Psychology Today

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 3, May/June

A Dance of Her Own
WHEN I TELL people that I dance tango, they picture the sexy leg-linked postcard pose-with my face on the body of the sequined femme fatale. I often lack the heart to set them straight and tell them that, because of injuries as well as feminist contrariness,...
An Up-and-Down Career
ROLLER COASTERS may be terrifying to ride, but their engineers know precisely how much g-force they can throw at you, and just how to turn, spin, and even flip you without causing you to lose your enthusiasm (or lunch). Six Flags chief engineer Larry...
Beer: Stirring Civilization
BEFORE BRONZE WHEELS rattled over the ? Sumerian desert, before the first stones were chiseled into the Great Pyramids of Giza, Homo sapiens was brewing beer. Pottery excavated from the ruins of Godin Tepe in Iran, believed to be 7,000 years old, carries...
Can Hard-Won Lessons Translate into Easy Advice?
THE LIST OF THINGS I wish I'd known at 20 is probably longer than the list of people I'd ever met at 20: Spend lOx more time with your grandparents and lOx less trying to look good or to acquire a cache of amazing adventures. (Twenty-year-olds look good...
Do Dreams Really Mean Anything?
DREAMING WAS ONCE seen as a means of receiving divine revelation; more recently, figures such as Sigmund Freud concluded that it opens a window to the workings of the mind. Here are a few contemporary perspectives, from misguided notions of symbolic...
Feedback
INSIDE ISOLATIONI just read your important piece on loneliness ("The Cure for Disconnection," April). I have three brothers with serious mental illness, and I know that loneliness perpetuates their pain. Thank you for blazing the trail and shedding light...
Fixing Social Slights
A FRIEND TO whom I was once dose now seems to be distancing from me. I have tried confronting this person, whojust pretends i am notthere, and I've asked for advice from mutual friends. I feel as if I'm not good enough for this person. What am I doing...
How to Handle Survivor Syndrome
MARTIN* WILL FOREVER feel the guilt of his younger brother Jonah's death. He was the older one, the sibling who should have shown him what life was about. But Martin, like any big brother, shooed him away, telling him to get lost and leave him alone....
Lessons You Won't Learn in School
THIS LIVING BUSINESS CAN GET TRICKY. We may sit a top the evolutionary scale, yet the word human is often used as a synonym for mortal fallible, faulty. It maybe that we are most faulty by too often getting in our own way. We need to act on the world...
Not by Fish Alone
WHAT ENABLES YOU to solve novel problems is a faculty called fluid intelligence. It's your on-the-spot reasoning ability, in contrast to crystallized intelligence, which is more dependent on learning. Unfortunately, fluid intelligence begins to decline...
Reversal of Misfortune
As a pediatrician working in San Francisco's poorest neighborhood, Nadine Burke Harris noticed that kids who experienced personal hardship, including abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence, had the most worrisome health problems. Connecting the inputs...
Take It from Me
HAVE A FRIEND who's struggling with her latest career choice or a brother who wants your opinion on his relationship? Before you offer your advice, consider a few tips based on research into how we weigh in.CHECK YOUR MOTIVESWhy do we give advice at...
Taking a Stand
MANY INITIATIVES AIM to get young people excited about communal and political engagement, but do civically active youth turn out any different from the rest? Researchers recently analyzed data gathered from a sample of more than 9,000 young Americans...
The Doppelgänger Bias
IT MAKES SENSE that your prior knowledge of a person-whether he has been kind to you or cheated you-determines how you act toward that person in the future. But research suggests that one person's track record may also influence how you treat people...
The Root of Suffering
IT WAS OUR sixth session. Hannah,* a junior in college, entered my office looking desperate. She had been dealing with depression and anxiety for several years, and the fall semester had been particularly difficult because of a breakup with her boyfriend....
The Sensory Revolution
"IT'S ONE of those cases of scie_72.tific serendipity," says Ian Morgan, a cell biologist at Australian National University whose work on vision is shaping how entire nations structure their school days. ¶ In the mid-1990s, he was studying how the neurotransmitter...
The Stealthiest Predator
Anthony, a senior member of an editorial team at a media company that covers extreme sports, appears to be a case study in modern-day chivalry. He is charismatic and confident, holding the door for female colleagues and instituting a checklist to ascertain...
To Love and to Envy
WENTY YEARS AGO. I started traveling to art festivals around the country to sell my paintings. My boyfriend, Daryl, would drive the van, help set up my booth, hang my work, and provide much-needed emotional support. The weekend shows were grueling but...
What the Best Therapists Offer Us
THERAPY CAN BE tricky. A patient may hesitate to bring up a particular topic, for example, concerned that it might be off limits. A therapist may neglect to revisit a serious issue raised in an earlier meeting. Successful therapy depends on a level of...
You Anew
AS ONE MOVES through the teen years, the judgment of peers becomes a deep preoccupation. Hazardous behaviors grow more attractive. And in many cases, ills that plague us as adultsmood problems, eating disorders, drug abuse-first strike. But there's more...
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