In this Wireless Philosophy video, Richard Holton (M.I.T.) discusses the classic philosophical problem of free will.
As the very word used to describe it has been “worn smooth by a million tongues”, consciousness is a fertile topic for confusion.
People who cohabited had less wealth compared to those who never lived together before marriage, a new study finds.
On the day of winter solstice, many Native American communities will hold religious ceremonies or community events.The winter solstice is the day of the year when the Northern Hemisphere has the fewest hours of sunlight and the Southern Hemisphere has the most.
The Buddha is a documentary by David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere that tells the story of the Buddha's life, and attempts to answer the questions Who is the Buddha. What is the Buddha. It also features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors
New research shows how intensive instruction changes brain circuitry in struggling readers.
On 27 February 1907, at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, Sigmund Freud fell in love. The object of his affection was Carl Gustav Jung: 19 years younger than Freud, the young psychiatrist was already the clinical director of the prestigious Burghölzli Hospital and a professor at the University of Zurich.
The current approach today is essentially we’ve entered into a culture of freneticism—that’s a Big Think word, and that means we’re really busy. But I believe we’ve created the business on ourselves.
Since I started writing about and researching emotional intelligence in business, I found that data in support of it has only gotten stronger. I saw recently a study, this surprised me, engineers, software coders and so on were evaluated by their peers, people who work with them day-to-day on how successful they were at what they do.
Neurobiologically the single most important fact about, say, a 20 year old brain is the fact that almost all of it is already matured, fully wired up—myelinated, a jargon-y term for it. The reward dopamine system has been going full blast, and somewhere around like early puberty all of the brain is totally up to speed—except for the frontal cortex.
Your chances of forming online friendships depend mainly on the number of groups and organizations you join, not their types, according to a new analysis of six online social networks.
The term give-up-itis was coined by medical officers during the Korean War (1950-1953). They described it as a condition where a person develops extreme apathy, gives up hope, relinquishes the will to live and dies, despite the lack of an obvious physical cause.
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.
In 1971, when I was four years old, my brother died of a congenital heart condition. Writing about this experience has prompted more responses than anything else I’ve ever written or spoken about. Untold and unheard stories appear in comments sections, strangers tell me cross-culturally consistent tales in the soft corners of conference rooms and speak about the siblings they’ve lost and how present the memories of them still are in their minds and hearts.
In the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations involving Brett Kavanaugh, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly and others, Americans may be learning just how prevalent sexual violence is in our society. So, what can be done to prevent it?
One of the topics most frequently discussed “at the water-cooler” is how much we may, or may not, trust people — from employers and managers to co-workers, friends and lovers.
Trust, of course, is vital for individual relationships and for organizational effectiveness — within universities and businesses alike. It creates an atmosphere where work is well-managed. It smooths the way, serving as a lubricant for an effective — and efficient — work environment.
Encouraging children “to help,” rather than asking them to “be helpers,” can instill persistence as they work to fulfill daily tasks that are difficult to complete, according to a new study.
Pregnancy loss can be an isolating experience for women and their families. The grief experienced may be intense, but the feelings of the bereaved may not be recognised – even by close friends and relatives – because pregnancy loss is not widely discussed. But why do so many people struggle to find the right words of comfort for a family member?
Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health problems today. In fact, four out of every 100 people around the world have one, and research my colleagues and I were involved in at the University of Cambridge has shown that women and young people under the age of 39 are most affected. Anxiety disorders reportedly cost the healthcare system and employers over US$42 billion each year in the US alone, and if left untreated or unattended, can lead to depression, substance use, and suicide.
“Societies try and build those things that will protect their populations—to build infrastructures, civic institutions, effective governance,” says David Abramson, clinical associate professor at the New York University College of Global Public Health and director of the Population Impact, Recovery, and Resilience Program. “But when a disaster strikes, it threatens them.”
A sort of interesting fact is that, while today programming is viewed as an extremely male dominated field, it was totally the opposite at the dawn of computing. So if you look at who the original programmers were, they were actually women! All programmers from the very beginning were women and it was because this job was seen as being “beneath” men.
As fact check editor at The Conversation, Lucinda Beaman sees first-hand the conflict between facts and beliefs. She offers a framework for understanding how we process information and how we can connect with those who disagree with us.
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.
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.
In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to protect children from failure in order to safeguard their fragile self-esteem.
Writer Michael Hobbes says there are too many stereotypes about millennials. So, there are three things that every millennial should know. The first one is that there is no evidence for any of the stereotypes about us.
In 1906, the young Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung received a collection of essays from none other than the founder of psychoanalysis himself, Sigmund Freud.
To explain what good luck is and how to create your own, Nick Offerman leans on the wisdom of Tom Waits, Socrates, Tom Jefferson and Nick Offerman.
Problems can be overcome by just thinking about them differently. Often, says Benjamin Hardy, people think problems are going to be far worse than they actually are.
New research shows that recent interactions with their environment can guide where people look.
There are many different ways in which the brain is rewired differently than the norm.
We all know what infidelity is, but a universal definition is difficult to carve out—especially in the digital age. Is watching porn cheating, or is it only cheating if the person on the other side of the screen is live?
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.
We all know that when we make decisions in groups, they don't always go right -- and sometimes they go very wrong. How can groups make good decisions?
Sometimes, you just can't relate to your relatives. Whether it's sports, politics, or past events, gathering around a dinner table during the holiday season can be a daunting prospect.
It's all too easy to develop a grudge, and let one bad experience inform how you view a person going forward.
Even if you think of yourself as a human lie detector, there are some untruths that will sneak under the hood. For that, you can thank your brain, and it's absolute adoration for all things familiar, says Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic.
Thriving in life requires fortitude. It's a strength that Professor Cornel West refers to as spiritual fortitude. What gives us power in life, he says, is not anything in the world, but our own internal resources.
Do you really need a lot of stuff to be happy? Science says that the opposite is true. But that doesn’t help us understand then what kind of spending will actually make us happy and what kind won’t.
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.
If you want to feel less pain, meditate more often. According to this new research, it can genuinely erase the emotional reaction to pain.
Sometimes trying your best isn't enough; when the situation demands it, you need to be perfect.
Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there's a more fulfilling path?
We’ve all experienced those moments when we’ve been working really hard on a task, finally finish and feel like a well-deserved break so we grab a coffee and relax for a few moments. What goes through your mind next?
Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression," says Tracey Shors. "But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.
Self-mutilation is a big problem facing teens today. This affliction is the result of fear instilled by trauma. It is as though the brain contains a computer chip, which has been programmed, because of trauma, to self-mutilate. It is a mental trap that has taken innumerable young people hostage...
What is its purpose? How do you create it and how do you resolve it? The more you know about karma, the greater your ability to complete it and reduce its control over your life.
There are several ways to restore most of one's sexual performance including a high tone of physical conditioning and mental attitude. The power of the mind to influence the relative efficiency of one's sexual performance cannot go unnoticed.
Individuals with ADHD may be our most creative individuals, our most extraordinary thinkers, our most brilliant inventors and pioneers. The children among us whom our teachers and psychiatrists say are 'disordered' may, in fact, carry a set of abilities -- a skill set -- that was necessary for the survival of humanity in the past, that has created much of what we treasure in our present 'quality of life,' and that will be critical to the survival of the human race in the future.