We all harbor secrets. Some are big and bad; some are small and trivial. Researchers have parsed which truths to tell and which not to.
Verified by Psychology Today
Thoughts on persons and things.
Iskra Fileva Ph.D.
Popularizers of Stoicism are said to sell the teaching "as a life hack, without apology." Is Stoicism a life hack? If not, why is it trending?
Some parents do a lot for their children. What do the adult children of such parents owe them? Is there a debt of gratitude?
Love and physical attraction.
Sometimes, we find ourselves drawn to people who undermine us and erode our self-confidence. Why?
Many who try therapy say that the process does nothing for them. What leads to therapy failures, and how can a client find success?
When you are looking for social validation, the reactions of two thousand strangers online may have more weight than those of the two friends you are having coffee with.
Why we know so little about the inner lives of others.
Nobel Prize-winning research has purported to show that when you split a person's brain in two, you split the mind. New research casts doubt on those findings.
Jean-Paul Sartre once suggested that the moment we realize we are not immortal, we see the meaning of life as an illusion. But perhaps, that's not quite right.
Some people need to be right always. They won’t admit defeat even in the face of compelling contrary evidence. But what does a person achieve by insisting on being always right?
Some people find failure so painful and unpleasant that they never undertake a project when failure is a probable outcome. Why?
Occasionally, we say hurtful things we don't really mean. We wish we could take it all back but cannot. Yet perhaps, while the past cannot be changed, something can be done.
We often avoid thinking and choosing for ourselves. Instead, we adopt other people's opinions and ways of life. Why?
Solitude can feel like liberation or captivity depending on our mental state.
I may be procrastinating in writing this post. You may be procrastinating in reading it. Should both of us be doing something else instead?
We often come to embrace the bad parts of our past. For instance, in an interview, a Portland biker reports feeling grateful for an accident that nearly killed him. Why?
Sometimes, a terrible thing happens to us, but we go on as if nothing happened. We do not allow ourselves to feel. What happens to those emotions?
We profess to dislike pretentiousness and to prefer authenticity. But often, we do not discourage pretentiousness and may do the opposite: adopt the mannerisms of the snobs.
We imagine that children do not belong to the same species as adults -- that they have needs and desires different from ours. But a child's psychology is rather like our own.
We do not always act in our own interest. There are forces in the human psyche, inner demons, that may propel us to act contrary to reason. What are they? Why do we have them?
Sometimes, people who love each other are prepared to die for each other, but can't find a kind word to say in the right moment. Why?
We sometimes fail to appreciate the love and friendship of people who value us. Instead, we seek the approval of those less interested in us and our company.
Perhaps, one of the best things about visiting a place to which we know we will never return is the sadness we experience when we leave.
Sometimes, we get involved with the wrong person not due to illusions about the other, but rather, because we forget who we ourselves are. We look in the mirror and see a stranger.
It is sometimes said that a bad childhood damages us. What is true, rather, is that it may prevent us from developing a healthy self, one with an inner reservoir of joy.
We favor human judgment over the judgment of AI even when we have strong evidence that AI vastly outperforms humans. Why?
It is sometimes said that marriage does not increase — and perhaps, that it decreases — women’s happiness. But is that true?
Elsa's mother blamed Elsa for coming between her and the father and mocked her for being "daddy's little girl."
We are fragmented beings. You may be a perfectionist cook but a sloppy dresser; practice the violin for 10 hours a day but floss irregularly. What are our personalities, then?
There is a trope in popular culture: Women, it is said, like “bad boys.” But do they?
Iskra Fileva, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder.