A yawn consists of an extended gaping of the mouth followed by a more rapid closure. In mammals and birds, a long intake of breath and shorter exhale follows the gaping of the mouth, but in other species such as fish, amphibians and snakes there is no intake of breath.
Nature does not pick sides: it simply gives every plant a fair chance to life. The sun shines on everyone regardless of their size, race, language, or opinions. Can we not do the same? Forget our old quarrels, our old grievances, our old prejudices, and start looking at everyone on earth as another person just like us...
Why didn’t these women speak up sooner? This was asked time and time again during the recent public furore around sexual harassment, violence and abuse. Underlying the question is a persistent uncertainty about the credibility of victims – a concern with identifying what is true and what is false.
In America’s children, we often see hope for a better future, especially when it comes to reducing racism. Each new generation of white people, the thinking goes, will naturally and inevitably be more open-minded and tolerant than previous ones.
All day every day we experience things: physical sensations, emotions, and thought patterns. Most of our experience we fail to observe. While having an experience we don’t notice it. While this is well and good when it comes to sensation in our feet or many other aspects of living, failure to observe certain parts of our physical, emotional, and cognitive experience...
Less parental warmth and more harshness at home can affect how aggressive children become and whether they lack empathy and a moral compass, according to a new study.
Alcoholics Anonymous was established as a form of benign anarchy. Members have to want to help themselves—and one another. While a great number of people see value in the mutual aid of Alcoholics Anonymous, many of them would be surprised to discover that the concept of mutual aid was popularized in the 20th century by the Russian anarchist Prince Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921) with his 1902 book Mutual Aid.
The recent allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have further divided the nation. Among the questions the case raises are some important ethical ones.
In the United States, the teen years are frequently assumed to be a time of experimentation, risk-taking and rebellion. But this notion of adolescence as a phase of irresponsible behavior is a relatively new invention.
One of the most important aspects of meaningful conversation is listening. If you’re asking important questions and not listening, you’re not having a conversation at all; you are giving a soliloquy.
Technology has undoubtedly become essential for productivity and communication in our professional and personal lives. However, the most prominent reason users of all ages reach for their device is not to work, but to “zombie check”.
A California psychologist has alleged that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were in high school in Maryland. As the nation debates the accusation, the terms “sexual abuse,” “sexual assault,” “sexual harassment” – and even “rape” – are cropping up daily in the news. This isn’t new – the #MeToo movement over the last year has put those terms in more common circulation.
Many of us spend hours every day tethered to our devices, pawing at the screen to see if it will deliver a few more likes or emails, monitoring the world and honing our online presence. Social networking platforms such as Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are supposed to make us feel more connected.
Evolution built shame into human nature because it served an important function for our foraging ancestors, a new paper argues.
Can love be learned? In principle, yes, but there are important requirements. Love necessitates a positive, embracing view of ourselves and of life. Fromm claimed that only a person who has reached developmental maturity is truly capable of loving. Such maturity implies self-acceptance and overcoming narcissism.
Contemporary self-help teachings assure us that we are the makers of our own destiny, that we have within us the power to change our lives for the better, even to make ourselves anew. Self-help leaders, from Tony Robbins to spiritual gurus like Robin Sharma and Deepak Chopra, ask us to take responsibility for our lives.
The gaming industry is big business in the U.S., contributing an estimated US$240 billion to the economy each year, while generating $38 billion in tax revenues and supporting 17 million jobs.
What people may not realize is that slot machines, video poker machines and other electronic gaming devices make up the bulk of all that economic activity. At casinos in Iowa and South Dakota, for example, such devices have contributed up to 89 percent of annual gaming revenue.
"They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!" This often parodied quote from Mel Gibson’s William Wallace in the film Braveheart is something of a contradiction, and yet its sentiment is easy to understand. Nothing gets our hackles up more than being told that we have no choice over something.
From “girls suck at maths” and “men are so insensitive” to “he is getting a bit senile with age” or “black people struggle at university”, there’s no shortage of common cultural stereotypes about social groups. Chances are you have heard most of these examples at some point. In fact, stereotypes are a bit like air: invisible but always present.
Small changes in how choices are presented or designed can have a big impact on our behaviour. Governments are taking advantage of this to “nudge” us into making better choices without removing our right to choose. Instead of taxing sugar in drinks, for instance, simply changing how food is arranged in shops can make people eat healthier.
Picking our fingernails, eating a quart of ice cream at a single sitting, or mandatory daily vigorous exercise. Frequent prescription drug or alcohol use. Addictions are a reliance on any substance or activity that masks our emotions and provides an immediate but temporary dose of pleasure and distraction.
