Why It's Dangerous To Flatter The Narcissist With Too Much Attention

Why It's Dangerous To Flatter The Narcissist With Too Much AttentionAlmost 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”

The Shape Of Your Brain Could Determine Your Personality

The Shape Of Your Brain Could Determine Your PersonalityHave 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.

Welcome To The Age Of Collective Narcissism

Welcome To The Age Of Collective NarcissismConsider 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.

The Murky History Of The Nature And Nurture Debate

The Murky History Of The Nature And Nurture DebateSelf-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?

Can We Learn Important Lessons Without Having To Go Through Ordeals?

You Don’t Always Have to Learn the Hard WayHow 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...

What Is Empathy And Why Do We Need It?

What Is Empathy And Why Do We Need It?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.

The Science Of How We Become Entrenched In Our Views

The Science Of How We Become Entrenched In Our ViewsFinally 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.

7 Ways That Communicating Risk Can Fail

7 Ways That Communicating Risk Can FailMany 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.

Why Higher Education Doesn't Mean Higher Levels Of Tolerance

Why Higher Education Doesn't Mean Higher Levels Of ToleranceIt’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.

Why The Color Red Became So Powerful

Why The Color Red Became So PowerfulWho gets to walk on the red carpet? What makes red-letter days so special? Where is the red line that must not be crossed?

How To Break Out Of Your Echo Chamber

echo chamber 12 14On 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.

How To Hate Neoliberalism But Love Each Other

How To Hate Neoliberalism But Love Each OtherWorldwide, 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.

The Psychology Behind Christmas TV Advertising

The Psychology Behind Christmas TV AdvertisingChristmas 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.

These Are The Characteristics Of People Most Likely To Cut Corners At Work

These Are The Characteristics Of People Most Likely To Cut Corners At WorkIn 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.

Why US Racism Runs Far Deeper Than Trump's White Supremacist Fans

Why US Racism Runs Far Deeper Than Trump's White Supremacist FansDonald 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...

How To Replace Old Mind Tapes with New Thoughts

How To Replace Old Mind Tapes with New ThoughtsOf 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...

6 Ways To Avoid A Holiday Financial Hangover

stop overspendingThe 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.

Digging in the Dung: Turning Tragedy and Pain into Insights and Wisdom

Digging in the Dung: Turning Tragedy and Pain into Insights and WisdomUnpleasant 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...

Why Friends And Parents Play A Big Part In Making A Criminal

Why Friends And Parents Play A Big Part In Making A CriminalFor 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?

Why It Is Useful To Understand The Role Of Genetics In Behavior

Why It Is Useful To Understand The Role Of Genetics In BehaviorScientists 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.

Does It Really Pay To Be Generous?

Does It Really Pay To Be Generous?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.

Use Your IGS To Move From Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and Reaction

Use Your IGS To Move From Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and ReactionMahatma 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...

Why You Shouldn't Blame Lying On The Brain

Why You Shouldn't Blame Lying On The BrainThe 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.

How To Overcome Exam Anxiety

How To Overcome Exam AnxietyDo 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?

Wherever You Look, Looking is the Key

Wherever You Look, Looking is the KeyThere is a story that has kept popping up in my work over the years. It is one of the tales of Nasruddin, a Sufi amalgam of wise man and fool. He has the peculiar gift of both acting out our basic confusion and at the same time opening us up to our deeper wisdom.

Learning That People Can Develop And Change Boosts Cooperation

Learning That People Can Develop And Change Boosts CooperationA research team of psychologists has found that teaching Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli teenagers that groups are generally capable of change—without ever mentioning a specific adversary—can significantly improve their ability to cooperate.

Why Male Chauvinism Appeals To Some Voters More Than Others

Why Male Chauvinism Appeals To Some Voters More Than OthersEven after mounting evidence of Donald Trump’s exploitative and demeaning treatment of women, his standing in the polls still hovers above 40%. On the face of it that’s more than a little shocking – but less surprising is the gender split among his supporters.

