Essential Reads

Three Paradoxical Ways for Coping With Romantic Abundance

Love Is in the Air, But the Air is Too Dense

Evolutionary Psychology 2.0

The Gentler, Broader Face of Modern Evolutionary Psychology

Does Human Nature Make Genocide Inevitable?

Knowledge about evolved psychology can help us prevent war.

Why Nothing Is More Exciting Than a Calm Romance

Searching for peaks of passion may leave you lonely.

Recent Posts on Philosophy

Wild and Structured Consciousness

Understanding how attention is related to consciousness requires some knowledge about the philosophical debates on the nature of consciousness, which essentially can be described as being both wild and structured.

Home Is Where the Heart Is, but Where Is "Home"?

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
“Home” is the place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a predictable and secure place. In short, “Home” is the primary connection between you and the rest of the world.

Poor Social Judgment and Schizophrenia

This article examines the qualities of alienation, introversion and divergent thinking that may typify the individual with schizophrenia. These characteristics can synergistically contribute to poor social judgment as seen in the behavior and choices of that individual. In fact, they may form a triad and a pattern as seen persons with schizophrenia generally.

Three Paradoxical Ways for Coping With Romantic Abundance

Romantic love is often characterized as involving a great deal of sensitivity, excitement, and closeness. However, our cyber society often provides an overabundance of these features. Hence, a few opposite principles are proposed: (a) Indifference is the new romantic sensitivity; (b) Calmness is the new romantic excitement; and (c) Distance is the new romantic closeness.

Shortcut to Understanding Others

Speed Dating With Speed Testing

The Paradox at the Heart of Psychology

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on July 30, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
Human minds are pattern-hungry. This fact destroys any blithe confidence we have that our sciences are unearthing deeper knowledge. Yet, we cannot live our lives without this so-called knowledge. Certainly we cannot do science without it, and we cannot live our lives without science. Yet, are we doing science, or are we merely mapping the insides of our minds?

How Behavioural Science Tried to Abolish Morality

Previous psychologists and psychiatrists have tried to empty human conduct of moral meaning.

Don't Look Directly At The Problem

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
Our species has some special features but people are animals too. In the motor system, we monitor and superimpose on top of many base-level responses our intentions and wishes. By extension, when we are dealing with an issue or a problem, perhaps the best course of action is to not try and directly force a solution and instead allow the best course of action to emerge.

The Excellent Beauty of Scientific Mysteries

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
Science finally reveals that though we are a part of the universe, it definitely does not revolve around us. It does this by unearthing mysteries that are completely resistant to resolution. These "excellent beauties," far from showing us where science has failed, show us instead what the universe -- with intelligent African apes in it -- is really like.

The Profound Psychological Power of Bonding

Two basic levels of awareness result from consciousness’ constant encounters with the outside world.

Does Utopia Have Hospitals?

By Neal Roese Ph.D. on July 22, 2015 in In Hindsight
Utopia is the idea of a perfect society. Does Utopia have hospitals? As America struggles with how best to manage its health care system, we might ask how things would look in a society perfected.

Stories of Seclusion: "I'm Not of This Planet"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 18, 2015 in How To Do Life
Feeling out of step can drive one to physical and mental seclusion.

Evolutionary Psychology 2.0

Evolutionary psychology got its start with a large focus on evolved behavioral sex differences. Since its inception, the field has broadened to the entirety of topics studied within the behavioral sciences. It may be time to start talking EP 2.0.

Does Human Nature Make Genocide Inevitable?

I just appeared in a BBC debate about whether future genocide is inevitable. I said that it wasn't, especially if we utilize knowledge about human nature. Here's why I'm so optimistic about our evolved psychology and potential for peace.

Vocational Activity as Therapeutic for the Mentally ill

Freud stated that love and work are the elements of happiness. Finding the right vocational niche, for all people, is important, but especially so regarding the mentally ill. Acceptance of the mentally ill, without stigma, may be an imperative societal goal.

Relational Activity as Therapeutic for the Mentally Ill

Freud indicated that love and work are the elements of happiness in life. Too often, the mentally ill receive little relational activity that would have a substantial impact on their functioning. This article emphasizes the need to bolster relational skills in mentally ill individuals.

Why Nothing Is More Exciting Than a Calm Romance

Romantic love is usually associated with tempestuous excitement. Love can certainly be like this, but I believe that in our current accelerated society, calmness, rather than tempestuousness, is the new romantic excitement.

Musings on a Pin Head

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 08, 2015 in How To Do Life
The case for a pin head being amazing. If that's so, Planet Earth is...

What I Learned From 2,000 Hours Of Freudian Psychoanalysis

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 06, 2015 in Ambigamy
Everything I learned from long psychoanalysis, distilled to nine bullet points. Can you learn it just by reading the list? Probably not but you may be learning it anyway.

Visual Attention and Consciousness

To understand the relationship between visual attention and consciousness, we must first examine the various forms of attention that have been identified through empirical studies in cognitive psychology.

Hunkering Down

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in How To Do Life
Finding contentment if, in our so-called improving economy, you're still struggling.

Fighting Back Against Anti-intellectualism

By David Niose on June 28, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Anti-intellectualism is rampant in America, but we shouldn't rely on intellectuals to eradicate it.

How Do You Feel About Giving Human Rights to Corporations?

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 26, 2015 in So Sue Me
People do not realize this, but the United States Supreme Court has been treating corporations increasingly like human beings — by giving them fundamental rights. Is this crazy? Is this dangerous?

How to Talk About Religious Beliefs Without Sounding Silly

By Guy P. Harrison on June 25, 2015 in About Thinking
We are a god-creating species. We should recognize this in our discussions and debates about religion. It is inaccurate, confusing, and dishonest to frame general belief issues in the context of one god.

A Treatment for Despair and Loss of Meaning

A famous Talmudic question asks: “What is truer than the truth?” The answer: “The story.” This is the story of my personal journey in search of meaning and the development of an approach to care for patients with advanced cancer, which I came to call “Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy.”

Will Kennedy LeRoy’s Suicide Have Been in Vain?

By Izzy Kalman on June 25, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
I recently suggested that our anti-bullying efforts are failing LGBTQ kids. The truth is that they are failing all bullied kids. Sixteen-year-old Kennedy LeRoy committed suicide in the hope of preventing other bullied kids from doing the same. But the suicides won't cease until we stop trying to protect kids from bullying and start teaching them to handle it on their own.

Thoughts Wandering in an Estonian Cemetery

Do Estonians, because of their surnames, feel more closely connected to nature? And what would happen if the dead wrote their own inscriptions on gravestones?

Conceptual Chicks & Experiential Eggs: Teaching Philosophies

Last spring I helped design a training program for aspiring college teachers. I had great fun being on the small planning committee; our disagreements were especially enlightening. My favorite disagreement was about whether we should have our students develop and write their teaching philosophy.

Finding Your Way Back From Loss

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in Works in Progress
When Plan A does not work out, we often feel that our back up plans are just a consolation prize. With the right perspective, sometimes Plan B has even greater benefits than one can imagine.