Humans beings appear to be hardwired to have a sense of fairness. This is puzzling from an evolutionary perspective
There is almost always a cringeworthy public apology to watch. Most recently, it was YouTube star PewDiePie, who had to apologise for alleged anti-semitic content in his video posts.
It’s always distressing and tragic when we hear a report of shark attack. But what is the actual likelihood of dying due to a shark encounter?
Society pays a heavy price for traffic. It leads to lost time, more pollution and increased spending on gasoline. But there may be yet another hidden cost of traffic.
No mother, no parent, can prepare for the tormented experience of the death of a child let alone begin to heal, even slightly, without help. Like many children born to fill a void in a family, I grew into a chubby, anxious little girl, with my desire to please not only my mother but also everyone.
Believing is as automatic as walking or talking or sneezing, and about as noteworthy. Deprived of our-ists and -isms, would we behave differently than we do now? Who would we be without our beliefs?
Mainstream media tend to report more stories about illicit drugs than alcohol. This is despite one study finding 47% of homicides in Australia over a six-year period were alcohol-related.
If the critic is such an unwanted guest, why are so many people plagued by it? Nature rarely, if ever, makes anything that does not serve a purpose. So what is the purpose of the critic, and how did it get there?
Are you lying? Do you have a racial bias? Is your moral compass intact? To find out what you think or feel, we usually have to take your word for it.
At the end of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in E L James’ trilogy of novels now adapted as films,
Internet trolls, by definition, are disruptive, combative, and often unpleasant with their offensive or provocative online posts designed to disturb and upset.
People’s past, present and future are interconnected, and so is our country’s. Being willing to consider the connection between historical trauma and present-day experiences and distress is essential on a personal level
A new study shows that some people have a mild but consistent set of tendencies to take the quicker and simpler path when thinking about logical challenges, the people around them, the societies they live in, and even spirituality.
The penchant for human beings to discover how unalike they are, how distinct they are - it all has to do with ego. Where we need to put the energy now is in how similar we are...
Is using a hand-held mobile phone really that dangerous when driving?
Often, we just can’t forgive. Although we may want to completely let it go, the debate in our minds and the emotion tied to the event are too strong, especially when the offense has occurred repeatedly over a long period of time.
By the age of six, girls become less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender and are more likely to avoid anything they think may require it.
Almost three decades ago, in his book The Culture of Narcissism, the iconoclastic American thinker Christopher Lasch wrote that in postwar America emerged a certain type of being, which in clinical terms falls under the category of “narcissistic personality disorder”
Have you ever wondered why you were prone to bouts of moodiness or why you were always so easy going? Turns out personality could be linked to brain shape, according to new research.
How can we remain stress-free in the face of cultural pressures to react instantly to communications and demands? Giving of ourselves is a stress reliever that yields immediate emotional benefits, bringing meaning to our lives.
The most dominant destructive attitude of the twelve possible core attitudes is that our attention is in the past or future. This attitude is related to the emotion of fear.
Consider slogans such as “Make America great again”, used by Donald Trump, or “Take back control”, used by the Brexit campaign. Both slogans were the perfect pitch to mobilize what are called collective narcissists.
Self-righteousness, gratitude, sympathy, sincerity, and guilt – what if these social behaviours are biologically influenced, encoded within our genes and shaped by the forces of evolution to promote the survival of the human species?
Let's face it, we all get angry from time to time. Anger is a common human emotion. Yet, eventually you have to let go of your anger and go on with your life and learn from these experiences so that you may be able to avoid them or at least deal with them better in the future.
In the early 21st century, Western-style freedoms are often presented as an ideal template for the rest of the world.
In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle writes that people have only three options when they are presented with a situation that is intolerable: they can change the situation, walk away from it, or accept it.
Drinking to forget may make the fearful memories associated with post-traumatic stress disorder worse, not better, experiments with mice suggest.
