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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Personality


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Childhood & Adolescence Cognition & Intelligence Consciousness & Altered States Family Life Gender & Sexuality Life Stages Love & Friendship Memoir Mental Health Mood & Emotion Neurodiversity Neuroscience Personality Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Self-Improvement Sleep & Dreams Social Psychology Spirituality
Essay/Philosophy of Mind
I am not a story

Some find it comforting to think of life as a story. Others find that absurd. So are you a Narrative or a non-Narrative?

Galen Strawson

Essay/Ethics
The self is moral

We tend to think that our memories determine our identity, but it’s moral character that really makes us who we are

Nina Strohminger

Essay/Knowledge
Bad thinkers

Why do some people believe conspiracy theories? It’s not just who or what they know. It’s a matter of intellectual character

Quassim Cassam

Essay/Cities
The intimacy of crowds

Crowds aren’t really crazed – they are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals

Michael Bond

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence
The crystalline wall

Shyness is a part of being human. The world would be a more insipid, less creative place without it

Joe Moran

Essay/Medical Ethics
The psychology of torture

The Milgram experiments showed that anybody could be capable of torture when obeying an authority. Are they still valid?

Malcolm Harris

Essay/Personality
How luck works

You’re at the casino and you win big – a lucky fluke, divine intervention or inner smarts? The answer’s against the odds

Carlin Flora

Essay/Mood & Emotion
Why the long face?

Sadness makes us seem nobler, more elegant, more adult. Which is pretty weird, when you think about it

Adam Roberts

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence
Hesitate!

Quick decision-making might seem bold, but the agony of indecision is your brain’s way of making a better choice

Stephen M Fleming

Essay/Ethics
Be not brave

Cowards have been shamed, beaten and shot, yet their failing has an important social function. Let’s hear it for cowardice

Chris Walsh

Essay/Ethics
Moral luck

Two people drive drunk at night: one kills a pedestrian, one doesn't. Does the unlucky killer deserve more blame or not?

Robert J Hartman

Essay/Ethics
The Phineas Gage effect

When someone changes for the worse, we see a totally different person. But what happens if the change is for the better?

Kevin Tobia

Essay/Ethics
A touch of evil

Lying, cheating and arrogance might be morally repugnant, but a little dose of nastiness can be a creative thing

Kristin Ohlson

Essay/Art
Head to head

Michelangelo and Raphael; Leibniz and Newton; Constable and Turner. Does every creative genius need a bitter rival?

Jacob Burak

Essay/Free Will
Plot twist

When the storyline of one’s life hits a dead end, a redemption narrative offers an alluring, if dubious, transformation

Will Storr

Essay/Illness & Disease
Unravelling man

Bipolar disorder can rage through life like a hurricane. So why does the US healthcare system leave us to cope alone?

Kristin Ohlson

Essay/Personality
Indescribable you

Can novelists or psychologists better capture the strange multitude of realities in every human self?

Carlin Flora

Essay/Memoir
The coward

My husband got the death threat, but I went into hiding. Are some brains wired for courage and others for fear?

Caren Chesler

Essay/Social Psychology
Group smarts

Groupthink can be stultifying. So how do the most successful groups elicit collective intelligence from their members?

Jane C Hu

Essay/Personality
First impressions count

A judgment of competence is made in a tenth of a second on the basis of facial features. Thus political decisions are made

Alexander Todorov

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States
Like someone is there

Ineffable encounters and moments of ego-transcendence can be quite matter-of-fact. What’s really going on?

Ken MacLeod

Essay/Personality
Sacrificial states

The martyr is not an alienated and depressed loner but an individual driven by idealism, altruism and the need to belong

Luba Ostashevsky