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

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Teach Your Child Athlete Healthy Perspectives

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 24, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Despite all that so many parents do for their children’s athletic pursuits, they often fail to provide them with the foundation of all of their efforts: perspective.

Music Can Be Rocket Fuel for Turbocharging Your Workouts

By Christopher Bergland on October 21, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Do you need a source of motivation that inspires you to exercise more and at a higher intensity? If so, a new study confirms that listening to music makes exercise more enjoyable.

The Ageless Inspiration of Activity

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
Ever thought you were too old for something? Aging doesn't mean we have to get old. Getting old comes with all sorts of baggage that isn't a requirement of aging.

Do Uniform Colors Matter in Sports?

By Geoff Haddock Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Attitude Check
Does the color of a sports team's uniforms influence how they are perceived and how they behave? A look using archival data from professional sports.

Political Persuasion: Aim for the Heart, Not the Head

So long as a message is emotionally congruent and consistent, both fear and hope can be equally pervasive.

Risky Teenage Behavior Linked to Imbalanced Brain Activity

By Christopher Bergland on October 20, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study from Dartmouth pinpoints the brain mechanisms linked to risk-taking and impulse control during adolescence. This discovery explains why teenagers are often reckless.
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Five Ways to Get Coaches and Parents on the Same Side

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 18, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Across the many sports in which I work, when I ask coaches what their biggest challenge and source of stress is, the overwhelming response is parents.

Your Amygdala May House Both Positive and Negative Memories

By Christopher Bergland on October 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Positive and negative memories may be housed in specific regions of the amygdala, according to a new mice study. These findings offer many clues for overcoming negativity and fear.

Coping With Hormonal Ups and Downs

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on October 17, 2016 in How We Do It
Major hormonal changes across the menstrual cycle may influence a woman’s mood, well-being and performance. But apart from PMS side-effects are milder than often thought.

A Presidential Headache: The Concussion Generation

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on October 12, 2016 in Brain Trauma
The massive numbers of concussions are adding up to a generation of mental health problems. An opportunity awaits the next president, and ironically, it's not that expensive.

The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in What the Luck?
Is success a curse?

Running May Help Repair Some Types of Brain Damage

By Christopher Bergland on October 12, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Aerobic exercise triggers the production of a molecule that can repair some types of brain damage and speeds up communication between brain regions, new study finds.

A Team Approach to Developing Mental Skills

Do you ever get frustrated when other team staff members undermine your messages? Working with coaches around sport psychology can go a long way!
James Reynolds

I Feel Like Going for a Run

By Thomas Webb Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in The Road to Hell
Does how we feel about our progress influence how we pursue our goals?

On Being a Rabid Sports Fan

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in How To Do Life
What's behind one super-fan's enthusiasm?

Canine Sports

Is your dog looking for something new to do? Try out one of these fun canine sports. He'll get some mental and physical exercise and you'll get out of the house, too!
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Set Healthy Expectations for Your Young Athlete

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Expectations communicate messages to your children about what’s important to you about their sports participation and establish a standard toward which they can strive.
U.S. Air Force Photo/John Van Winkle

Born to Run

By Stephen Gray Wallace on October 04, 2016 in Decisions Teens Make
Both unstructured play and highly structured sports offer real opportunities for personal growth.

The Psychology of Greed Meets Today's Crisis in Sport

The authors of the study were surprised at how strongly greed was linked to certain aspects of psychopathy

Thousands of Genes Are Altered by Aerobic Endurance Training

By Christopher Bergland on September 24, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking new study reports that aerobic endurance training can alter 3,400 RNA variants, associated with 2,600 genes. These findings have widespread health implications.

Football Fan? if Your Team Loses You May Gain Weight

Snacking while watching football may not be the only reason you'll gain weight

One-Two Punch of "Cue and Reward" Makes Exercise a Habit

By Christopher Bergland on September 15, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Do you have trouble sticking with an exercise routine? If so, a new study has identified a simple one-two punch that improves your odds of making exercise a daily habit you enjoy.

Butterfly Professions: Handling the Ending Edge

Coping at an early age with the end of a career that's defined who you are--for athletes and dancers--offers challenges and solutions.

How Mindful Sports Parenting Helps Children Excel

A new book on how to stop micromanaging your children offers a counterintuitive strategy for success.

Athletic Stigma of Sport Psychological Assistance

By Laura M Miele Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in The Whole Athlete
Professional athletes and the stigma of psychological assistance to elevate their game

Showing the World Her Wabi-Sabi Humanizes Hillary Clinton

By Christopher Bergland on September 13, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Is it possible that having pneumonia could end up being a blessing in disguise for Hillary Clinton by making her seem more human and relatable?
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Create a Vocabulary for Individual and Team Success in Sport

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Children become the messages they get the most. The words you use with athletes are powerful influences on the way they think, feel, behave, and performance.

The NFL Is Enforcing New Taunting Penalties

By Laura Martocci Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in You Can’t Sit With Us
How will athletes respond to public humiliation? To 'penalties in kind' that strip them of respect, playing time, even jobs?
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Build a Team Culture for Athletic Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in The Power of Prime
How team members, think, feel, behave, and perform are all influenced by the environment in which they practice and compete.
As One Girl To Another, an educational pamphlet of girls published by Kimberly-Clark, 1940 (courtesy of Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, Durham, NC)

Racing Hormones, or Rather Racing & Hormones

Are monthly hormonal fluctuations impacting your workout?