Essential Reads

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

College athletics can be an excellent venue to nurture ethics and character.

WOSPs, Fear, and Unstructured Play

Finding a balance of fear and exploration by allowing more unstructured play.

Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind

Your brain adapts to the tools you use based on how they feel

Student-Athlete...or Athlete-Student?

Colleges suggest academics comes first, but is that really true?

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Of Baseball Bats and Battle Axes

By Ethan Gilsdorf on July 30, 2013 Geek Pride
Sports let us civilized folk release dangerous and spontaneous emotional urges, from, “Yankees Suck” to “I’m gonna kill A-Rod.” By becoming emotionally attached to an abstracted conflict, we peasants don’t need to wage real war. We’re happy to watch instead. Or to play in beer-fueled softball leagues.

Learning to Be a Good Sport

Many children have trouble coping with winning and losing. They gloat and brag when they win. They cry, sulk, or accuse others of cheating if they lose. Here are some ways to help kids take competition in stride.

Is America's Money Complex Bankrupting Its Ideals?

Does our money complex conflict with our ideals as a democracy: Is this who we really are?

Is Equality Boring?

Income inequality apparently leads to diverse social problems, from obesity to murder. So why don't Americans prioritize it as an economic problem? Maybe they just think equality sounds boring.

Build a Positive and High-performing Sports Team Culture

Have you ever been on a “downer” team? I’m talking about one that is permeated with negativity, unhealthy competition, and conflict. It sure doesn’t feel good and it can definitely interfere with your performing your best.

Whoa of Aggregation

Personality predicts entrepreneurship. Big data show this relationship even at the level of states. Oregon scores high; Rhode Island scores low.

Playing Favorites

If you grew up in an unhealthy family, you may not have come to realize what a special person you are. Finding your uniqueness and truly feeling it will help you to reestablish your sense of self-worth.

On Male Bisexuality—the Elle interview

Griffith maintained that he was bisexual—equally attracted to both men and women. But male bisexuality is a difficult label to make stick. Even now when it’s reasonably safe in at least some parts of the developed world to be openly gay, and when female bisexuality is well recognized, there remains a great deal of skepticism about whether male bisexuality exists.

Don’t Take it Personally – Part II

The first time I submitted a paper for possible publication, it was returned with a number of stinging criticisms not only of my writing ability, but also of my scholarly capacity, my ability to think, and my clinical work. I hid it away but found out years later that they had actually wanted to publish it.

A Larger Breath, A Deeper Sigh

When my first granddaughter was born, I was reminded that her first breath mirrored the Breath of life.

He Who Dies Last Wins

In April 2008, Michael Kinsey mused over the intersection between death and baby boomers for The New Yorker. Kinsey, the well-known journalist and pundit, was one of the few critics to recognize the social upheaval that is fast approaching as death approaches for this generation on a massive scale.

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?

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 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

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

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

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 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

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 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.