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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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jan 1 20172 minutes
10 Entrepreneurs Share Fail-Safe Strategies For More Effective Meetings
We asked readers: How do you make the most of everyone's least favorite work routine? Here's what they had to say.1. Plan ahead. Set the agenda one week ahead of time. Allow employees to comment on it prior to the meeting so they have time to really
- 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 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
- 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 6 20173 minutes
Simple Moves Can Lead To A Less Stressed-Out You
STRESS IS A MODERN MENTAL BOGEYMAN that keeps half of U.S. adults up at night, according to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association. And many people don’t do anything to try to fight it. That’s bad news because stress takes a mea
- Oct 1 20149 minutes
The Secret to Increased Productivity: Taking Time Off
It's not about how many brute hours you rack up -- it's about how effective you are at replenishing mental resources.
- 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
- 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 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 9 201710 minutes
Raising the American Weakling: There are two very different interpretations of our dwindling grip strength.
When she was a practicing occupational therapist, Elizabeth Fain started noticing something odd in her clinic: Her patients were weak. More specifically, their grip strengths, recorded via a hand-held dynamometer, were “not anywhere close to the norm
- 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
- 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?
- Jan 23 20171 minute
How Stressing Out Can Help You Succeed
JASON PACED THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE boardroom before his presentation. He could hear his pulse in his ears, and his mouth was dry. The last time he felt like this, he told himself to relax, but it didn’t work. So this time, he tried something differ
- 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:
- Nov 29 20166 minutes
How Will Our Religions Handle the Discovery of Alien Life?
What would your priest, rabbi, or imam say if we discovered alien life?For the religious, knowing that life on Earth is not unique may demand radical new ways of thinking about ourselves: How special and sacred are we? Is Earth a privileged place? Do
- Sep 4 20165 minutes
Consciousness Is Made of Atoms, Too
In his first lecture on physics to freshmen and sophomores at the California Institute of Technology, in 1961-62, Richard Feynman said:If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the nex
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- Jan 15 201511 minutes
To Be More Creative, Cheer Up: The way to tap your inner Hemingway is not how you think.
I pour a cup of coffee, sharpen my pencil, and get ready to create. I’ve dusted off a half-conceived novel outline I abandoned three years ago, but this time I’m not waiting for my muse to intervene. Instead I hit the play button on the Creative Thin