Why People Don't Evacuate Before A Major Storm

Army National Guardsmen help residents evacuate their homes in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Oct. 8. U.S. Army National Guard/Flickr, CC BYAs Hurricane Matthew approached the Atlantic coast earlier this month, more than 2.5 million people were told to evacuate in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Why Narcissists Are More Likely To Break The Rules

Why Narcissists Are More Likely To Break The RulesWhat drives professional sportspeople to break the rules of the game? And what makes them believe, or hope, that they won’t get caught? Or think that their actions will bring glory to them and their team?

What Determines Whether You're A Night Owl Or Early Bird?

What Determines Whether You're A Night Owl Or Early Bird?Sleep is critical for physical and mental health, and our quality of life. While 3% of the population are genetically programmed to function with less than six hours sleep regularly, the rest of us need around 7.5 hours a night. But what determines whether we like to go to bed early or late?

How Do Children Develop A Sense Of Self?

How Do Children Develop A Sense Of Self?From the moment they are born, babies are exposed to information that can teach them about who they are. By touching their own face and body, or by kicking and grabbing things, they start to enjoy the influence of their actions on the world.

Getting Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Getting Comfortable in Your Own SkinThe best way to move into authenticity with ease is to roll up your sleeves and get comfortable in your own skin. No one even has to be around for this to start, it’s just about you being comfortable with yourself.

Step Aside and Experience a Miracle in the Making

Step Aside and Experience  a Miracle in the MakingI began the practice of “stepping aside” only after years of step­ping into business that was clearly not my own. I had mistak­enly assumed that helping others make their decisions was an important calling. It showed them I cared. It was my way of remaining important to them. Or so I thought . . .

How Monkeys Make Friends And Influence Each Other

How Monkeys Make Friends And Influence Each OtherFor us humans, getting involved in an aggressive conflict can be costly, not only because of the risk of injury and stress, but also because it can damage precious social relationships between friends – and the same goes for monkeys and apes.

Peace Is Your Responsibility: Are You Ready To Be Peace?

Peace Is Your Responsibility: Are You Ready To Be Peace?To really know about peace is to embody the truth that you and peace are one. But since so many aren’t aware of what they truly are, how can they possibly know lasting peace? This lack of awareness is why, despite the efforts of activists, seekers, and indeed so many in the world who desire peace, an enduring peace escapes us.

How Do I Know If I Drink Too Much?

How Do I Know If I Drink Too Much?While alcohol is a legal and common way many societies stimulate social interaction, when consumed at high levels over long periods it can undermine physical health and cause cancers and other disease.

What Sad Songs Say To Some People, But Not Others

What Sad Songs Say To Some People, But Not OthersTear-jerkers such as Adele’s Someone Like You frequently top the charts these days, while gloomy classical compositions like Mozart’s Requiem have moved people for centuries. Both portray and bring about a strong sense of loss and sadness.

A Sober Crowd Makes Drinking Seem More Risky

A Sober Crowd Makes Drinking Seem More RiskyPeople were more likely to underestimate their own level of drinking, drunkenness, and the associated risks when surrounded by other drunk people, a new study shows. Those people also felt more at risk when surrounded by people who were more sober.

8 Easy Steps To Stop Procrastinating

(mararie/flickr)It’s 10:00 at night, and you have a paper due tomorrow morning. You’ve been trying to come up with a good idea all afternoon, but you became distracted by your friends’ Tumblr posts.

Why Guilt Can Be Good For You

Why Guilt Can Be Good For YouWe spend so much time helping people who punish themselves and constrain their lives with an overdeveloped sense of guilt that it's easy to forget the other side of the coin.

Cannabis Makes You Lazy Only In The Short Term

Cannabis Makes You Lazy Only In The Short TermAfroman’s 2001 hit Because I Got High tells a potentially important story: smoking cannabis makes you lazy and demotivated. In fact, the fable of the lazy stoner has been around for decades. But is there good evidence in support of it?

How Guilt Is A Wonderful Teacher

How Guilt Is A Wonderful TeacherI remember once believing that guilt was a wasted emotion. Like all emotions, there is a place for guilt. A centered spiritual being, one who has moved past limiting beliefs, will feel guilty doing something that goes against who she is or wants to be.

How Consciousness Can Heal Our Emotions

How Consciousness Can Heal Our EmotionsWe develop the capacity to experience happiness, ecstasy, and tranquility to the degree to which we can free ourselves from the residue of our emotional body.

