What to know about what you don’t know you know. #1: Intuition is very efficient—if you don't overthink it.
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Why we do what we do
Nigel Barber Ph.D.
The belief in getting something for nothing is a compelling illusion that boosts shopping.
Guilt about weight is unhelpful, but arguing that we have no control over our weight is even worse.
Some occupations remain very segregated by gender. Some of these differences reflect evolutionary specializations of men and women.
The key problem with capitalism is a conflict between workers and owners. We see this in the increasing luxury of owners and the bitter economic struggles of workers.
Some penguin populations are crumbling in the face of Antarctic warming. Others are changing their behavior and prospering telling us a great deal about human adaptability.
If we understood what idleness can do for our brains, perhaps we would encourage it more.
Environmentalists believe that individual actions can save the environment from carbon pollution. One such action is driving electric cars that emit no carbon while running.
The modern human environment is replete with substances that mimic sex hormones. Could these chemicals play a role in contemporary gender fluidity?
Many domestic animals can prosper in the wild despite having adapted to thousands of years in captivity.
Some in-laws get along better than blood relatives. Yet, family conflicts often divide along bloodlines. This reflects real conflicts of interest more than genetic relatedness.
The memories of skilled storytellers may seem remarkable but probably have fairly mundane explanations.
Recent exaggerated claims that owning a dog could increase life expectancy provide a cautionary tale in how scientific research is interpreted.
In an era of increasing gender fluidity, it is worth asking whether gender differences in psychology have been overstated in the past. Non-humans offer helpful hints.
Software developers know what makes us click. So what does Internet addiction really mean?
Environmentalists have finally come up with at least one practical remedy for climate change.
Parkinson's Law sought to explain low productivity for bureaucrats. Is this generalization true?
To mock is to disparage, and to bring down. In a world of political correctness, group differences are played down and so is identity-based humor.
There is little doubt that evolution happens, or that humans are products of evolution by natural selection.
Effects of the two main cannabinoids, CBD and THC, are very different. Unfortunately, the legalization debate conflates the two cannabis products.
Because other species do not have our communicative skills it is easy to assume they lack an interior mental life. That may be a mistake.
The job market is still sharply divided between “male” and “female” occupations. An evolutionary perspective might help explain the trend.
Why don't the rich and retired just sleep in the shade like lions?
A startling increase in depression for adolescents and young adults suggests they are being attacked by something very recent, like social media.
A sense of fairness may be ingrained in all primates. It is an essential ingredient in functional societies. because it makes social relationships predictable.
The time of day is a major factor in creativity and productivity.
What are the biological and behavioral effects of being exposed to artificially long days in the modern era?
Does helicopter parenting make children less self-reliant and more dependent on social approval?
When wild mammals encounter humans, they are very good at taking what they can get, even if it means accepting novel foods, living in cities, or acting like people.
When investors lose on a stock, the hurt they feel is greater than the pleasure of another stock rising an equivalent amount. The same principle holds more generally.
It is spring in the northern hemisphere and birds initiate the remarkable architectural feat of building a home for the young. How is this accomplished?
Nigel Barber, Ph.D., is an evolutionary psychologist as well as the author of Why Parents Matter and The Science of Romance, among other books.