Psychology

The New Populism

William A. Galston— Because populism embraces the republican principle of popular sovereignty, it faces the question inherent in this principle: Who are the people? Historically, right-leaning populists have emphasized shared ethnicity and common descent, while left-leaning populists have often defined the people in class terms, excluding those with wealth and

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Learning to Meditate

Stephen Batchelor— Even on long summer days in rural England when it would not get dark until 10 pm, my mother insisted on sending her two sons to bed early, which I thought both unfair and pointless. Unable to sleep, I would close my eyes and imagine my prone body

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Transforming the High-School Science Classroom

Barbara Schneider, Joseph Krajcik, Jari Lavonen, and Katariina Salmela-Aro— The bell rings as first hour is about to begin. By twos and threes, students duck into Ms. Newman’s classroom just in time to begin science class, while others surreptitiously trickle in after the bell. Ms. Newman takes attendance while students

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Hardships

Musonius Rufus— In order to support more easily and more cheerfully those hardships which we may expect to suffer in behalf of virtue and goodness, it is useful to recall what hardships people will endure for unworthy ends. Thus for example consider what intemperate lovers undergo for the sake of

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Fear and Financial Crisis

Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, Henry M. Paulson Jr.— The crisis of 2008 was a classic financial panic, a staple of economic history at least since the Dutch tulip crisis of 1637, except this time it was rooted in a mania over dubious mortgages rather than fashionable flowers. As

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How Ethnic Conflict Happens

Pascal Boyer— Nations are often based on ethnicity, but ethnicity itself is a mystery, or it should be. Ethnicity is the notion that a certain group of people share common interests and should unite toward the realization of common goals, by virtue of shared traditions, often language, and in most

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Why We Can’t Forget about the Brain

Iain McGilchrist— It might seem reductive to link the highest achievements of the human mind, in philosophy and the arts, to the structure of the brain. I believe it is not. For one thing, even if it were possible for mind to be ‘reduced’, as we say, to matter, this

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Addicted to Distraction

Judson Brewer— This is where the magic happens. Once behavior and reward are paired, the dopamine neurons change their phasic firing pattern to respond to stimuli that predict rewards. Enter the trigger into the scene of reward-based learning. We see someone smoking a cigarette, and we suddenly get a craving.

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Beyond Buddhist Exceptionalism

Evan Thompson— Confusion reigns in the debates about science and religion. Nowhere is this more evident than in the special treatment Buddhism receives. People say Buddhism is the most science-friendly of religions. According to a widespread view, Buddhism at its core isn’t so much a religion as it is a

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An Overlooked Key to Conflict Resolution

Donna Hicks— I was in my office one afternoon, working on a project for an organization in Northern Ireland, when the phone rang. I picked it up, and on the other end of the line was a consultant who had been working for a major U.S. corporation for several years.

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