Essential Reads

Trying to Explain the Inexplicable

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in What the Luck?
We are tempted to look for psychological explanations for successes and failures, when the more convincing explanation is simply that people get lucky—and luck is fleeting.

View Concussion as a “Brain Sprain”

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on September 20, 2016 in Brain Trauma
Defining concussions gets a variety of answers, so neurologist Harry Kerasidis outlines the brain injury and symptoms, by comparing it to the common ankle sprain.

Why Louisiana Defendants Say, "Geaux Tigers!"

Two economists suggest a surprising source of racial bias in juvenile sentencing.

Who Am I? Someone? Or Nobody?

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on August 24, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Celebrity is competitive. The outrageously competitive have no limits on what they do to get noticed. Winning often means being a bigger jerk than anyone else is willing to be.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Jeering the Mets

Gloating over the Met’s loss, jeering at Daniel Murphy's error, conflating a “failure” with an identity is precisely the mentality that twists lifestyle differences into hatred and homophobia.

Will Obesity Bankrupt the United States in the Near Future?

By Christopher Bergland on November 03, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
As of November 2015, over 30 percent of adults in the United States are considered obese. The economic cost of the obesity epidemic is mind-boggling. Two new studies report that obesity-related healthcare is costing American taxpayers and individuals hundreds of billions annually in medical bills. What can each of us do to reduce the healthcare costs of obesity?

Why We Must Listen to Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 in Brick by Brick
By sharing his story, Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown shows that if you stand up for your convictions, you can fight racism and make real change happen in the world

Do Professional Sports Reflect Modern American Whining?

By Stanton Peele on November 02, 2015 in Addiction in Society
Are sports stars and their management reflecting a culture-wide loss of authority?

High Tech Medicine Can Be Bad For Your Health

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 28, 2015 in Saving Normal
Too many doctors have gotten into the habit of treating lab tests, not patients. This can lead to over treatment and disastrous medical mistakes.

Howler Monkeys Have a Deep Voice or Big Balls But Not Both

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 22, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Howler monkeys have low sexy calls or big balls, but not both. While this research "has no practical application to human mate choice … some research has suggested that men with deep voices have more sex partners, and therefore more opportunities to reproduce. But another study showed lower sperm quality in deeper-voiced men." Oh wouldn't it be nice if … or would it?

Bike Helmets for Brain Safety

Is wearing a bike helmet really necessary? And what about helmets for pee-wee football?

Baseball is Magic (When You're Seven Years Old)

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on October 18, 2015 in Grand Rounds
Why Baseball is Magic in the Low Light of October

Neuroscientists Decrypt the Mystery of Rapid Eye Movements

By Christopher Bergland on October 15, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
In a groundbreaking study, neuroscientists have decoded the mysterious brain mechanics behind rapid eye movements.

The Playground is Dangerous, But the Soccer Field Isn't?

By Richard Rende Ph.D. on October 15, 2015 in Inside Parenting
Parents may seem overprotective about play, but they aren't about sports. So are parents really risk aversive, or are they making decisions about potential benefits of activities?

Why Are FanDuel Television Advertisements So Effective?

Fantasy sports companies make ingenious use of psychology to attract new customers and grow rapidly.

7 Ways to Protect Your Joints in Yoga

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on October 12, 2015 in Urban Survival
Here are useful tips to make sure your wrists, shoulders, hips, and elbows stay safe when doing yoga.

Five Ways Teams and Leaders Can Deal with Negative Attention

By Laura M Miele Ph.D. on October 12, 2015 in The Whole Athlete
Great communication and mental health awareness are present in successful teams like the New England Patriots.

The Hyena That Wouldn't Laugh

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 11, 2015 in How To Do Life
What is laughable about us?

Is Excessive Screen Time Slowly Undermining Our Resilience?

By Christopher Bergland on October 10, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
What is the long-term cost of excessive screen time on our individual and collective well-being?

When Did Baseball Managers Become Mensches?

By Stanton Peele on October 10, 2015 in Addiction in Society
On-field baseball and other sports management seemingly has matured. Now if only the players would follow suit!

Do People See Emotions in Your Face That Aren't There?

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on October 07, 2015 in Close Encounters
New research shows that women tend to attribute more hostility to other women's faces than is actually present. The notion of “resting bitch face”, the tendency for a woman’s neutral face expression to appear angry or annoyed, has been catching on in the media. These studies suggest that whether women detect resting bitch face may be due to competition with other women.

Is Runner's High Our Evolutionary Antidote for Laziness?

By Christopher Bergland on October 07, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Two new studies suggest that our ability to experience runner's high may have evolved as a way to motivate humans to enjoy physical exertion.

Two Low-Cost Ways to Avoid High-Cost Concussion Challenge

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on October 06, 2015 in Brain Trauma
Concussions are costing millions of dollars in research, treatment and prevention. Unfortunately, they can also cost lives. Here are two simple, low-tech, low-cost ways to get our heads in the game.

A Kinder, Gentler World Starting with Football?

By Elizabeth Wagele on October 06, 2015 in The Career Within You
Seahawks coach Carroll “embraces diversity, encourages free expression, promotes self-discovery and remains positive.”

Building an Effective Team Culture

By Warrick Wood MSc. on October 05, 2015 in The Coach-Athlete Relationship
A strong team culture is important to success and member satisfaction. A few coaching strategies can help teams quickly and effectively foster a positive culture.

How to Develop Mentally Tough Young Athletes

Mental toughness can give kids a winning edge in sports and in other areas of life.

Purkinje Cells Burst to Life with State-Dependent Excitation

By Christopher Bergland on October 03, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Neuroscientists have discovered that Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum toggle between a silent "down" state and a bursting "up" state depending on levels of electrical activity.

One Thousand Reasons Breaking a Sweat Is the Best Medicine

By Christopher Bergland on October 02, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Do you hate to exercise? Would you rather take a pill that mimics the benefits of working out than actually going to the gym? A new study has identified over one thousand molecular reactions to exercise. These findings could lead to the development of a drug that imitates the health benefits of breaking a sweat.

Rampage as a Team Instinct

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
Humans have evolved powerful social bonding that shows up in group rivalry and team spirit. In civilization, where strangers can live together, the lethal competition of warfare is safely symbolized in team sports such as football. In rampage killing, as in the Roseburg Oregon massacre, that symbolic quality breaks down.

The Psychology of Competitiveness

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 in A Sideways View
Is there good and bad competitiveness? Is being co-operative better than being competitive? Are competitive people ultimately more successful than those who favour co-operativeness

In Defense of Watching Football

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 in Happy Trails
Five benefits of tuning into America's favorite sport.

Too Much Homework from a Student/Teacher Perspective

By Raychelle Cassada Lohmann MS, LPC on September 26, 2015 in Teen Angst
In a given school year, many students spend hours upon hours each night working on school assignments. Add to that work, sports, and extracurricular activities and it’s no wonder we have a lot of stressed out teens.

Yogi Berra’s Mis-Quotes: Why They’re So Comically Endearing

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 24, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
On the advent of Yogi Berras’ passing this week at the age of 90, it seemed fitting for me to pay tribute to him here. But not so much for his being a sterling Hall of Fame catcher who helped lead his beloved Yankees to ten World Series victories, as for his wacky but so “winning” malapropisms—which over the years have delighted millions. . . .

What I Learned from Baseball and Yogi Berra

By Rita Watson MPH on September 23, 2015 in With Love and Gratitude
Despite his 14 year feud with George Steinbrenner, Yogi Berra is remembered as a man who embraced friendship and compassion for his teammates.