Psychology


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Addiction Ageing and death Childhood and adolescence Cognition and intelligence Consciousness and altered states Family life Gender and identity Language and linguistics Life stages Love and friendship Mental health Mood and emotion Neurodiversity Neuroscience Personality Pleasure and pain Psychiatry and psychotherapy Self-improvement Sex and sexuality Sleep and dreams Social psychology Spirituality Teaching and learning Technology and the self Wellbeing
What’s in a brain? Photo by Gallery Stock
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Neuroscience
The empty brain

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

Robert Epstein

Death and the word; William conquers Harold and the English language. From Cotton Vitellius A XIII(1) f3v. Photo courtesy British Library

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Language and linguistics
English is not normal

No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language

John McWhorter

Photo by Chang Szeling/Gallery Stock

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Consciousness and altered states
Night school

New evidence suggests that we can learn while we sleep, but do we really want to put our hours of rest to work?

Kenneth Miller

Photo by Alex Webb/Magnum

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Childhood and adolescence
The play deficit

Children today are cossetted and pressured in equal measure. Without the freedom to play they will never grow up

Peter Gray

Photo by Raymond Depardon/Magnum

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Meaning and the good life
Indifference is a power

As legions of warriors and prisoners can attest, Stoicism is not grim resolve but a way to wrest happiness from adversity

Lary Wallace

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

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Gender and identity
Gender is not a spectrum

The idea that ‘gender is a spectrum’ is supposed to set us free. But it is both illogical and politically troubling

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

Photo posed by a model. Phillip Suddick/Getty

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Philosophy of mind
The problem of mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes itself as value-neutral but it is loaded with (troubling) assumptions about the self and the cosmos

Sahanika Ratnayake

Photo by Charles Gullung/Gallery Stock
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Childhood and adolescence
Childhood, disrupted

Adversity in childhood can create long-lasting scars, damaging our cells and our DNA, and making us sick as adults

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Illustration by Paul Blow
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Ethics
A theory of jerks

Are you surrounded by fools? Are you the only reasonable person around? Then maybe you’re the one with the jerkitude

Eric Schwitzgebel

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of healthy spermatozoa emerging from a cavity in the rete testis of the testes. Photo by Innerspace Imaging/Science Photo Library

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Human reproduction
The macho sperm myth

The idea that millions of sperm are on an Olympian race to reach the egg is yet another male fantasy of human reproduction

Robert D Martin

Photo by Julian Calverley/Getty
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Ethics
Kids? Just say no

You don’t have to dislike children to see the harms done by having them. There is a moral case against procreation

David Benatar

Photo by Redux/eyevine

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Sex and sexuality
Kept women

Mistresses are big business in China, where no official is a real man without his own ernai. What’s in it for the girls?

James Palmer

Photo by Michael Lewis/Gallery Stock

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Sleep and dreams
Broken sleep

People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?

Karen Emslie

Renaissance man: Portrait of a Young Gentleman in His Studio by Lorenzo Lotto, c. 1530. Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice. Photo by Corbis

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Cognition and intelligence
Master of many trades

Our age reveres the specialist but humans are natural polymaths, at our best when we turn our minds to many things

Robert Twigger

A family party, Italy, 1983. Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum
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Meaning and the good life
The meanings of life

Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

Roy F Baumeister

Illustration by Michael Marsicano
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Consciousness and altered states
How the light gets out

Consciousness is the ‘hard problem’, the one that confounds science and philosophy. Has a new theory cracked it?

Michael Graziano

Photo by Ulrich Lebeuf / M.Y.O.P/ Eyevine

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Sex and sexuality
Pornucopia

Critics say that porn degrades women, dulls sexual pleasure, and ruins authentic relationships – are they right?

Maria Konnikova

Beast-machines. The City Rises by Umberto Boccioni (1910). MOMA. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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Neuroscience
The real problem

It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be

Anil K Seth

A gospel choir leads the congregation in song during a Sunday service at the National Pentecostal Church, Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Dieter Telemans/Panos

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Cognition and intelligence
One more time

Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Photo by Gallery Stock
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Evolution
War in the womb

A ferocious biological struggle between mother and baby belies any sentimental ideas we might have about pregnancy

Suzanne Sadedin

Photo by Wendi Andrews
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Education
An inconvenient child

My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom

Michael Graziano