The Policy Relevance of Personality Traits

December 25, 2019 in Study Alerts, Blog

The Policy Relevance of Personality Traits Wiebke Bleidorn et al., in press at American Psychologist Personality traits are powerful predictors of outcomes in the domains of education, work, relationships, health, and well-being. The recognized importance of personality traits has raised questions about their policy relevance – that is, their potential to inform policy actions designed […]

Toward a Positive Evolutionary Psychology

December 20, 2019 in Blog

After reading The Origin of Species, the prominent Cambridge geologist Adam Sedgwickwrote the following letter to Charles Darwin, his esteemed former student and field assistant: If I did not think you a good tempered & truth loving man I should not tell you that . . . I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. […]

Maslow on Creativity

December 19, 2019 in Blog

This is my favorite quote on creativity: “What I am saying in effect is that the creativity of my subjects seemed to be an epiphenomenon of their greater wholeness and integration, which is what self-acceptance implies. The civil war within the average person between forces of the inner depths and the forces of defense and […]

RIP Jerome L. Singer, “The Father of Daydreaming” (1924-2019)

December 17, 2019 in Blog

It’s with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of a dear friend and mentor, Jerome L. Singer (1924-2019; see obituary here). Jerry was “the father of daydreaming.” His seminal research conducted over a long span of 50+ years laid the foundations for virtually all current investigations of the costs and benefits of daydreaming and […]

Taking Sex Differences in Personality Seriously

December 16, 2019 in Blog

Few topics in psychology are more controversial than sex differences [1]. Debates can be classified into two main types: (a) The description of sex differences, including both the size and variability of sex differences across a multitude of physical and psychological traits, and (b) The origins and development of sex differences, including the complex interplay between social, cultural, […]

Can Empathic Concern Actually Increase Political Polarization?

Imagine you’re walking home late at night and you see a poor, defenseless man being being bullied and called horrible names. Things start to escalate, and the crowd starts pushing him around, knocking off his hat and screaming at him more loudly. The man looks scared and calls out to you for help. Think about how […]

Cultivating Emotion Regulation and Mental Health

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The ability to regulate our emotions is essential to reaching our goals and feeling mentally healthy. Since this is such an important topic, I was delighted to get a chance to interview Dr. Susanne Schweizer, a Sir Henry Wellcome fellow at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Dr. Schweizer studies the role of cognitive processes (e.g., emotion regulation) and their neural substrates in the development […]

Are You a Moral Grandstander?

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Do you strongly agree with the following statements? When I share my moral/political beliefs, I do so to show people who disagree with me that I am better than them. I share my moral/political beliefs to make people who disagree with me feel bad. When I share my moral/political beliefs, I do so in the […]

The Creative Life and Well-Being

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The Creative Life is full of new possibilities, discoveries, exploration, experimentation, self-expression, and invention. It’s a habit, a way of being, a style of existing. But is the Creative Life full of well-being? Depends on how you define well-being. In recent years, psychologists have taken a deeper look at well-being. The traditional approach to well-being […]

Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just “Positive” or “Negative” Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life

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What does it take to live a meaningful life? In trying to answer this question, most researchers focus on the valence of the life experience: is it positive or negative? Researchers who focus on positive emotions have amassed evidence suggesting that we are more likely to find more meaning in our lives on days when we experience positive emotions. […]