Essential Reads

WOSPs, the Amalfi Coast, and Unstructured Play in Children

Organized Sports Has Killed Unstructured Play in Children

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

What fantasies move a man to ambush an elderly tourist lion?

Penalty Shoot-Outs Are Not a Lottery

Revealing the keys to success in soccer's do-or-die moment

Extraordinary Fun

Another way of playing

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Moral Convicts

Finally someone did a study on the prisoner’s dilemma using actual prisoners as participants. Turns out that prisoners are much like university students when it comes to strategic reasoning. Are they not less moral (as I think you might think)?

Grading Fairly Can Be Fairly Grating

College teaching would be the perfect job if only I didn't have to give grades. But assessing student learning is part of the gig.

Raising Demanding Teens

Teens & Marriage are a potent combination. Our guest Blogger, Donna Moss, writes about how to keep your head clear, your kids on track, and your marriage intact. A little teamwork goes a long way.

Stoke Your Fire

Given experiences beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolism to represent concepts that are difficult to define or comprehend. Moral and spiritual tradition teach us to respond to symbols in a way where human greatness is often realized--and achieved.

Is a Media-Filled Life Real Life These Days?

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on July 23, 2013 in The Power of Prime
You must ensure that your children see life as it really is, not as it is presented to them by popular culture and through its many media. Media present children with a “false mirror” from which they view life; it doesn’t give them an exact true characterization of what real life is. Technology offers your children an incomplete depiction of life.

Study: Only Popular Kids Give Most Attention to Popular Kids

By Garth Sundem on July 23, 2013 in Brain Candy
From preschoolers to high-schoolers to monkeys, subjects will pick out their popular peers in videos and watch these popular peers longer than they watch the less popular proletariat. But who cares? Or who cares most? A new study shows it's mostly popular girls looking at popular boys.

A Rush and a Flush

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 23, 2013 in In Excess
Today's youngsters are the first generation in history under the age of 25 years, to grow up in a gambling permissive society. It is a cultural change that has taken a game like poker that was once largely limited to card rooms and gaming halls to casinos, the Internet, and national television. But what is the psychological appeal and is poker here to stay?

Who Cheats? Who Lies? Moving Beyond Lance Armstrong

The truth about cheating and lying is that it’s not just the Lance Armstrongs of the sports world, corrupt Wall Street executives, or those labeled pathological who are doing it. At least nearly all of us lie or cheat at one point or another in our lives and we do it far more regularly than we care to admit.

Television, Commercials, and Your Child

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on July 22, 2013 in Media Spotlight
According to a 2010 research study looking at television watching in young children, American children spend about 4.5 hours each day watching television. While researchers have been looking at how television watching affects children for as long as television has existed, we still don’t have a clear idea about what impact it actually has.

Moral Aggression and Abandon

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 20, 2013 in A Swim in Denial
Moral aggression and abandon are cultural fantasies so familiar they often go unnoticed, but they can create a mentality that kills, as in the hair-trigger encounter of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

Singularity of Focus Can Distort What You See

Have you ever had the experience of being so in the ‘zone’ that your laser-like focus turned into a type of tunnel vision? The ability to direct your focus and block out distractions in the periphery is key to achieving any difficult task with precision, but can also backfire.

The Nature and Nurture of Expertise

More than a century of research has made it clear that some form of training is necessary to become an expert, and no scientist working in this area of research believes otherwise. There are no strict hereditarians. There are, however, still a few scholars who believe that it may be possible to completely explain individual differences in terms of training history.

Is Rolling Stone's Cover Of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Sexy?

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on July 19, 2013 in Love, Inc
The Rolling Stone cover of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev upsets us because he is beautiful. And in American culture, evil can only be committed by the hideously ugly and the good are always good-looking.

The Secret to Becoming a Trailblazer

We all want to feel worthy of loving and belonging. At what point does conforming to societal standards and a 'herd mentality' undermine your ability to be a trailblazer? Is it possible to learn how-to become more outgoing and transform into a trailblazer? I believe the answer is "Yes!"

Why Do Women Write? Why Face the Blank Page?

