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

Social Anxiety and Problem Drinking: The Connection

By Joseph Nowinski Ph.D. on October 17, 2013 in The New Grief
False expectations about what drinking can do for you can lead to trouble.

Facts? No Thanks, I’ve Got Ideology

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on October 17, 2013 in Without Prejudice
Everything these days, from healthcare to climate change to nutrition, seems not only “political” but increasingly polarized in nature. In such debates, why does ideology often take a front seat to basic facts?

The Tuna Fish Story

By Michael F. Kay on October 17, 2013 in Financial Life Focus
Trying to select a winning strategy goes beyond the lists.

Can Jogging Relieve Depression?

By Joshua Gowin Ph.D. on October 17, 2013 in You, Illuminated
A recent review tested whether exercise decreased depression. When including all 35 potential studies comparing exercise to no treatment, exercise provided a modest benefit. However, when only the 6 studies that made every effort to minimize bias were included, exercise’s benefits were small and statistically insignificant. That's far from a slam dunk.

Kamikaze Sperms or Flawed Products?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on October 16, 2013 in How We Do It
Fertility experts have long known that human semen contains many defective sperms. It has been suggested that our deviant sperms evolved in response to direct competition, but the alternative interpretation is that they are simply the outcome of slack quality control.

Militarization: When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary

By Karen Franklin Ph.D. on October 16, 2013 in Witness
In 1970, only Los Angeles had a police SWAT team. Now, every city's got one, and armored military vehicles are being used to serve routine drug warrants. In a culture of rampant fear, militarization looks like it is here to stay.

The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on October 16, 2013 in Give and Take
Why you might want to list your weaknesses instead of your strengths, and drink a glass of anxiety rather than a shot of confidence.

The Case Against Mental Skills

Mental imagery. Cue words. Goal setting. Centering techniques. Anecdotal reports suggest that Olympians are masters of mental skills… the scientific evidence however suggests that sometimes mental skills are much ado about nothing.

4 Simple Ways to Replace Hostility with Equanimity

By Christopher Bergland on October 15, 2013 in The Athlete's Way
Equanimity means "to maintain mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation." Do certain people push your buttons and make it difficult for you to keep your cool? When was the last time you got so angry that you said something that you regret but could never take back? Equanimity is the antidote for burning bridges with people.

All You Need Is Love? Nope—You Also Need Knowledge

By Robert J King Ph.D. on October 15, 2013 in Hive Mind
Why is sex fun? Why are humans such tremendous creatures for getting in their own and one another's ways?

If Tattoos Could Talk

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on October 14, 2013 in A Swim in Denial
There's more to a tattoo than meets the eye, especially when young people in mainstream America choose to display a ferocious beast..

Is There a "Cheater's High"?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on October 14, 2013 in Media Spotlight
Does guilt or shame actually deter people from doing unethical things like cheating on an exam or filing a fraudulent tax return? While no offense is truly victim-free since society as a whole is damaged to some extent by these activities, that distinction is often too subtle for many people to take seriously. Do people get a "high" from cheating?

Why Are Women Paid Less Than Men?

By John List on October 14, 2013 in The Why Axis
We go to the ends of the earth to investigate the cause of the gender earnings gap - is it nature, or nurture?

The Art of Constructive Self-Criticism

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on October 14, 2013 in In Love and War
When we experience failure, it can be hard to take an honest look at where we went wrong without falling victim to harsh self-criticism. How can we confront our weaknesses in a more constructive way?

6 Steps to a Great Life With a Weekend TV Sports Warrior

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on October 13, 2013 in Off the Couch
“I can’t stand it,” says a young woman client. “I’m all for spending an occasional Sunday afternoon watching football, especially when it’s one of ‘my’ teams. But he wants to watch every week …” Another client says, “I wish my wife liked football. It’s one of the ways I relax on the weekend. I'd love to spend that time with her..."

Is it Safe to Worship Athletes?