How Advertisers Seduce Our Subconscious

How Advertisers Seduce Our SubconsciousIn 1957 Vance Packard’s book The Hidden Persuaders shocked the world by revealing that messages exposed subliminally, below our level of perception, were able to increase sales of ice cream and Coke.

We Can All Be A Little Radicalized

We Can All Be A Little Radicalized

The conviction of radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary for swearing allegiance to Islamic State shows that those breaking the law by inviting support for a terrorist organisation can and will be prosecuted.

Cultivating New Behaviors: You've Got A Problem? So What!

Cultivating New Behaviors: You've Got A Problem? So What!Personal prob­lems are only as big and as real as we make them. In fact, they only exist if we allow our egos to create them and then we feed them through our incessant attention. Take a look at the following suggestions for changing how you look at the “imagined problems” in your life.

Why Getting The Giggles Is So Contagious

Laughter: works better in company. CREATISTAIt is 25 years since cricket commentators Brian Johnston and Jonathan Agnew famously got the uncontrollable giggles on live radio, while reporting on that day’s Test Match between England and the West Indies.

Why People Feel More Pain If They Carry A Grievance

Why People Feel More Pain If They Carry A GrievanceWe all experience the ups and downs of life sometimes. We might be treated badly by others or miss out on something we think we deserve, like a promotion at work.

What Drives Smartphone Addiction?

What Drives Smartphone Addiction?How many times a day do you check your smartphone? According to a recent survey, the typical American checks once every six-and-a-half minute.

When Is Childhood Shyness A Cause For Concern?

When Is Childhood Shyness A Cause For Concern?When parents observe shyness in their child, they may wonder if it is normal or cause for concern. For instance, in social situations, the child may cling to their parent, be hesitant to speak, reluctant to interact with others, and play alone when in groups more often than other children their age.

Is Your Nervous System A Democracy Or A Dictatorship?

Is Your Nervous System A Democracy Or A DictatorshipHow does the architecture of our brain and neurons allow each of us to make individual behavioral choices? Scientists have long used the metaphor of government to explain how they think nervous systems are organized for decision-making.

Here’s What Free Will Looks Like In Your Brain

Here’s What Free Will Looks Like In Your BrainScientists have for the first time watched the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act. Unlike in brain imaging studies where researchers watch as people respond to cues or commands, Johns Hopkins researchers found a way to observe people’s brain activity as they made choices entirely on their own.

When Bad Ideas Refuse To Die

When Bad Ideas Refuse To DieIt is generally thought that science helps good ideas triumph over bad. The weight of evidence eventually pushes false claims aside.

3 Ways to Step Beyond Overthinking

3 Ways to Step Beyond OverthinkingThe notion that our minds produce thoughts automatically was a breakthrough insight for me. For years, I battled to still my mind, to stop thinking. Once I embraced the perspective that my thoughts are another sense, my relationship with thinking changed.

How Cute Things Hijack Our Brains And Drive Behavior

How Cute Things Hijack Our Brains And Drive BehaviorWhat is the cutest thing you have ever seen? Chances are it involves a baby, a puppy or another adorable animal. And chances are it is forever imprinted on your mind. But what exactly is this powerful attractive force and how is it expressed in the brain?

These Social Animals Inherit Friends From Mom

These Social Animals Inherit Friends From MomAs social species, the social networks of lizards, hyenas, and dolphins influence every pivotal aspect of their lives: finding a mate, reproducing, getting sick, or surviving.

Freeing Yourself of Bad Moods

Freeing Yourself of Bad MoodsFunky moods obscure our experience for hours, days, weeks, or even longer. Left unattended, they shape our personalities and determine the quality of our lives. We think that we have no control over our moods but the truth is quite the contrary.

We Behave A Lot More Badly Than We Remember

We Behave A Lot More Badly Than We RememberIn a 1997 U.S. News and World Report survey, 1,000 Americans were asked the following question: “Who do you think is most likely to get into heaven?” According to respondents, then-president Bill Clinton had a 52 percent chance; basketball star Michael Jordan had a 65 percent chance; and Mother Teresa had a 79 percent chance.