As novelist Elizabeth Bowen candidly admitted, she wrote not to "envisage glory" but as a "cry out for affirmation. Publication would be the sign that I was not mad.”

What Really Inspires a Woman to Go Shopping?

When women perceive there to be competition for mating opportunities, they sexy up their wardrobe. Something as seemingly unrelated as the state of the economy may lead women to perceive that the pool of available, attractive men is smaller, and thus, the competition for those mates stronger.

Success Means Never Having to Say You Are Sorry

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 18, 2013 in The Human Beast
The psychology of successful people recently took a hit from researchers. From drivers of sports cars who break the lights to wealthy business people pigging out on the company dime, successful selfishness has an ugly face.

A Look at the Psychology Behind the Movie "The Purge"

Though the recent film "The Purge", in which citizens are allowed to commit any crime they like for a 12-hour period, certainly captured the imagination of the viewing public, the entire premise is based on the unfounded belief that venting rage reduces it. Find out why catharsis isn't your best bet when you're angry, and what to do instead.

Abusive Coaching

By Vivian Diller Ph.D. on July 17, 2013 in Face It
We have to open our eyes to cruel and unnecessary tactics being used to bring exceptional talent to fruition. Making winning a priority over all else is not good for anyone involved -- coaches, parents and definitely not students -- and ultimately muddies the spirit and joy of healthy competition.

The 'New' Midlife Crisis

By Vivian Diller Ph.D. on July 17, 2013 in Face It
The 'midlife crisis' has served as fodder for many a Judd Apatow movie, but the reality of the experience is anything but funny. In truth, it's emotionally more complicated and when a true midlife crisis hits, it can wreak havoc for both men and women as well as their families and friends.

Professionals Psychology – A Reflection

By Matthew Shanahan M.Sc. on July 16, 2013 in Living It
After many years of study, hard work, and entrepreneurship, many professionals find that it is the interpersonal skills and personal growth they may have missed out on in training that are sorely needed in their practices for dealing with the public, their staff, and taking care of themselves.

Why I Send My Kids to Camp

Sending your kids off to camp may incite anxiety in them and you. Today's post discusses why a little discomfort will ultimately lead to growth and happiness.

Daughters and Dads: How Close Is Too Close?

Daughters can be part of their father's lives without being central to them. Setting limits is not a lack of love, or loyalty or concern. Daughters need to have their own life and live it.

The Curse of Innovation

By Drew Boyd on July 15, 2013 in Inside the Box
Innovating is tough work especially in the face of many curses such as the US patent system. Fortunately, systematic creativity methods can help.

Shattering the Silence of Suicide

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth today. It is responsible for taking about 5000 lives each year. Every minute someone attempts suicide in the US. While these statistics are numbing, one positive message rings clear with survivors of suicide attempts...don’t do it, life gets better....

Metastability: A Necessity For Happiness and Evolution

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 13, 2013 in Ambigamy
In physics a system is called "metastable" when it's stable in a variety of different states. There's an analogy in personal life. You feel free innovate when you're confident that you'll be safe and stable exploring, when, in effect "it's all good." Here we explore the relationship between metastability, happiness and the joy of learning.

Say Yes to the Dress

By Frances Kuffel on July 12, 2013 in What Fat Women Want
Later this month I am leaving to visit my father and help and abet my youngest niece’s wedding. She has asked me to do one of the readings during the service and also, because it’s a huge family get-together, to consider a color palette in green-blue-yellow for photo purposes. And so started several days of staring at various websites looking for the Right Dress.

Kate and William: Poised to Influence Parents Worldwide

By Nanette Fondas on July 11, 2013 in WorkLife Matters
New research says "the famous get more famous." This means Prince William and Kate Middleton are poised to be the most influential parents yet.

Praising Kids: How Proper Praise Helps Children, Part 2

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on July 11, 2013 in Singletons
Vague praise can prevent growth. Here a six easy ways to praise your children constructively…and effectively.

Will Psychoanalysis Survive?

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on July 11, 2013 in The Me in We
Why the future of psychoanalysis leans toward the arts.