​Is science synonymous with 'truth'? Game theory says, 'not always.'

Good science is sometimes trumped by the craving for a "big splash."

  • Scientists strive to earn credit from their peers, for grants from federal agencies, and so a lot of the decisions that they make are strategic in nature. They're encouraged to publish exciting new findings that demonstrate some new phenomenon that we have never seen before.
  • This professional pressure can affect their decision-making — to get acclaim they may actually make science worse. That is, a scientist might commit fraud if he thinks he can get away with it or a scientist might rush a result out of the door even though it hasn't been completely verified in order to beat the competition.
  • On top of the acclaim of their peers, scientists — with the increasing popularity of science journalism — are starting to be rewarded for doing things that the public is interested in. The good side of this is that the research is more likely to have a public impact, rather than be esoteric. The bad side? To make a "big splash" a scientist may push a study or article that doesn't exemplify good science.
  • The body influences the mind: physical activity changes our brain chemistry.
  • More activity in the body, and therefore in the brain, reorients us toward happiness, purpose, and meaning.
  • Neuroplasticity suggests we can program ourselves to be more optimistic and hopeful.
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Habits come from what we do, not what we want to do

A new study takes a fresh look at the mechanics of forming habits.

(Victor Freitas/Unsplash)
  • A new study suggests repetition is the key to developing a new habit.
  • The study bases its conclusions on the habits of digital rodents.
  • Just keep at it — go to the gym, floss — and the desired habit will eventually stick.
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9 life lessons powerful people taught us in 2018

Everyone is a work in progress — even these household names.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Inspirational quotes can offer invaluable advice and wisdom. Here at Thrive, we often look to new role models like Michelle Obama, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, and more for thoughtful commentary on everything from how to find happiness on your own terms to how you can finally conquer self-doubt. Here are some of the top quotes that we shared on our Instagram in 2018 — they feature smart, practical advice that will help guide you in 2019.

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What one Navy SEAL learned by doing Hell Week 3 times

Two questions hold the key to breaking through your limitations, says David Goggins.

  • Navy SEAL Hell Week is 130 hours of brutal training with less than 4 hours of sleep.
  • To mentally and physically persist, you need to be sure of one thing: Why you want to be there.
  • David Goggins keeps a 'mental cookie jar' of victories to overcome stress and negative self-talk.
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