David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Having High Aspirations Can Lead to Depression

When people aspire to outcomes that they could not realistically expect to achieve, they become depressed.

In the 1942 film Now, Voyager, Bette Davis’s character ends with the line, "Don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars.” "Reach for the stars" has since become a trite platitude to encourage young people. From first graders to graduating college seniors, young people are consistently told that they can be and do anything that they set their minds to.

Except for the little problem of how to: A new study by Princeton psychology professor Margaret Frye and University of Queensland’s Katharine H. Greenaway and Tegan Cruwys reveals the paradox that more college students are excited about the future, yet simultaneously more down about it than ever. According to their research, these young people often aspire to outcomes that they could not realistically expect to achieve and, consequently, become depressed.

More college students are excited about the future, yet simultaneously more down about it than ever.

What’s key to note about this study is that these young people hoped for outcomes — such as high grades or levels of education — with little understanding how to achieve them. Hope, as a psychological concept, is a pretty muddy concept. Technically, it can be understood as a mental estimate of probabilities that outweigh the negative possibilities that would lead to fear; spiritually, it is often interpreted as faith, which ideally should persist no matter the odds.

Imperative CEO Aaron Hurst says knowing what your purpose is will you help you achieve.

Live tomorrow! Unfiltered lessons of a female entrepreneur

Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg as he interviews Victoria Montgomery Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think, live at 1pm EDT tomorrow.

Two MIT students just solved Richard Feynman’s famed physics puzzle

Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.

Surprising Science

Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.

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Improving Olympic performance with asthma drugs?

A study looks at the performance benefits delivered by asthma drugs when they're taken by athletes who don't have asthma.

Image source: sumroeng chinnapan/Shutterstock
Culture & Religion
  • One on hand, the most common health condition among Olympic athletes is asthma. On the other, asthmatic athletes regularly outperform their non-asthmatic counterparts.
  • A new study assesses the performance-enhancement effects of asthma medication for non-asthmatics.
  • The analysis looks at the effects of both allowed and banned asthma medications.

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Weird science shows unseemly way beetles escape after being eaten

Certain water beetles can escape from frogs after being consumed.

R. attenuata escaping from a black-spotted pond frog.

Surprising Science
  • A Japanese scientist shows that some beetles can wiggle out of frog's butts after being eaten whole.
  • The research suggests the beetle can get out in as little as 7 minutes.
  • Most of the beetles swallowed in the experiment survived with no complications after being excreted.
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Mind & Brain

Why are we fascinated by true crime stories?

Several experts have weighed in on our sometimes morbid curiosity and fascination with true crime.

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