Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “talk psych”

Wealth, Well-Being, and Generosity

Money matters. For entering U.S. collegians, the number one life goal—surpassing “helping others in difficulty,” “raising a family,” and 17 other aspirations—is “being very well off financially.” In the most recent UCLA “American Freshman” survey, 82 percent rated being very…

On the Reliability and Teaching of Psychological Science

“The most famous psychological studies are often wrong, fraudulent, or outdated.” With this headline, Vox joins critics that question the reproducibility and integrity of psychological science’s findings.   Are many psychology findings indeed untrustworthy? In 2008, news from a mass…

Marshmallow Study Roasted?

While on break in St. Andrews (Scotland) last week, I enjoyed a dinner conversation with a celebrated M.I.T. developmental psychologist and a similarly brilliant University of St. Andrews researcher. Among our dinner topics was an impressive recent conceptual replication of Walter…

The Malleability of Mind

How many of us have felt dismay over a friend or family member’s stubborn resistance to our arguments or evidence showing (we believe) that Donald Trump is (or isn’t) making America great again, or that immigrants are (or aren’t) a…

Persuasive Speaking: Why Michael Curry’s Royal Wedding Sermon Worked

The British, American, and Australian press—and hundreds of millions of royal wedding viewers—were unexpectedly enthralled by Bishop Michael Curry’s 13.5 minutes of fame: “Stole the show” (Telegraph and Vox). “Electrifying” (New York Times). “Wholly un-British, amazing, and necessary” (Esquire). “Will…

An Unplanned, Self-Administered “Gratitude Intervention”

Gratitude works. A genuinely positive and repeated observation of positive psychology is that keeping a gratitude journal (literally counting one’s blessings), or writing a gratitude letter, benefits the giver as well as the receiver. For the gratitude recipient, there is…

Implicit Bias at Starbucks

On April 12, 2018, a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called police on two African American men for doing nothing (not buying coffee while awaiting a friend). Was this but “an isolated incident”—as 48 percent of White and 10 percent of Black…

The Power of Habit

On the same day last week, two kind colleagues sent unsolicited photos. In one, taken 21 years ago at Furman University, I am with my esteemed friend/encourager/adviser, Charles Brewer (who sadly died recently).  The others were from a talk just…