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- Feb 16 20176 minutes
The Man Who Played with Absolute Power: A chat with the creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment.
In his 2008 TED Talk, Philip Zimbardo introduced his subject by showing his audience M.C. Escher’s Circle Limit IV, a set of black and white tessellated angels and demons. The art, Zimbardo explained, reminds us that “good and evil are the yin and ya
- Feb 2 20179 minutes
Against Willpower: Willpower is a dangerous, old idea that needs to be scrapped.
Thomas1 was a highly successful and mild-mannered lawyer who was worried about his drinking. When he came to see me at my psychotherapy practice, his wine intake had crept up to six or seven glasses a night, and he was starting to hide it from his fa
- Feb 2 201714 minutes
The Challenges of Autism in Small-Town America
Lacking easy access to specialized care, some families are turning to video-conferencing for treatment.
- Jan 1 20172 minutes
Research-Backed Ways To Impress Anyone In Two Seconds
Got two seconds? Make the most of them.
- Sep 22 201613 minutes
Hallucinogen Therapy Is Coming: How shrooms can spring people from fears and destructive habits.
Three years later Daniel Kreitman still chokes up when he talks about what he saw, and how it changed him. Kreitman, an upholsterer by trade, had taken psilocybin, a hallucinogen derived from mushrooms, in a trial at Johns Hopkins University School o
- Feb 1 201716 minutes
Listen To The Voices In Your Head
Schizophrenics and other people with unquiet minds are locked up, medicated, and stigmatized. Now a radical movement is telling them they might not be sick at all.
- Dec 1 20163 minutes
Why Violence Against Nurses Has Spiked In The Last Decade
Hospital patients are attacking staff at an alarming rate, and there are no federal regulations requiring employers to provide any protection.
- Feb 9 201712 minutes
Does Depression Have an Evolutionary Purpose?: Some psychologists believe suicide and depression can be strategic.
I had a tough time in high school. Like many other young adolescents, I saw myself as fundamentally flawed, and felt a searing isolation. Nothing I looked forward to brought any hope. I stopped getting out of bed. I cut myself. I drafted a suicide no
- Feb 16 201711 minutes
The Anatomy of Charisma: What makes a person magnetic and why we should be wary.
For weeks I had been researching what science has to say about the power of charisma. Why do some people so clearly have it and others don’t? Why do we fall so easily under its influence? Charismatics can make us feel charmed and great about ourselve
- Jan 14 201710 minutes
Tiny Amounts of LSD for Depression
Instead of an “acid trip,” she took an “acid errand.”
- Apr 21 201624 minutes
Not All Practice Makes Perfect: Moving from naive to purposeful practice can dramatically increase performance.
In just our fourth session together, Steve was already beginning to sound discouraged. It was Thursday of the first week of an experiment that I had expected to last for two or three months, but from what Steve was telling me, it might not make much
- Jun 6 20163 minutes
Be Happier By Knowing Your Future Self
Aren’t you positively brimming with joy, now that winter has gone? No? Me neither. Yet several months ago, I couldn’t wait for the Ottawa snow to melt and spring to start. Now that it’s here, though, I can’t really tell what I thought was so exciting
- Sep 26 20161 minute
Why We Should Watch Our Internal Clocks
IN OUR RELENTLESS QUEST TO LIVE healthier, happier, more productive lives, we often overlook a powerful tool within us: our internal sense of timing. The human body is genetically designed to coordinate the “when” of almost all aspects of life—sleep,
- Sep 15 20168 minutes
How to Tell If You’re a Jerk: If you think everyone around you is terrible, the joke may be on you.
Here’s something you probably didn’t do this morning: Look in the mirror and ask, am I a jerk? It seems like a reasonable question. There are, presumably, genuine jerks in the world. And many of those jerks, presumably, have a pretty high moral opini
- Jan 16 20171 minute
Eva Amurri Martino Inside Her Traumatizing Postpartum Scare
PATRICK GOMEZ A few days after Thanksgiving, Eva Amurri Martino was awakened by the piercing scream of her infant son Major James. “Our night nurse fell asleep while holding [then-1-month-old] Major and dropped him, and he cracked his head on the ha
- Mar 1 20157 minutes
A Winning Personality: Why Ambiverts Make Great Entrepreneurs
Ambiverts are individuals with characteristics of both introverts and extroverts. Could this balance equip them to be superior business leaders?
- Dec 19 20164 minutes
My Battle With Depression
IN A NEW MEMOIR, THE SINGER DETAILS HER 2011 DESCENT INTO SUICIDAL DESPAIR AND THE LONG, HARD ROAD BACK TO HEALTH
- Dec 19 20162 minutes
Not A Normal Work Trip
Writer Ayelet Waldman experiments with microdosing and becomes “weirdly productive.”
- Feb 1 20174 minutes
The Key to Good Luck Is an Open Mind
Luck can seem synonymous with randomness. To call someone lucky is usually to deny the relevance of their hard work or talent. As Richard Wiseman, the Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, in the United K
- Oct 31 20162 minutes
My Famıly’s Battle With Mental Illness
IN A NEW BOOK, THE STAR OPENS UP ABOUT HOW SHE SAVED HER SCHIZOPHRENIC MOM
- May 7 20165 minutes
This Man Wants Magic to Be a Branch of Psychology
In his rather untidy office at Goldsmiths, University of London, the cheerful and vaguely rumpled Gustav Kuhn grabs what looks like a wire-frame pyramid off of an otherwise empty shelf. Holding it gently, his Swiss-English accent crackling over our t
- Jun 11 20164 minutes
Loneliness Is a Warning Sign to Be Social
In 2002, a group of adults aged 50 and over answered a series of questions about their physical and mental health. A subset of the questions went as follows. How often do you feel … 1) A lack of companionship 2) Left out 3) Isolated from others Th
- Aug 14 20144 minutes
Why We Procrastinate: We think of our future selves as strangers.
The British philosopher Derek Parfit espoused a severely reductionist view of personal identity in his seminal book, Reasons and Persons: It does not exist, at least not in the way we usually consider it. We humans, Parfit argued, are not a consisten
- Jul 15 20132 minutes
Why People Love to Get Lost in Books
In the huge range of different human cultural inclinations, one of the most widespread is a fondness for stories. We just love to get lost in a good book or movie. When we do, we tend to ignore where we are and become completely absorbed in the story
- Dec 13 20162 minutes
Awesomeness Is Everything
Why encountering vastness makes us more spiritual, generous, and content
- Mar 1 20141 minute
9 Ways to Become a Better Leader
From encouraging dissenting voices to showing compassion, here are tips for leading with purpose and poise.
- Dec 1 20167 minutes
The Life-Changing Magic Of Mushrooms
A single dose of magic mushrooms can make people with severe anxiety and depression better for months, according to a landmark pair of new studies.
- Dec 16 20168 minutes
Psilocybin Reduces Anxiety In Cancer Patients
It’s too soon to be sure, but the effect of the drug could be permanent.
- Jun 9 201611 minutes
Selfishness Is Learned: We tend to be cooperative—unless we think too much.
Many people cheat on taxes—no mystery there. But many people don’t, even if they wouldn’t be caught—now, that’s weird. Or is it? Psychologists are deeply perplexed by human moral behavior, because it often doesn’t seem to make any logical sense. You
- Jan 6 20175 minutes
Attitude, Not Quantity, Makes Homework Effective
A smile pulled the corner of Yú’s* mouth. “There is a saying in China,” she says. “‘No students compete. Parents compete.’” The polished Beijing native, who is both a mother and a grandmother, leaned forward with flawless posture as she reminisced ab