How many times have you had a good idea only to keep it to yourself for fear of looking like a crackpot? Well, this fear of appealing foolish is crippling. Worrying what other people think squelches our joy, our fun, and all those good ideas our planet needs.
“I just get so angry when he says he will call and then doesn’t,” says Ellen about her boyfriend.
How can we learn the important lessons without having to go through an ordeal? We don’t have to take ourselves to the edge of death, because if we listen to what’s happening and act on it, then we can learn the lesson just as well. After all, there are several ways to learn...
A study that investigated how messages containing different emotions spread across social networks found that “anger is more influential than other emotions like joy, which indicates that angry tweets can spread quickly and broadly in the network”.
Empathy is the ability to share and understand the emotions of others. It is a construct of multiple components, each of which is associated with its own brain network.
Finally a new year is here after the most politically divisive 12 months in a very long time. In the UK, Brexit shattered dreams and friendships. In the US, the polarisation was already huge, but a bitter election campaign made the divisions even deeper.
Many public conversations we have about science-related issues involve communicating risks: describing them, comparing them and trying to inspire action to avoid or mitigate them.
Everyone has experienced guilt at one time or another. In fact, millions of people are burdened by feelings of guilt of all sorts.
Why is it so hard to stick to resolutions that require us to make effective or lasting changes? I would argue the problem isn’t that we try and we fail –– the problem is how we treat ourselves when we fail.
Every year you set out determined to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. But year after year you fall off track and quickly abandon them. So why are resolutions so hard to keep?
The election divided the year into “before” and “after.” But there remain signs of hope for 2017.
The battle against wrinkles has lasted for centuries. Long before surgical facelifts, people ingested powders and potions, stretched their faces using thread and tape, and rubbed their skin with Crisco, acid and animal blood to fight the signs of aging.
As early as January, when David Bowie departed the scene, some were already looking dubiously at 2016. It began to feel like the end of an era. And when Brexit came in the summer, it was clear that in some ways it was.
Anyone who has ever tried to give up drinking, or goes somewhere and says they’re not drinking, knows people encourage us to drink and are unhappy when we don’t.
A quick thought experiment: imagine if you’d been told on January 1 of everything that lay ahead in 2016. Would you have believed that...
Most people who play lotto have at least some kind of intuitive understanding they are probably not going to hit the jackpot.
A very common example of the ubiquitous nature of the critic is the phenomenon of “imposter syndrome” — the feeling that you don’t deserve to be where you are in life. It’s estimated that 70 percent of people have imposter syndrome.
Most of us have something we say we’re afraid of, whether it be spiders, needles, or something more unusual like zombies.
Each year, the average American family donates approximately 3.4 percent of its discretionary income to charity. So what inspires individuals to donate to charity?
It’s often said that a person’s tolerance rises with their education level. So on this basis, the higher a person’s educational attainment is, the more likely they are to accept racial or ethnic minorities.
Who gets to walk on the red carpet? What makes red-letter days so special? Where is the red line that must not be crossed?
While feelings are a central component to caring, caring is not an entirely emotional experience. There’s also an intellectual component to caring, a mental stance that one must maintain to create lasting closeness. This stance is that your partner is fully human.
If you’ve only ever seen yourself as unsure and perhaps your self-esteem is not strong, you may be more vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed by fear—stressed by the worry that your pain might devolve into a worst case scenario of unknown proportions.
In recent years, we’ve started to see cases of promising sharing and collaborative practices falling into the traps of neoliberal ways of thinking and doing
There are many benefits to knowing more than one language. For example, it has been shown that aging adults who speak more than one language have less likelihood of developing dementia.
On average, Americans spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook. That’s a lot of online socializing. It’s also about the same amount of time workers take for their lunch break.
Worldwide, it has been a rough year for democracy. Citizens in the UK, the United States and Colombia made critical decisions about their nations’ future, and – at least from the perspective of liberal values and social justice – they decided poorly.
