Author posts

Gertrude Berg: The original media titan

Before Oprah or Martha Stewart, Berg built an empire around her name.

What the Oscars say about the American story — and our values

Hollywood is a gated community, and the stories it chooses to honor speak volumes about how it views race and gender in this country.

Rock Star Psychologist Bandura Receives National Medal of Science

He formed social learning theory. He made self-efficacy a game-changing concept. And he really did a number on Bobo the Clown. Albert Bandura is the Keith Moon of psychology.

The Creative Mind Is a Technicolor Contradiction

It's not as black and white, left brain/right brain as the theories of yore.

Is It Really Drug Abuse If It's Adderall?

A new study reveals who is searching online for ADHD drugs, and the relaxed attitude toward "study drug" abuse. 

Why I'm Honored To Be A Woman Called 'Crazy'

It's the rebels among us that change the world. 

The secret science of owning a party

Getting people to like you has never been easier. 

Why I still believe in human goodness

These days it's hard to believe there is still moral beauty in the world. This is why we still want to believe, and where we can start looking.

7 things we can all learn from the music and life of John Lennon

About 1.15 million people in the U.S. have died from gun violence since John Lennon's death 35 years ago. What can his life and music tell us about how to respond to violence, intolerance, and hate? 

Why Some of Us Throw in the Towel While Others Get Back Up

How likely we are to bounce back from a setback is not predetermined. Here's why, and what you can do to cultivate your inner fighter.

Anger Is Causing the Republican Party to Hulk Out!

Donald Trump is the poster boy for the GOP, which has used its ability to harness anger for the powers of bad. 

Why We Need Friends Now More Than Ever

Studies say we need friends in order to be happier, healthier, and to live longer — but in this case, is less more? 

How practicing gratitude rewires your brain for the better

Even when everything sucks, you can still feel thankful. 

Tchaikovsky’s wisdom for artists with depression

His words give those of us with creative and depressive tendencies hope, perspective, and a sense of camaraderie.

By Dismissing Syrian Refugees, We Are Forgetting Our Values

France is welcoming Syrian refugees, but the U.S. is frightened. Have we forgotten who we are and how we got here? 

What Is Evil, and How Do We Defeat It?

Science says Syndrome-E can tell us who is and isn't evil, but how we really know and what we can do about it isn't so simple. 

Our Strongest Weapon Against Terrorism Is Laughter

The ability to laugh during dark times gives us strength, community, and hope.

Want to Be Successful? Don't Act Like a Lady.

Women are being told that competing with one another isn't very lady-like. Nature begs to differ.

Help A Depressed Kid from Becoming a Depressed Adult by Doing This

A new study shows how children who face difficult times grow up to be anxious adults. Luckily, there's something we all can do. 

I'm *so* sorry my sarcasm makes me more creative

A new study shows people who use sarcasm have increased creativity, but are the benefits contagious? 

Science Doesn't Find Truth, It Understands Change

There is a modern backlash against the pursuit of knowledge, and here is why that is absurd.

Everything I Learned in School About Being Wrong Is Wrong

Teachers reinforce that making mistakes will get you a dunce cap. Shouldn't it be getting you a gold star instead? 

The Difference Between Empathy and Compassion Is Everything

We often conflate the words 'compassion' and 'empathy' but they have different meanings for a very important reason.

The New York Mets and the Science of Fan Loyalty

The Mets are going to the World Series, with a rabid fan base that has stood by them despite decades of dashed hopes. Why do we love our teams, even when they lose?

Who Did New York Better? Jane Jacobs or Robert Moses?

“We don’t want to make this; Moses is Darth Vader and Jacobs is a perfect angel from heaven.”

What happened when Einstein met Indian mystic Tagore

Albert Einstein gives his surprising perspective on truth to Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.

Harvard Students Debated Prison Inmates and Guess Who Won

Sure their students won a debate against Harvard, but that's only one reason the Bard Prison Initiative is changing the way we think about criminals.

When It's Not Okay to Claim Shame

Shame is an all-purpose word these days, but how does that affect the real victims?

Trevor Noah is No Jon Stewart — And Shouldn't Try to Be

If you remove the media microscope, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has promise but should have more "with Trevor Noah."

