False Memories Are Very Common — and Can Even Be Collective

a pastel portrait of Nelson Mandela
Image by Ariel Quiroz / CC BY

One of the most exciting takeaways from empirical psychological research has been the study of memory. In particular, the study of false memories.

The body of work on this area is huge, and many researchers have taken a stab or two. But most notably, Elizabeth Loftus pioneered a series of studies into memory beginning in 1974 that completely revolutionized our collective understanding of memory and how accurate —  » Read more

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We’ll Always Have Heroes Because Even Monkeys Have Celebrities

a group of rhesus macaques in the wild
Image by cattan2011 / CC BY

If there’s one thing I want you to keep in mind today, it’s this: Just because someone is famous, just because someone has a lot of admirers, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t fallible in one way or another.

It’s far too easy to pedestal our leaders. Or to decide that just because someone’s famous that they are in a class all of their own.  » Read more

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What Kind of Man Sends Women Unsolicited Dick Pics and Why?

a green stamp that says "censored"
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

As a war-weary female veteran of the Internet (been cruising since the good old dial-up BBS days, thankyouverymuch), I’ve seen my share of dick pics. While I have consensually received photographs of a lover’s genitalia (a completely different context), the vast majority of the dick pics I’ve looked at in my time have been unsolicited and from strangers.  » Read more

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Who Gets Suspicious About a Partner’s Social Media Activity?

it's a diagram with a thought bubble in the middle. Arrows are pointing to it from various icons on the hub of the implied circle. (These icons also have arrows pointing to each other.) Starting at 12:00 position on the wheel and moving clockwise, these are what the hand drawn icons appear to be: Cell phone, laptop computer, envelope, a magnifying class, 3 stick people, a lightbulb
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

I recently featured a letter from someone concerned that their boyfriend might be conducting a secret affair based on their social media activity. After I featured that letter, I got a ton of response from readers weighing in on their thoughts.

Many of them were frankly surprised that someone could become so concerned based on their partner’s social media activity (in this specific case,  » Read more

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Apologies Are Far Less Helpful Than Not Offending Someone in the First Place

a black and white photo of a neon sign that reads "Sorry"
Image by Timothy Brown / CC BY

Very few social lives experience no conflict whatsoever. Chances are if you have enough friends are socially well connected enough you’ve run into a situation (or two or three) where someone has done something to offend someone else.

And once a social transgression has been made, it’s up to the parties involved to figure out how they want to make up —  » Read more

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Being Kind to Others Makes People Happier than Treating Themselves

a card with a stencilled background of butterflies. The words on it read "Kindness blooms in even the harshest climate"
Image by Dedra Wolff / CC BY

Happiness stems from within, we’re told. If you want to be happy, start with you. Be good to yourself first. Focus on self-care. Give yourself a little treat.

This is the kind of advice that sounds good and is easy to follow. And while it’s important not to skimp on self-care and let yourself run too far on empty a question naturally follows: Does taking care of yourself lead to happiness?  » Read more

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Self-Signaling, or Why “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” Is Actually Good Advice

a chalk drawing of a stick figure going up a set of stairs
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

-Kurt Vonnegut

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Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling,  » Read more

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