psychology

Politics makes utter fools out of otherwise rational people. The vitriol aimed at President George W. Bush by his political opponents caused psychiatrist and political commentator Charles Krauthammer to coin the tongue-in-cheek term "Bush Derangement Syndrome." It caught on. Pundits subsequently seized upon the terms "Obama Derangement Syndrome" and "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

Now, it appears as if some psychologists want to give these satirical diagnoses an air of medical authority. An article in Kaiser Health News, which was (unbelievably) reprinted by...

So, if you don't mind me asking: How are your New Year's resolutions going so far?

If you're like most people who re-dedicated themselves to eating better and exercising more at the start of 2017, it's a safe bet the answer is "not so good." And the reason for this shortcoming, an expert researcher tells us, is rooted in basic human psychology.

Issuing self-improvement promises immediately makes us feel good about ourselves, but the fact is that they require no effort – and any action that will be required is delayed, sometimes for quite a while. That's a primary reason why people embrace resolutions year after year, even if the same ones are ignored annually. A second big reason is that hope is central to human nature. And despite an individual's desire to improve one's...

The contents within may be dangerous to society. (Credit: Shutterstock) The contents within may be dangerous to society. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Science can make us uncomfortable. Astronomy proved that the Earth goes around the sun, upending centuries of geocentric theology. Physics tells us that our universe will someday come to an end. DNA sequencing can reveal our true ancestry or genetic predispositions to cancer and Alzheimer's disease, forever changing our life's...

Credit: Shutterstock Credit: Shutterstock

After he conquered chess, child prodigy Josh Waitzkin (whose life was featured in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer) then became a Tai Chi Push Hands world champion, a story that he tells in The Art of Learning. In the book, Waitzkin discusses how he carefully observed his opponents and took advantage of them in brief moments of vulnerability, such as when they blinked. It seems that, perhaps unbeknownst to him, he...