Neuroscientists Reveal The “Dark Secret” Of Smart Decision-Making
Our perceptions—physical and cognitive—are unreliable, so the more people are involved in a decision, the more likely it is that they will reach a conclusion based on a debate over various sensations, challenging each others’ experiences of reality.
How Much The Public Knows About Science, And Why It Matters
A survey finds striking differences in levels of science knowledge by education and by race and ethnicity. About half of whites (48 percent) score high; by comparison, much smaller shares of Hispanics (23 percent) and blacks (9 percent) correctly answer at least nine of the questions.
How The Views Of A Few Can Determine A Country’s Fate
Some of the latest research shows us that one reason for the polarisation we see today comes down to a few, incredibly influential minorities. For better or worse, small but incredibly influential groups can change the course of political debate. But is this leading us to hold more polarised views?
The Key To Good Luck Is An Open Mind
What do these people have that the rest of us don’t? It turns out “ability” is the key word here. Beyond their level of privilege or the circumstances they were born into, the luckiest people may have a specific set of skills that bring chance opportunities their way.
Hunger Is Psychological — And Dieting Only Makes It Worse
We all feel hungry before dinner and full after a banquet, but those moments are the tip of the iceberg. Hunger is a process that’s always present, always running in the background, only occasionally rising into consciousness. It’s more like a mood.
How The U.S. Betrayed The Marshall Islands, Kindling The Next Nuclear Disaster
Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.
The Doomsday Invention: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia Or Destruction?
Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.
Water-Resistant And Biodegradable Plant-Based Plastic
A group of researchers at Japan’s Osaka University has developed an alternative type of plastic which is not only biodegradable in seawater but is also water-resistant under normal use. The plastic is made from cellulose nanofibers and starch, both of which were extracted from plants.
A Psychologist Explains How To Beat Social Anxiety
A nice analogy is that of mood and action. We often think we have to “feel” like doing something before doing it. We think we have to feel like going to the gym before going to work out. But if we lace up our shoes and go to the gym, often our mood catches up, and we’re glad we went. With confidence, it’s the same thing.
What We Get Wrong About Time
“Time” is the most frequently used noun in the English language. Most of us tend to think of time as linear, absolute and constantly “running out” – but is that really true? And how can we change our perceptions to feel better about its passing?
What Fruits And Vegetables Looked Like Before Humans Intervened
The fruits and vegetables we know and love are a lot more complicated than you’d think. They didn’t always look like they do. In fact, it took decades of human intervention to transform them into the delicious, nutrient-rich morsels they are today.
What To Do When It All Goes Wrong
The standard coping strategies, like positive self-talk, reframing, etc., work really well when you are teetering on the edge between striving and giving in, but once you’ve taken the step over the cliff, a new strategy needs to be implemented. You don’t need to cope, you need to be snapped out of it.
The Psychology Of Time And How The Interplay Of Spontaneity And Self-control Mediates Our Capacity For Presence
Presence means becoming aware of a physical and psychic self that is temporally extended. To be self-conscious is to recognize oneself as something that persists through time and is embodied.
What Makes A Person Charismatic?
Why do some people so clearly have it and others don’t? Why do we fall so easily under its influence? Charismatics can make us feel charmed and great about ourselves. They can inspire us to excel. But they can also be dangerous. They use charisma for their own purposes, to enhance their power, to manipulate others.
Digital Technology Is Not To Blame For Our Hyperfast Lives
Life in the 21st century, we are told, is faster than ever. Time is scarce, the pace of everyday life is accelerating, and everyone complains about how busy they are. For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame?
Pay Attention: Practice Can Make Your Brain Better At Focusing
Practicing paying attention can boost performance on a new task, and change the way the brain processes information, a new study says. This might explain why learning a new skill can start out feeling grueling, but eventually becomes more natural.
Overcoming Despair To Discover The Meaning Of Life
“Sick Souls, Healthy Minds” offers us a lifeline at this moment. As we tell each other what to watch, what to cook, what to read and what exercises to do, John Kaag invites us to ask, together with America’s greatest philosopher, William James, what makes life worth living.
Are Rich People Heartless?
According to Chris Ryan, the author of ‘Civilized to Death: the price of progress’, rich people have the tendency to distance themselves from people because of their wealth differential.
See How The World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s
The New York Times visualized the damaging, tiny particles that wreak havoc on human health. From the Bay Area to New Delhi, see how the world’s worst pollution compares with your local air. The particles are too small for the eye to see but in high concentrations, they cast a haze in the sky.
There’s A Better Way To Get Smarter Than Brain-Training Games
Most of the rapid cognitive enhancers currently being peddled are not very effective. Brain-training games like Lumosity and Posit Science (Brain HQ) won’t boost your IQ, but a host of strategies can improve your cognitive abilities one piece at a time.
People With Extreme Political Views Have Trouble Thinking About Their Own Thinking
Your super liberal and super conservative relatives might all have one thing in common. Radicals can’t question their own ideas the same way more moderate individuals can.