There is No Nature-Nurture War

by Scott Barry Kaufman, January 18, 2019 in Blog

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” […]

Are Psychopaths Attracted to Other Psychopaths?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

In 2005, Scott Peterson was convicted of the murder of his wife Laci and her unborn child. During the first hour on death row, he received a marriage proposal, and within a day the warden’s office was inundated with over 30 phone calls from women asking for his mailing address as well as letters from […]

The Neuroscience of Creativity: A Q&A with Anna Abraham

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

What is going on in our brains when we are creating? How does our brain look different when we are engaging in art versus science? How does the brain of genius creators differ from the rest of us? What are some of the limitations of studying the creative brain? The neuroscience of creativity is booming. There is […]

Podcast Recap (December 2018): Drunk Science, the Replication Crisis, Unsafe Thinking and Mental Health

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 31, 2018 in Blog

This month at The Psychology Podcast we discussed the connection between comedy and science with Shannon Odell, the replication crisis with Michael Inzlicht, the importance of unsafe thinking with Jonah Sachs, and how to care for your mental health with Kati Morton. Drunk Science with Shannon Odell Shannon Odell is a Brooklyn based writer, comedian, and […]

Can Intelligence Buy You Happiness?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 16, 2018 in Blog

In his classic 1923 essay, “Intelligence as the Tests Test It“, Edwin Boring wrote “Intelligence is what the tests test.” Almost a century of research later, we know that this definition is far too narrow. As long as a test is sufficiently cognitively complex and taps into enough diverse content, you can get a rough […]

Enough with the “Learning Styles” Already!

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 10, 2018 in Blog

The notion of “learning styles”– that teaching to students’ preferred learning style will increase learning outcomes– is one of those persistent “neuromythologies” in education that just won’t go away. Studies around the world have found that 90%–97% of teachers believe that there is an optimal delivery style for each learner. While a number of different […]

Why Do People Mistake Narcissism for High Self-Esteem?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 3, 2018 in Blog

The “charismatic air” of narcissists– from their flashy attire, to their self-assured behaviors, to their charming glances, to their witty humor– often makes a big first impression. At the same time, people seem to be really good at accurately perceiving narcissism in others based on minimal information (even just physical appearance is usually enough of […]

Podcast Recap (November 2018): The Universe, Meaning, Culture, Gratitude and Human Nature

by Scott Barry Kaufman, November 30, 2018 in Blog

This month at The Psychology Podcast we discussed the origins of the universe and the search for meaning with physicist Sean Carroll, how the mind and culture evolve with evolutionary psychologist Steve Stewart-Williams, the importance of gratitude with author and self-experimenter A.J. Jacobs, and the laws of human nature with author Robert Greene. On the […]

What Happens When People Are Intentionally More Open to New Experiences?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, November 22, 2018 in Blog

Since a large part of my research program is investigating the importance of openness to experience, I get asked all the time: Can openness be improved? I always hedge at this question, simply because there is such a dearth of research addressing this topic. I mean, we know the correlations. And there are a lot […]

Do You Have a Healthy Personality?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

“Healthy personality is a way for a person to act, guided by intelligence and respect for life, so that personal needs are satisfied and so that the person will grow in awareness, competence, and the capacity to love the self, the natural environment, and other people.” — Sidney Jourard In the 50 and 60s humanistic […]

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