De-Stressing After A Long Work Day

De-Stressing After A Long Work DayNo matter what your field, or how much you love your job, you’re always going to have days that drain you. Days where you feel exhausted and stressed, days that you are happy to see come to an end. When you are finally done with work and you get home to unwind, there are some healthy ways to go about it.

How to Enjoy Life and Move Through Anxiety

How to Enjoy Life and Move Through AnxietyHow come some people love wild roller coaster rides, while others are scared of them? It all starts with your thoughts! It really is up to you in the end. If you have the mechanism to be afraid, you also have the mechanism to enjoy life and move through anxiety!

Angels on the Road: Trust Me, I Have Your Back!

Angels on the Road: Trust Me, I Have Your Back!If we only knew how many times we are rescued by divine intervention, we would completely trust this higher power. There would then be nothing to worry about – ever! Joyce and I had yet another powerful reminder of this truth – and divine miracle – last week.

Why Doing Good Can Do You Good

Why Doing Good Can Do You GoodWe feel good when we do a good deed, so there must be a psychological benefit to helping others? But how can we know for sure? The best way to study the health benefits of kind deeds is to look at studies of volunteering.

Got To Get You Out Of My Head: How To Eradicate Earworms

Got To Get You Out Of My Head: How To Eradicate EarwormsAre you imagining music in your head? If so, it’s probably a certain Kylie Minogue hit. Sorry. But hopefully, once you’ve read this, you’ll be in a better position than you were before to get rid of it, or any other imaginary music playing on repeat in your mind’s ear.

In Loud Rooms Our Brain Hears In A Different Way

In Loud Rooms Our Brain Hears In A Different WayWhen we talk face-to-face, we exchange many more signals than just words. We communicate using our body posture, facial expressions and head and eye movements; but also through the rhythms that are produced when someone is speaking.

Are Our Smartphones Afflicting Us All With Symptoms Of ADHD?

Are Our Smartphones Afflicting Us All With Symptoms Of ADHD?When was the last time you opened your laptop midconversation or brought your desktop computer to the dinner table? Ridiculous, right? But if you are like a large number of Americans, you have done both with your smartphone.

Why We Mix Up The Names Of People In Our Family

In addition to mixing up sibling for sibling and daughter for son, study participants frequently called other family members by the name of the family pet—but only when the pet was a dog. (Credit: e_haya/Flickr)In addition to mixing up sibling for sibling and daughter for son, study participants frequently called other family members by the name of the family pet—but only when the pet was a dog.

The Brain Warps The Faces We See To Fit Stereotypes We Believe

warped face 5 6"If stereotypes we have learned can change how we visually process another person, this kind of visual stereotyping may only serve to reinforce and possibly exacerbate the biases that exist in the first place," says Jonathan Freeman.

A Bit Of Claustrophobia Is Normal

tight spaces 4 4“Claustrophobia” is generally described as an irrational fear of confined spaces, and it has been estimated to affect some 5-7% of the world population. Clearly, some people are more distressed than others when they are in confined spaces, but a fear of physical restraint is so normal that it seems illogical not to

Why There's No Such Thing As An Addictive Personality

Why There's No Such Thing As An Addictive Personality“Life is a series of addictions and without them we die”. This is my favourite quote in academic addiction literature and was made back in 1990 in the British Journal of Addiction by Isaac Marks. This deliberately provocative and controversial statement was made to stimulate debate about whether excessive and potentially problematic activities such as gambling, sex and work really can

Uncovering the Clues of Your Food Cravings

Uncovering the Clues of Your Food CravingsDo you have a daily showdown with your personal cookie monster? Or does your food demon prefer the crunch of potato chips or pretzels? If you're like most people, you've become the underdog in this internal war.

I'll Punish Your Bad Behavior To Make Me Look Good

Standing up for what’s right can come with a cost to the individual – but also a benefit. Michael Fleshman, CC BY-NCWhat makes human morality unique? One important answer is that we care when other people are harmed. While many animals retaliate when directly mistreated, humans also get outraged at transgressions against others. And this outrage drives us to protest injustice, boycott companies, blow whistles...

Why There Are No Limits To Your Willpower

Why There Are No Limits To Your WillpowerWe’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?

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