Essential Reads

Putting Music to the Words

Some species sing, some species call, but only humans do both

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

She’s accused of child neglect for allowing her children some freedom.

Do Sleep Issues in Teens Predict Drug and Alcohol Problems?

The relationship between sleep and substance abuse in teens is complex.

Are Men or Women More in Demand?

You have to ask who is getting more of what they want.

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Facilitating Athlete Readiness

Allowing athletes some 'free time' before competition can have a big impact on performance.

Peak Experiences, Disillusionment, and the Joy of Simplicity

Having a once-in-a-lifetime peak experience can trigger an unexpected sense of disillusionment. What is the antidote for feeling dissatisfied after a peak experience like getting married, graduation, or visiting a dream destination? This blog post offers a few clues.

Is the Home Advantage Overrated in Sports?

Sports fans always hear about the importance of home advantage for the championship playoff series. Is it really worth it?

9-Man Doc Showcases Chinese-American Male Identity in Sports

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
A talk with the creator of "9-Man," an award-winning documentary about a version of volleyball played in Chinese American communities for a century.

Make Mental Training a Priority in Your Sport

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in The Power of Prime
I work with many athletes each year, from juniors with big dreams to pros and Olympians who are realizing their dreams. What is abundantly clear to me is that, once the foundation of fitness, technique, tactics, and equipment are established, it is the mind that separates athletes who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

How Big a Fan Are You?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Being a devoted fan often means developing a sense of "belonging" to a larger fan community. That sense of belonging is definitely going to shape the sense of identity that many fans have and it helps explain the enthusiasm you often see at fan conventions, music concerts, and sports arenas around the world.

How to Win at Rock-Paper-Scissors

Don't be the one who has to wash the dishes, do push-ups, or pay for lunch. Winning at Rock - Paper - Scissors is about psychology, not chance.

What Do We Love About Sports?

What makes sports so captivating?

Does It Take Competition to Make a Good Leader?

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on April 22, 2015 in Naturally Selected
Leadership modifies organizational culture. An evolutionary niche construction perspective explains why some leaders work for the good of their organization while others turn out to be selfish and destructive leaders.

Mindfulness, Little League, and Parenting

How much of our parenting time do we spend taking children to ball games, dropping them, and then waiting for the action to begin? And then once the so-called action begins, how much actually happens? The answers, at least until children get older, are an awful lot and not much. It’s all fun and games and bonding together, except when it isn’t.

A Betrayal Anxiety Quiz for Women in an Unequal Workplace

When limited opportunities for advancement in a workplace exist, women often find themselves competing for the few positions available. Oftentimes, women who have been betrayed by ladder climbing colleagues are then prone to sabotage others.

Are Athletes Good Role Models?

Being a sport superstar doesn’t automatically qualify a person to be a role model. What are the credentials for the job?

Subliminal Messages Can Fortify Inner Strength

Subliminal messages have the power to fortify your inner strength and self-confidence on and off the court.

Fear of Intimacy and Closeness in Relationships

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
Being in a relationship with someone who shuts down emotionally when times get tough is no fun. It’s also no fun to try your best only to have others accuse you of not being emotionally available. Learning where these avoidant personality styles come from can help you cope more effectively with stress in your relationships and have a more rewarding experience.

The Art and Science of Haggling

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in A Sideways View
Often the most popular skills based courses are those on negotiation. They teach among other things the gentle but very important arts of haggling and persuasion: in short how to get a good deal. Why is it so important and what is the fundamental psychology of haggling?

You Don’t Want to Miss: “Prescription Thugs” at Tribeca

This weekend is the start of the Tribeca Film Festival. At the festival, the documentary film, “Prescription Thugs,” will be screened. I am honored to be featured in this film and to help educate the public about the grave danger that is posed by the abuse of prescription medications.

Alpha Brain Waves Boost Creativity and Reduce Depression

Neuroscientists have discovered that increasing alpha brain waves through electrical stimulation or mindfulness can boost creativity and minimize depression.

Putting the Happiness Back in “Young and Happy”

By Ran Zilca on April 17, 2015 in Confessions of a Techie
Happiness is a by-product of the pursuit of success, rather than successful accomplishments. Individuals who are actively engaged in the pursuit of goals that are meaningful to them, experience a range of positive emotions and become happier.

Finding Home with Jesse Malin

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Jesse Malin shares how he has used music and creativity to create community.

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

5 Neuroscience Based Ways to Clear Your Mind

This blog post offers five easy ways to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts based on the latest neuroscience.

Reframing Parent-Child Time Can Reduce Stress

Mentally reframing how you think about parent-child time can lessen stress and help you better appreciate the time you spend with your child.

10 Things I Didn't Know About Jackie Robinson

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on April 14, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
No matter how his life is viewed or evaluated, Jackie Robinson had and continues to have a beneficial and tangible impact on baseball, society, and beyond.

Are Distance Running and Reproductive Potential Connected?

Anthropologists at the University of Cambridge recently reported that males with higher "reproductive potential" may also be better distance runners. Why would being good at long-distance running have evolved to reflect a more desirable male gene pool?

Sex Is Disgusting But We Keep Doing It

Disgust and sexual arousal seem at odds with each other but they're also more closely related than you might think.

Putting Music to the Words

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Talking Apes
In animal communication systems, you can have either syntax or semantics. Human language, however, integrates the two. As a result, our range of expression is almost limitless.

12 Keystone Principles That Bolster Resilience

These 12 keystone principles will increase your resilience and help you stay brave in the face of adversity.

The Experience Machine Reloaded

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in One Among Many
In a famous thought experiment, philosopher Robert Nozick tried to refute hedonism, or the idea that pleasure is the best and pain is the worst. But not so fast, please.

Can We Exercise Too Much?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in Fit Femininity
Physical activity has been proven to improve physical and psychological health. However, is any amount of exercise good? Too much exercise can prevent psychological well-being. When excessive exercise develops into exercise dependence, it becomes compulsive behaviour that controls the exerciser's life.

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

By Peter Gray on April 11, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been giving their children some of the same freedom that they themselves enjoyed as children, in a world that is safer than the one in which they grew up. As a consequence, they have been visited by police, and the county Child Protective Services have threatened to take their children away. Here is my interview with Danielle.