Essential Reads

Epigenetic Mechanism in the Cerebellum Drives Motor Learning

New research pinpoints how we learn new motor skills such as riding a bicycle, playing the piano, driving a car, etc.

Acceptance and Transformation

Should left-handers demand that half the baseball diamond be reversed?

Skilled Performance Takes More Than Practice

By Art Markman Ph.D. on June 23, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
There has been a big debate in psychology about whether elite performance reflects talents or skills. A new meta-analysis helps to resolve this question.

The Naturalistic Fallacy Fallacy (Part I)

While it's true that "is doesn't imply ought," it's dangerous and stupid to ignore human nature.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Ill-Fated Interview Part II

By Christopher Ryan Ph.D. on August 14, 2011 in Sex at Dawn
Part 2, of 6, of the most in-depth interview I've given about Sex at Dawn.

Fat Fear

By Jean A Anspaugh on August 13, 2011 in Fat Like Us
The fear of future fat haunts us.

On Being a Woman Psychologist Circa 2011

By Anne Fausto-Sterling on August 12, 2011 in Sexing the Body
There were problems for women entering science, but now everything is better. Errrr. Right?

Why Do We Like People Who Like the Music We Do?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 09, 2011 in Ulterior Motives
When you're at a party and you meet new people, you'd like to have some way to get to know about them quickly. Finding out about their musical taste is helpful. When you discover that you share musical taste with someone, it increases how much you like them.

Why Dolphins Wear Sponges, Evolution At Work, and a Seriously Misinformed Curmudgeon

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 08, 2011 in Animal Emotions
Spotted dolphins in Shark Bay, Western, Australia, wear sponges to protect their beak so they can hunt nutritious fish among rocks and broken coral, urban animals are strongly influenced by our presence, and some new movies show just how "animal" we are. It's not merely anthropomorphic sentimentality to see us in "them" (other animals), it's solid science.

Group Membership and Commitment to Goals

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 05, 2011 in Ulterior Motives
When people are part of a group, they often have to work together toward a common goal. How do you motivate everyone in the group to work toward the goal? How does the strength of people's identity as a group member affect their motivation?

When a Friendship Breakup Spills over to Family

Two friends split and the tension spills over to their husbands and children

Do Mean Girls Ever Grow Up?

The "mean girl" mother was in the PTA and prevented me from being a room mother and even lost some of my son's paper work for school. Her husband runs youth sports. This spring, her husband "lost" my youngest son's paperwork for summer baseball tryouts so he never got to try out for the "A" team.

Concussions are Brain Injuries

By Thomas Watanabe M.D. on July 19, 2011 in Impact to Aftermath
A video about symptoms of concussions.

You Don’t Like What You Ignore

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 18, 2011 in Ulterior Motives
The world is a busy place. That means that you need to choose what you are going to look at. When you ignore something, that can affect how much you like it later.

Cognitive Biases v.s. Common Sense

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on July 18, 2011 in The Power of Prime
As the fields of psychology and behavioral economics have demonstrated, homo sapiens is a seemingly irrational species that appears to, more often than not, think and behave in nonsensical rather than commonsensical ways.

Mindfulness and Equality

By Susan L. Smalley Ph.D. on July 15, 2011 in Look Around and Look Within

Why Atheism Will Replace Religion: New Evidence

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 14, 2011 in The Human Beast
Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries, particularly the social democracies of Europe. In underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists. Atheism is a peculiarly modern phenomenon. Why do modern conditions produce atheism? In a new study, I provide compelling evidence that atheism increases along with the quality of life.

Can Rest Improve Your Sports Performance?

Do body clocks, light, and sleep change sports performance? Yes - and it's true for virtually every kind of performance you can track.

Parenting: Set Your Children's "Defaults" Early

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on July 13, 2011 in The Power of Prime
You may be wondering what a computer default has to do with raising children. Well, in raising your children, whether you realize it or not, you’re creating a set of default options in just about every aspect of their lives.

Sex, Drugs & Education: The Spiritual Perspective

Sex and drugs divert people away from the true goal of what may be characterised as an essentially spiritual mission, the quest to discover and hold true to a deep-seated inner compass, a true-self or ‘soul', and to be guided in life by fellow-feeling, wisdom, compassion and love.

Common Sense Is Neither Common nor Sense

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on July 12, 2011 in The Power of Prime
If common sense was common, then most people wouldn't make the kinds of decisions they do every day. People wouldn't buy stuff they can't afford. They wouldn't smoke cigarettes or eat junk food. They wouldn't gamble. In other words, people wouldn't do the multitude of things that are clearly not good for them.

Sex, Drugs, & Rock 'n Roll

By Walter E. Block Ph.D. on July 11, 2011 in Defending the Undefendable

O.J. Revisited: Those Who Don't Learn From the Past Are Doomed to Repeat It

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on July 07, 2011 in Evil Deeds
For criminal prosecutors, one of the biggest lessons from the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial back in 1995 should have been that, especially in circumstantial cases, psychology plays at least as powerful a part in jurors' decisions as so-called scientific evidence.