Social Life Essential Reads

Don't Cancel Your Dinner Plans

Nobody ever mentions the importance of an active social life.

Why We Love to Be Scared

By Margee Kerr Ph.D. on October 07, 2015 Why We Scream
Wonder why chills run down your spine (in a good way) at the first sign of fall? Here's why.


Gossip can be entertaining. We often thirst for it and delight in its consumption. There is also a dark side, however. Please don’t go there.

Are You Spiritual or Religious? Does it Matter?

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What Trump Can Learn About Leadership From His Daughter

Leadership is in the news these days. The primaries race for the Presidential candidacy has really put the spotlight on this issue. For anyone in a leadership role self-awareness and reflection can make a big difference in your leadership success.

Hallucinated Happiness

If only imagination could sustain our happiness! Alas, we remain shackled to reality. Examples of continued attempts to psych ourselves into happiness – or others into unhappiness – range from the entertaining to the disturbing.

Why Women Don't Make the First Move

In the traditional world of dating, men ask and women wait to be asked. A new dating app is changing the rules, but what makes women wait in the first place?

Is Marriage Worth It For Women?

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 Insight Therapy
Why are women more likely than men to initiate divorce?

Must Feel TV

TV fans are addicted to the feelings we experience through our connections with the story world and its players.

How the Iran Deal Differs from the Earlier North Korean One

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on September 23, 2015 Pura Vida
People desperate to reject the nuclear agreement with Iran claim that since the one with North Korea failed, this one will, too. Here are a dozen reasons why they're very wrong.

You Smell. And That's a Good Thing.

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 23, 2015 Talking Apes
American culture has long been obsessed with body odor—and removing any trace of it. But body odor is an important component of our social interactions and can even trump the information received from vision or hearing.

Married With Children . . . and Divorced Friends

By Wendy Paris on September 22, 2015 Splitopia
It can be hard for married parents to reassure their own children about the permanence of marriage, given the high divorce rate and other changes in the "typical" American family. Parents can talk to their children about the durability of family. Those of us in positive post-marriage relationships can help spread of sense of stability within our communities.

Do You Lie About Your Age?

When I was a teenager I wanted to be thought of as older. Older girls seemed sophisticated, hip, and independent. Now that I am ACTUALLY older, it’s younger women who seem sophisticated, hip, and independent. Go figure.

Yintimidation: Bullying The "Nice" Way

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 Ambigamy
We associate bullying with yang or macho behavior, but that's not the only way to bully

Seven Shifts as Generation Y Becomes Generation Z

By Tim Elmore on September 21, 2015 Artificial Maturity
As we work with students, we’ve discovered these young teens are showing signs of a “morph,” shifting away from old realities and into new ones. Here’s what we’ve found*:

Rewarding Executive Incompetence

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on September 20, 2015 Hidden Motives
Researchers at Notre Dame’s business school “have found a correlation between generous option grants and the incidence of serious product recalls.” How could that be?

5 Reasons We Play the Blame Game

When something goes wrong in your life, is your first reaction to blame someone else? If so, you’re engaging in the very common behavior of the blame game. Unfortunately, there are no winners in this game, so knowing the 5 reasons for why you do this will benefit your relationships.


The “always on” lifestyle of today’s teens proffers images of happy, healthy young people propelled through endless days by a hyperkinetic force field allowing them to achieve almost anything. But lurking behind that façade may be something more sinister.

The Good Do-Gooders Do

In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar tells the stories of a handful of altruists and reflects on the lives they have chosen to live. She examines changing attitudes toward altruism; adoption and kidney donation; Alcoholics Anonymous; a leprosy colony in Indian; and a "deaf workshop" in Japan; and the subsistence World Equity Budget that seeks equity among all people.

Nostalgia Helps You Make and Keep Friends

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 More Than Mortal
Lacking the motivation to socialize? Try nostalgia.

Family Reunion

By Rosemary Joyce Ph.D. on September 10, 2015 What Makes Us Human
Fossils of a new human ancestor identified in cave in South Africa are exciting on their own. Together, they raise questions about whether our earliest ancestors deliberately cared for the bodies of the dead.

Seven Tips for Kissing Like You Mean It

By Jennifer Haupt on August 31, 2015 One True Thing
My husband of 25 years and I recently attended Kissing School, the brainchild of Seattle psychotherapist Cherie Byrd. Here's what we learned after seven hours of smoothing.

How to Pray for an Atheist

By David Niose on August 30, 2015 Our Humanity, Naturally
Nonbelievers don't want prayers, but they often get them anyway. What's the etiquette of unsolicited prayers? And is it changing as the nonreligious demographic grows?

Why Narcissists Need You to Feel Bad About Yourself

It’s never pleasant to be the target of an insult. However, before you let an insulting remark get the better of you, stop and consider who’s doing the insulting. It’s likely that it’s just a narcissist, trying to feel better by making you feel bad.

The Secret to Controlling Other People

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 In Control
It’s our own private collection of goals that determines what will be sticks and carrots for each of us.

Conservative Feminism

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 Rabble Rouser
If you want to be accepted by mainstream, contemporary feminism, you must identify as pro-choice, reject the reality of innate or biologically based gender differences or the concept of human nature, condemn traditional relationships and family dynamics, and subscribe to specific avenues for achieving gender equality and justice.

Do First Amendment Rights Apply to Students in School?

By Peter Gray on August 16, 2015 Freedom to Learn
In this interview, conducted by guest blogger Alex Walker, the founder of Free Student Press, David Krane, explains that student free speech is legally protected by the first amendment, but students must fight for that protection. School officials typically do everything they can to prevent students from knowing about and exercising their constitutional rights.

The Collapse of Values and My Local Car Dealership

What an efficient group of employees! Then why do I feel so bad?

3 Reasons Why People Badmouth Others (and Succeed)

Humans come armed with an arsenal of social strategies. And there are multiple routes to social success. One strategy that can be just as unpleasant as it can be successful is the approach of bringing others down.

5 Rules for Getting Along with Anyone, Anywhere

It’s inevitable that we face tough conversations in life. How you handle those conversations can make a world of difference to your well-being and the well-being of others. These 5 basic guidelines will ensure that, no matter what, your conversations will be productive and respectful.