Essential Reads

Great Performers Are Born AND Made

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on June 07, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Different pursuits have specific neurological, physiological, and musculoskeletal requirements and if you're not born with those, all of the training in the world won't help.

Psychology of Peak Performance, Continued

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on June 02, 2017 in Boundless
Endurance athletes teach lessons about mental toughness for everyone.

Grit, Talent, and Character

Talent and grit combine to influence individual performance, but for teams performing under high-stakes, high-stress conditions, other character attributes are necessary additions.

Gutsy Third Person Self-Talk Utilizes Your Vagus Nerve

Excessive first person "self-talk" can increase egocentric bias. That said, using "non-first-person" pronouns and your own name has been found to promote healthy self-distancing.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Facebook as a Mental Health Screening Tool?

For many, the oversharing Facebook inspires, so often questioned and seen as a negative, can actually draw needed attention to someone in crisis.

The Attraction Cocktail

By Sandra L. Brown M.A. on February 28, 2012 in Pathological Relationships
You might be asking yourself "Why me?" Why did you get to be the one to end up in this crazy relationship? What did you do wrong to land THIS guy? The answer begins with what could be called the "Attraction Cocktail".

Fans of Fans

I recently watched a documentary about Harry Potter fans called "We Are Wizards." I'm afraid I can't recommend the film, it's pretty incoherent. But it was also fascinating in a disturbing sort of way, because it depicted a type of behavior I've never really noticed before: fans of fans.

What Did He Say?

By Francois Grosjean Ph.D. on February 27, 2012 in Life as a Bilingual
Some tongue in cheek reflections on Jean Dujardin's bilingual acceptance speech at the Oscars.

Finding "Flow" This Week

By Ryan T. Howell Ph.D. on February 25, 2012 in Can't Buy Happiness?
While it may not be possible to play basketball like an all star or the violin like a virtuoso, it is possible—if only for short periods of time—to feel like the star performers feel when they are at their best.

A Pint of Racism: Ben and Jerry’s Scoops Up Stereotypes

Ben and Jerry's introduces a "Taste the Lin-sanity" flavor at Harvard Square. The ingredients? Fortune cookie chunks and lychee. Faulty superegos and greed combine to insult Asian Americans and anyone else interested in the new paradigm of race and individuality.

It's We, the Public, Who Are "Flip Floppers"

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on February 23, 2012 in Scientocracy
The failure of health care reform does not rest solely at the president's feet. Instead, we, the general public, are also to blame.

President's Day, 2012: In Praise of George W., as in Washington

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on February 19, 2012 in Just Listen
In anticipation of President’s Day and the current partisan logjam, hunger for power and lack of grace and graciousness, we might take a lesson from the President we are honoring on Monday, February 20, 2012.

Contemplative Science and Practice: "How to Do Research You Love"

By Lynn E. O'Connor Ph.D. on February 19, 2012 in Our Empathic Nature
In early January I presented a lecture on "Contemplative Science and Practice: How to Do Research You Love." A few days later, an opinion piece appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Owen Flanagan, essentially trashing what he called "Hocus-Pocus Buddhism."

Bad Luck, Bad Choices or Psychological Reversal?

Are you your own worst enemy? You may suffer from a subconscious phenomenon that therapists are just at the very beginning stages of recognizing and treating.
Bao Phi

LINsanity! Observations on the Worship of a New Sports Hero

Linfluenza virus causes Linsanity! The birth of a sports hero, and what he means to the Asian American community and the country as a whole: Jeremy Lin represents our best self, the underdog overcoming long odds to win the heart of the nation—paralleling President Obama's rise.

Stack the Russian Nesting Dolls

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on February 14, 2012 in Innovation You
If we think of our Self as a Russian nesting doll, a discrete and complete unit, that is part of a larger system, we begin to frame our own life in the context of the lives of others.

The Greatest Love Addiction Songs of All Time

By Stanton Peele on February 14, 2012 in Addiction in Society
The existential experience of addiction has been captured best by the songs of Smokey Robinson, Leonard Cohen, and Lucinda Williams—an artist America should build a monument to next to the Lincoln Memorial.

Healthy Love—What in the World is That?

By Sandra L. Brown M.A. on February 14, 2012 in Pathological Relationships

Parenting: Freak Out or Geek Out? Children’s Emotional Reactions to Achievement

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on February 13, 2012 in The Power of Prime
These days, children seem to be given every opportunity to achieve success in school, sports, and the performing arts. Children receive private tutoring, coaching, and instruction. They attend summer camps devoted to their achievement activity. They seem to be assured of having every possible skill necessary to achieve success. Except one: Emotional skill.

Is It Time to Reconsider the Purpose of Amateur Sports?

By Ray Williams on February 13, 2012 in Wired for Success
Thirty million children are involved in youth sports in North America, under the direction of 4.5 million coaches and 1.5 million administrators. When these programs place inordinate emphasis on competition and winning, they become detrimental rather than beneficial.

Sex and Violence: Male Warriors Revisited

By Jesse Prinz Ph.D. on February 13, 2012 in Experiments in Philosophy
Is male violence innate? The debate rages on.

Are Sexual Stereotypes Damaging Your Relationship?

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on February 09, 2012 in Compassion Matters
Many of our actions are still influenced by misconceptions about men and women that have been passed down through generations. In spite of their stated values, a surprising number of couples relate to each other based on stereotypical views of the sexes.

Emotions and the Body

By Julie Jaffee Nagel Ph.D. on February 08, 2012 in Music to My Ears
As a psychoanalyst, I listen to people tell their personal stories through the use of words. As an audience member at a concert, I listen to musicians tell their stories through the use of music. This sometimes includes lyrics but often does not In both scenarios, I often find myself affected by strong feelings.

From Sports Star to Gaming Geek

By Ethan Gilsdorf on February 07, 2012 in Geek Pride
Just 'cuz you're a super-jock doesn't mean that you can't be a gamer. Sports nuts and computer dweebs aren't mutually exclusive sub-cultures.

Sleep Helps Protect Your Brain

By Gary Small M.D. on February 07, 2012 in Brain Bootcamp
The good feeling from a restful sleep may be a result of anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic brain inflammation appears to contribute to cellular deterioration that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Getting a good night’s sleep has a positive impact on that inflammatory process and may explain why people who sleep well regularly often look younger and have more energy.

Valentine’s Day at Hogwarts

With Valentine's Day approaching, do you know how love works in Harry Potter's world? Read about Attachment Theory, psychology's most popular theory of love, within the world of Hogwarts.
Why It's a Bad Idea to Praise Children

Why It's a Bad Idea to Praise Children

By Paul Raeburn on February 06, 2012 in About Fathers
We all like to praise our children, and some of us worry that we praise them too much. Here's an expert who says we shouldn't praise them at all. The problem? It's a way of controlling and manipulating them.

Friendship: Timing Counts!

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on February 06, 2012 in The Friendship Doctor
My friend and I became friends when his family moved into my neighborhood when we were both kids. My friend was an outcast and very different from other kids at an early age. Parents questioned his sexuality early on and not in a good way. He loved cleaning, girls' things, dressed differently, talked differently, and had feminine mannerisms.

Lessons From the Court: What Basketball Can Teach Us About Overcoming Social Anxiety

By Greg Markway Ph.D., on February 05, 2012 in Shyness Is Nice
Sports represent the ultimate in reality television. In addition to the competition, there are the personal stories behind the events. This background adds a mythical subtext that exemplifies why athletes are sometimes seen as heroes.