.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 24, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

A+ Students/C- Learners: Education’s Report Card

By APA Division 15 on February 24, 2015 in PsychEd
Today’s educational system is contributing to an undesirable and unanticipated problem—the production of many achievement-oriented, high-performing students who are, at best, mediocre learners. This is a bold and controversial claim that demands substantiation. beginning with what distinguishes good students from good learners.

Oliver Sacks and Creative Arts Therapies

Many colleagues in the fields of creative arts therapies were sad to read Oliver Sacks’ recent and poignant essay in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times about the return of his cancer and his thoughts about death. And here's why his body of work continues to impact the fields of art therapy, music therapy, and other expressive therapies.

Traveling Through Time

By Dr. Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
Our ability to mentally travel back and forward in time gives us our sense of self and enhances our lives and coping abilities in many ways.

Grow a Key Inner Strength

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Your Wise Brain
Use these four questions help grow inner strengths. 1) What's the issue? 2) What psychological resource - inner strength - if it were more present in your mind, would really help with this issue? 3) How could you have experiences of this inner strength? 4) How could you help this experience of the inner strength really sink in to you?

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 1 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

Keeping Up! Older Workers' Adaptation at Work After Age 55

By Eddy Ng Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Diverse and Competitive
Older workers do want to stay in the workforce longer