Essential Reads

Social Influence About Risk Differs for Teens and Adults

Teens beliefs about risk are strongly influenced by other people.

Three Reasons We Disclose Too Much Information to Strangers

How and why we sometimes tell strangers our whole life story.

How Evolutionary Psychology Illuminates Everyday Life

10 Cliches that all have an evolutionary basis

How Good Are You at Flirting?

Your flirting style can set you up for success...or failure.

Recent Posts on Social Life

No One Wants a Secret Admirer

A closed mouth gathers no foot. It also gathers no friends. People want verbal affirmation of their attributes and accomplishments, not secret admirers. Regardless of how far up the food chain someone has managed to climb, everyone wants to be assured of their value and worth.

Social Influence About Risk Differs for Teens and Adults

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 28, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Life is full of risky decisions. Some involve physical risks like crossing the street against the light. Others involve social risks like expressing an opinion that differs from those of peers. Still others involve financial risks like investing in the stock of a new company.

End Of Term Report

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 28, 2015 in In Excess
Many people confuse the term ‘problem gambling’ with ‘gambling addiction’. These two terms are not inter-changeable. When I give lectures on gambling addiction I always point out that “all gambling addicts are problem gamblers but not all problem gamblers are gambling addicts”. Find out why in my latest article on gambling psychology.

Moneygrams: Recalled Childhood Memories About Money

A surprising number of people are "money troubled." Because money is a taboo topic, people often get surprised by the money beliefs and habits of their partners who they have known for a long time. But where do these money attitudes and habits come from? Do we have moneygrams from our childhood?

How to Talk to a Single Person

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Living Single
Some people seem to have a hard time conversing with single people. All they can think of to ask is whether the single person is seeing someone. Even worse, researchers can be just as flummoxed. A survey claiming to be "the most comprehensive" about single life asked only about 1 question of 128 that was not about becoming unsingle. Here's how to talk to a single person.

Three Reasons We Disclose Too Much Information to Strangers

Have you ever told intimate details of your life to a stranger on a plane? Does your hair stylist know your whole life story? Why do we disclose so much personal information to complete strangers? Here are 3 surprising psychological reasons.

Sounding Off About High-Volume Friends

How to reclaim our personal quiet zones and restore peace. High-volume blusterers are often chronic—even if unknowing—offenders, and they are generally among our least favorite folks to encounter. Otherwise pleasant personalities become ones we avoid. The psychology of behavioral shaping offers a polite way to turn down the volume.

How Evolutionary Psychology Illuminates Everyday Life

Evolutionary psychology has become famous as a powerful framework for understanding even the most mundane aspects of life. Read further to see how the evolutionary perspective provides insights into 10 common cliches.

How Good Are You at Flirting?

Flirting isn't easy but some styles are more effective than others.

Are You a Jerk or a Pushover?

Research shows we're really bad at identifying how other people perceive us.

Facing Our Two-Facedness

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 26, 2015 in Ambigamy
We all want opposite things. Life goes better and gets more interesting when you admit that you do, too.

Aging-in-Place May Be a Fountain of Youth Secret

One of the benefits of aging-in-place is good neighborhood gossip -- a reason to stay alive and well is so that you don’t miss out on the next installment.

Simple, Everyday Actions That Support Mental Health

Learn simple ways to support yourself and others for better mental health.

Make New Friends, Keep (Some of) the Old

By Wendy Paris on May 26, 2015 in Splitopia
Divorce can shake up friendships, but it also gives us a chance to connect with others, and recreate a social circle more supportive of our new lives. Sometimes ending a marriage enables us to see the value in others we've formerly dismissed.

More Than Words Can Say

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 26, 2015 in Talking Apes
The meaning of a conversation lies not in the words that are spoken but rather in the minds of the speaker and listener.

Death by Selfie

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on May 24, 2015 in Love, Inc
Death by selfie is not randomly distributed in the population. Like suicide, selficide is patterned and predictable, killing those most likely to depend on social media for their performance of self.

Remote Personality Profiling

Biographers, Business people, Investigative Journalists and Security Agencies are all interested in Profiling People for different purposes. There is certainly a great deal of information on the web but the question is what to look for and how to put it all together.

Empathy Vs Sympathy

By Neel Burton M.D. on May 22, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Empathy is often confused with pity, sympathy, and compassion, which are each reactions to the plight of others.

#rednoseday: Mental Health Is Social Equity!

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on May 20, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Thursday, May 21 is the first Red Nose Day in the U.S. Here are some thoughts on what emotional problems are worsened with socio-economic inequity and why.

How Can We Get Relief With "Mad Men" Ending?

In Mad Men’s season six finale, Don Draper asks, “What is happiness?” He then answers, “It’s a moment before you need more happiness.” Substitute happiness for relief—or, perhaps, merely mistake relief for happiness, or satisfaction, or fulfillment—and you have yourself at the very eye of the hurricane of the whole irrelationship song-and-dance routine. Goodbye, Don.

Life Unfiltered: Do We Mask Depression Online?

Are there ways we can authentically share ourselves online? How can we show how life is a balance of good moments—the pretty pictures with the fun filters—along with harder, more complex times?

Water Games

Negotiations are especially difficult when you are responding to the other party’s assumed instead of actual preferences.

Irrelationship Is Not Codependency

Codependency may sometimes dovetail with irrelationship to the point that they’re not easily distinguishable. They may sometimes seem like kissing cousins, but at the level of purpose and of points of origin, they’re decidedly not identical twins.

Red Flags of Potentially Toxic Relationships

While most of us know at some level that a relationship has turned toxic, we may have a hard time admitting that we have made a poor choice in placing our trust in another.

How We Decide Who's Creepy

Given how frequently creepiness gets discussed in everyday life, it is amazing that it has not yet been studied in a scientific way. What I found in an exploratory study suggests that creepiness is a response to the ambiguity of threat; it is not the clear presence of danger that creeps us out, but rather the uncertainty of whether danger is present or not.

4 Ways to Deal with Obnoxious People

Most of us can recall a situation in which someone behaved obnoxiously, offending you or the people with you in the room. Whether that target is you or someone else, these 5 strategies will help you smooth out an otherwise rough situation.

Game On

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in In Excess
In January 2015, a 32-year old male gamer was found dead at a Taiwanese Internet café following a non-stop three-day gaming session. I have spent nearly three decades studying video game addiction — but what turns a hobby into a health risk? Find out more in this article on Internet Gaming Disorder.

Friendships Help Kids Cope With Divorce

By Wendy Paris on May 19, 2015 in Splitopia
Your children's friendships can be disrupted by divorce, either because you move or because everyone is too busy and preoccupied to help maintain them. Eileen Kennedy-Moore answers four questions on the impact of divorce on childhood friendships, and gives advice for how parents can foster strong community.

Impulsivity: Good or Bad?

There can be some serious advantages to reacting fast to things around one. But there can also be serious disadvantages to being unplanful and unprepared. What does it mean to be impulsive?

Are Teens Going Online to Form Romantic Relationships?

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Connected
Many teens use the Internet to make new friends, but are today's teenagers also going online to find romantic partners? Moreover, do lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) teens use the Internet in different ways than non-LGBTQ teens when it comes to finding romantic partners? These questions and more answered in our new infographic.