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- 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
- Jun 1 20162 minutes
How Real Brilliance Is Measured
Rather than looking at typical benchmarks, we focus on the ideas, almost all fueled by passion and implemented by strong leaders.
- 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
- Jan 1 20172 minutes
Research-Backed Ways To Impress Anyone In Two Seconds
Got two seconds? Make the most of them.
- Feb 2 20177 minutes
Why You Didn’t See It Coming: When scale confounds our perceptions, stories can clarify them.
You don’t see it coming. You probably couldn’t if you tried. The effects of large changes in scale are frequently beyond our powers of perception, even our imagination. They seem to emerge out of nowhere: the cumulative effects of climate change, the
- Feb 3 20173 minutes
Acid Is The New Xanax
Writer Ayelet Waldman was on the verge of suicide until she self-medicated with LSD.
- Jan 17 20178 minutes
The OA And The Dark Side Of Science
Brit Marling discusses the folklore and real-life research that went into her trippy Netflix series.
- 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 1 20171 minute
COGNITIVE DIVERSITY IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL As the head of Facebook’s secretive new hardware unit, Building 8, Regina Dugan leads a team of engineers who are trying to develop breakthrough technologies, much as she did when she was the first femal
- 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
- Sep 19 20161 minute
We Shouldn’t Dismiss People Who Deny Facts
IT’S EASY TO DISMISS PEOPLE WHO believe things that are factually incorrect—that vaccines cause autism, for example, or that climate change isn’t real. But if we really want to change how they think, we need to take an honest look at what’s driving t
- Feb 17 20176 minutes
How to Understand Extreme Numbers
The late statistics wizard Hans Rosling, who died this month at age 68, brought at least 10 toilet paper rolls to some of his beloved presentations. He would stack them into a tower on a table, each roll representing one billion people. In a 2012 t
- 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
- 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
- Dec 18 201627 minutes
The 50 Best Podcasts of 2016
From politics shows to horror series, highlights from a year of listening
- Jan 4 20176 minutes
How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School
The trendy concept is in high demand among educators, but its specifics are vague.
- Jan 3 20179 minutes
The Friendship That Created Behavioral Economics
A conversation with Michael Lewis about his new book on the research of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky
- Oct 17 20161 minute
How Mindfulness Can Save You Money
IF YOU PUT PEOPLE IN BRAIN SCANNERS and give them something delicious—say, wine or chocolate—the reward centers of their brains light up. In other words, it’s making them feel good. But if you promise them a delicious item in the future, there’s no r
- 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
- 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,
- Jan 17 20177 minutes
The Limits of Sugar Guidelines
Is there a danger in governments offering too-specific advice on sugar consumption?
- 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
- 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?
- Feb 14 20172 minutes
Love Can Make You Smarter
Love is supposed to make you stupid. We’re used to seeing the lover as a mooning fool, blind to his lover’s faults and the goings-on of the outside world, or even as a person who has lost all sense of rationality or propriety, driven to a kind of mad
- Dec 28 20163 minutes
Why Some Companies Are Trying to Hire More People on the Autism Spectrum
The majority of those with autism are unemployed, but new pilot programs at big companies, such as EY and Microsoft, are discovering unexpected benefits from having "neurodiverse" colleagues.
- Sep 15 201611 minutes
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: The building blocks of understanding are memorization and repetition.
I was a wayward kid who grew up on the literary side of life, treating math and science as if they were pustules from the plague. So it’s a little strange how I’ve ended up now—someone who dances daily with triple integrals, Fourier transforms, and t
- Jan 3 20175 minutes
Why the Technology in Rogue One Is So Old-Fashioned
There is a reason the film’s machines seem stuck in the 20th century.
- 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
- 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
- Apr 7 20169 minutes
How to Avoid Empathy Burnout: Caregivers can benefit by understanding a patient’s pain without feeling it themselves.
When Allison Basinger got back to her office, she lay down on the floor, as though she’d suffered a migraine or toughed out a marathon. In fact, she had just finished a session with SAFEHOME, a Kansas City-area organization that supports teenage surv