Understanding the psychology of distraction can help you stay on task

Could your urge to check emails — instead of finishing that major project — be a response to an uncomfortable emotional state?

  • It's easy to stumble down a rabbit hole when we consider the action beneficial like checking emails, stock prices, or sports scores.
  • However, if these seemingly beneficial actions take the place of something else we intended to do, they're just distractions. And we've been moved to these distraction as a psychological response to discomfort.
  • The truth is that distraction comes from within, and time management is just another form of pain management.
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How does academic freedom change society for good?

Even the most controversial research conducted by scholars can impact cultures and drive progress.

Videos
  • Academic freedom is, at the same time, absolutely critical and underappreciated.
  • This protection drives innovation and progress, but do we take it for granted? Scholars' ability to conduct controversial research impacts culture and society in a positive way.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Heart attacks and canker sores: why we need to take oral health seriously

Your microbiome begins in your mouth. Why don't we look there more often?

  • Eighty percent of patients who've had heart attacks have gum disease, says Dr. Shahrzad Fattahi.
  • Oral health is also implicated in forms of cancer, dementia, canker sores, and more.
  • Fattahi says the future of medicine must also focus on saliva, as a whole new field of salivary diagnostics is emerging.
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The perks of being a bit neurotic

It's one of our five major personality traits, and arguably, it's the worst one. Why are some human beings neurotic?

  • Scoring high in neuroticism is associated with a slew of negative outcomes for your physical and mental health.
  • However, it appears to be an inherited trait, one that has persisted through the many thousands of years of human evolution.
  • Some researchers argue that in the environment where humans first evolved, being a little neurotic may have been highly beneficial.
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Meet 5-MeO-DMT, the 'powerful' psychedelic that improves depression in one hour

A newly studied hallucinogenic substance has shown signs of treating mental health conditions more efficiently than psilocybin.

Photo Credit: Pobytov / Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A survey study found that around 80 percent of people using the psychedelic 5-MeO-DMT in a ceremonial setting said that their depression or anxiety improved following its use.
  • The "mystical" experience of drug trip might allow people to gain unique insight into themselves or their relationships and make positive life changes.
  • While substance is found in the poison of the Sonoran Desert Toad, researchers say there is no reason to disturb the toad because the synthetic version of 5-MeO-DMT is identical in its effect.
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Navigating reality: It’s all about perspective

Learn to level up your thinking on how you perceive reality.

Videos
  • Social philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger explains why the capacity to hold the relationships between many perspectives at once can inform our choice-making and help us navigate reality.
  • Transperspectival thinking is useful in the abstract—like Schmachtenberger's example of two tribes of dimensional beings—as well as in the real world.
  • Try to recall this lesson on transperspectival thinking during your next political debate or discussion and see how it may change your reactions and the way you navigate political realities.
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How outrage mobs silence academics — and what we can do to stop them

When the protection of academic freedom is compromised, scholarship and greater society suffer the effects.

Image via Getty
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Social media has made it easier than ever to succumb to mob mentality and let our worst instincts and impulses run rampant. Outrage mobs pose a new and unique threat to professors' academic freedom.
  • Although expressing moral outrage can feel good, bad actors can use outrage mobs to further their own specific agendas, leaving careers ruined and productive discourse even further out of reach.
  • University leaders should stop caving to outrage mobs and start standing up for academic freedom, both for students and professors.
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