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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
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video

Childhood and adolescence

Striking shadow puppetry illuminates a skater kid’s memories of Boy Scout camp

12 minutes

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video

Values and beliefs

A Zen Buddhist priest voices the deep matters he usually ponders in silence

5 minutes

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video

Rituals and celebrations

Meet the entrepreneur whose business is crafting perfect peak experiences

12 minutes

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video

Human rights and justice

A reporter orphaned by night raids in Afghanistan investigates their cruel legacy

17 minutes

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video

Work

Does capitalism make ‘non-playable characters’ of us all? An uncanny exploration

21 minutes

A smiling young girl and a cat, nose to nose, by a window sill, with pinecones beside them
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essay

Stories and literature

The best stories smell

When scents are used to intensify a narrative, they heighten young readers’ emotions and enrich their memory banks

Natalia Kucirkova

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video

Technology and the self

A ‘virtual outing’ on Google Maps reveals a treasured image from Diego’s past

6 minutes

Black-and-white photo of a man and a woman, seen from behind, on the deck of a boat, looking out to shore
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essay

Philosophy of language

Metaphors make the world

Woven into the fabric of language, metaphors shape how we understand reality. What happens when we try using new ones?

Benjamin Santos Genta

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video

Design and fashion

The ornate, the aromatic, the cruel – Valentine’s cards before the age of Hallmark

16 minutes

A colour illustration of a pool of water in which many people are swimming, glimpsed through trees, against a city skyline background
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essay

Mental health

The right to bathe

Water is a great healer. Can New York’s public pools and ‘blue spaces’ be engineered for collective hydrotherapy?

Rebecca Hayes Jacobs

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video

Love and friendship

Naira pitches a new sport to her husband in this strange, sweet portrait of marriage

5 minutes

A double-exposure image of a dancer on stage against a black backdrop, his body is lit and partly shot in motion blur
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essay

Genetics

Artists of our own lives

The genome is the starting point for a performance we enact over a lifetime, not a blueprint we’ve got to follow

Richard O Prum

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essay

Animals and humans

An animal myself

When we imagine ourselves as another creature, we become more attuned to the world around us – and better at being human

Erica Berry

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video

Biography and memoir

As her world unravels, Pilar wonders at the ‘sacred geometry’ that gives it structure

20 minutes

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essay

Language and linguistics

Our language, our world

Linguistic relativity holds that your worldview is structured by the language you speak. Is it true? History shines a light

James McElvenny

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video

Human rights and justice

‘I know that change is possible’ – a Deaf prison chaplain’s gospel of hope

18 minutes

A black and white shot shows three men sitting on a sea wall and seen from a diminishing perspective such that they represent a scale of size
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essay

Philosophy of language

The geometry of other people

Some friends are ‘close’. Others are ‘distant’. But our spatial descriptions of social life are more than just metaphors

David Borkenhagen

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video

Technology and the self

An artist swaps her head with everyday objects in a musing on consumerism

4 minutes

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essay

Stories and literature

Saved by Infinite Jest

Bereft and suicidal, I lay on my sofa. Only David Foster Wallace’s novel kept me tethered to life, and still does

Mala Chatterjee

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video

Language and linguistics

Messages born of melody – hear the whistled language of the Hmong people

18 minutes

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video

Film and visual culture

Stop-motion origami unfurls in a playful exploration of how senses overlap

3 minutes

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essay

Subcultures

Of memes and magick

Bending a mysterious world to your will was the goal of esoteric practices. Now it’s the unashamed aim of the tech titans

Tara Isabella Burton

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essay

Philosophy of mind

What colour do you see?

New research is uncovering the hidden differences in how people experience the world. The consequences are unsettling

Gary Lupyan

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video

Sex and sexuality

For ages, solo sex was hardly taboo. What led to its centuries-long dry spell?

4 minutes