Overconfident CEOs tend to lead to less corporate social responsibility in a company, our research shows. The more confident the CEO, the less their firm invests in activity that has a positive impact on society.
Christmas is traditionally a time for giving. And for most of us, giving means buying – the perfect excuse for major retailers to conduct an advertising assault that pulls on our heart strings and empties our pockets.
There’s no denying it anymore: Hatred is erupting all over the United States, after having long simmered beneath the social surface. In the face of such upheaval, how can you prepare to protect those who are being threatened—to stand up for the worth and dignity of every person, even when it’s uncomfortable or scary?
Today many fears seem woven into the very fabric of our society, such as fear of terrorism, fear of epidemics, fear of a bad economy, fear of commitment, and fear of losing a job, as well as fear of being separated from people we love, fear of loved ones dying, and the all-encompassing fear of the future...
You have a constant stream of thoughts running through your mind, and we use the term “inner critics” to describe the thoughts that criticize you or tell you that you should be ashamed or feel guilty if you do what you want to do.
In a newly published study, we found that employees who “cut corners” tend to be morally compromised, low in conscientiousness, self-focused and impulsive. This in addition to the potential for corner-cutting to increase risks.
Donald Trump’s astonishing rise to the presidency has put racism at the heart of American politics. But it’s important not to overstate America’s progress during the Obama years, nor to ignore the ways in which racism extends far beyond...
Of the approximately sixty to seventy thousand thoughts we have each day, most of them are exactly the same as the thoughts we had yesterday. Not incidentally, most of these thoughts seem to be negative or critical, which is why...
In 1960, I was fourteen years old and my mother was the first civil rights activist that I knew. She did not march the streets. She lived her beliefs. She had Blacks, Muslims, Gays and other minorities over to our house for dinner almost every Sunday.
It was a few days after Halloween, and the Butterfingers had already disappeared. A bowl of Tootsie Rolls and lollipops sat on a shelf in the meeting room, resigned in their plain, wrinkled wrappers, and waiting for a desperate staffer.
Kids ages 7 to 12 rate gender as more important to their social identities than race, say researchers. The research also suggests children of color think about race differently than their white peers do.
He cautioned against leaders who capitalize on difficult situations to have us believe that our destiny and salvation lies in their hands.
When asked how he had become so successful, he replied, that until days ago he was living as the “Other”. “What is the Other?” asked Pilar. “The Other believes that the obligation of man is to spend a lifetime thinking about how to have security...
The shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the starting gun for many to the annual ritual of excessive spending over the Christmas period. The average Black Friday consumer is expected to spend £203 ($252 US) on the day this year, double last year’s figure.
Customers who are fearful are more likely to be ethical in a tricky situation as the stakes increase, while angry customers will behave unethically no matter what the stakes, our research shows.
Unpleasant things happen in life. They happen to everyone. The only difference between a happy person and one who gets depressed is how they respond to disasters. Imagine you have just had a wonderful afternoon and when you return home, you find a huge truckload of dung has been dumped right in front of your door...
When we allow our fears to drive our choices, the actions we do not take and the opportunities we allow to pass us by are symbolic of us rejecting the life we genuinely desire. Conversely, when we find the courage to face our fears directly...
For most of us, the fear of punishment or social rejection keeps us from behaviour deemed unacceptable and prevents us from committing crimes. But how many would transgress if they knew they could get away with it?
As I reflect on the tradition of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that Thanksgiving needs to take place every day, and every single moment of the day. Maybe that's what mindful meditation is all about... remembering to be grateful and appreciative...
Like strangers, and every person in our path, we encounter acquaintances and friends for a reason. More accurately, we attract them. Sometimes the reasons appear obvious, and at other times the reasons are not obvious at all and may take months or years to dawn.
As post mortems of the 2016 presidential election began to roll in, fingers started pointing to what psychologists call the confirmation bias as one reason many of the polls and pundits were wrong in their predictions of which candidate would end up victorious.
