Bad Boys Have Lower Standards

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 8, 2011 in Blog

In 2009, Peter Jonason and his colleagues published a paper showing that college students scoring high on characteristics known as the Dark Triad (Machiavellianism, subclinical narcissism, and subclinical psychopathy) tended to report having a higher number of sexual partners as well as more of an interest in short-term mating than those scoring lower on the […]

How to Increase Your Likability

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 6, 2011 in Blog

I found this neat little poster, done by the amazing Guy Kawasaki. It summarizes a lot of the social psychological literature on likeability all in one place. Enjoy!  

Why Your Passion for Work Could Ruin Your Career

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 2, 2011 in Blog

Every business wants workers who passionately love their work. And for good reason: workers who are inspired are more productive, and passion can provide the energy necessary to fuel engagement, amidst obstacles and setbacks. But while passion seems clearly desirable, recent psychological research suggests that not all forms are adaptive. In fact, some forms can […]

Why Nagging Women and Silent Men Drive Each Other Crazy

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 31, 2011 in Blog

In last week’s hilarious episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (“Palestinian Chicken”), Larry makes a deal with his friend: he won’t have to pay for the damage he made to his friend’s car as long as he tells his friend’s critical, nagging wife how annoying it is when she says “LOL” instead of actually laughing. Why […]

Finding Creativity on IQ Tests

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 16, 2011 in Blog

IQ tests have received a very large number of criticisms since their inception. One of the main arguments made against the use of IQ tests is that they don’t measure creativity. But is this true? Surely creativity involves thoughtful reasoning, divergent production, pattern detection, learning, and other skills tapped into by IQ tests. Indeed, recent […]

What’s a shy, geeky, nice guy to do?: The case of Rebecca Watson

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 9, 2011 in Blog

“I don’t mean to critique on your seduction technique But…sick of all your lines, so cheesy.” —Ke$ha The Datum: Skepchick Rebecca Watson gave a talk in Ireland on being sexualized as a feminist skeptic. After the talk, she drank and chatted with her fellow conference attendees. It hits 4am and she announced she’s tired and […]

The Dark Triad and Impulsivity

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 4, 2011 in Blog

Recently, psychologists have stepped outside of the clinical setting and have accumulated research on how the dark side of human nature varies in the general population. What has become quite clear is that the “Dark Triad”– which consists of the combination of Machiavellianism, subclinical narcissism, and subclinical psychopathy– is an overarching trait that everyone has […]

Is General Intelligence Compatible with Evolutionary Psychology?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 2, 2011 in Blog

Scott: So what do you make of general intelligence? John Tooby: [chuckles] To heck if I know! ***Exchange at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society*** Obviously, John Tooby, one of the founders of evolutionary psychology, was being a bit cheeky. But there was also a very large grain of truth […]

Why Isn’t Everyone As Proud As Gay People?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, June 27, 2011 in Blog

This past weekend I saw some truly amazing things. Just walking around the West Village where I live, I saw men of all different shapes and sizes shirtless, in tutus, in dresses, wearing collars, and any combination of those things. I saw women with fascinating hair colors and outfits making out with other women on […]

Humor as a Route to Social Status

by Scott Barry Kaufman, June 20, 2011 in Blog

Just looking at grade school, it’s easy to think that physical dominance is the only route to social status. It seems as though bullies who use physical intimidation, coercion, and fear inducing tactics are the ones who rise in the status hierarchy. Luckily, this isn’t the only path to social status, especially as one leaves grade school […]

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