Essential Reads

3 Reasons Any of Us Can Blow Up, at Anyone

Seen a celebrity lose their cool on video? It could easily happen to you.

A Psychologist’s Guide to People Watching

What to look for when you’re looking at people

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

What to Do On a Second or Third Date

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 20, 2013 in Fighting Fear
In order to be interesting on a second and third date, do interesting things. Some things to do and to avoid doing.

Controversy and Conversation

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 20, 2013 in Ulterior Motives
Take a look at the comments section on your favorite news website. Some topics generate a lot of discussion among participants. Other topics may be widely read, but people don’t feel compelled to say anything. What drives people’s desire to talk about a topic?

Schools Are Good for Showing Off, Not for Learning

By Peter Gray on September 19, 2013 in Freedom to Learn
High pressure testing and evaluation inhibits learning and drives a wedge between those who already know and those who don't. That is one explanation of the education gap between children from economically well off families and those from poorer families, and why that gap has been increasing over the past few decades.

Rafa Tough

By Adam Naylor EdD, CC-AASP on September 19, 2013 in The Sporting Life
Rafael Nadal absolutely dominated the 2013 tennis hard court season. Color commentators and fans alike praise his relentless competitiveness as the foundation of his mental game. Such observations overlook his ultimate sign of mental mastery achieved.

Gambling A-flick-tion

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 19, 2013 in In Excess
The media undoubtedly has a large impact on how we perceive the world in which we live, especially on matters we know little or nothing about. Pathological gambling is one social concern that has been portrayed by a number of movie-makers around the world. This blog looks at whether movies (in particular 'The Gambler') accurately portray pathological gambling.

Five Ways Introverts Can Be Annoying

By Sophia Dembling on September 18, 2013 in The Introvert's Corner
Introverts have been feeling pretty superior since the introvert-positive movement started. But are we really without faults? I think not.

Seize New Opportunities with Starbucks Research

Information: the secret "sauce" that turns you from "competitor" to "winner."

Why School Lunch ISN’T Making Kids Fat

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on September 18, 2013 in Food Junkie
Many school districts have changed their lunch program to adopt a more healthy menu. But it isn't working. Why is it that the change from 800-calorie Sloppy Joes to whole grains and bigger portions of fruits and vegetables hasn’t made a different? It is simple: we abruptly changed the foods and didn’t consider the psychological aspects of eating.

We Judge Music and Other Things by Sight

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on September 18, 2013 in Am I Right?
We think we are being objective while we are taken in by appearances.

Ninety Ways to Thrive in College

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on September 17, 2013 in Shyness Is Nice
From dorm living to finding your passion, this list of college tips has you covered. See what advice popular blogger, Erin McNaughton, shared with her younger, college-bound sister.

How to Achieve Success at Work, Part II

By Elizabeth Wagele on September 17, 2013 in The Career Within You
Enneagram 3-Achievers focus on striving for success. If you want to be a successful manager or to succeed in another way, a good way to do it is to copy Achievers you know or you’ve heard about, like Paul Venables

An "Inside-Out" Life Helps You Redefine Success

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on September 17, 2013 in The New Resilience
Building your inner life and awakening your true self provide the guidance for knowing what to go after, or let pass by, in your outer life choices -- in your career goals, material desires, and relationships.

The Success Principles of Breaking Boards Bare-Handed

I always thought that all those martial artists breaking boards were just trying to show how tough they were--until I did it myself. And then after teaching it, forget about it! The physical and spiritual teachings to be taken away from breaking a board are some of the most invaluable in the world.

What Your Selfies Say About You

By Peggy Drexler Ph.D. on September 16, 2013 in Our Gender, Ourselves
Selfies are a manifestation of society’s obsession with looks and its ever-narcissistic embrace. There’s a sense that selfie subjects feel as though they’re starring in their own reality shows, with an inflated sense of self that allows them to believe their friends or followers are interested in seeing them lying in bed.

