An Explanation of Happiness
Oct18

An Explanation of Happiness

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. — Dalai Lama There are few things in life we pursue as consistently and determinedly as happiness. Heck, “the pursuit of happiness” is inscribed in the US Constitution (i.e., so you know it’s legit). But for as important as we all agree happiness is, the field of psychology hasn’t treated it so. For example, in 1981, there were close to 130 publications on...

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The Mind of a Terrorist
Oct11

The Mind of a Terrorist

There’s nothing more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man. — Kai Anderson, American Horror Story: Cult It’s hard to turn on the news these days with humans committing more and more extreme acts against one another. Whether that is explicit terrorism or a horrific mass shooting, in response to these events, we often (rightfully) feel anger. Anger, though, is often a “secondary” emotion. That is, we use anger to protect...

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Warm Parent, Cold Parent
Sep20

Warm Parent, Cold Parent

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. — Robert Fulghum Parenting is hard—or at least I assume it must be. I mean I’ve never been a parent, but thinking of myself as a child takes little effort to recall moments that must have caused my parents to debate the age restriction on fire station drop-offs. And I was the good child 😉 Now, for nearly all forms of life, an animal’s...

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The Paradox of Too Much Choice
Aug09

The Paradox of Too Much Choice

The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action. — John Dewey On Netflix, I sometimes worry that I spend more time looking for movies than I actually spend watching them. Actually, I’m pretty sure I do. From movie selection to sock shopping to deciding which toe nail to clip first, I often can’t help agonizing over my choices. Of course, there are those jerks who look at their...

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Choice Blindness
Jun14

Choice Blindness

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. — William James (the father of psychology) The other day, my girlfriend had a photoshoot, and she asked for my opinion on which of two shirts to wear. With my advanced degree in boyfriendology, I provided a very thoughtful response. As the actual photoshoot neared, however, my girlfriend again asked for my preference, and once more, I pointed to...

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