We experience thousands of events across childhood, and yet as adults we recall only a handful. Some might be “firsts” (our first ice cream, our first day at school), or significant life events (the birth of a sibling, moving house). Others are surprisingly trivial. So, what do your earliest childhood memories say about you? Do they reflect your early skill for remembering, your interests, or your individual experiences?
Sparkly jewellery, expensive shoes, designer watches – who doesn’t love a bit of “bling”? In 2017 Australians spent A$28.5 billion on ornamenting themselves with clothing, cosmetics, and accessories. But this obsession with decorating our bodies isn’t just a trivial activity. Archaeological evidence shows us it’s actually a large part of what makes us human.
When a person of colour with light skin rises to prominence, or becomes the first to occupy a particular position, it’s often heralded as a sign that structural barriers to the progress of people of colour have been removed. This was the case when Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in May, joining the British royal family as the Duchess of Sussex.
We all have different experiences of the value of routine. For the vast majority of us, routine helps us cope with the continual flow of decisions that face us in everyday life. But when taken to excess, routine can be a prison – especially for some people. But why is that and how do you strike a good balance?
In numerous different animals, cognitive ability, including learning and memory, is often negatively affected by stress. But not all individuals of a particular species are equally good at cognitive tasks to begin with, and they respond to the effects of stress in different ways. Take pond snails – specifically Lymnaea stagnalis – for example.
We lack self-trust because of the countless times we sold ourselves out, abandoned ourselves, ignored our intuition, refused to take appropriate action, forfeited our power. So, lacking self-trust, we are left to the hopeless device of trying to make everyone and everything conform to our need to feel safe. We waste a lot of energy wondering who we can trust, what we can trust them with, and recovering from being betrayed. But you are the person you really need to trust. You can trust everyone if you can trust yourself.
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.
To call gambling a “game of chance” evokes fun, random luck and a sense of collective engagement. These playful connotations may be part of why almost 80 percent of American adults gamble at some point in their lifetime. When I ask my psychology students why they think people gamble, the most frequent suggestions are for pleasure, money or the thrill.
There are physical, emotional, mental and even business benefits to being virtuous, kind and acting with integrity.
While many factors are at play, we can blame our brains—at least to some degree—for our poor saving habits, according to a new study.
Calling someone manipulative is a criticism of that person’s character. Saying that you have been manipulated is a complaint about having been treated badly.
How we perceive the emotion on someone else’s face depends on how we understand these emotions, research finds.
Women who respond positively to benevolent sexism aren’t unaware of its links to sexism, new research suggests.
I wanted to find a place for myself to cast myself in a book and me starring on paper and play with the persona of the movie star, which I think people are interested in and find entertaining. I always did.
I have been impressed by ordinary people who don't talk much about spiritual matters; they just live it. After hearing and talking about unconditional love for many years, I find it quite refreshing to see it in action with no hype or flourishes. These hidden gurus masquerade as hotel cleaning ladies, shoe shiners, or rental car shuttle bus drivers.
Our habits of thinking and speaking are so deeply ingrained that often we are not truly aware of the words we use or of what they actually mean. You might begin by deleting from your conversation all the popular...
Difficult experiences cause us to reflect about what is happening and no doubt lead to us making the changes necessary to help us grow—provided we are ready to listen to the underlying message. Otherwise we keep repeating the same old patterns until we finally understand what our experiences are trying to tell us and change our behavior.
Trusting love is a radical severance from one’s preferences, addictions, and obsessions. It is a persevering willingness to enter and re-enter the unknown. It is a commitment to listening to the voice of one’s Soul anew each day.
Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behaviour directed towards authority figures.
Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, proposed that there were four distinct personality types. His theory was that a person's personality type determines their vulnerability to mental dysfunction and their susceptibility to illness.
Why You Should Eat Popcorn With Chopsticks – And Other Psychological Tricks To Make Life More Enjoyable
It happens fast. You crack open a bottle of your favorite drink and put it to your lips. The delicious flavor is nearly overwhelming. But a minute later, you’re barely noticing the taste as you drink it.
Immediate rewards may boost motivation more than waiting to reward yourself until the end of a task, according to new
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged his company’s responsibility in helping create the enormous amount of fake news that plagued the 2016 election – after earlier denials.
Yawning is generally triggered by several things, including tiredness, fever, stress, drugs, social and other psychological cues. What is the purpose of yawning?
Who we are, and what makes us “us” has been the topic of much debate throughout history. If who we are is attributed to a non-physical substance independent of the brain, then physical damage to this organ should not change a person. But there is an overwhelming amount of neuropsychological evidence to suggest that this is, in fact, not only possible, but relatively common.
