Verified by Psychology Today
Psychologically informed reflections on how we interact.
Noam Shpancer Ph.D.
The drunken airplane passenger who throws a punch in self-righteous rage embodies our moment of cultural immaturity
We often assume that differences in people's moral positions are the result of their upbringing and social experiences. Evolutionary science begs to differ.
Has the pandemic hurt or helped our intimate relationships?
Strong social ties benefit mental health and well-being. So can weak ties.
Mental health resides in our willingness to acknowledge without shame both mental and physical injuries; it manifests, too, in our ability to acknowledge and learn from failure.
A recent study has concluded that US soldiers die at their own hands at four times the rate of dying at the hands of any enemy.
The last word is rarely spoken in the social sciences.
It is a seeming human paradox that novel stimuli attract us, yet also foster suspicion and dread.
In our daily lives we are often zombie-like, stuck on automatic pilot, zoomed in on mundane troubles. The presence of death calls us back to our senses, literally.
A strong argument against spanking can be advanced, based on two separate claims: 1. It is a risk factor for child development. 2. It is morally suspect.
To deal with emotional upheaval, it may help to remember your past competence, not your past happiness.
We all get bored. And while boredom does not strike us with the intensity of other, better-studied emotions, it can be a forceful influence on people’s mood and behavior.
High conscientiousness appears to pay off through multiple behavioral and biological pathways.
In the real world, clients’ difficulties are often related more to deficiency of skill than to deep, obscure, or complicated motives.
People often show up at a psychologist’s office not because they have a mental illness, but because they can’t stop doing something counter-productive
Millions of Americans are espousing false and bizarre beliefs based on incorrect inferences but maintained firmly despite clear evidence contradicting them.
Arousal does not necessarily signal desire or consent and should not override one’s subjective experience in determining the course of a sexual encounter.
Worry in people with GAD may be deployed to avoid unpleasant surprises and invite pleasant ones.
We have a natural tendency toward kindness, but it needs to be nurtured.
Spending this holiday season away from loved ones can stress and upset us, but it also teaches us valuable lessons.
In our psychological medicine cabinet, exposure, however delivered, may be the most potent medicine.
A new theory argues that a “better safe than sorry” brain architecture underlies many seemingly unrelated phenomena of psychopathology.
Confiding in others improves health, a sobering fact in light of data showing that one in four Americans have no one to confide in.
A subtle shift in language during moments of introspection can improve how you think, feel, and act under stress.
When it comes to improving your overall happiness, focusing on strengths may be better than targeting weaknesses.
The choice to disavow truth in favor of group conformity may be obnoxious and abhorrent, but it’s neither rare nor irrational.
Contrary to popular belief, mental health and mental illness are not opposites. The (consequential) fact is that they exist on separate axes. You can be high (or low) on both.
Therapy is conversation with a purpose. The purpose is discovery and change. But how may conversation accomplish these ends?
When Trump insults, shocks, and breaks norms, he projects power. Human beings are innately attracted to power. Trump's ardent fans dance to his beat, not to the lyrics.
Trump’s reign worked by activating pre-existing, toxic cultural sentiments. These sentiments, not Trump, are the story.
Noam Shpancer, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Otterbein College and a practicing clinical psychologist in Columbus, Ohio.