Learning healthy ways—a collection of skills that researchers call resilience—to move through adversity can help us cope better and recover more quickly, or at least start heading in that direction.
Scientists have studied twins for many years to understand how genes and environments influence differences among individuals, spanning conditions such as cancer and mental health to characteristics such as intelligence and political beliefs.
We want to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. This year, with all that is happening in our country, it seems more important than ever to take a break from the news and focus on gratitude and loving.
My heart aches for the division and anguish revealed in our November election. The fabric of our society is indeed torn and I wonder, can we find a way back together?
We are a divided nation; that is an understatement. What’s more, we increasingly hear we are living in our own “bubble” or echo chamber that differing views cannot penetrate.
For years I understood the concepts of loving more and unconditional acceptance. I knew the woman I wanted to be: more loving, more accepting, more compassionate. But in day-to-day living I struggled with keeping my heart open, especially when I felt afraid...
On the night of the US election, Manhattan’s magisterial, glass-encased Javits Centre stood with its ceiling intact and its guest-of-honour in defeated absence.
Throughout primary school, I became accustomed to being in the crossfire of two opposing camps. When a French friend would insult my English friend, I would raise my hand, step forward, and launch into my own variation of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech...
The thoughts that have accompanied me throughout these recent weeks regarding the US presidential elections are both ‘God Bless America’, in the literal sense, and “God Help America” (and the World). Viewing events consciously through half closed eyes...
Would you be more grateful for a trendy new sofa or for a relaxing family vacation?
For many women, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims and immigrants, the victory of Donald Trump seems to have endorsed discrimination against them.
How do we become aware of our own thoughts and feelings? And what enables us to know when we’ve made a good or bad decision? Every day we are confronted with ambiguous situations.
What do you look for in a partner? Surely that depends on what the partner is for – you’d probably want a business partner to be innovative, a choir buddy to be musical and a romantic partner to be attractive and funny.
Mahatma Gandhi once instructed his devotees to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” His point was: don’t identify the problems of the world and kvetch over the shortcomings of humanity. He advocated instead actively embodying the higher qualities of being...
Privacy campaigners this week applauded Facebook’s decision to block big UK insurance firm Admiral from using young people’s social media data to help set their car insurance premiums.
Even the most terrible events always contain hidden blessings. The masters know this great truth and remain undisturbed by events... Others swing from elation to depression as they move through positive and...
Whether you support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, fear might be the biggest factor driving you to the polls.
What we’re being called to do as a species before we either destroy ourselves or most of life on our planet is to meet ourselves fully. We must have the courage to meet our own prejudices and encounter every single place within us that would rather resort to blame than to face the collective human pain body.
The vitriolic presidential campaign left many of us feeling anger, and the election of Donald J. Trump as President hasn’t erased it. Hearing about or seeing vicious personal attacks, criticism of parents who have lost a child to war, accusations of fraud and talk of sexual assault have affected our psyches, souls and bodies.
That famous phrase, “an man’s home is his castle”, neatly captures longstanding ideas about what the private home really is: a place which we can control and defend, a private territory where we decide who enters and who doesn’t.
The desire to create a more humane business often coincides with the desire to be a force for good in the world. This reflects the higher purpose we feel emerging inside us as a result of greater self-awareness. Such increased self-awareness eventually expands to include the surrounding community and the world as a whole...
The recent finding that telling lies induces changes in the brain has stimulated a number of misrepresentations that may wreak more harm on our understanding than the lies on which they report.
Fear continues to saturate our lives: fear of nuclear destruction, fear of climate change, fear of the subversive, and fear of foreigners.
This Halloween may be the scariest in a long time. Facing the usual huge crowds of zombies, witches and vampires, deep down, many of us most fear running into one of the “killer clowns” that have been spotted in creepy places across the world over the past few months.
Do you feel like your mind freezes during exams? Do you find yourself thinking “I really can’t do this”? Does your heart race fast or do you find it hard to breathe during exams?