Dr Vasant Lad defines depression as a popular diagnosis characterized by "a loss of pleasure and interest in life... accompanied by a sense of pressure, hollowness or emptiness, and low self-esteem." We all can feel down sometimes, but when it becomes our dominant attitude...
The public backlash against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook centres on their practices of harvesting psychological data to influence political behaviour.
New research shows that when mothers who have experienced childhood trauma feel supported by the people around them – such as therapists, physicians, friends and neighbours – their risk of pregnancy complications is substantially reduced.
Suspension and expulsion is widely used in Australia, the UK and the US to respond to problematic behavior. But evidence shows these tactics aren’t effective in changing a student’s conduct, and carry major long-term risks for their welfare.
Mental health and emotional intelligence must be a focus in communities like this — communities that are home to marginalized Black youth.
Growing up in a rinky-dink Canadian city, I was tortured a lot. Part of the problem was that I was stunted by an environment filled with second-hand tobacco smoke and devoid of nutritious food.
Author and neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz says that your brain doesn't necessarily choose to become addicted to gambling.
I talk with a lot of people in the course of a week…and I can tell you that people are dealing with a lot right now. There is a huge amount of change, uncertainty, anxiety, fear, transformation, loss, grief, joy, revelation, ecstasy, and hope all happening at once.
Reproductive hormones that develop during puberty are not responsible for changes in social behavior that may occur during adolescence, research shows.
National Day of Unplugging is soon upon us. For the good of your mental and physical health, unplug your smartphone – not just for one day a year, but routinely.
The American people have been roughed up over the last decade. A sense of vulnerability and danger tinges their view of public affairs.
In the cosmic sphere of energy, wu-wei is the feminine (yin/passive/receptive/earth) principle of the universe. Translated into English from Lao-tzu’s perspective, wu-wei means “non-doing,” “non-action,” or “effortless action.” These translations are literally correct and lead us to the intuitive and ultimate psychological experience of wu-wei.
When psychologists talk about a “moral circle” they are referring to how far we extend our moral consideration towards others. That is, whether we care about the well-being of others, and act accordingly.
As children we rebelled against our parents, against authority. Yet now that we are adults and are in charge of our own lives, whom are we rebelling against? The answer is the same: authority. Yet we are often the rebeller and the rebellee at the same time. Strange concept? Possibly, but one that we give...
In all areas, I believe balance is key to living a peaceful and successful life. As the saying goes, “All work and no play” makes for a dull life. But what about all creativity and no responsibility? Even if that were a possibility, I’d like to argue that this would not make anyone happy.
Being constrained by a civilization’s laws and regulations, combined with a low tolerance for emotional expression, produces discontents for some if not all of that civilization’s inhabitants. Underneath our fashionable veneers we are still animals...
Why is it awkward to listen to a recording of your own voice? What makes us cringe?
Cyberbullying has become a significant issue for young people learning to navigate a life that is increasingly online. Like bullying that occurs face-to-face, cyberbullying can have serious effects on the physical and mental health of victims.
Pop quiz, hot shot! What do cows drink? If you're like the vast majority of people, you probably just had the word "milk" flash in your brain.
Living behind a glass wall can be lonely. You can see the others out there, yet you somehow remain separated from them. Your wall may be called "I'm not good enough" or "No one understands me or loves me". These glass walls have a way of magnifying the negative. Yet whatever you see through the wall is only the...
Many people will have hit the shops or gone online to bag a bargain in the January sales over the last few weeks and may now be feeling the pinch until their next payday.
Just because you have a thought doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Most thoughts are just old circuits in your brain that have become hardwired by your repetitive volition. Thus, you have to ask yourself, “Is this thought true, or is it just what I think and believe while I am feeling this way?"
Male grooming is now a multi-billion worldwide industry, thanks to a growing number of men spending more on their appearance. Face wash, moisturiser, pore strips and hair removal products are now commonly featured in many a man’s bathroom cabinet – and now also, makeup.
Quitting smoking is a popular New Year’s resolution—but many have trouble sticking with it. “Many people underestimate how difficult it is to not only quit smoking, but to maintain the change.”
Modern citizenship in the West increasingly involves a duty to care for ourselves – to eat healthily, exercise enough and even screen ourselves for disease – to minimize our health-care costs to the state.
Don’t let the past define the present. This is such an obvious idea that when I first encountered it my reaction was, “Of course! That’s not new information.” And then I promptly fell back into my normal way of seeing life that was through the lens of the past. I did this so unconsciously that I honestly didn’t see how powerful my attachment to the past had become over the years.
