Category Archive: featured

Nov 06

The Secret Costs of Keeping Secrets

secret

My first post for Nautilus’ blog, Facts so Romantic, is on new research by Clayton Critcher and Melissa Ferguson, about the costs of keeping secrets. The research, inspired by the now repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy in the U.S. military, suggests that keeping your identity secret can impair your cognitive abilities, your self-control, and even your physical strength.

Aug 26

Expecting Better

expecting better

My friend and colleague Emily Oster’s new book, Expecting Better, came out last week. She dives into the data behind what your doctors and friends tell you about pregnancy and gives you the information you need to ask the right questions and make decisions that fit with your values. I wrote a short blog post about it, including some thoughts as a parent and psychologist. In particular, why are people generally so optimistic about their health and other life outcomes, but can get so much more conservative when it comes to pregnancy. It’s more questions than answers, so your thoughts are very welcome. You can read the article here: http://bigthink.com/random-assignment/expecting-better

Jul 25

Morning Guy vs. Night Guy

seinfeld screenshot

I’ve got a new Psychology of Nothing post up at Big Think on the battle between Night Guy and Morning guy. Click here to read it. It’s about new research that gives us a fighting chance in the war between what we want right now and what we will want in the future.

Jul 19

BigThink Update

Although my plan was to cross-post my writing from Big Think here, I haven’t been doing it the past several weeks, so here’s an update on what I’ve been writing about recently, which I invite you to read in full over at BigThink. You can read all my posts at BigThink here.

Jun 12

Pay Now Consume Later

This is a re-post of my article from earlier today on my new blog at Big Think. As of this morning Random Assignment has a new home-away-from-home which you can visit here, but I’ll continue to post here as well. This is the second in a series of Psychology of Nothing posts that explore the social psychology of Seinfeld, so if you’re a Seinfeld fan be on the lookout for more where this came from, and I’m always open to ideas and suggestions. You can see the first Psychology of Nothing post, Phantom Symptoms, here.

May 29

Odysseus Nudged: Some more thoughts

Odysseus and the Sirens

I wrote a piece for Big Think that came out on Monday and there were some additional thoughts that I wanted to share that didn’t make it into the original article. If you’ve already read the piece, then thank you – if you haven’t, you can read it here: Odysseus Nudged: How Limiting Our Choices Can Give Us More Freedom. Most of these ideas came up in a phone conversation I had with George Loewenstein in preparing to write the story; it was his article in the New York Daily News is what got me thinking about some of these ideas.

May 21

Narrative Transportation

By Chordboard (Self, from material in my possession.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a draft of an article I submitted to Nautilus Magazine, a “new magazine on science, culture, and philosophy,” for their issue entitled In Transit. Nautilus already had plans to cover the topic of my story, narrative transportation, so they politely declined my submission, which I share here with you. Their magazine is off to a great start, I encourage you to check it out.

May 08

The Psychology of Nothing: Phantom Symptoms

Lovable anti-hero George Costanza is having a salad for lunch when he suddenly clutches at his chest and declares, “I think I’m having a heart attack!” His companions, Jerry and Elaine, seem remarkably unconcerned with George’s seemingly life-threatening predicament. As George breathlessly lists off the symptoms he’s experiencing (Tightness… Shortness of breath… Radiating waves of pain!), Jerry arrives at a less catastrophic diagnosis: “I know what this is. You saw that show on PBS last night, Coronary Country.”

May 03

Paul Rozin on Music, Food, and Sex

I’m not sure how it’s possible that until yesterday I had never seen Paul Rozin speak. However it happened, I corrected a huge mistake by going to see him give an invited address at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting in Chicago titled, The Aesthetics and Pleasures of Temporal Sequences. The talk spanned far more than that topic, but as Rozin’s research predicts, it was made extremely memorable by ending with a bang.

Apr 29

The Stapel Continuum

Diederik Stapel

Along with many other psychologists, I’ve been closely following (and participating in) the ongoing discussion about finding ways to effectively improve the shortcomings in our field’s research methods. Given that the Stapel fraud case was an important spark to these discussions, I read Yudhijit Bhattacharjee’s article, The Mind of a Con Man, in this week’s New York Times Magazine with great interest.

Older posts «