Essential Reads

5 Reasons Why The Fairy Tale (almost) Always Dies

Here are five reasons why fairy tale dreams often lead to misery in romance

How Social You Are in College Predicts Loneliness at Midlife

The importance of shifting social and emotional needs in early adulthood

Game of Zoë

Groups emerge from moving parts.

Life in the Slow Lane

What our blessed modern lives look like from an evolutionary perspective

Recent Posts on Social Life

"Where Are You From?" Can Be a Complicated Question

The question is ambiguous. Depending upon what the questioner wants to know, it can mean a number of different things, but where you are right now can only be understood in relation to where you came from and where you are going.

5 Reasons Why The Fairy Tale (almost) Always Dies

The cultural roots of the warrior/hunter man and the feminine/passive-gatherer woman are reflected in the princess and knight in shining armor mentality promoted today. Although compelling, fairy tale expectations set many men and women up for eventual romantic defeat. Here are five reasons why fairy tale dreams often lead to misery in romance.

Are We Losing the Ability to Read Each Other's Emotions?

Research shows how our digital world may be taking a toll on our emotional intelligence.

Dealing with Broken Unspoken Promises in Friendship

What do you do when a friend consistently lets you down?

5 Ways to Stay Sober While Traveling

Whether for pleasure or business, travel presents challenges for those working hard to stay sober. With a little planning and foresight, however, you can minimize the risk and maximize the chances of actually enjoying your outing rather than feeling as though you’re running a gantlet.

Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

By Peter Gray on May 05, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
Many preschool and kindergarten teachers are extremely upset by the increased pressure to teach literary and numerical skills to little children and test them regularly. They can see firsthand the unhappiness generated, and they suspect that the children would be learning much more useful lessons by playing. Their suspicions are well validated by research studies.

What Is Your Problem, Baltimore?

By Kathryn Seifert on May 04, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
What Is Your Problem, Baltimore? Racism, Lack of Economic Opportunity, Community Engagement, or Something Else?

How to Turn Around a Negative Relationship

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on May 03, 2015 in Wander Woman
Whether your relationships are professional or personal, if you do not talk about the negative feelings you are holding onto, the relationship will erode. This post provides steps to improve your own relationships or to act as a coach to help bring people together at work.

Our Fear of the Envy of Others

Our fear of being envied by others can stifle us in our development and creative expression. Sometimes this envy comes from those we think should love us the most.

Why Not Tax the Rich?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 02, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Strangely, the poor themselves end up protecting the rich

Kindness Is Our Business

By Tim Leberecht on May 01, 2015 in The Romance of Work
Small or big acts of kindness have become an outright trend both at the workplace and in customer experiences—and that’s a good thing!

Kanns' Vergessen

Psychological Science (from the eponymous journal) occasionally penetrates the academia/public membrane. Some findings go viral or merely fungal, and sometimes for the wrong reasons. See here for two examples and a word of the day for your edutainment. Never mind the title of this post. Just read on.

Don't Just Ask Bruce Jenner for Answers, Ask Yourself

The more we understand our own relationships to gender, the more room we have to live with freedom, with authenticity, with a sense of integration, and the less we scapegoat our marginalized sisters and brothers who are targeted, discriminated against, and attacked.

Should Men or Women Play Hard to Get?

When you meet a sexy stranger, should you act interested or play it cool? The answer depends on whether you are a man or a woman. Read on to learn the science...and the answer.

How Social You Are in College Predicts Loneliness at Midlife

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Can we predict who might be at risk for becoming lonely later in life?

The Psychology of Conspiracy and Cover-Ups

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in A Sideways View
Who is being most naïve, those who tend to believe in conspiracy theories or those who don't? What are the characteristics of those who tend to have a conspiracist view of the world?

You Are What You Speak

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in Talking Apes
When bilinguals switch from one language to another, they shift their personalities as well.

Game of Zoë

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in One Among Many
Following simple rules, people move around in a group until interesting patterns emerge. One sees this more clearly, though, in a computer simulation.

The Communicative Advantages of Interrupting

The Sermon on the Mount takes 8 minutes to read aloud, so be wary of any speech act that goes on for longer than that.

Life in the Slow Lane

Modern middle American life is a blessed experience from an evolutionary perspective. If you're "in the middle," then you have the luxury of experience a "high k" life history strategy. Read on to see how lucky you are for this fact!

7 Signs You May Be A Workaholic

Could you be addicted to your work? Researchers have identified seven warning signs that could indicate you have a problem.

How Big a Fan Are You?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Being a devoted fan often means developing a sense of "belonging" to a larger fan community. That sense of belonging is definitely going to shape the sense of identity that many fans have and it helps explain the enthusiasm you often see at fan conventions, music concerts, and sports arenas around the world.

The Advantages of Being an Outsider

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 26, 2015 in A Sideways View
Most people are members of some minority group. Rather than seeing this as a disadvantage there are reasons to believe it can give people valuable insights and skills.

What Explains the Apparent Increase in Bad Manners?

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Homo Consumericus
Many people lament the apparent rise of bad manners in contemporary online and offline settings. In her latest book "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*uck" Amy Alkon offers some practical solutions to the onslaught of daily boorish behaviors.

Gossip in Your Workplace Probably Does More Good Than Harm

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
Campaigns to stamp out workplace gossip overlook the fact that gossip is part of who we are and an essential part of what makes work groups function as well as they do. It is more productive to think of gossip as a social skill rather than as a character flaw, because it is only when we do not do it well that we get into trouble.

Spinster is the New Black

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Living Single
Single people are having a moment. Articles are popping up everywhere about ways of living fully and joyfully outside of marriage and nuclear families. Suddenly, spinster is the new black. The question is, who gets to wear it?

The Social Layers of TV and Film Fandom

How is watching your favorite show a form of "social media"?

5 Ways to Make Small Talk Worth the Trouble

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on April 24, 2015 in Off the Couch
Do you hate small talk? You’re not alone, of course. Maybe you’re shy, or introverted, or maybe you’re bored by it. Or do you get irritated by the apparently endless and meaningless chatter? Here are 5 reasons to change your mind. And 5 techniques for getting better at it.

Love Is a Roller Coaster

Freefalling into love is most thrilling when we've made a climb.

The Decline of Violence

You might not know it by watching TV, but violence in the modern world is at a historic low. This fact may well be the silver lining of evolutionary mismatch!