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

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.

In Memory Of...

The hope that one day our loved one will be “remembered” by those who had never known them is the ultimate gesture of yearning for immortality.

Emergence in Social Groups and in Brains

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on October 02, 2013 in Hot Thought
A system such as the current U. S. Congress is demergent rather than emergent in that the interactions of parts prevent the whole from having valuable properties.

Interviews with My Intellectual Idols: Part I

Ever wish you could meet one of your intellectual idols? Maybe shake her hand? Maybe say how much her work has meant to you? Well, I got to meet, greet, and convey my gratitude to many of the Mental Giants that have most influenced my meager mind. And then I sat down and they let me interview them, on film, for a good half hour. Wow...

We All Lose Our Balance: The Art of Falling Well

By Julie J. Exline Ph.D. on October 01, 2013 in Light and Shadow
The path away from regret sometimes involves risks. Because we’re not perfect, we’ll probably take a few spills. But if we can see in advance that slip-ups are likely, we can try to learn the safest ways to fall in that particular situation—and commit ourselves to getting back up again. These themes of “falling well” came up in my recent surfing lesson.

Beyond Basketball

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on September 30, 2013 in Cui Bono
For life to have meaning, we need to dream about experiences that we hope will be ultimately fulfilling. I use as a personal example a 30-year dream of participating in a basketball workshop at the Omega Institute.

The Summer Learning Backslide: Does Your Child Lose Skills?

The old adage says, “Use it, or lose it,” and research supports this wisdom as it applies to the loss of student skills over summer break.

Coming Out of the Haze

By Nancy Rappaport M.D. on September 30, 2013 in We Are Only Human
Administration, coaches, and parents must band together early and often to put an end to hazing and prevent another tragic headline.

Getting Old Twice as Fast as Everyone Else

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 30, 2013 in Fighting Fear
One man's struggle with being too young—then being too old.

Music, Fame, and Sexual Selection

By Jeanette Bicknell Ph.D. on September 30, 2013 in Why Music Moves Us
Famous musicians seem to have no trouble attracting women. But does an interest in music give any advantage to guys who rock out in garages and basements rather than stadiums? An elegantly simply experiment done in France suggests that it does.

16 Things Women Hate To Hear (Even When We Like or Love You)

Want to irritate a woman INSTANTLY? Tell her to "relax," "calm down," or "get over it." Suggest that next time she "buy shoes that fit." Remind her that since she already knows how you feel, she doesn't need to keep asking. If you need to guarantee your best girl won't speak to you for a while, here are brief yet reliable and time-tested ways to diminish her self-worth!

Lighten Up And Laugh

By Russell Grieger Ph.D. on September 29, 2013 in Happiness on Purpose
Life has a knack of populating our path with hardships and hassles. Our job is not only to navigate through these, but to create as much healthy pleasure and fun as we can along the way. Lightening up and laughing is a rich tool to help us do that. Laughter IS the best medicine.

Why Do Men Feel Bad When Their Romantic Partners Succeed?

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on September 29, 2013 in The New Resilience
Research finds that men's self-esteem drops when their spouse or partner succeeds, but the findings suggest that many men feel threatened by social and cultural changes that undermine their traditional view of manhood, power and success in a relationship.

Online Commentary: Marketplace of Ideas or Shouting Match?

Readers often post comments on news and other online media, a welcome breakdown of the one-way communication of yesteryear. Does this expand the marketplace of ideas and make discourse more democratic? Or does the freedom to post offhand comments to a wide readership impair serious debate?

Emulate Joe DiMaggio and Feel Super-Powerful

Running the bases like Joe DiMaggio exemplifies a deep psychological truth.

Tweens and Chronic Illness

When children reach their tween years they begin to question the world around them. The influence of peer pressure becomes a powerful motivator. Many tweens feel awkward enough without the added attribute of dealing with a chronic illness.

Womb to World: Reading and Talking With Babies

By Tricia Striano Ph.D. on September 28, 2013 in Smart Baby
Learning takes place before birth. It's never too early to talk and read with babies.

What Drives Extreme Athletes to Risk Life and Death?

By Christopher Bergland on September 28, 2013 in The Athlete's Way
A new Sundance film called “The Summit” explores the psychology behind what happened on the deadliest day on K2, known as the world’s most dangerous mountain. On August 1, 2008 25 climbers set out to summit K2—11 people died in the pursuit to stand on the mountaintop. Why? What drives extreme athletes and mountain climbers to risk life and death?

Good-Bye, Breaking Bad. Really...I'll Be Fine.

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on September 27, 2013 in Grand Rounds
Saying goodbye can be painful...especially to a television show.

Weight Stigma in Schools: Q&A with Dr. Rebecca M. Puhl

By Nancy Matsumoto on September 26, 2013 in Eating Disorders News
Weight-based bullying is the most common form of bullying in schools.

Perfectionism as a Roadblock to Productivity

By James Ullrich on September 26, 2013 in The Modern Time Crunch
Perfectionism has been romanticized as a great motivator; it is widely believed to be the driving force behind much of humanity's great feats in art, science and sports. While perfectionism can lead some to enormous accomplishment, this personality trait is more often than not an insidious roadblock to productivity and happiness.

Young Adults and ObamaCare

ObamaCare's dependence on healthy young adults shows why it isn't real insurance.

Ten Ways to Cultivate Work Relationships and Grow Trust

Are you in a trusting relationship with your boss? Staff? Colleagues? Consider what your actions communicate about how you value or don't value these relationships. If you want to cultivate work relationships while growing trust, here are 10 simple ways.

Parents’ Competitive Drive Is Not For Child’s Play

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on September 25, 2013 in Savvy Parenting
Some parents are sports enthusiasts and can get disappointed when their child loses a game. Parents who react this way are often unaware of the negative impact they can have on their child’s ability to succeed.Coaches are the best people to guide a child when it comes to playing team sports. Parents can provide the support without focusing on the score.

Why Today's Leaders Need to Know Psychology

The past decade's research in brain science has uncovered new knowledge about human fear and motivation, yet leaders are often unaware of this information and how to apply it. This article describes how psychological knowledge about the mechanisms of anxiety, uncertainty, and motivation can help leaders make better decisions, manage stress, and enhance employee engagement.

Go, and Don’t Go There Therapy

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 25, 2013 in Ambigamy
Our primary way of coping with stress is avoiding it—"don't go there" therapy, avoiding the topics that stress us. Trouble is, when you avoid a topic others need to talk about, you cause them stress. One person's stress reducer becomes another person's stress inducer. Here's an article about how we deal with this challenge and how to deal with it most effectively.

Mediocrity and the Epidemic of Complacency

By Christopher Bergland on September 25, 2013 in The Athlete's Way
Two decades since the release of her provocative "Sex" book, Madonna is pushing the envelope again with a psychologically complex and grisly 17-minute film. I watched the film this afternoon for the first time and was very inspired, but also disturbed by the message. Have you seen it yet?