Essential Reads

Empathy for a Child Abuser?

Empathy for the Undeserving Can Be a Useful Strategy for Changing Families

Does Science Really Say That Hot Guys Are Jerks?

Our new study suggests that better-looking men are more selfish.

Red vs. Blue: Which Should You Choose?

Has anyone researched whether playing on red team or the blue gives advantage?

Online Dating: The Dark Side

What you should be wary of when using online dating

Recent Posts on Personality

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.

Parenthood and Resilience

By Michael W Austin on March 02, 2015 in Ethics for Everyone
Resilience is a crucial but often neglected trait that parents should try to build in their children.

Forgiveness and Your Health

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new study shows that forgiveness can be a strong predictor of different measures of cardiovascular health for both husbands and wives. Even when marital satisfaction was taken into account, people scoring high on forgiveness measures had lower heart rates, blood pressure, and better cardiovascular efficiency than subjects with continued to hold grudges.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Resilience

By Peg Streep on March 02, 2015 in Tech Support
When we speak of someone being "resilient," we tend to think of it as a character strength. But what is resilience anyway, and what does it take to weather the setbacks in life? A look at the research reveals much...

Treatment for Borderline Disorder May Reduce Distortions

By Randi Kreger on March 01, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
My teenage sister was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. We have a difficult relationship, and sometimes I feel like interacting with her is just not worth the trouble. For example, I have caught her lying on too many occasions to count, and she always makes excuses. Now, she blames it on her psychological problems. Can lying be treated?

Could You Be Addicted to Your Cell Phone?

Could you go 24 hours without your cell phone? Many people can't!

Finding "The One" Is Overrated: Emotionships Matter More

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in Living Single
New research shows the power of having different people in your life who are good at helping you with different kinds of emotions. People with a diverse portfolio of "emotionships" are more satisfied with their lives. People who put all their emotional eggs into one relationship basket get celebrated by all the sappy love songs but they are not necessarily better off.

Evaluating a Counselor, Coach, or Psychotherapist

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in How To Do Life
Evaluation may be the most valuable skill we're not taught. I attempt to do so in this article.

Why You Should be More Grateful

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 01, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Despite its many benefits, gratitude is hard to cultivate.

Meaning is Where the Action Is

Whether a therapist’s expression of emotional understanding will produce therapeutic or counter-therapeutic effects will depend on the emotional meanings that such expressions have for the patient.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

How Fault-Finding Destroys Loving Relationships

Do you really understand what destroys relationships?

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?"

The Bystander Effect

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on February 27, 2015 in The Time Cure
We’d all like to think that when we see something bad happening that we’d step forward to render aid. But in reality most of us don’t. And although some people won’t take the initiative to help, they will take the time to photograph or videotape the event and post it on the internet. Why?

Are Friends Really Worth That Much?

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Have you ever reflected on the role of female friends in your own life? Do you maintain lifelong friendships? If not, do you wish you could?

#WhatColorIsTheDress

By Maureen Seaberg on February 27, 2015 in Sensorium
Tetrachromats should have the deciding vote in the #WhatColorIsTheDress debate.

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."

Is Good Psychotherapy Worth the Investment?

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 26, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Nick, age 55, gets unstuck when he and wife Barbara join together to invest in their own depth therapy to deal with how to feel passion, be more cognitively flexible, and create a happier marriage. They are glad they did.

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.

A Mother's Love: Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths

By Peg Streep on February 26, 2015 in Tech Support
Commonly held ideas about motherhood shape the dialogue we have culturally, get in the way of understanding parent-child conflict, and affect each of us individually by setting a high and sometimes impossible standard. Why it's time to banish some of the myths that animate the discussion and start a new conversation.

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.

7 Ways Your Relationship Can Change You

Who you are is less stable than you think, especially when it comes to the influence of romantic partners.

Mothers, Daughters and Food

By Zanthe Taylor M.F.A. on February 25, 2015 in A Million Meals
It seems especially cruel and strange that mothers often pass down a legacy of self-hatred, guilt and shame to the very children for whom they would otherwise lay down their own lives.

Looking for the Right Relationship? Make a Plan!

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you’re still alone. Or maybe you’re just wishing you were alone because clearly you’re dating a total loser. Or maybe you’ve decided to address your long-standing dating dilemma with a bold new approach. If you’ve opted for the latter, read on.

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.

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Relationship

Relationships are an important part of our overall happiness and even our health. As satisfying as they can be, they can also present us with significant challenges. These research-based 5 suggestions will help you tip the cost-reward balance in your favor, for your sake, and that of your partner.