For several years some psychologists have been arguing that Americans (especially American youth) of the modern era are more self-absorbed and self-interested than were Americans of an earlier era. (“Earlier” can mean pre-21st century, or pre-1960s, or pre-20th century, or whenever.) Much of the evidence they offer – heavily debated … More >
The past few years have been marked by two major trends in the science of a meaningful life.
One is that researchers continued to add sophistication and depth to our understanding of positive feelings and behaviors. Happiness is good for you, but not all the time; empathy ties us together, and … More >
At a recent retreat for the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, one of our advisors looked at a list of our most popular articles to date. “This is all over the place,” he said, referring to the diversity of topics and approaches.
I replied that this is a feature, not … More >
I’m terrible at gratitude.
How bad am I? I’m so bad at gratitude that most days, I don’t notice the sunlight on the leaves of the Berkeley oaks as I ride my bike down the street. I forget to be thankful for the guy who hand-brews that delicious cup of coffee … More >
Did I scare you?
No? Let’s try this: Scientists currently predict global sea levels could rise up to 1.5 meters by 2100, a process that could drown cities and trigger widespread human famine and wildlife extinction.
Scared? You should be—and hopefully that little stab of fear and dread compels you to make … More >
It’s been called the cuddle hormone, the holiday hormone, the moral molecule, and more—but new research suggests that oxytocin needs some new nicknames. Like maybe the conformity hormone, or perhaps the America-Number-One! molecule.
Where does this many-monikered neuropeptide come from? Scientists first found it in mothers, whose bodies flood with oxytocin … More >
A few thoughts provoked by reading Mann and Ornstein this morning…
Barack Obama has, after all, been pursuing Bill Clinton’s gun-control policy, Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, John McCain’s climate policy, Mitt Romney’s health-care policy, George W. Bush’s immigration policy, the bipartisan Squam Lake Group’s financial-regulatory policy, Bill Clinton’s tax policy, George … More >
Feeling ambivalent about the Fourth of July? You’re not alone.
“I don’t mean love, when I say patriotism,” writes Ursula K. Le Guin in her classic 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness. “I mean fear. The fear of the other. And its expressions are political, not poetical: hate, rivalry, aggression.”
In … More >
We often see people on the streets who appear seriously mentally ill – arguing with the voices in their heads, yelling at all who pass by, unable to keep themselves clean. Especially with “deinstitutionalization,” the closing down of psychiatric hospitals about 50 years ago, the psychologically damaged seem everywhere. Their presence … More >