Essential Reads

Is Ghosting the New Norm?

More and more people are suddenly vanishing from their relationships. Why?

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid?

With intelligent machines to do the thinking, will our brains get lazy?

Over Ego

Is self-enhancement good for you?

Striving To Maximize Both Charm and Chutzpah

How to become a thoroughly postmodern gentleperson

Recent Posts on Social Life

You Don’t Need to Have Racism in Your Heart to be a Racist

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in More Than Mortal
In order to combat racism people need to understand that racism can exist without deeply held racist beliefs. Racist behavior is not always the result of conscious deliberation.

Self-Harm Websites and Teens Who Visit Them

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Connected
A very small percent of youth visit websites about self-harm. But on the Internet, followings on one self-harm site can number in the thousands. Are these sites harmful for youth who visit them, or do they provide some social support?

Why Your Creative Friends and Co-Workers Can Be So Deceptive

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Social Instincts
New research explores the connection between creativity and unethical behavior.

Is Ghosting the New Norm?

By Jen Kim on July 29, 2015 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Ghosting occurs when the person you are dating suddenly disappears off the face of the planet. This can take the form of ignoring you, not responding to any attempts at communication and even pretending they legitimately don’t know you, even when you see them face-to-face. As the term suggests, they've vanished without a trace.

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in The Human Beast
Changing technology stimulates the brain and increases intelligence. But that may only be true if the technology challenges us. In a world run by intelligent machines, our lives could get a lot simpler. Would that make us less intelligent?

Over Ego

To say that one is better than average is a famous bias from the social psychology textbook. In this better-than-average post, I show that it is not irrational to do so.

Striving To Maximize Both Charm and Chutzpah

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 28, 2015 in Ambigamy
Etiquette is no longer enough to make a gentleman or gentlewoman, and actually never was. Aspiring gents must strive to maximize etiquette and character, humility and boldness, always seeking for better ways to speak their minds and be heard.

13 Steps to Better Relationships...And Peace of Mind

By Meg Selig on July 28, 2015 in Changepower
You can use mindfulness techniques to create a more peaceful mind. But good social relationships may be just as important.

Why High School Stays With You Forever

For some of us, high school shines like an enchanted kingdom; for others, it is remembered as an endless Hell of daily torments. For most of us, it is something in between, but memorable nonetheless. Is it the collision between evolved psychological mechanisms and the nature of the modern high school that is to blame?

The Best Place to Be Is Together

A sense of peace and relaxation is the largest benefit from a vacation according to experts. Five guidelines help you return relaxed and happy.

Life in the Mushpot

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 27, 2015 in On Having Fun
Sometimes it's OK when you don't get to play. Sometimes, not so much.

Abnormal Behaviour – What Does It Really Mean?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in A Sideways View
Most people like to think that they are "normal". But what does it mean to be normal? And if you are not normal does that mean you are abnormal?

Puns and the Aging Process

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Joy and Pain
The question of what makes a good pun depends on the age of the punster and the expectations associated with age. There is lesson in this for all inveterate punsters as they "mature."

Changing Clocks Causes Cancer?

Time rules life. Does disrupting inner body clocks cause cancer?

Dumped Without An Explanation: Is There Anything To Do?

A woman feels dumped without explanation by her close friend and wonders how to move on.

5 Ways to Deliver Bad News With a Minimum of Pain

Very few, if any, of us truly enjoys being the bearer of bad news. If you have no choice but to be that messenger, there are ways to get the job done with a minimum of damaged feelings. These 5 strategies will help you figure out how to make the best out of some of life’s unpleasant situations.

The Loneliness of Social Media, Part Two

Social media is not always very social. Understanding why not can help us understand what is lacking in our lives.

Should We Work Harder?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in Hidden Motives
In America, we tend to think that success is all about individual effort. And recently Jeb Bush reinforced that idea in suggesting that our economy could be more robust if each of us worked harder.

Social Anxiety Diminished by Brain Signals and Re-Thinking

Social anxiety and its treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy can be studied with advanced brain imaging. Both the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala are involved.

Stories of Seclusion: A Rejected Man

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 23, 2015 in How To Do Life
He too often commits The Mortal Sin of relationships.

Re-thinking Gender, Part 1

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on July 22, 2015 in Rethinking Men
The Ups, Downs, and Sideways of Gender Politics

Beautifying Your Armpits

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 21, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
Would dyeing your armpit hair fabulous circus colors make you more beautiful, more expressive, more liberated? The armpit artists say they're saving women from "harmful standards." But all body decoration needs to balance technique and real-life experience. Do we want intimacy or applause?

The Loneliness of Social Media: Part One

You may have seen "the baby whisperer" photo that went viral. What it teaches us about life and loneliness in the digital age is fascinating.

Confluence

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 20, 2015 in On Having Fun
Confluence - the force that draws us together

Hidden Persuaders: The Psychology of Subliminal Perception

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 20, 2015 in A Sideways View
The idea of subliminal perception has never gone away. Are advertisers and marketers using clever and possibly illegal or immoral means to change our behaviour

Why We Should Think and Act Like Superheroes

What are the factors that cause and enable people to help others? How can we ourselves think and act like superheroes?

Game of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is good. Yet, it is not always forthcoming. This should tell us something about human psychology.

The Only Excuse You’ll Ever Need (or Should Ever Use)

When there’s something you’d rather not do, or wish you hadn’t done, an excuse might seem like the only graceful remedy. This simple guideline to making that excuse work will help you figure out how to make the best of that bad situation.

Our digital devices might make us kinder

Henry James once wrote, Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. Maybe our digital devices can help us discover all three.

10 Tips for More Efficient Listening

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 16, 2015 in Ambigamy
Better listening isn't more listening, it's listening more efficiently to what's worth heeding, not what's worth ignoring.