Psychology

The Prosperous Brain

Kelly Lambert, Ph.D.— Although scholars have debated the exact meaning of Thomas Jefferson’s reference to the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence, the phrase can be traced to seventeenth-century philosopher John Locke’s “life, liberty, and property” philosophical trinity and his declaration that the pursuit of happiness was our

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The Origin of Empathy

Susan Lanzoni— Is it possible to empathize with lines in an abstract design, with the expansive reach of a tree, the sweep of a bird’s flight, or the imposing rise of a range of mountains? Can we “feel into” forms and shapes? If today we know empathy as a way

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Ep. 59 – The Psychology of Human Societies

We’re all part of groups, large or small, but how and why do humans form groups and societies? We look at how cognition influences society and what it means for our understanding of the world.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify

(Self-)Righteous Anger

Judson Brewer— In 2010, I went on a monthlong silent retreat with the aim of working on and possibly stabilizing a special c concentration type of meditation practice (jhana) that can be held for hours if practiced correctly. I had been reading about and trying to develop this practice for

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YouTube = MeTube

Judson Brewer—  “Status Update,” an episode of the podcast This American Life, featured three ninth graders talking about their use of Instagram. Instagram is a simple program that lets people post, comment on, and share pictures. Simple but valuable: in 2012, Instagram was bought by Facebook for one billion dollars. The podcast episode began

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Ep. 4 – The Nazi Mind

Psychiatrist Joel Dimsdale discusses the pathology of Nazi war criminals.

Jenny Diski: On Babyface

Jenny Diski— The great advantage over real live creatures that my Three Bears had in common with Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, aside from not needing to be fed or produce droppings, was neoteny. Mickey and my ursine family looked only glancingly like a mouse or brown bears, and much more like babies.

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Writing and Self-Hatred

Devorah Baum— In his amazingly pleasurable new book, In Writing, psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips describes writing, in his experience, as an “amazing pleasure.” Lucky him. He sits down to write, he says, and the writing just happens—he’s never “trying” to write and meeting some sort of internal resistance or

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Exploring the Bystander Effect

Joel E. Dimsdale— The very public murder of young Kitty Genovese in New York City motivated the next social psychology exploration on the nature of malice. On the night of March 13, 1964, Genovese left work and was walking on a street in Kew Gardens, Queens, when she was chased

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Stage Fright, Shyness, and Speaking to the Crowd

Joe Moran— I have been shy for as long as I can remember. For half of my life it just seemed an inconvenience, something to live with rather than be curious about. I became interested in shyness as a subject—one that might repay careful reflection—when I began to find my

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