Essential Reads

"Hey This Isn't A Competition And You Have Cooties So I Win"

88 ways to get the dangerously decisive last word

Stop Thinking Positively

The secret to accomplishing the impossible.

5 Psychological Lessons from Marathon Running

The psychology of pushing your limits.

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

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

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Mental Training for Sports Begins in the Gym

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on August 13, 2013 The Power of Prime
I have discovered a great setting in which athletes can begin to develop their mental skills: the gym. Using mental skills as a part of your physical conditioning program is a great way to begin to ingrain those skills that will be of such benefit in the quality of your training and when you compete.

The Big Disconnect: Parents' Digital Dilemma

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on August 13, 2013 Singletons
Technology has become the new “hub and hearth of family.” Screens are seductive, put young children’s healthy development at risk, and weaken critical family connections as children grow up. How and why to protect your family in this addictive digital age.

Are Lefties More Likely to Become Champions and Leaders?

August 13th is International Lefthanders Day. Are you a lefty, or a righty? The genetic, biological, and environmental forces that determine handedness continue to intrigue and baffle neuroscientists. What makes someone right-handed vs. left-handed? There are no clear answers, but there is growing evidence that lefties tend to be more creative and divergent thinkers.

Can Financial Ratings Be Objective?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on August 11, 2013 Hidden Motives
The financial analysts who rank public offerings for the ratings agencies, such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, like to think they can be objective. Their reliability is what they sell, really, along with expertise in puzzling out balance sheets.

City Rejects 'Breastauraunt: No sexy schoolgirl micro-minis

'Sexy plaid kilts with matching plaid bras under white camp shirts tantalizingly tied to show off the midriff.' "What does wearing that have to do with serving lunch?" my daughter wondered. Nothing at all, said our hometown.

What Do We Really Know About Teams?

What happens when people think their team revolves around them? How much do endorsements really matter (depends on who you are!)? Is there any hope for Congress? These are just a few questions that were recently answered at the INGRoup conference in Atlanta.

A Political Fantasy: The Veil of Amnesia

The problem is not that we disagree politically, but that our disagreements are driven so strongly by our political identities rather our values. We have become a society of political victory rather than political principle. The veil of amnesia offers a solution.

Why Does Overthinking Cause Athletes to Choke?

Tennis legend Arthur Ashe said famously, “There is a syndrome in sports called ‘paralysis by analysis.’” A new study from University of California Santa Barbara was published on August 7, 2013 in the Journal of Neuroscience showing why overthinking causes athletes to fumble, choke, and drop the ball. The same brain functions that cause athletes to choke effect us all.

As an Antidote to PED Scandals, Words from John Wooden

By Victor Lipman on August 07, 2013 Mind of the Manager
Re-reading John Wooden and his unique brand of leadership ethics seems a refreshing change from the pervasive me-first selfishness of the PED Generation.

Caring for a Parent with Your Siblings

Each child in a family plays a different role. Each sees the parent from a different place in the birth order. There is no way on earth siblings can agree perfectly about what to do with an aging parent.

Genetic Testing and Me?

By Jessica Cussins on August 07, 2013 Genetic Crossroads
A recent study shows that results from different direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies vary. So what will the emerging monopoly of 23andMe mean for accuracy, and for our health?

Sperm Wars: Dispatch From a Conscientious Objector

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on August 07, 2013 How We Do It
If two or more males copulate with the same female close enough in time for viable sperms to co-occur, direct competition can arise. Sperm competition has long been a hot topic in evolutionary biology, and convincing findings have ben reported for several animal species. But how good is the evidence for the notion that humans are biologically adapted for sperm competition?

Alex Rodriguez Is Nothing Special Psychologically

By Stanton Peele on August 06, 2013 Addiction in Society
To call Alex Rodriguez a scapegoat doesn't capture his role as an American villain—only if he is punished severely enough can American society be made whole.

The Key to College Success

Sleeping, drinking, eating, and exercising are all part of self-regulation that is often highly challenging for new college students to negotiate. If they are attentive to self-regulation theory going into college perhaps they can be more mindful to best cope with these all too common challenges.

The Key to Educating Youth Sport Adults

Coaches and parents deserve empirically supported training, rather than pseudo-education based on armchair psychology.

The Myth of the “Normal” Sibling Rivalry

By Izzy Kalman on August 05, 2013 Resilience to Bullying
Perhaps the most common and disturbing problem parents face is sibling rivalry. How can people, including social scientists, claim that sibling rivarly is normal and even healthy for kids while school bullying is pathological and horribly destructive? It's because our need to avoid cognitive dissonance is facilitated by the double meaning of the word, "normal."

Remain In The "Now" While Pursuing Your Goals

In the age of anxiety, it is difficult to remain centered and connected to what matters the most while following your worldly goals. There are no easy fixes, but there are great pointers from both psychology and the Buddhist philosophy of how to be ambitious and present-minded at the same time. First, ground yourself in reality...

A Sporting Chance for Mental Health

A number of high profile cases have suggested that mental illness is increasing in professional athletes. Is this the case? And if so, why would so many people living what many believe to be the perfect life struggle with such issues? The answers suggest that mental illness is just as complicated for athletes as it is for the rest of us. Only a little more so.

Evolution Does Not Reward Selfish and Mean People

A study released on August 1, 2013 found that our evolutionary biology does not reward selfish and mean people. Over the long run, cooperative ‘nice guys’ actually finish first. Michigan State University evolutionary biologists Christoph Adami and Arend Hintze have found that evolution favors cooperation and altruism over being ‘selfish and mean.’

Ethical Wisdom For Friends

By Mark Matousek on August 02, 2013 Ethical Wisdom
Friendships are the great unexplored love affairs in most of our lives. Why do we treat them like chopped liver?

Can Females Influence the Culture of Sports?

By Vivian Diller Ph.D. on August 01, 2013 Face It
When Congress passed Title IX 40 years ago, many believed it would be a breakthrough for women and sports. The law not only provided equal financial support for girls' teams in schools, but changed attitudes about female athleticism. But, while an unprecedented number of young girls are now on the fields instead of the stands, few have gone on to become sports leaders.

Exercising at a "Conversational Pace" Is Good for Your Brain

Hippocrates said famously, “walking is the best medicine.” New research from the University of Maryland School of Public Health has found that moderate physical activity at a “conversational pace” may improve cognitive function by improving the efficiency of brain activity associated with memory.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Praise

If you think you should always praise your kids, you may be surprised to hear that studies show praise often backfires.

What a Program for Bureaucrats Tells Us About Obamacare

When insurers must charge a flat premium regardless of health status, they tend to favor healthier customers.

Conscious of the Unconscious

There’s much to know about your unconscious mind, and you don’t need a PhD in psychology to work with it. However, you do need to understand a few basics! How does your unconscious mind store memories? How does it communicate with your conscious mind? When you understand how your unconscious mind works and how to work with it, you’ll be able to harness its power.

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.