Neuroscience Essential Reads

20 Tactics the Pros Use to Deal with Difficult People

You can't reason with an unreasonable person, but verbal de-escalation techniques can help. Learn how professionals handle the most difficult of situations.

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for a child abuser? For a child molester? How can anyone be empathic with someone who has done something so terrible? Why would they want to? Do the perpetrators possibly deserve such a thing? For a judge or prosecutor, of course not. For stopping repetitive dysfunctional family interactions that trigger someone's self-destructive behavior? Necessary.

The Top 9 Reasons I Hate Anxiety

Here are the top 9 reasons I hate anxiety--and you should too!

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.

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

Why You Were Born to Gossip

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Talking Apes
Since our brains are finely tuned for coordinating our relationships with others, it’s not surprising that language is structured to convey social information.

Does Science Really Say That Hot Guys Are Jerks?

There have been many recent media stories—with titles like "Science Says: Hot Guys Are A-Holes"—about a new study on attractiveness and behavior. I was lead author on this study, and I'll clarify here what our study really showed.

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Animals and Us
From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?

What Do Scientists Know About Finding a Purpose in Life?

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Curious?
Providing information on the science of a purpose in life. heavy, beautiful, and of paramount importance

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

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.

How Technology is Tricking You Into Tipping More

By Nir Eyal on February 23, 2015 in Automatic You
Digital payment systems use subtle tactics to increase tips, and while it’s certainly good for hard-working service workers, it may not be so good for your wallet. Here's the hidden psychology of why you unconsciously pay more.

Object Permanence In Adult Life

Eye contact, a pat on the back, a smile of appreciation, and a shared laugh-out-loud of sheer pleasure are the best and most direct signals of communication, after all.

Flapping Tongues and Brawny Brains

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Talking Apes
Lifelong bilingualism is one source of cognitive reserve, but there are plenty of options for monolinguals, too.

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.

Hyper-Mentalism, Hyper-Empathizing, and Supernatural Belief

Researchers reveal that the predictions of the diametric model are fulfilled where supernatural beliefs of various kinds are concerned.

Are Humans Unique?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
The argument for human uniqueness is of mostly historical interest. As we gained more understanding of animal behavior, we learned that their psychology has more in common with us than had been imagined previously.

Moving Toward Compassion in the Psychological Sciences

By Steven C. Hayes Ph.D. on February 17, 2015 in Get Out of Your Mind
We practice a kind of hypocrisy in the behavioral health area that’s not only embarrassing but counterproductive.

Can Dogs Recognize Emotions Just by Looking at a Human Face?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 17, 2015 in Canine Corner
New data shows that dogs need only a glimpse of your mouth or your eyes to determine whether you are happy or angry.

Lifestyle Interventions for Depression

Clinical depression is a complicated condition. Stress of course is known and easily accepted to be the main cause, but two people may endure the same stress with only one developing depression. What lifestyle factors can make us more resilient, and why?

I Would Rather Have Tasted Her Lips Just Once

Social psychologist Phillip Shaver and colleagues asked students how confident they were that words on a list of over one hundred emotion words referred to emotions. Interestingly, they found that “love” was the single word that students were most confident signified an emotion. But is love really an emotion?

Why Do We Dream?

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Sleep Newzzz
Many scientists studying sleep and dreams believe that dreaming does have a purpose.

Fifty Shades of Grue

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Talking Apes
Language doesn’t bind us to a particular world view, but it does dominate the way we perceive and think about our experiences.

Obsessive Posting Is A Result Of Obsessive Following

By Peggy Drexler Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Our Gender, Ourselves
For better or worse, we're too willing to listen.

4 Relationship Myths, Debunked

A lot of love advice out there is nothing more than myths and urban legends. If you are an experienced myth buster, go solve some puzzles on Mensa's math site. If not, continue reading.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
I have written a few times about the influence of sleep on thinking. High school students who stay up late perform more poorly in school the following day. A lack of sleep may cause you to mix together different memories that did not occur together. In young adults, sleep also affects the ability to learn new procedures.

Can Other People Make You Less Creative?

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on February 06, 2015 in Mindbloggling
Do you sometimes feel more creative when you are alone? Though it is widely believed that stimulating environments enhance creativity this is not always the case. People may send out social signals to each other to conform, thereby ensuring that creativity--the process that fuels cultural novelty--is balanced by conformity--the process that perpetuates successful novelty.

What Is Mindfulness and How Does It Work?

By Gregg Henriques on February 06, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Mindfulness is one of the most important developments in mental health in the past twenty years. Understand what it is and how it works.