Elizabeth Svoboda
Freelance

Elizabeth Svoboda writes on topics from creationist biology classes in Galápagos schools to the connections between suffering and selflessness. She is the author of What Makes a Hero? (2013), and her upcoming book for children is The Life Heroic: How to Unleash Your Most Amazing Self (2019). She lives in San José, California.

Written by Elizabeth Svoboda

‘My scrupulosity has helped me avoid some serious missteps, from factual errors to half-baked arguments.’ (Image posed by a model). Photo by Georgijevic/Getty

Essay/
Mental health
The red thread of obsession

Evolved human capacities for vigilance and worry are both exacerbated and rewarded by the intense pressure of modern life

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Chris Radburn/PA/Getty

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
The broad, ragged cut

Aptitude and IQ tests are used to distinguish those young people who deserve a chance from those who do not. Do they work?

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Emin Ozmen/Magnum

Essay/
Mental health
Temperamentally blessed

Just one in five people will be lucky enough to avoid mental-health problems throughout their life. How do they do it?

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Guy Bouchet/Getty

Essay/
Neuroscience
The kindled brain

If each bout of depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD makes another more likely, should sufferers stay on medication for life?

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty
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Mood and emotion
Saved by the book

Self-help books might have a reputation for nonsense but the best of them are more effective than medication or therapy

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Lloyd Arnold/Hulton Archive/Getty
Essay/
Cognition and 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