Early usage of schadenfreude in English and literature

Schadenfreude has always been with us.

  • Aristotle spoke of the emotion over two thousand years ago.
  • The first appearance of the word in English speaking countries gave speakers a new way to express themselves.
  • To this day, there is still some unease around the feeling.
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Culture & Religion
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Stress has complicated effects on our memories.

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Mind & Brain

Why it’s so hard to stop obsessing about things — and what to do about it

Try not to think about your hands. Now enjoy a few minutes of not being able to stop thinking about them.

Image source: TheVisualsYouNeed/Shutterstock
  • The "white bear problem" describes that situation in which we can't stop thinking about something no matter how hard we try.
  • Your mental process at such times pits two parts of your brain against each other.
  • Research support a few ways to exit this maddening hamster wheel.
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Personal Growth

How neuroscience shows the highs and lows of humanity

Here's what neuroscience and psychology have to say about how people humanize and dehumanize one another.

  • When humans think about other humans versus inanimate objects, that difference can be seen in activated brain regions on fMRI scans.
  • Studies reveal that those brain regions don't light up equally when we look at all people – we tend to humanize some people and dehumanize others when we see things like homelessness, drug addiction, different ethnicities or someone in an outgroup.
  • On the other hand, humanization can be increased by something seemingly trivial: human touch. Studies show that NBA teams who touch more on the court play better together, and that the touch of a loved one can reduce pain.
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Videos

Ack! I need chocolate! The science of PMS food cravings

What foods are women reaching for? Carbs and fats and sweets.

Premenstrual food cravings are the punchline of endless jokes. Like most good jokes, they're funny because they're true.

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Mind & Brain