Social Life Essential Reads

8 Secret Body Language Cues That Can Control Your Behavior

Subtle body language in others can trigger emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions in us -- and we may be completely unaware of them.

Introducing Heterodox Academy

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Rabble Rouser
Fighting "Mirror Image McCarthyism" and Advancing Political Diversity on Campuses

What’s the Best Way to React to an Insult?

Insults live at the bottom of the scale of socially appropriate behavior. Because our first tendency is to be polite, especially with people we don’t know very well, it’s not always clear whether to respond in kind or turn the other cheek. Here’s some guidance for how to handle these confusing situations.

The 6 Things We All Need to Be Thankful For

From an evolutionary perspective, gratitude is a significant social emotion. It drives us to connect with others - and it works to remind us of the fact that we are always part of something larger than ourselves. Here is a list of 6 things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving (and all other days of the year as well).

Why Psychologists Never Give a Straight Answer

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 The Squeaky Wheel
Although I understand people’s exasperation with psychologists’ inability to give a straight answer to a seemingly simple question, there is nothing we can actually do about it. Here's why:

Why Is Your Relationship a Secret?

Historically, the closest a young woman could get to having power was to have sex with a man who had it. If the powerful man desires a woman privately, could he really deny publicly that she's the love of his life?

My Return to Theism

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 One Among Many
Theism – Atheism is a false dichotomy. Setting aside deism as anemic theism, I distinguish between theism with love and theism without love. The former is easy to refute, as has been done many times by children and philosophers. The latter is far more resistant to disproof and psychologically more plausible.

7 Things Only Narcissists Do

Recognizing the signs of narcissism is the first step in effectively dealing with a narcissist.

Become a Better Conversationalist With the "Rule of Three"

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on November 12, 2015 BrainSnacks
How can you attract people to yourself and your ideas, instead of alienating them? Just change the proportion of three kinds of sentences you use in your conversation.

Don’t Give a Monkey the Finger

In a recent viral video, a young male is attacked by a monkey after giving it the middle finger. This incident provides exceptional evidence for features of emotion systems that cut across primate species while providing some guidance on cross-species etiquette at the same time.

How Your Flaky Friend May Have Gotten That Way

By Kira Asatryan on November 05, 2015 The Art of Closeness
Can flaking on social engagements indicate a deeper issue? Yes. Learn the signs.

The Evolutionary Psychology of “Above and Beyond”

Some people shoot for meeting minimal standards in life. Others go above and beyond. In my job as a college professor, I get to help bright young minds learn the value of going above and beyond — and, without question, such an approach to all aspects of life has special rewards.

15 First Date Mistakes You Should Avoid

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 The Squeaky Wheel
Small mistakes can ruin your chances of getting a second date. Here are the most common ones to avoid:

How Not to Be a Jerk or a Wimp

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 01, 2015 Ambigamy
Based on broad reading in behavioral science and philosophy, here are some tips on how to tip yourself toward the middle ground between being over-assertive and over-accommodating.

Should You Play Hard to Get?

You can't always get what you want....but sometimes you can, if you're strategic.

Beyond the "Selfie" Self: the Diametric View

Robert Trivers’ neo-Freudian view of the self-deceiving self is self-contradictory, but the diametric model suggests a more honest alternative.

Mass Surveillance: DNA

By Elliot Hosman J.D. on October 30, 2015 Genetic Crossroads
DNA testing companies are luring customers to hand over their biological ID for health and ancestry guesstimates, but the real business is collecting data on millions of people and selling access to that data. And sometimes, customers' DNA can end up in the hands of law enforcement.

Competing Against Another Group Makes Rivals Cooperate

By Art Markman Ph.D. on October 28, 2015 Ulterior Motives
An ancient proverb says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This proverb suggests that I may choose to cooperate with one of my rivals when I know that this cooperation will allow us to defeat a common enemy.

Can We Answer Life's Big Questions?

Evolutionary psychologists are always thinking about the big picture. As such, from the perspective of an evolutionary psychologist, there are actually pretty clear answers to the big questions of life.

Why Halloween Can Bring Out The Best In Us

Halloween is all about trusting those you don’t know well, whether you are knocking on their doors or opening your own to them. How remarkable in today's world.

"Hey This Isn't A Competition And You Have Cooties So I Win"

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 25, 2015 Ambigamy
When we want to end arguments without admitting defeat we often accuse our opponents of having negative emotions which we treat as the equivalent of having cooties. Here's how it works and why its not just insulting to them but dangerous for us to end arguments this way.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Politics

Large-scale politics on a national or international scale is often disastrous. Maybe this is because the human mind has evolved to deal with small-scale politics.

The Play Community

By Bernard L. De Koven on October 23, 2015 On Having Fun
Our basis for trust and safety has broadened to such an extent that it resides not in any particular game but in our very relationship.

Using the Science of Gratitude to Raise Grateful Children

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on October 22, 2015 The Empathy Gap
Gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving.

Is Perspective-Taking a Skill?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on October 22, 2015 Ulterior Motives
When we study psychology, there is a tendency to think about the tasks that we do as if there were built-in modules in the brain dedicated to those tasks. So, we talk about memory and assume that there is a particular thing in the brain that helps us remember information.

Kazantzakis's Theory of Happiness

Zorba the Greek was larger than life, in the book and in the film. Through him, author Nikos Kazantzakis speaks to us about his theory of happiness, which is very Greek indeed.

The Stunning Appeal of a Story About a Man Who Died Alone

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on October 20, 2015 Living Single
The New York Times published an extraordinarily long and wildly popular story of a man who died alone, undiscovered until a neighbor smelled his rotting body. What was the story really about? Why were readers so drawn to it?

The One Word That Can Kill a Friendship

By Kira Asatryan on October 14, 2015 The Art of Closeness
This one word - that you use every day - pushes friends away more than any other. Learn what it is and what alternatives will keep your friends close!

What Is a Democracy?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on October 10, 2015 Hidden Motives
Jimmy Carter's shocking statement about our democracy disappeared in the media

How to Answer the Question You Get Asked Most Often

What do you think is the most common question you ever get asked? Hint: It’s one you usually answer without any thought. You may not realize it, but your responses to conversation openers may actually be conversation enders.