A Plea For Collaboration Among Online Sleep and Dream Orgs

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on September 15, 2013 in Dream Catcher
Online sleep and dream communities are beginning to build vast collections of dreams and related sleep data. These communities should establish baseline data formatting conventions to make future collaborative efforts possible and fruitful.

How to tell the difference between good and bad competition

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on September 14, 2013 in Off the Couch
Bob* was a college professor who was worried that he was not going to get tenure. Although he was very popular with his students, he knew that he hadn’t published enough.But his competitive impulses were getting in his way. And as a result, Bob couldn't write a word.

Animals Compete and It's Not Always Pretty

Competition triggers strong feelings because it has life-or-death consequences in the state of nature. We've inherited a brain that cares about social rivalry. Instead of getting upset about it, I like to learn from hummingbirds. They live in a perpetual arms race with flowers, but they don't waste energy getting mad at flowers. They just keep strengthening their wings.

Who's a "Sport Psychologist?"

If you want to work with a "sport psychologist", who do you go to? It's less obvious than it may seem. Figuring out who is competent and what's the best "fit" may be the most important things to consider.

Sticking to Your Path When the Way Looks "Closed"

By Susan Biali M.D. on September 13, 2013 in Prescriptions for Life
When the path to your dreams appears blocked or impassable, it's easy to give up and turn around. Here's why you shouldn't.

TV Winners

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 13, 2013 in In Excess
Over the past decade I have written a number of papers on various forms of television gambling. I have noted that various interactive television (i-TV) services are increasingly being linked to actual television programs. But are these TV programs a form of gambling in disguise?

Envy and Schadenfreude on the Mississippi

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on September 12, 2013 in Joy and Pain
The young Mark Twain knew a boy who worked on a steamboat. Twain felt a "tranquil contentment" when this boy's boat blew up. Why?

Can E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit?

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on September 12, 2013 in The Power of Rest
E-cigarettes create controversy and profits - almost equally. New data argue they can help people quit smoking - but will they also promote it?

Nadal Is Strong Enough To Cry. Are You?

By Peter Bregman on September 11, 2013 in How We Work
Rafael Nadal, who just won the U.S. Open for the second time, is my hero. His athleticism is extraordinary. His focus is awe-inspiring. His skill is, clearly, second to none. His will is unremitting. It's a joy to watch him in competition. Yet those are not the reasons he's my hero.

Diana Nyad and Swimming Torture

By Jeanne Safer Ph.D. on September 11, 2013 in The Last Taboos
Endurance swimming need not be torture

The Plight of Being a Boycotter

By Eric Horowitz on September 11, 2013 in The Inertia Trap
When you refuse to do something for a moral reason, it poses a threat to the moral standing of those who have chosen not to refuse to do it. In order to mitigate the threat, they may respond by viewing you in a more unfavorable light.

Better Fathers Have Smaller Testicles, But…

By Jesse Marczyk on September 10, 2013 in Pop Psych
Recent research suggests that men with smaller testicles make better fathers. Well, sort of...

Liberalism’s Legacy, Part II

FDR and LBJ enacted four principles, but one thinker challenged them all.

Make Your Self-Talk Work for You

We all talk to ourselves, but only some of this internal conversation can actually guide us toward being happier and more effective. By engaging in constructive self-talk, you can boost your self-esteem, motivate yourself, and respond to challenges. Learn from the pros how to make your self-talk work for you.

Individual Differences in the Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment has long been held up as an example of the power of strong situations to overcome individual differences in personality and choices. The SPE not only did NOT show this, it was not even an adequate test of such a claim. People can still make personal choices even in tough situations.

Six Secrets for Finding and Keeping Lifelong Love

By Rita Watson MPH on September 09, 2013 in With Love and Gratitude
Even as we graduate from the wishful thinking of "Someday my price will come," to a more calculated matchmaking society -- we remain in search mode. The key questions so many ask are quite simply: “What are the secrets for finding and keeping lifelong love?”