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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
- Jan 1 20172 minutes
Research-Backed Ways To Impress Anyone In Two Seconds
Got two seconds? Make the most of them.
- Apr 1 20141 minute
3 Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People
Unfortunately, you can't change them. But you can change the way you interact with them.
- Feb 3 20174 minutes
Trump Says A Lot, But Not With Words
The president-elect is a fascinating study in the power of nonverbal forms of communication.
- Feb 9 201715 minutes
Love Is Like Cocaine: From ecstasy to withdrawal, the lover resembles an addict.
George Bernard Shaw knew the power of romantic love and attachment. Both, I will maintain, are addictions—wonderful addictions when the relationship is going well; horribly negative addictions when the partnership breaks down. Moreover, these love ad
- Nov 28 20161 minute
Hold Yourself Accountable—You’ll Be Happier
PEOPLE TEND TO EXTERNALIZE WHEN THEY encounter problems—to look beyond themselves and find fault with others when things go wrong. Society’s mantra is “There’s plenty of blame to go around!” You can hear it echo in the reactions to the election. But
- Feb 9 201726 minutes
Bias In The ER: Doctors suffer from the same cognitive distortions as the rest of us.
The dazed young woman who arrived at Sunnybrook Hospital, Canada’s first and largest regional trauma center, from a head-on car crash presented the surgeons treating her with a disturbing problem. In addition to her many broken bones, the rhythm of h
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Jan 16 20171 minute
Are Some Years More Important Than Others?
LILY ROTHMAN THE YEAR 2016 MIGHT BE OVER, BUT debates rage on about whether it was one of the most important—or worst—years ever. Yet amid talk of surprising election results and shocking celebrity deaths, these conversations often miss a key point:
- May 1 20162 minutes
How to Handle Personal Conflicts Professionally
Whether it's a betrayal, a personal dislike or a choice between public or private acknowledgement, personal conflicts can arise at work. Find out the right way to navigate these situations.
- Feb 10 20175 minutes
The Universe Is as Spooky as Einstein Thought
In a brilliant new experiment, physicists have confirmed one of the most mysterious laws of the cosmos.
- Feb 6 20176 minutes
Minority Groups Lose When They Collaborate with Power
Cailin O’Connor—a philosopher, scientist, and mathematician—may not enjoy tense situations, but they fascinate her. Last year, in a Huffington Post article titled “Game Theory and The Walking Dead,” she wrote that the zombie show’s “plot lines are ri
- Jan 26 201711 minutes
The Multiple Multiverses May Be One and the Same: Physics:If multiverses seem weird, it’s because we need to revamp our notions of time and space.
The name of the image—the “Flammarion engraving”—may not ring a bell, but you’ve seen it many times. It depicts a traveler wearing a cloak and clutching a walking-stick; behind him is a varied landscape of towns and trees; surrounding all is a crysta
- Feb 3 20175 minutes
It’s Ridiculous to Use Virtual Reality to Empathize With Refugees
The technology isn’t the moral game-changer that some make it out to be.
- Jan 5 20174 minutes
What Sea Slugs Taught Us About Our Brain: Neuroscience:The simple nerve cells of sea creatures helped scientists fathom human memory.
When Leonid Moroz, a gregarious Russian-born neuroscientist and geneticist at the University of Florida, began studying ctenophores nearly a decade ago, he had a fairly simple goal in mind. He wanted to determine exactly where the blobby marine creat
- Oct 24 20162 minutes
The Literacy of Long-Form Thinking
A man from ancient Rome said it was better to know nothing about a subject than to half-know it. I’m worried that this Republic of ours is set on proving his wisdom all over again. Only, we aren’t even bothering to know 50% of what’s going on. Seems
- Dec 9 20164 minutes
Profanity's Roots In Brain Chemistry? Damn Right
Swearing has its own home in our brains, separate from where we generate polite conversation.
- Aug 4 201612 minutes
Are Fantasy Sports Really Gambling?: The Web:Fantasy sports are more skill-based than real ones.
Early one Saturday morning in Las Vegas, I sat down at a Texas Hold ‘em poker table with seven or eight other men, all middle-aged. Being 30 at the time, I was the youngest player by about a decade. A couple of them were wearing Hawaiian shirts. It w
- Jun 13 201312 minutes
The Coin Toss and the Love Triangle: Information Theory:There are two flavors of uncertainty in our lives. Math helps with both.
Chance appears to name a single, unitary thing. But its genealogy, its family history, turns out to be a tangled one. One way to understand its branching origins is to turn to literature: We may look, in turn, to two very different novels.Anton Chigu
- 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.
- Nov 27 20162 minutes
Sucking at Stuff
Where, how, and why to play piano, bake sourdough, and learn Thai massage in spite—and because—of the fact that you’ll be very bad at it. At least at first.
- Oct 1 20162 minutes
Love it or loathe it, brainstorming is a ubiquitous part of office culture. Whether it is an effective tool for generating ideas and solving problems is up for debate. And since we love a good debate, we invited 50 leaders in the design community—typ
- Sep 1 20163 minutes
If You Work From Home, Do This Every Day
It's time to give yourself a break.
- Jul 18 20161 minute
60. Why Are Sports Events so Expensive?
S.G. The price of attending big-league ball games has spiraled out of control. A family of four spends, on average, $219 to attend a Major League Baseball game, according to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index, a 24% increase since 2007. That’s 1
- May 30 20133 minutes
A Crowdsourced Expert Interview: Nautilus readers delve further into the idea that metaphors make us human.
In “Metaphors Are Us,” biologist and neurologist Robert Sapolsky made a good case for why symbolic thinking may be the key feature separating humans from our nearest animal relatives. But that essay didn’t end the discussion, which spilled onto socia
- Jul 18 20161 minute
55. A Night Game in Sunlight
Sean Gregory BASEBALL HAS ALWAYS played games with time. A pitcher plods in a summer haze; no buzzer ends an inning. We lose ourselves, happily sacrificing hours for the crack of a bat. The annual Midnight Sun game, played since 1906 on or around t
- Nov 6 20143 minutes
These Males Are Cheating Animals: The tricks they play would make Darwin blush.
A chart’s purpose is usually to help you properly interpret data. But sometimes, it does just the opposite. In the right (or wrong) hands, bar graphs and pie charts can become powerful agents of deception, tricking you into inferring trends that don’
- Aug 22 20137 minutes
Explaining the Unexplainable: When logic fails, stories and superstitions prevail.
During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology. The leading thinkers of the time espoused reason and sought to explain the world through the scientific method. Today, we take