Maslow’s insightful advice on overcoming writer’s block and the necessity of writing for self-actualization

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 14, 2019 in Blog

In the winter of 1963-64, the psychologist Abraham Maslow taught the course “Experiential Approaches to Personality” at Brandeis University. In a new book published by Maurice Bassett, you can take a front-row seat in his course. Personality & Growth: A Humanistic Psychologist in the Classroom contains the transcribed recordings of Maslow’s lectures during that time. […]

Authenticity Under Fire

by Scott Barry Kaufman, June 15, 2019 in Blog

Authenticity is one of the most valued characteristics in our society. As children we are taught to just “be ourselves”, and as adults we can choose from a large number of self-help books that will tell us how important it is to get in touch with our “real self”. It’s taken as a given by […]

In-Group Favoritism Is Difficult to Change, Even When the Social Groups Are Meaningless

by Scott Barry Kaufman, June 11, 2019 in Blog

People are really quick to sort themselves into categories, or social groups, and to form a preference for their in-group. In-group favoritism starts early, and has been found in children across a wide range of categories, including gender, race or ethnicity, language, nationality, and religion. Intuitively, we may think that in-group favoritism develops because the in-group is meaningful. However, almost […]

Toward a New Frontier in Human Intelligence: The Person-Centered Approach

by Scott Barry Kaufman, May 25, 2019 in Blog

When it comes to intelligence, we all have bad days. Heck, we even have many bad moments, such as when we forget our car keys, forget a friend’s name, or bomb an important test that we’ve taken a day after staying up all night worrying about it. Truth is, none of us– including the world’s smartest […]

The Evolution and Cultivation of Compassion for the Dark Side: A Q&A with Paul Gilbert

by Scott Barry Kaufman, May 21, 2019 in Blog

The British clinical psychologist Paul Gilbert is founder of compassion focused therapy (CFT), a system of psychotherapy that helps people develop and work with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing through compassion and self-compassion. Paul suggests that compassion can provide “the sensitivity to engage with the difficult things in life, including compassion for the […]

Who Created Maslow’s Iconic Pyramid?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, April 29, 2019 in Blog

Abraham Maslow’s iconic pyramid of needs is one of the most famous images in the history of management studies. At the base of the pyramid are physiological needs, and at the top is self-actualization, the full realization of one’s unique potential. Along the way are the needs for safety, belonging, love, and esteem. However, many […]

Introducing the Light Triad

by Scott Barry Kaufman, March 15, 2019 in Blog

“I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” – Anne Frank “What’s one less person on the face of the earth, anyway?” – Ted Bundy Why are dark triad people so seductive? Why do they get all the research attention? I asked my colleague David Yaden in his office. […]

When Does Intelligence Peak?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, March 14, 2019 in Blog

When does cognitive functioning peak? As we get older, we certainly feelas though our intelligence is rapidly declining. (Well, at least I do!) However, the nitty gritty research on the topic suggests some really interesting nuance. As a recent papernotes, “Not only is there no age at which humans are performing at peak on all cognitive tasks, […]

Liberals and Conservatives Are Both Susceptible to Fake News, but for Different Reasons

by Scott Barry Kaufman, in Blog

Humans are motivated reasoners. When we see a news article that confirms something we think to be true or wewant to be true, we quickly “like” it and then share it vehemently on Facebook. Take thisnews story, for instance, which declares that “Cheese protects you from all causes of death, says science.”* Most cheese lovers probably didn’t […]

Are Intellectuals Suffering a Crisis of Meaning?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, February 8, 2019 in Blog

I’ve been wondering lately about the link between intelligence and meaning. People with high intelligence tend to adopt a critical attitude towards the world, and avoid relying on positive illusions. While these skills gain you accolades in school, are they really valued in today’s world? Anecdotally, I have spoken with a lot of extremely bright […]

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