Candy Crush is a lot like life. I don’t mean to say life is just a grid of colorful confections waiting to be destroyed by your pointer finger; I mean to say they both rely on the same set of cognitive processes. Here’s a rundown.
The running joke about New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t outlast the hangover. But if you’re going to make a resolution to improve yourself, New Year’s Eve is a good time to do it. Recent research helps explain why we pick this date for personal renovation, and how we can restart the clock if we slip up.
In recent years, psychologists have come to understand religion and paranormal belief as resulting from simple errors in reasoning. What has not been clarified is exactly how the various cognitive biases interact to produce specific ideas about the supernatural—until now.
In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion describes the year following the sudden death of her husband. At one point while collecting his clothes for donation, she stops. She can’t give away all of his shoes, for he might need them if he returns. This is the magical thinking of the title.
It’s often said that there are no atheists in foxholes. While this isn’t technically true—a group called The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers even keeps a roster of them—new research suggests that inducing fear of death at least makes atheists a little less entrenched in their beliefs.
In the early 1990s, Trent Reznor (the man behind Nine Inch Nails) purchased the house at 10050 Cielo Drive, in Los Angeles. Before moving in, he learned of its dark past. This is the house where members of Charles Manson’s “family” murdered Sharon Tate and four other people in 1969. Reznor moved in despite (or perhaps because of) these events.
April 15 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. If you don’t recall the details, just read one of the many other stories in the media right now, or watch a certain movie by James Cameron (not the one with aliens). Or read the novella Futility, written 114 years ago.
Around the world, everyone looks up at the same stars, trying to divine occult truths. But the kind of information they're looking for depends on their personality and on their culture, according to new research.
A short piece by Tad Friend in the January 9 New Yorker demonstrates no fewer than three forms of magical thinking in one column of text. The subject: John Logan, a playwright and screenwriter (recently: Hugo, Rango, Coriolanus). The scene: Bauman Rare Books on Madison Avenue.