Psychology


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Essay/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

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence

Kate Fehlhaber

Essay/Childhood & 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

Essay/Sleep & 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

Essay/Digital Culture

The new mind control

The internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do

Robert Epstein

Idea/Love & Friendship

A temporary marriage makes more sense than marriage for life

Vicki Larson

Essay/Digital Culture

Pornucopia

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

Maria Konnikova

Essay/Meaning & 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

Essay/Film & Television

The reality show

Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense

Mike Jay

Essay/Human Enhancement

The end of sleep?

New technologies are emerging that could radically reduce our need to sleep - if we can bear to use them

Jessa Gamble

Essay/Family Life

Lock up your wives!

Advice columns from decades past provide a chilling glimpse into the horrors of marriage counselling before feminism

Rebecca Onion

EXCLUSIVE
Video/Death

In 2009, a man arrived in an Irish town with a plan to disappear forever

19 minutes

Essay/Mind & Body

The hunger mood

Hunger isn’t in your stomach or your blood-sugar levels. It’s in your mind – and that’s where we need to shape up

Michael Graziano

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States

Hallucinogenic nights

Sleep paralysis has tormented me since childhood. But now it’s my portal to out-of-body travel and lucid dreams

Karen Emslie

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

On shared false memories: what lies behind the Mandela effect

Caitlin Aamodt

Idea/Stories & Literature

Why bullshit is no laughing matter

Gordon Pennycook

Essay/Gender & Sexuality

The orgasm cure

What if we could expand ecstasy, reduce stress and lift depression, all by delaying and extending orgasm?

Peter von Ziegesar

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence

The great forgetting

Our first three years are usually a blur and we don’t remember much before age seven. What are we hiding from ourselves?

Kristin Ohlson

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Cognitive celebrity

Albert Einstein was a genius, but he wasn’t the only one – why has his name come to mean something superhuman?

Matthew Francis

Idea/Neuroscience

How a mother’s voice shapes her baby’s developing brain

Kate Fehlhaber

Essay/Love & Friendship

My mom

I love her and it’s a secret. I love her so much it kills me, and you bet I’d sooner die than tell her

Mary H K Choi

Idea/Family Life

Why mothers of tweens – not babies – are the most depressed

Lucia Ciciolla & Suniya Luthar

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Our world outsmarts us

Social problems are fantastically complex, while human minds are severely under-engineered. Is democracy doomed?

Robert Burton

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States

Hive consciousness

New research puts us on the cusp of brain-to-brain communication. Could the next step spell the end of individual minds?

Peter Watts

Essay/Social Psychology

Disgust made us human

Our ancestors reacted to parasites with overwhelming revulsion, wiring the brain for morals, manners, politics and laws

Kathleen McAuliffe

Essay/Meaning & the Good Life

Worried well

Since ancient times philosophy has tried to cure us of anxiety. But worry is an important part of being a moral person

Charlie Kurth

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

The power of story

Across time and culture, stories have been agents of personal transformation – in part because they change our brains

Elizabeth Svoboda

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Getting smarter

Brain-training games won’t boost your IQ, but a host of strategies can improve your cognitive abilities one piece at a time

Jeffrey M Zacks

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence

You can do it, baby!

Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous

Leslie Garrett

Essay/Evolution

Stone-age sex

When it comes to sex, will humans ever be liberated from the basic biological needs that drove our evolutionary past?

Neil McArthur