Essential Reads

What Happens When You Lie by Telling the Truth?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on March 22, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
Deception is a common activity among people. There are many ways to do it, and they have different influences on ourselves and other people.

The Mindset that Makes it Hard to Admit You're Wrong

People make mistakes all the time, but for many of us, admitting to them is painful and hard. Figuring out how to apologize can at least get you on the right pathway.

Social Norms, Moral Judgments, and Irrational Parenting

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on March 19, 2017 in Freedom to Learn
We are all conformists; it’s part of human nature. But sometimes our conformist nature leads us to do things that are downright silly or, worse, tragic.

Why Men Post Revenge Porn Pictures

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 17, 2017 in Women Who Stray
The culture has been rocked by more nude photo scandals, and they won't stop until we have thoughtful, nuanced conversations about why they happen.

More Posts on Ethics and Morality

The Animals' Agenda: An interview About Animal Well-Being

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book titled "The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age" argues animal welfare needs to be replaced with the science of animal well-being.

Could Your Brain Make You Do Insane Things?

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Creating in Flow
A brain tumor may figure in the insanity defense of the youth who fake-called Jewish community centers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Brain-imaging is gaining credence in courts.

On Giving

By Kate Levinson Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Emotional Currency
Gifting is contagious. And as the Pope says, it is "always right" to give to the needy.

Is It the Business of the University to Silence Voices?

The issue of freedom of expression is coming to a head on our campuses.

How Intention Shapes Blame

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on March 24, 2017 in ExperiMentations
We tend to blame easily, at our peril. Blaming can take the place of thinking, and lead to vicious cycles. Understanding how blame works can help us make better choices.

The 3 C’s of Engaging Political Discourse and Behavior

Without a commitment to civility, compassion, and the common good it is hard to image a hopeful future for any of us.

The Life Lessons of Children

Adults who can recognize children as teachers can learn some life skills that might improve their own life experience.

Guilt Me Not

Stop the guilt talk in your head.

The Meaning of Adam and Eve

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 18, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Was the fall from Eden a price worth paying?

Can a Country Lacking Empathy Toward Others Be Great?

Caring for others and a commitment to fairness are essential to a healthy, civil, and just society.

The Sustaining Fires of Standing Rock: A Movement Grows

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on March 17, 2017 in Dangerous Ideas
Oil profiteers have awakened a movement that combines a commitment to addressing the trampled rights of Native Americans with a reinvigorated call for climate justice.

What's the Difference Between Guilt and Shame?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 16, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Shame and guilt often go hand in hand, which is why they are readily confused.

Courting Controversy

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on March 15, 2017 in Pop Psych
Talking about taboo topics in long, boring ways

Well-being in Iceland has Flaws, Too

Although this country has thriving citizens in an awe-inspiring environment, it's not problem-free. That makes it more normal. Plea to tourists: "Look at the road, not the sky!"

Physician Assisted Suicide - a type of Euthanasia

Physician Assisted Suicide is but a subdivision of euthanasia, and as quality of death becomes a more relevant societal issue, legal and political pressure for it will grow.
K. Ramsland

Murder Buddies

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Some adolescent friendships go down a dark path, but there are strategies for parents who want to deflect them.

The Cost of Choosing Not to Have Kids: Moral Outrage

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Living Single
Married people who choose not to have kids elicit moral outrage. They are also judged as less fulfilled than married people who do want kids. But what if they were single?

Animal Behavior and Social Media

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Boundless
What can we learn about human online behavior by watching other species? Social interaction has the potential for both peace-making and aggression.

Avoid the Ad Hominem Attack

Arguments on all kinds of topics, between all kinds of people, are everywhere these days. In such a climate, we would be wise to avoid the ad hominem attack.

Humanists Doing Good in Uganda, Part 2

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on March 10, 2017 in The Secular Life
Humanism and secularism are growing in Africa, and doing good.

The Psychology of Hate

Who you hate says a lot about you.

What Is the Effect of Music on the Listener?

What is the difference between man-made musical sounds and the constant presence of worldly sounds that occupy consciousness almost around the clock?

Everything You Need to Know About Conflicts of Interest

Ever wonder if unconscious biases are affecting the way your doctor treats you? Here are a few ways to ensure that science and medicine get a handle on unconscious bias.

What is Friendship?

Researchers tell us how important friendship is for our happiness and health. But what is friendship? Can the thought of Emerson highlight its complexities?

What’s the Matter with Empathy?

By Sara Konrath Ph.D. on March 07, 2017 in The Empathy Gap
At a time when “empathy” is more controversial than ever, a researcher explains what it is, what it isn’t, and when it fosters kindness and compassion.

Has Disney Lost Its Direction by "Normalizing" Gay People?

There is more than enough conflict in the world. Maybe it's time that people start boycotting fear and hate mongers, rather than peacemakers.

When Silence Is Deafening

By Kaja Perina on March 07, 2017 in Brainstorm
A tiny act or calculation, including the decision to keep a secret, can eventually and invisibly sculpt a person’s relationships, even his or her identity.

Hate: Learning and Unlearning It

By Brenda Berger Ph.D. on March 06, 2017 in Hearts and Minds
At a time in America when anger is exploding into aggression and division, it's worth thinking about hatred in ourselves and ways to surmount it.

Can Humans Truly Connect With Nature by Eating a Big Mac?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Does meat eating connect us with nature and with ourselves? A recent essay unconvincingly claims it's important for attuning ourselves to the animal world and our animal natures.

Climate Change, Inequality, and the Singularity

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Boundless
Technology is not a magical solution to all of the world's problems: We need to develop better ethical and political theories and build them into artificial intelligence.