Personality Essential Reads

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.

Red vs. Blue: Which Should You Choose?

By Jamie Madigan Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Mind Games
Has anyone ever done research on whether playing on the red team or the blue gives one a mental edge in games? Yep.

Online Dating: The Dark Side

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Love, Digitally
These people use devious psychological ploys. Have you ever been suspicious about an online relationship?

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

Four Reasons to Worry About "Personalized Learning"

By Alfie Kohn on February 24, 2015 in The Homework Myth
When kids create their own meaningful projects, the learning is personal. When kids are fed prefabricated skills and constantly tested (via computer), the learning is "personalized." The latter is profitable for corporations, but not so great for our children.

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.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

10 Barriers to Intimacy and How You Can Break Them Down

By Peg Streep on February 18, 2015 in Tech Support
How close and connected you feel to your partner changes over time and can, alas, both ebb and flow. What you can do to increase intimacy in your relationship, based on science.

Personality Disorders Explained: What They Are

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 17, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
A person with a personality disorder can be asymptomatic, but we should still use the label if dysfunction or distress would follow from a reasonably expectable change in the environment.

7 Bad Ways To Quit If You Want A Fresh Start

By Peg Streep on February 16, 2015 in Tech Support
When you leave a situation, a job, or a relationship, what's your quitting style? You will want to avoid all seven of these for sure......

10 Ways to Tell How Realistic You are about Love

We all hold beliefs about love and the importance it have for our happiness. This 10-item scale will tell you how realistic or unrealistic you are about what to expect from your closest romantic partners, how responsible you are for other people's happiness, and whether you're driven by the need for approval.

What's in a Name? More Than You Think.

By Geoff Haddock Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Attitude Check
Is Darren more likely to be persuaded by Derek or Stuart?

Mixed Messages in Your Family? A Quiz You Can Take

By David M. Allen M.D. on February 09, 2015 in A Matter of Personality
A highly prevalent feature in families that produce an offspring with a significant personality disorder is parents who give their children mixed, contradictory messages about how to behave in certain social circumstances. To see how your family stacks up against other families and to find out what issues your family has, I herein provide a self-administered quiz for you.

Adolescence and Seeing What Can Be Gotten Away With

Growing up, adolescents sometimes test themselves by testing dangerous risks, family requirements, and social rules to see how much freedom they can get away with.

The Silver Lining Around Fearful Living

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on February 07, 2015 in Mindbloggling
One good thing about fear, other than it stops you from doing stupid, dangerous stuff, is that can hold you back from learning the facts inside out, which may help keep that creatively inspiring sense of wonder and possibility alive.

Criminality and Dementia

Criminal behaviors that begin in mid or late life may be a consequence of dementia. The types of crimes committed by persons with Alzheimer’s disease differ from those committed by persons with frontotemporal dementia.

The Surprising Psychology of BDSM

‘Fifty Shades’ piqued your curiosity? Answers to five kinky questions.

What Does Your Avatar Say About You?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 05, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
A lot of websites give you the chance to represent yourself with an avatar rather than a picture of yourself. Avatars are often cartoon-y pictures with facial features, clothing, and accessories that allow you to personalize your picture. The avatar you select can influence the way people interact with you.

Why Happy People Often Seem Tone Deaf To Negative Emotions

By David DiSalvo on January 31, 2015 in Neuronarrative
A new study finds that feeling positive doesn’t make you any better at empathy than others, and in some ways it’s a handicap.

Why Insecure People Make Such Bad Bosses

A sense of security is beneficial for many reasons, but particularly so when other people depend on you. Horrible bosses can be horrible for many reasons, but being insecure is arguably one of the most important. Whether it’s your boss, or the boss of your lover or friend, understanding the effects of personal insecurity can give you important insights.

Shame and Motivation to Change

By Lisa Rivero M.A. on January 29, 2015 in Creative Synthesis
We know the feeling only too well: Our pulse quickens. Our faces flush. The feeling is so bad that we want to escape at all costs. But is shame always bad?

Are 36 Questions All It Takes to Fall in Love?

When love follows a 36-question exercise, people pay attention. But is this method a reliable one for transitioning strangers into long-term romantic partners?

Does Wanting Casual Sex Really Mean Not Wanting Love?

By Zhana Vrangalova Ph.D. on January 28, 2015 in Strictly Casual
If someone loves one-night stands, do you automatically assume that they don't like long-term relationships? Yeah? Well, you shouldn't.

Is Curiosity Good for Your Relationship?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on January 27, 2015 in In the Name of Love
Curiosity is usually regarded as a virtue, since it widens our horizons and develops our capacities. However, our natural romantic curiosity is contrary to the natural need to deepen the romantic connection. Distinguishing between two types of romantic curiosity may solve this enigma.

Dead Kennedys, Testosterone-Crazed Skateboarders, and You

Can observing testosterone crazed skateboarders, or delving into the risky decisions made by Joe Kennedy's descendants who died tragic early deaths, inform us about the fundamental bases of our everyday decisions?

9 Ways Your Old Programming May Be Holding You Hostage

When I speak of “old programs,” I’m referring to childhood decisions you made to better adapt to a conditionally accepting family. After all, when you’re highly dependent on your caretakers for comfort, guidance, and support, what could be more essential than feeling securely bonded to them? For you certainly can't function autonomously. . . .

Research Confirms That Men Are, In Fact, Idiots

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on January 21, 2015 in The New Resilience
An investigation of winners of the Darwin Award, which highlights extreme, foolish risk-taking behavior, compared the frequency of "winners" who are male vs. female. The study found a statistically significant greater number of men than women among the winners. Researchers say the findings confirm "Male Idiot Theory."

Who Uses Their Head and Who Listens to Their Heart?

Whether a person identifies with their head or their heart can say a lot about their personality. Are people in their heads really smarter than those in their hearts? The head/heart distinction might reveal something about how personality and intelligence are related. Shifting a person's attention between the head or the heart might change the way they think and behave.

Everyday Bipolar Disorder and Order

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 15, 2015 in Ambigamy
We're all a little bipolar, motivated in opposite directions. Healthier, more trustworthy people own their ambivalences. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Is There a Single Dimension of Mental Illness?

A new study finds evidence for a “p factor” that cuts across a wide number of different psychiatric diagnoses.