Psychology Today

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 1, January/February

2014 Best in Treatment
Best in TreatmentTHE TOLL OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR is high and mounting. According to the National Institutes of Health, tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs cost the country over $600 billion a year. No price can be put on the cost to individual lives and...
A Kingdom of Characters
HILLTOP MALE, a coyote who made his home in a suburban Chicago park, knew how to get around the 'hood. Every nignt he and his mate set out to hunt, traveling together until they reached a two-lane road. He looked left and right, waited for cars to pass,...
Anxiety as We Know It
INHISQUESTFOR RELIEF,THEAUTHOR CHRONICLED THE EVOLUTION OF ANXIETY. HERE ARE HIGHLIGHTS.4th century B.C. Hippocrates describes anxiety as a medical disease caused by "body juices." Plato and his followers argue that it is a philosophical problem, not...
Between You and Me
The Shared BrainSelf-regulation once seemed to be a solo project. But "a new line of research is showing how the brain 'outsources' regulatory tasks to others," explains Mario Mikulincer, editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. To...
Do You Have a Disorder or Just a Trait?
BLOOD PRESURE is not a disease. All of us have one and the numbers, if measured across a large sample of people, fall into one of those classic bell-shaped curves. At a pressure above 140/90, however, that characteristic becomes an illness and worthy...
Feedback
Family, Extended"A CONCEPTION CONUNDRUM" (December) hit home for me and my family. We have a 2-year-old grandson being raised by his two mothers, and our son is the donor. We have known the birth mother since she was age 5. These two women are like daughters...
Five Signs of Covert Addiction
ONE OF THE many unfortunate realities of addiction is that it can be difficult to spot in loved ones until they are in deep. Sure, there are the stereotypical signs, such as unseasonable long sleeves worn to cover needle marks or the mysteriously dilated...
Four Things You Didn't Know about Positive Thinking
1 "New Age" is actually pretty old. The term appeared as a reference to therapeutic spirituality in the title of an 1864 book. The author, an ex-Methodist minister, left his church during the Civil War to study mystic philosophy. He argued that suffering...
Generation Song
WHY DO MILLENNIALS HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR '80S MUSIC? BLAME THEIR PARENTS.IF YOUR LIFE hada soundtrack, which tunes would make the cut? The first song you slowdanced to?Theguitar anthem you used to blast outyourdorm room window? Past research has shown...
Love and Power
AS WATER IS TO FISH, power is to people: It is the medium we swim in. And it is typically just as invisible to us.Power is not limited to leaders or organizations; it doesn't require outright acts of domination. It's a basic force in every social interaction....
Meet the Supertaskers
tHE MOMENT the broadcast goes live, Joe Perota suddenly goes from nomal to extraordinary. Perota is a director for live multi-camèra TV. While you're watching Saturday Night Live or Monday Night Football, someone like him is standing intne control room...
Q & A With. Jennifer Ouellette
THE AUTHOR OF THE CALCULUS DIARIES "FINDS HERSELF" -WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM SCIENCE.SCIENCE JOURNALIST Jennifer Ouellette, who previously tackled the mysteries of physics and calculus in books like Black Bodies and Quantum Cats and The Calculus Diaries,...
Rich Dirt, Poor Dirt
HERE'S AN IRONY TO consider: Could it be that one fallout from a century of increasing agricultural efficiency is nutrient deficiency?In order to support ourselves nutritionally, we are increasingly encouraged to eat more whole foods, especially fru...
Six-Ish Degrees of Separation
THE IDEA OF six degrees of separation has been around for a while...but is it true? In the late 1960s, the famous psychologist Stanley Milgram set up two experiments to see how someone in the Midwest could transmit a document to a random person in the...
Terms of Evasion
MOST PEOPLE HAVE an instinctive sense of what it means to keep personal information private, as opposed to secret. Privacy is motivated by a desire to withhold for oneself; secrecy is motivated by fear of revelation to others. And yet we blur the boundaries:...
The Beauty Paradox
"IS THIS WOMAN Too Hot To Be a Banker?" * Whether or not Debrahlee Lorenzana, a former business banker at a New York Citibank branch, was fired for being distractingly attractive to her male colleagues and superiors, the above Village Voice headline...
The Butterfly Effect
EACH YEAR, WHEN January 1 rolls around, people resolve to stop smoking, start exercising, get more sleep, eat more vegetables, and (insert your favorite perennial goal here). Beyond the sleep/eat well/exercise trifecta, there are few sure things that...
The Driving Furies of Martin Luther King, Jr
FROM 1955-when,as a 26-yearold, he found himself the leader of a bus boycott in Montgom- ery, Alabama-to the passing of the Civil Rights Act, Martin Luther King, Jr. led the charge that ended a system of segregation more than a century old.For this,...
The Secret That Became My Life
I lived as both a secret finder and a secret keeper for much of the last half century. My story is about thunderbolts and denial. It's about the power that secrets have to attract and to repel. It's about the damage we suffer when we hide the truth.When...
The Will of the Weed
IT TOOK THE hematologist only five minutes to examine the cells he had just extracted from my bone marrow and to make the diagnosis. "You have acutepromyelocytic leukemia, the rarest type," ne said in a straightforward, utterly authoritative manner.Only...
Unconventional Wisdom
NO PHYSICAL ATTRACTIONI am not physically attracted to my husband of five years. Even in the beginning I was more attracted by his kindness, wit, and intelligence. He has always been overweight. We have a 2-year-old and both work. I've had to initiate...
When Being Bad Feels Good
MOST STUDIES OF behavior assume that ordinary people who behave unethically will later feel guilty. But while participants in a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology predicted that they would feel bad after cheating...
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