Tag: Psychology and Psychologists

Why You Procrastinate. (It Has Nothing to do With Self-Control.)

If you’ve ever put off an important task to, say, alphabetize your spice drawer, you know it wouldn’t be fair to describe yourself as lazy. After all, alphabetizing requires focus and effort — and hey, maybe you even went the extra mile to wipe down each bottle before putting it back. And it’s not like […]

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Trigger Warnings May Not Do Much, Early Studies Suggest

For years, they have been the subject of impassioned academic debate: Trigger warnings, do they protect people from distress or encourage fragility? The warnings, which alert individuals to disturbing material, have been talked about, used and promoted on college campuses and elsewhere for more than a decade, but little was known about how well they […]

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No Hate Left Behind

A recent survey asked Republicans and Democrats whether they agreed with the statement that members of the opposition party “are not just worse for politics — they are downright evil.” The answers, published in January in a paper, “Lethal Mass Partisanship,” were startling, but maybe they shouldn’t have been. Just over 42 percent of the […]

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Your Dog Feels as Guilty as She Looks

Uniquely human emotions don’t exist. More and more, I believe that we share all emotions with other species in the same way that we share virtually every organ in our bodies with them. No exceptions. Like organs, the emotions evolved over millions of years to serve essential functions. Their usefulness has been tested again and […]

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Why Do We Think Suffering Is Good for Us?

Feeling anxious or depressed and want to get better? You have to really work at it and suffer through years of therapy and sometimes try lots of drugs. No pain, no gain, or so we’ve been told. That would make a stoic happy, but as a psychiatrist — and an admittedly impatient one — I […]

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The ‘Oddly Satisfying’ Internet

I was pregnant, anxious and looking for an online diversion to help me sleep (repeatedly searching the internet for “rare chromosomal disorders” wasn’t cutting it). Then, one dawn, I stumbled through a YouTube portal and into the universe of Oddly Satisfying videos. These videos are compilations of physical objects being manipulated in certain highly specific […]

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The Stone: The Good-Enough Life

The following essay was chosen as the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library’s 2019 Night of Philosophy Op-Ed Contest. Ideals of greatness cut across the American political spectrum. Supporters of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and believers in Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” for instance, may find themselves at odds, but their […]

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Well : Loneliness Is Bad for Your Health. An App May Help.

Loneliness is bad for your health. Social isolation is associated with a significantly increased risk of premature death. And the problem resists fixing; solitary people who participate in experiments meant to nudge them into joining groups tend to have high rates of recidivism. According to a study published this month in Proceedings of the National […]

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For Valentine’s Day, Try Being Nice to Yourself

Valentine’s Day prompts many of us to send messages of love to the special people in our lives. But I’d like to propose a new tradition. Why not use this day to start being kinder to ourselves? Being nice to yourself, particularly during a personal setback or a stressful experience, is known among psychologists as […]

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Why Girls Beat Boys at School and Lose to Them at the Office

From elementary school through college, girls are more disciplined about their schoolwork than boys; they study harder and get better grades. Girls consistently outperform boys academically. And yet, men nonetheless hold a staggering 95 percent of the top positions in the largest public companies. What if those same habits that propel girls to the top […]

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They Have Worked on Conflicts Overseas. Now These Americans See ‘Red Flags’ at Home.

LEVERETT, Mass. — Paula Green has spent much of her life working on conflicts abroad. In places like Bosnia, Rwanda and Myanmar, Dr. Green, an American psychologist, brings together survivors of war, helping them see past their differences so they can live with one another again. But recently, she began seeing some warning signs in […]

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What Science Can Learn From Religion

Science and religion seem to be getting ever more tribal in their mutual recriminations, at least among hard-line advocates. While fundamentalist faiths cast science as a misguided or even malicious source of information, polemicizing scientists argue that religion isn’t just wrong or meaningless but also dangerous. I am no apologist for religion. As a psychologist, […]

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This Is Your Brain Off Facebook

The world’s most common digital habit is not easy to break, even in a fit of moral outrage over the privacy risks and political divisions Facebook has created, or amid concerns about how the habit might affect emotional health. Although four in 10 Facebook users say they have taken long breaks from it, the digital […]

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Awake on the Table

The doctor ordered a “push” on my sedative, and I succumbed to the sweet blackness. But then something went wrong, and I was awake too soon, flailing and crying, the medical team scrambling to maneuver the tube that had been placed down my throat in what should have been a straightforward gastroscopy. I put up […]

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Kindness Is a Skill

I went into journalism to cover politics, but now I find myself in national marriage therapy. Covering American life is like covering one of those traumatizing Eugene O’Neill plays about a family where everyone screams at each other all night and then when dawn breaks you get to leave the theater. But don’t despair, I’m […]

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