Sport and Competition Essential Reads

"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.

Stop Thinking Positively

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on October 19, 2015 PreFrontal Nudity
These days we're inundated with messages about the power of positive thinking, but sometimes positive thinking can actually interfere with success. Fortunately, there is another way.

5 Psychological Lessons from Marathon Running

Marathon running is intense and dangerous. So why do some of us take on this kind of superfluous activity? Here are five psychological factors that help us understand the nature of marathon running.

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

With appropriate attention and desire, college athletics can be an excellent venue for nurturing ethical behavior and character formation. It really doesn't take that much time or money to make it happen. But will colleges make it a priority?

WOSPs, Fear, and Unstructured Play

By John Tauer Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 Goal Posts
"Where have all the Children Gone" - Local Playground Near You

Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Black Belt Brain
Ever wonder at a beautiful between the legs return in tennis, or an incredible behind the back pass in ice hockey? The sense of touch can help do that even when the athlete can't see where the racket or the stick is—they just know.

Student-Athlete...or Athlete-Student?

By Alexis Hatcher on August 05, 2015 Psy-College-y Today
Despite what colleges claim, academics doesn’t always end up coming first. Here's an athlete's perspective on why that is.

WOSPs, the Amalfi Coast, and Unstructured Play in Children

By John Tauer Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 Goal Posts
Why Can't Kids Play on Their Own?

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

What would motivate a dentist to spend $55,000 to kill an elderly tourist lion? The answer takes us on a psychological safari looking at recent themes in American life that incite and reward fantasies of the mighty hunter.

Penalty Shoot-Outs Are Not a Lottery

By Ben Lyttleton on July 23, 2015 Twelve Yards
Why scoring a penalty-kick in soccer is more about the mind than the foot

Extraordinary Fun

There are games we play just for fun. We laugh together. We become unpredictable, unpackaged, opened to an experience that is, when you think about it, when you compare it to our national pastimes, truly extraordinary.

How Much Is Your Reputation Really Worth?

New research explores when your reputation matters ...and when it doesn’t.

The Psychological Transition From College to Pro Sports

Athletes moving into professional sports are often not prepared for the psychological challenges that lie ahead of them. If this transition is not dealt with properly, the consequences can be detrimental in the long run.

Born in the USA

When the 4th of July comes around, do you find yourself getting all patriotic? That’s OK – it’s part of our evolved coalitional psychology. Read on to find out why!

Physically Active Children Grow Up to Be Healthier Adults

Why are children who exercise regularly more likely to remain healthy and fit into adulthood?

The Psychology of Competition

Competitions are fun, let’s be honest. At one point or another, you probably have enjoyed being part of some kind of competition. Of course, competitions are more fun if you actually “win” (but for you to win, someone else must lose). Given this basic inequality: can competitions promote pro-social behavior?

How to Kick Fatigue? Try Science’s New “3-Day” Rule

Three days of post-workout recovery may be the optimal time needed to return to top form.

How Psychologists Can Help Curb Cheating in Sports

It seems as if every week a new scandal involving cheating and antisocial behavior in sports is capturing the headlines—and psychologists are finally stepping in to solve the problem.

The Problem With Youth Sports?

By John Tauer Ph.D. on June 14, 2015 Goal Posts
What has happened to the innocent world of youth sports?

The Best Defense Against Jet Lag? Ask the NBA

NBA teams may be getting better at mitigating players' jet lag.

Tired of Being Judged? Try This.

We are being bombarded with implicit and explicit judgments in our professional and personal lives. Does constant evaluation take a toll on our psychological well-being?

The Psychology of Getting Back in the Batter’s Box

Want to learn about building resilience? Developing team values? Developing a positive identity? Little League baseball has got all of this and more.

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

Before we tie Tom Brady to the whipping post, perhaps we should think about the times we bent, finessed, or massaged the rules for our own benefit.

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on April 11, 2015 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.

Do Sleep Issues in Teens Predict Drug and Alcohol Problems?

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on April 09, 2015 Sleep Newzzz
Despite their seemingly boundless energy—and propensity to stay up late at night—teens need more sleep than adults.

6 Traits of Successful People

Embracing and enacting these six traits will lead you along the same path to success as the notable individuals throughout history.

March Madness

Students and parents rarely consider that they might need mental health services during college and often urgently. For this reason, they would be well advised to include the quality and availability of mental health services along with traditional considerations as they decide on the college of their choice.

The Bourgeois Revolution

Many of our most powerful fantasies and expectations about marriage and family life emerged two centuries ago.

Book Review: Wisdom from the Couch

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on March 22, 2015 In Therapy
Dr. Jennifer Kunst shares the warmer, friendlier side of Kleinian psychology in this interview and book review.

Does Creativity have its Dark Side?

We are used to thinking of creativity as an entirely positive attribute. However, new research on malevolent creativity suggests that the truly creative may put their novel thinking to dangerous uses under the right circumstances.