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

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.

Beyond Concussions: Improving Emotional Health for Athletes

If your children were at physical risk from playing sports, would you take action to keep them safe? How would you respond if they were at emotional risk?

Cultivating Resilience During Stressful Times

By Karolyn A. Gazella on October 07, 2013 in The Healing Factor
Natural disasters like the recent flooding in Colorado can bring out the best in people. But in general, are we altruistic by nature? And what's the connection between our social networks and our ability to be more resilient during stressful times?

8 Messages to Teach Young Women & Girls about Happiness

Women’s happiness levels have been on the decline for the past few decades, so says a 2009 study entitled, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. If that is the case, what are young women and girls learning about what it means to be happy?

Is Pole Dancing Actually Empowering for Women?

By Goal Auzeen Saedi Ph.D. on October 07, 2013 in Millennial Media
Is pole dancing really a new way for women to reclaim their sexuality while getting fit and having fun? Or is it just another way that women's bodies are being exploited?

Who Deserves Our Respect?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 07, 2013 in The Human Beast
Most of us sometimes feel under appreciated by colleagues, friends and family members Yet, it is by no means clear who deserves respect, or why. A lot of respect is badly misplaced in powerful people, in the rich, and even in talented people.

The Four Basic Moves to Strengthen Focus

Focus is the hidden ingredient in excellence—“hidden” because we typically don’t notice it. But lacking focus we are more likely to falter at whatever we do. Fortunately there are four basic moves in the mind’s workout to enhance focused attention.

Adolescence and the Power of Parental Prohibitions

Limiting adolescent freedom with prohibitions is part of the unpopular responsibility of parenting.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Little League

You thought that little league had some complicated politics and psychology? Then you were right! Here's the deal!

Re-Analysis Of The Affordable Care Act

I'm re-posting my earlier analysis of the Affordable Care Act because of how intensely the controversy that surrounds it has flared again. I've updated it to reflect some of the things that have transpired since I first wrote it. I think it's important that we all understand what's actually in the law and think about what the consequences of its numerous provisions might

Dogs Are People, Too: They Love Us and Miss Us fMRI's Say

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 06, 2013 in Animal Emotions
Noninvasive neuroimaging of our best friend's brains shows similarities to ours. Data show they love us and miss us and that we're not being overly sentimental or anthropomorphic when we say this. The work of Emory University's Gregory Berns and his colleagues is a true paradigm shift in how we study the brains of nonhuman animals and learn about what they feel.

Wisdom for Daughters

By Michael W Austin on October 04, 2013 in Ethics for Everyone
As parents, we want our daughters to know that their value is not dependent upon the false standards embraced by popular culture. We want them to know that their character is what matters most.

Pity the Parents of Special Needs Children—Part One

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on October 04, 2013 in Insight Is 20/20
The truth about parenting special needs children is that the parents' quality of life often suffers significantly—and the parents' own lives can (kind of) fall apart.

Testosterone Fuels Both Competition and Protectiveness

By Christopher Bergland on October 03, 2013 in The Athlete's Way
Like many hormones, testosterone functions differently depending on social circumstances. A study released on September 30, 2013 found that in the presence of competition and a need for dominance—testosterone fuels stingy and antisocial behavior. However, in the absence of threat or competition testosterone creates fierce protectiveness, generosity and prosocial behavior.

Explaining the Irrationality of the Shutdown-ers

By David Ropeik on October 03, 2013 in How Risky Is It, Really?
What explains the irrationality of the extremist ideologues behind the shutdown of American government, taking hostage a country they profess to love, rejecting a Constitution they profess to worship, damaging public support for the movement the claim to lead? In a word, fear.