By Matt Beardmore on October 12, 2013 in Time Out!
How many of us as kids had posters on our bedroom walls of our favorite athlete or movie star? How many of us had to know everything about this person and idolized him or her? It's normal. It's what kids do. Then we grow up and move past this hero worship stage and enjoy healthy adult lives. Or are we able to completely move past it?

Scientists Discover Why Exercise Makes You Smarter

By Christopher Bergland on October 11, 2013 in The Athlete's Way
Do you need another reason to motivate yourself to exercise more regularly? Researchers at Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School have honed in on a specific molecule released during endurance exercise that improves cognition and protects the brain against degeneration.

Exploring the Link Between Exercise and Migraine

By Judy Foreman on October 11, 2013 in A Nation in Pain
A Danish study finds strenuous exercise triggers migraines less often than once thought. Some triggers for migraines are not so much triggers as signs that a migraine is already in progress.

Why Do People Gamble Too Much?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on October 11, 2013 in Ulterior Motives
What exactly is it that drives people to gamble too much? Intuitively, it seems like there are two possibilities. One is that people with gambling problems are focused on the thrill of gambling. The other possibility is that gamblers are focused on the money.

Most American Workers Are Disengaged. Why?

By Victor Lipman on October 10, 2013 in Mind of the Manager
Gallup's comprehensive "State of the American Workplace" survey shows that 70% of workers are "emotionally disconnected" from their jobs. The cost to the U.S.? Over $450 billion a year in lost productivity. One surprising finding? Women are more engaged than men.

Can Following Baseball Be Good For Your Brain?

We often think of the brain as a muscle, and consider crossword puzzles to be the ultimate brain challenge. But what about following a baseball game? While some people might think this is simply a passive form of entertainment, lots of cognitive operations occur before, during, and after the game. Thinking about baseball may be rewarding in many ways…

Hoping Others Fail Is Not a Strategy

By Jonathan Fields on October 10, 2013 in Awake at the Wheel
Zero sum game situations still rule so much of life. And when they do, we’ve generally got a two step strategy.

How Football and Concussions Sack Hope

By Anthony Scioli Ph.D. on October 10, 2013 in Hope Today
Does post-concussion syndrome lead to hopelessness?

Boredom, Thrill Kill and the Media

With the recent avalanche of reporting after the death of the Australian baseball player out jogging on a residential road in Oklahoma and the arrest of one white and two black teenagers, we were quickly greeted with a media hysteria regarding an innocent white boy murdered by two blacks out of “boredom..."

The End of Sportsmanship?

By Michael W Austin on October 09, 2013 in Ethics for Everyone
We need a revival of sportsmanship, at all levels of sport.

Why Are Mean People So Successful?

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on October 09, 2013 in Head Games
A new study sheds light on why schemers survive and thrive

Why Life Is Really The Ultimate IQ Test

Scott Barry Kaufman is one of those rare people who is truly passionate about what he does. I’ve met a lot of people who are engaged by their work and enjoy it, but not many people who take their work and craft so seriously, and with so much energy and enthusiasm, and in such an unconventional way.

Build Friendships with Couples and Members of the Other Sex

By Geoffrey Greif Ph.D. on October 08, 2013 in Buddy System
Being friends with another couple allows you to have an opposite sex friend and strengthen your own relationship

Your New Competitive Advantage

By Sara Canaday on October 08, 2013 in You (According to Them)
Today, the most successful leaders don’t necessarily have prestigious degrees and professional certifications. Instead, they tend to have real-world experience or “street smarts.” They have self-awareness and excel under ever-changing conditions.

Do You Send "Dark" Messages of Love to Your Children?

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 08, 2013 in The Power of Prime
Of course you love your children and would never consciously reward your children's successes with love and attention or punish their failures with anger or rejection. The challenge is to become aware of the unconscious, and oftentimes unhealthy, messages of love you may send to your children.