Essential Reads

T. Mairunteregger

Seligman on Tour

Is "prospection" the newest and holiest of grails in psychology? Seligman: "Yes." We: "No."

When Do Friends Matter Most?

By Lydia Denworth on May 18, 2017 in Brain Waves
Having friends is strongly associated with health and longevity, but scientists are only starting to ask when the effects of social relationships emerge and how long they last.
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Required Summer Reading

In a landmark study of why human beings believe what they believe and do what they do, Robert Sapolsky demonstrates that brains and cultures evolve; genes don't determine anything.

6 Ways to Say Something Nice about People You Don't Like

We’d like to think that it’s easy to come up with a positive evaluation of almost anyone, but what do you do when you’ve got nothing nice to say? New research provides 6 key tips.

More Posts on Social Life

Out of the Shadows: Shining Light on the Vampire Community

New research on modern day vampires sheds light on this misunderstood community.
Monica Riordan

Emojis: Tools for Emotions

Communicating affect in text messages. 

Why Are Some States "Tighter" Than Others?

State-level differences in making and enforcing rules can help us understand why illicit drug use is lower—and levels of cautiousness are higher—in the South than in the West.

Empathy in Literature and Film

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on May 18, 2017 in Hot Thought
Empathy in literature and film works by three modes of empathy: verbal analogies, physiological mimicry, and non-verbal simulation of chains of emotional experiences.

How Important Is Your Dog in Your Family and Social Life?

New data shows just how significant a part of our social and family lives our dogs have become.

The Didge and You

The gurgling sound of the Didgeridoo touches a sensibility that is neither verbal nor emotional. Yet, it invites us to consider what we share.
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The Unexpected Costs of Extraordinary Experiences

By Gus Cooney on May 17, 2017 in Real Talk
How talking about extraordinary experiences can spoil our conversations

What You Should Be Thinking When You Argue With Your Partner

Do you argue with your partner often? A little self-awareness can go a long way.

3 Things You Should Stop Doing Right Now

Sometimes, it's good to conform to social norms. Other times, it's bad for your health and happiness.

Fast Friends or Friends Fast

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
Clinging to old friends for fear of being stranded alone? There's another way. Get faster at turning new acquaintances into easy cozy friends.

The Stories We Tell About Single People Aren't True

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 13, 2017 in Living Single
In many important ways, single people are thriving. How is that possible, when they don’t have the support of a spouse, and they are stereotyped and stigmatized?

Every Human Interaction, Explained

The secret motive underlying all of our interactions, according to a famous acting coach.

The Subtle Impact of “Pomp and Circumstance”

You can’t attend graduation without hearing Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” trio. Here’s four reasons why this tune remains a significant part of the commencement experience.

More Than Just a Pretty Face: Unmasking Furry Fandom

Recent research debunks common misconception of the furry community as a bunch of sexual "deviants" or misfits.

Teamwork, Community, and the Release of Joel Guerrero

Joel Guerrero was detained by ICE for shoddy reasons, leaving a pregnant wife home alone and a community in stress. Today, Joel is free, due in part to political activism.

Older Adults and Mental Health

While many older Americans are embracing an entirely new attitude toward aging, many are still caught up in the stigma and isolation of our attitudes around mental health.

What do Teenage Relationships Really Look Like?

How can you give teens the space they need to explore the more ambiguous, complicated aspects of their relationships? An open mind and willing heart could make a difference.

Casual Sex On Tinder

What goes into the decision-making process of people who use Tinder to hook up?

Rehearsals and Reversals and More Rehearsals

By Bernard L. De Koven on May 08, 2017 in On Having Fun
When, from the very wings of your psyche, you hear your inner thespian, wording and re-wording what next to say

Voyage to Kazohinia: A Diametric Dystopia

Sándor Szathmári’s satirical novel, Voyage to Kazohinia, is based on an implicit insight into the diametric model of mental illness.

Seeking Common Ground II: The Progressive Spirit

A “public” sphere appropriately transcends “private” concerns. The wealth of a nation is not the aggregate of individual interests but an expression of collective well-being.

The United States Navy and The Communist Manifesto

During the Cold War, the United States Navy used The Communist Manifesto in teaching leadership. This example of viewpoint diversity is useful for today's campus climate.

Teaching Large College Classes With a Smile

Professors sometimes are asked to teach large sections of classes. Does this format compromise the experience for students? Not necessarily. Here are some tricks to help.

Slam Poetry Facilitates Sharing Stories of Mental Illness

Sharing poetry can build self-esteem and promote self-love in both speakers and audience members, and can be a form of therapy to treat anxiety and depression.

4 Ways to Overcome a Toxic Relationship

If you're experiencing a toxic relationship, then you likely move in and out of a state of denial about how unhealthy it truly is. Here are 4 ways to overcome toxic love.

Bubblebags and Baggyballs

By Bernard L. De Koven on May 01, 2017 in On Having Fun
Worried about the environment? Here's a way to make playful use of some of our favorite detritus

What Can Be Made of Schadenfreude?

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on April 29, 2017 in Joy and Pain
Taking pleasure in the suffering of others usually gives us moral unease. But there some circumstances, which set the table so well, that the pleasure is exquisite and memorable.

The Emerging Science of Awe and Its Benefits

By Emma Stone, Ph.D. on April 27, 2017 in Understanding Awe
Move over happiness, there's another emotion that boasts myriad benefits for health, wellbeing and social connectedness

The Solution to Millennial Loneliness

By Caroline Beaton on April 25, 2017 in The Gen-Y Guide
How can millennials stop being so lonely?

Is Social Pain Real Pain?

The same brain areas involved in processing physical pain such burning or hurt are also activated when a negative comment burns or when your feelings are hurt. Social pain is real.