How Television Is Making Us A More Accepting Society

Studies show that television shows featuring minorities help us ease our attitudes toward people who are "different." We look back at the past thirty years and see how that came to be.

Comedy is Emotional Medicine for the Hard Times in Life

Laughter helps us cope with negative emotions, new research says, and that's a — comedic — relief.


Science and Buddhism agree: There is no "you" there

As neuroscience has begun studying the mind, they have looked to those who have mastered the mind. University of British Columbia researchers have verified the Buddhist belief of anatta, or not-self.

How the music we love drives our survival

We know music and emotion are connected, but neuroscience tells us why music is such an integral part of what makes us human.

Confessions of a Liberal Lady Who Likes Fiorina (Sort Of)

I'm a granola-eating hippie liberal, and I kind of admire Carly Fiorina. What happens when we like a person, but hate their politics?

Tim Cook's Inspiring Reasons for Coming Out

Apple CEO Tim Cook came out in order to help gay young people do the same. But what if every LGBT public figure had the same bravery?

Fiorina and Trump 'Face' Off

Carly Fiorina is rising in the polls and raising Donald Trump's ire, likely resulting in a Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robot Edition of the GOP debates.

Trump Boycotts Oreos. When Will Media Boycott Trump?

Stephen Colbert compared binging on Trump jokes to binging on Oreos — but are we the ones over-indulging in Trumpapolooza?

What should you do on 9/11? Tell someone where you were.

Many of us need to share where we were on 9/11, and telling our story may be the best way for us to heal.

Clinton Press Release: Hillary to Be Funnier, More Spontaneous

Hillary Clinton continually tweaks her public image, but there is a greater cost to not knowing who you are: We don't know, either. 

Kids Are Losing Playtime to Achievement. That’s a Problem.

As children become more overscheduled, playtime decreases and the pressure to achieve increases. The cost of that trade-off is high. 

SAT Scores Hit a Low Point, but Test Maker Has a Solution

SAT scores are the lowest they've been in a decade, so we're making the test easier to take. What does that say about our data-obsessed culture?

Great Preventative Cold Medicine? A Good Night's Sleep.

A new study says that the less sleep you get, the more likely you'll be to catch a cold. 

2 Weeks Maternity Leave Is Enough for Me, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

The current length of maternity leave is one-size-fits-all, but what does that say about the value we place on balancing work and family?

To Get What You Want in a Negotiation, Be Deferential

Showing dominance in a negotiation seems like a sure-fire way to win, but a new study challenges that notion. 

Following Your Passion Is Impractical — Consider Doing it Anyway

Our "follow your dreams" culture encourages us to listen to our gut, while society demands practicality. But what does that mean for artists?

Study: There are instructions for teaching critical thinking

A new study says critical thinking is a teachable skill, but who is going to teach it?

Stephen Colbert Is the Hero Late Night Fans Deserve

Late night has become uninteresting and often unfunny, but all of that may change with the help of Stephen Colbert.

What Drives Helicopter Parenting? Not Control, But Fear.

Experts say hovering parents set our kids up for failure — but why is that, and what can we do to change?

Even the Oil Industry Is Warning Shell Not to Drill in the Arctic

Shell has permission to drill off the coast of Alaska, but other oil companies are warning of potentially harmful long-term consequences.

Science Knows Why People Love Donald Trump — and It's Scary

Donald Trump is the topic of our national conversation, and the reason for his popularity seems to revolve around his distaste for political correctness—but why do we love that? 

Is the Popularity of Tattoos a Sign of Civilization's Decline?

Forget asteroids, plagues, or zombies: The true apocalypse will (allegedly) be the curiosity of tattooed millennials.   

How intense emotions affect our  creative focus

Recent research studies the link between creativity and emotional states, offering answers to the age-old question, "How can I be more creative?" 

Ferguson and the Complete Breakdown of Trust

Another young black man was shot in Ferguson, as the public's faith in law enforcement waivers.

Conan Is Latest Comedian Accused of Stealing Jokes on Twitter

In the murky land of Twitter, a war rages online- and offline as comedians attempt to protect their writing from other writers.