Essential Reads

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

What "Deflategate" can teach us about human nature

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.

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Five Reasons Why the Red Sox Grew Their Beards

By Stuart Vyse Ph.D on October 26, 2013 in Believing in Magic
The 2013 Boston Red Sox are famously bearded in an effort to bring on a winning season. Where does this kind of team superstition come from and can it possibly help?

The Ugly Side of Child Fame: From JonBenet to Corey Feldman

Popular TV shows suggest that childhood stardom is the key to a happy life. However, behind the scenes, some child stars are the victims of pushy parents who will pursue fame at the expense of their child’s health and well being.

Song and Dance as Information

By Matthew J Rossano Ph.D. on October 25, 2013 in Mortal Rituals
What do former Chicago Cubs left fielder Moises Alou and the boy band N Sync have in common? They are both information sources. Our species avid craving for information may help explain the evolutionary origins of song and dance.

No, Your Chiropractor is Not a Murderer

By Mark Borigini M.D. on October 25, 2013 in Overcoming Pain
I once had a patient in my practice, who regularly visited my office wearing a large anti-chiropractic button prominently displayed on her blouse: You know, one of those things with the word “chiropractic” circled in red, with a seemingly redder line struck through it: she had had a friend who suffered a stroke as a result—she said—of chiropractic manipulation.

Is Religion Any Use?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 24, 2013 in The Human Beast
Rival religions expend a great deal of effort in magnifying minor differences between them. Yet, the major world religions fulfill similar functions and endorse analogous codes of conduct. They may also provide similar emotional and practical advantages.

4 Love Lessons Learned from 100,000 Pickups

If you could meet literally thousands of single men and women, think of how much you would learn about love and dating. Nick Savoy, and his company of professional dating coaches have done just that. Find out what they know about playing the game of love and finding Mr. or Ms. Right.

Winning is Everything: Myth vs. Reality

Would you be surprised to learn that a “winning is everything” philosophy isn’t supported by research?

Suicidal Sex: Male Marsupial Mice Die After Endurance Mating

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 22, 2013 in Animal Emotions
Male marsupial mice (who aren't really mice) put everything they have into sperm production by copulating for up to twelve hours at a time and then dying. This "suicidal sex" seems to be driven by competition for females.

Boredom, Thrill Kill and the Media Part 2

The idea of thrill kill in both video games and mainstream films and TV emerges as a way to blunt the boredom.

The Real Genius of Genius Isn’t the Genius

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 21, 2013 in The Power of Prime
I prefer to focus on aspects of genius that are controllable. Do geniuses possess the passion, discipline, focus, and joy that are necessary to see that genetic gift reach full fruition? And I am even more concerned with the existential benefits of that genius, namely, whether and how they use their gift to enrich their own life and the lives of others.

Empathic Parenting Versus Rescue Parenting, What's Better?

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on October 21, 2013 in Savvy Parenting
Parents today are confused about the difference between empathy for children and rescuing children from disappointment. Studies have shown that children build resilience by learning to cope with disappointment. Should parents support this process by helping children avoid failure or by being there to support children when they do in fact fail?

Bored to Death: Risks from Boredom in Adolescence

Parents shouldn't treat all adolescent boredom as a bad thing, because for growth it is a necessary thing. That said, there are dangers when a teenager gets emotionally stuck in the pain, and there are risks attached to acts that can be commonly sought for relief.

Taking Aftercare to a New Level

By Anna David on October 20, 2013 in After Party Chat
New treatment centers are helping addicts transition from rehab to reality.

Less is More

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on October 19, 2013 in Black Belt Brain
When we learn to do something we often struggle against processes that need time to occur and cannot really be rushed.A purposeful approach to do less may be needed.

Why Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment Isn’t in My Textbook

By Peter Gray on October 19, 2013 in Freedom to Learn
One of the questions I'm often asked by professors who teach from my introductory psychology textbook is this: "Why don't you include Zimbardo's classic Stanford Prison Experiment in your book, like all other introductory psychology textbook authors do?" Here's why.

The Making of an Olympian

Forty-five years ago today, at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Bob Beamon won the gold medal in the long jump with a belief-defying jump of twenty-nine feet, two-and-one-quarter inches, breaking the world record by nearly two feet. How did Beamon jump so far? The making of an Olympian...

Laughing Through Life

By Sean M. Horan Ph.D. on October 18, 2013 in Adventures in Dating
Funny people cope better with difficult situations and have better romantic partner conflict discussions.

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?

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?