Whether it’s addiction to a substance or addiction to a behavior, different types of addiction share certain features. Generally, these involve a strong urge to engage in some type of rewarding behavior despite negative consequences. For psychologists, understanding what ties together different forms of addiction is a key to learning more about how addiction works.…

Read More

If there’s one thing people never lack, it’s biases in how we think. One of these biases is what psychologists call the false consensus effect, where people tend to overestimate the extent to which other people share their views. To put it another way, people tend to assume that everyone else thinks the way they…

Read More

That’s right! When you woke up yesterday I bet you didn’t know your cognitive future hinged on whether you’d have a good day! I’m exaggerating, of course. But there really is a new study out showing that people’s evaluations of their previous days can predict cognitive aging over the next year. Before you freak out…

Read More

There are as many parenting philosophies as there are parents, but one thing most parents probably agree on is that it’s good for kids to stay active. Running around outside beats hours parked in front of the TV any day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, research has consistently found that children who are more physically active also tend…

Read More

Exercise might prolong your lifespan and cut your risk of dementia later in life, but focusing on these long-term benefits isn’t necessarily enough to motivate a regular exercise routine. In fact, recent research suggests that being more physically active goes hand-in-hand with emphasizing exercise’s short-term benefits. In a series of four experiments, researchers studied people’s…

Read More

A lack of motivation can put to ruin the greatest plans – or the smallest ones for that matter. Getting the motivation to do something is a complex process that takes place in the brain, so there’s no simple formula for boosting your motivation when you need it. But as it turns out, using mental…

Read More

For better or worse, pedaling around on a two-wheeled vehicle seems to effect people’s cognition, as I’ve written about before. Being bicyclists apparently makes people better drivers but also gives them a little paranoia, at least temporarily. Here’s another change you can chalk up in the “for better” column, though: improved cognitive function later in…

Read More

If there’s a game that’s equally challenging for players of all ages, it would be Concentration. In case you’re not familiar, the game goes like this: lay all the cards in a deck face-down in a grid. Every turn, you get to flip over two cards. If they’re matching cards of the same color (e.g.,…

Read More

If you’re like me, music is an indispensable part of your work routine. Then again, maybe you’re like some other people I know who need absolute silence in order to concentrate. It’s easy to see arguments both for and against listening to music while doing cognitive tasks. On one hand, some background music can stave…

Read More