It is a truth universally acknowledged that pretty much everyone hates spoilers. The internet was furious with former Detroit Tigers player Michael Sams for accidentally tweeting a major spoiler for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And this week we learned about a vengeful ex-girlfriend who deliberately spoils Game of…
In May of 2014, I wore my first costume to a convention. It was a simple Doctor Krieger from Archer. Stepping into the shoes of a character I liked just seemed like a fun way to spend the weekend. Instead, it turned into an exploration of what it means to be confident.
We make many decisions every day, from choosing whether to buy skim or whole milk, to deciding which way to turn at an intersection. How confident you feel about your choices will influence your behavior.
New research shows that the mere presence of a first class cabin on an airplane—plus the added experience of having to shuffle through this cabin while boarding—contributes to “air rage,” both among economy and first class passengers.
Indiana Jones proved just how useful a good bullwhip can be, both as a tool and as a weapon, but people are still surprised when neuropsychologist Jessica Cail tells them that one of her favorite hobbies is practicing whip-cracking. She talks about this peculiar sideline in the latest installment of the NOVA video…
They may just be plastic, metal and wires, but robots can elicit... physical responses in humans. That’s according to a new study by researchers who analyzed what happened to volunteers when they touched automatons in areas that would be thought of as intimate on an actual human being.
Dealing with people who exhibit passive-aggressive behavior is easily one of the most challenging aspects of our social lives. Here’s what you need to know about this annoying personality quirk and how you can handle people who express their hostility in indirect and backhanded ways.
There’s no better way to settle an argument than a round of rock-paper-scissors. But while you might think you have fool-proof set of tactics, a new study reveals why many of us suck so hard at the game.
Remember last November when Canadian scientists published a study using the tweets of Deepak Chopra to demonstrate how some people can interpret utter bullshit as deeply profound observations? It’s now sparked a counter-argument and a sharp rejoinder—two respectable scientists arguing about the meaning (or lack…
Human beings will put too much trust in robots even when those machines are broken or make obvious mistakes. All we need to do is slap the words “emergency” on the robot’s side to make people surrender their logic.
While investigating non-English words associated with positive emotions and concepts, a British researcher recently discovered 216 foreign words for which there is no English translation.
I hate being tailgated. Once, I surprised the hell out of myself when I initiated an exceptionally dangerous game of tit-for-tat with an offending tailgater that involved high speeds and some rather dangerous cutting-off maneuvers. After a few minutes, I snapped out of it and let the driver go. But the incident…
‘Tis better to give than to receive, but ‘tis best by far to give something that will make you look good in the eyes of the recipient — especially if you can save money in the bargain. Here’s one psychological finding that will help you choose cheaper gifts people will still appreciate: the less-is-better effect.
Anger fuels aggression, but it doesn’t always have to cause a flare-up. When properly managed, it can actually serve a productive purpose. Here are some practical tips to help you better manage your anger.
We’ve known for a while that testosterone is associated with aggressive behavior. But a fascinating new experiment reveals that these hormones are a two-way street: Simply acting aggressive can also raise levels of testosterone, in both women and men.
Colorful foliage may be autumn’s hallmark, but humans can also smell the change of seasons. What exactly is that familiar scent that hits our noses every October? Turns out, it’s a lot more complicated than wood smoke and pumpkin spice lattes.
Is that friend who always very politely turns down your offers for cream or sugar very possibly hiding a dark secret, as haters around the internet have been insisting recently? No, probably not—but here’s why some people are saying taking your coffee black means you’re more likely to be a psychopath.
The weird and wonderful impacts of the placebo effect are well-documented for health treatments. But now a team of researchers has shown that it can help you enjoy a video game that you’re told has been updated — even when it’s exactly the same as it always was.
In June of 1994, a convicted child molester named Charlie Taylor moved into a small apartment in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, across the street from a community center. He had no family. He had no parole officer. At the time, sex offenders deemed too dangerous to be let out of prison early were, paradoxically,…
The Delbouef Illusion is well known. It absolutely works on humans, but scientists wanted to see if it also works on monkeys. That’s harder to establish than it looks. How do you resist having illusions about your optical illusion test?