What These Strange Shapes Can Teach Us About Facial Recognition

We glance at children say they have their father’s nose and their mother’s eyes, or their grandmother’s ears. And perhaps they do. But if we didn’t know which child was related to which parent, we’d have trouble trying pick them out by their noses or their chins alone. The question is, why?
» 5/22/15 6:30am Friday 6:30am

What Psychological Problems Do You Need To Be An Action Hero?

You’re a cop on the edge, an ex-marine with nothing left to lose, or just an everyday guy who’s too old for this shit. Whatever you are, the one thing you’re not is psychologically healthy. In fact, in order to be an action hero, you basically need to be maladjusted in these very specific ways. Let’s talk about that. » 5/13/15 8:00am 5/13/15 8:00am

Meet the Expert Witness Who Goes Inside the Minds of Young Killers

Imagine spending time with murderers, digging into their childhoods to figure out what made them violent — and then convincing skeptical juries to take your conclusions into account. In his book Listening to Killers, Dr. James Garbarino reflects on 20 years spent serving as an expert witness. He told us what it’s like… » 5/07/15 2:15pm 5/07/15 2:15pm

We're Too Optimistic About The Power Of Optimism

So say the results of a new study out of UC Berkeley, anyway. Three different experiments show we resort to optimism when we believe it can improve our chances of success, but are too hopeful about its actual benefits. Optimism is still important, say the researchers, but we should also focus on knowledge and approach. » 4/30/15 2:40pm 4/30/15 2:40pm

This Food Psychology Experiment Was Nearly Foiled By Chronic Politeness

Psychology experiments have to straddle the line between letting people act naturally, and forcing them to act out an extremely specific situation. Sometimes that doesn’t work out. Here’s an experiment that drove psychologists crazy. Why? Because they underestimated the politeness of Minnesotans. » 4/21/15 4:40pm 4/21/15 4:40pm

Dogs Exploit The Parent-Child Bonding Mechanism To Make You Love Them

Have you ever gazed into your dog's eyes and sensed a remarkably strong connection – almost as if that little fur ball were your child? The results of a newly published study could help explain why this is — and how dogs evolved from wild wolves into the domesticated companions we know (and love) today. » 4/16/15 2:00pm 4/16/15 2:00pm