Essential Reads

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Happy?

Does AI spell the doom of humankind? Or should we welcome it? Given the significant limitations of human rationality, only AI can help humans to solve many difficult problems.

The Neuroscience of Finger Length Ratio and Athletic Prowess

By Christopher Bergland on October 14, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Neuroscientists have found a correlation between finger length ratios and brain function. A new study reports that having a shorter index finger may indicate athletic potential.

In Defense of the Value of Football

Despite the recent fears of CTE, football remains a valuable tool for developing youth.

A Fundamental Source of Error in Human Judgment

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in What the Luck?
We encounter it almost every day, yet almost nobody understands it.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Women and Selfishness

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on October 02, 2011 in Insight Therapy
Women in particular appear vulnerable to the trap of confusing self-care with selfishness. But self-care is not selfish. In fact, it's necessary for our ability to care well for others.

Video Game Violence: Part I

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D. on September 30, 2011 in Reel Therapy
The Beauty of Sport and Why I Love Arsenal

The Beauty of Sport and Why I Love Arsenal

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on September 28, 2011 in Ethics for Everyone
What is most important in sport--beauty or victory? Why not both?

"No Wedding No Womb" Might Save Lives--Are We Content With That?

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D. on September 27, 2011 in Between the Lines
What does it mean to put the needs of children first? What does it mean to be emotionally, physically, and financially able to care for them? More importantly, who gets to decide?


By Walter E. Block Ph.D. on September 26, 2011 in Defending the Undefendable
Steven E. Landsburg, political economic maverick extraordinaire, and supposed advocate of free enterprise, has written a paper on theft and externalities entitled "Property Is Theft: When protecting your own property is stealing from others."

Why Sports Programs Don't Belong in High Schools and Colleges

By Ugo Uche on September 20, 2011 in Promoting Empathy With Your Teen
"The idea of working in a professional field as a college student should constitute an internship, where the student’s compensation is considered quality experience earned, or compensation in the form of a scholarship for tuition fees."

The Simplest Way to Reduce Stress

Here’s a very simple suggestion that makes a huge difference in reducing stress. Whatever you’re doing, don’t rush. That’s it. Don’t rush. That means that you schedule enough time to get wherever you’re going ten minutes early.

Strength Training Using Motor Imagery

By Alan Fogel on September 12, 2011 in Body Sense
Paying attention to your body while working out can increase cardiovascular fitness, strength and agility, and fat metabolism. A study published in August 2011 in the journal Frontiers in Movement Science and Sports Psychology adds another way in which body sense can enhance your workout: by imagining muscle contraction in place of actually doing some of the reps.
What's Wrong with Fantasy Football?

What's Wrong with Fantasy Football?

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on September 06, 2011 in Ethics for Everyone
Fantasy football is good in some ways, and bad in others. What should we make of this recent phenomenon?

Rich Girl, Poor Girl: Can Their Friendship Survive?

Can women of different social status or socio-economic background sustain a healthy, non-competitive, equal friendship?

Anxiety and Second Generation Amotivation

Why don't your children feel motivated?

The Golden Psi: Psychology Goes to the Movies

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D. on August 30, 2011 in Reel Therapy
Everyone who is interested in movies and psychology should know about the Golden Psi Media Award. Everyone who is anyone, that is.

Steve Jobs's Success: Not Just Technological, but Psychological

By Allen R McConnell Ph.D. on August 25, 2011 in The Social Self
The resignation of Apple CEO Steve Jobs provides an opportunity to reflect on the psychology underlying his success. During a speech at Stanford, Jobs demonstrated a clear and compelling understanding of human nature and how to live life. We all may not be able to be billionaires who change the world, but we can take stock in the lessons learned by those who are.

How to Enhance Communication Between the Sexes: The Androgynous Bridge Part II

You might think of gender-flexing as a way to strengthen and tone your nonverbal muscles. After all, nonverbal behaviors are in great part centered in the body. We all have masculine and feminine nonverbal behaviors at our disposal—it’s just a matter of using these oft-ignored “muscles.”

Is Violent Sport Cathartic?

Many people believe that violent sport is cathartic. There is good evidence that they are wrong.

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?