Nature versus nurture: how modern science is rewriting it The question of whether it is genes or environment that largely shapes human behaviour has been debated for centuries. During the second half of the 20th century, there were two camps … Continue reading Genes and environment
The False Promises of Green Materialism Recently, I’ve been thinking about buying a new pair of shoes. I don’t need new shoes—the pairs I have don’t hurt my feet, aren’t broken, and are sturdy enough to last through Virginia’s comparatively … Continue reading Consuming less?
The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas Where do ideas come from? That’s a big question. Here’s a smaller one: Where do mathematical ideas come from? I’ve wondered about this from the time I first contemplated being a mathematician … Continue reading The mind in motion
Simply Imagining Other People Can Change Our Own Sense Of Self So begins a new paper, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, which reveals that who you “are” can easily be manipulated. Just imagining somebody else can alter all … Continue reading Who we really are
When Good Advice Goes Bad “What are you DOING?” I yelled. My four-year-old son froze, his tiny hand poised above the tower of toilet-paper rolls he’d been building … right on top of a hot electric heater. “You can’t DO … Continue reading Guidance may backfire
Psychologists from 40 countries pledged to use their jobs to address climate change The leaders of psychological associations from more than 40 countries signed a proclamation this week at a conference on psychology and global health in Lisbon, pledging to … Continue reading The impending impact
Solving the Problem of “Obviousness” with Prediction Platforms In the fall issue of Public Opinion Quarterly in 1949, sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld pulled one of my favorite social science head fakes of all time. Lazarsfeld was tasked with reviewing the first … Continue reading Addressing obviousness in experiments