Do you really have sovereignty over own your mind anymore? Tristan Harris, a design thinker and former ethicist at Google, points to how smart phones changed our contract with advertisers, and our relationship with reality.
The mere thought of holiday traditions brings smiles to most people’s faces and elicits feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia. We can almost smell those candles, taste those special meals, hear those familiar songs in our minds.
At this time of year, readers worldwide turn to Charles Dickens, and A Christmas Carol in particular. Such is Dickens’ association with the season that a new film has even credited him with being “The Man Who Invented Christmas” with his famous tale. So did he? And what did Dickens really tell us in the pages of A Christmas Carol?
Good scientists are not only able to uncover patterns in the things they study, but to use this information to predict the future.
There's one brain bias that affects 80% of adults and it has a familiar name you may not expect: optimism. It can be hugely helpful in our social lives and in keeping us motivated even if the trade off is, at times, the denial of reality.
So in the early days, including from the time of Aristotle and later in the 16th and 17th century most of physiognomy consisted of this whimsical comparisons between the physiognomy of humans and animals.
Motivation, rather than habit, drives addictive behavior in the face of adverse consequences and constantly changing circumstances, new research suggests. “We’re challenging the definition of addiction as a habit…”
Being by yourself—even for just 15 minutes—may decrease your strong positive and negative emotions, and instead reduce stress and induce calm, a new study suggests.
Black Friday is upon us once again. Deals for cut-price clothes, televisions, appliances – you name it – are popping up. And for a limited time only. While stocks last, you could snag a bargain before Christmas.
Mental health providers may want to take a closer look at including exercise in their patients’ treatment plans, a new study suggests. “Physical activity has been shown to be effective in alleviating mild to moderate depression and anxiety.”
My ears perked up when, in recent weeks, I heard Donald Trump and Ivan Pavlov mentioned twice in connection with each other.
Twin research has led to all kinds incredible insights into an important mystery: nature vs. nurture or how the environment and our genes affect our health.
Many of us listen to music while we work, thinking that it will help us to concentrate on the task at hand.
Hear the word psychopath and most of us think of violent, dominant men. There are lots of male psychopathic monsters from movies to illustrate this point. Think Alex in A Clockwork Orange, or Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
October is a dismal time of year. The clocks go back, which accelerates the onset of darker evenings and the “shorter days” inevitably lead to calls for the tradition of putting clocks forward or backward to stop.
The first step to connection is to open ourselves to the possibility that we can survive the hurts and failures that inevitably accompany our humanity and that of those around us. Self-protection, in the long run, is self-destruction. If we hide out long enough...
A recent report showed there had been a steep rise in incidents of self harm among teenage girls. The findings, based on data from GP practices across the UK, show that self harm among girls aged 13 to 16 has risen by 68% in the past three years.
The phrase “rape culture” elicits strong responses. Prominent among them are confusion, scoffs, anger and even anonymous vitriol from internet “haters.”
Although the energy field of the heart has been proven to be quite powerful, in our culture today the voice of the heart is often muted or ignored altogether. When our heart’s intelligence isn’t activated, we can easily feel confused, or we may listen only to the voice of the head telling us what we should do.
Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize for his extraordinary, world-transforming work in behavioral economics. Thaler demonstrated how nudging – or influencing people while fully maintaining freedom of choice – “may help people exercise better self-control when saving for a pension, as well in other contexts.”
Almost everyone carries accumulations of old emotional pain, what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain-body.” This pain-body feeds on what has happened in the past, and feeds on negative thinking and drama in relationships. Your joy-body stores family, ancestral, and collective joy. It feeds on positive, transporting experience.
Child abuse and other traumatic childhood experiences may alter the brain, making the effects of trauma last into adulthood.
Recently, Alice Campbell and I revealed the demographic traits associated with people expressing support for equal rights for same-sex couples
When an event sobers us, it dashes cold water on our face to extricate us from the drunkenness of the meaningless activities we often engage in. We are awakened from the addictive behaviors we use to distract ourselves from our pain.
Backsliding comes with almost every new habit you're trying to ingrain. I call it the "Dwindle Effect" because the initial impetus to change an old habit can wane.
Without us knowing, our brains are busy making associations. While on the surface we may sincerely believe that men and women are equal, or that people on benefits are just regular folks who happen to need help, our unconscious minds might not be so progressive.
Regret gets a bad press. It is a painful emotion experienced upon realising that a different decision would have led to a better outcome.
As I was walking through the V&A museum in London a few days ago, two statues immediately grabbed my attention. It was Heraclitus and Democritus, a couple of Greek thinkers known as the “weeping and laughing philosophers”.