What the Second-Happiest People Get Right

In 2007, a group of researchers began testing a concept that seems, at first blush, as if it would never need testing: whether more happiness is always better than less. The researchers asked college students to rate their feelings on a scale from “unhappy” to “very happy” and compared the results with academic (GPA, missed classes) and social …

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Review Proposals for The National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes

Please consider volunteering for the interdisciplinary panels that will review proposals submitted to NSF’s upcoming National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes competition. (For more details, please see the program information page, which has links to the solicitation, FAQ, and more.) This is an opportunity both to serve and to learn about and shape this ongoing national initiative.   This year …

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Video: Observing Earth Day With Psychological Science

Earth Day was first observed in 1970 to mark the beginnings of the modern environmental movement, and it has since gone global. Today, it is the most widely acknowledged secular observance in the world, motivating more than a billion people each year to fight for a clean environment.   In recognition of Earth Day 2022, this …

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Mental Health Problems Come With ‘Cost’ of Poorer Cognitive Function

All types of mental disorders come with a hidden cost in the form of cognitive dysfunction, including deficits in memory, attention, executive functions and processing speed, according to a comprehensive study that my colleagues and I published in June in the journal Clinical Psychology Review. We found that both diagnosable mental disorders, as well as some common …

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What Does It Take To Be an Effective Mental Health App?

Accessing mental health care has long been difficult, and the pandemic has further increased the strain. And there are thousands of mental health apps — about 20,000 and counting — designed to tackle the problem. They range from mood trackers, guided mindfulness exercises and apps with chatbots that teach coping skills. Spending on them has grown quickly …

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M.R.I.s Are Finding Connections Between Our Brain Activity and Psychology

In March, neuroscientists and psychiatrists from the School of Medicine at Washington University, St. Louis, along with colleagues elsewhere, published a study in the journal Nature that sparked widespread discussion in their fields. Researchers, the study noted, are increasingly using magnetic resonance imaging — which can reveal the brain’s structure and activity — to try to find …

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Moral Gridlock? Moralizing Issues Can Persuade—and Stifle Compromise 

It’s easy for people to become entrenched in their views, but the language used to frame issues can help them to see things differently—or, conversely, to become even more entrenched.   Consider policies related to automation technologies like crime-surveillance software or hiring algorithms. Framing these policies through the lens of morality can push people to consider …

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2022 Spence Award Mini Episode: Human to Nonhuman Interactions with Kai Chi (Sam) Yam

The winners of the 2022 APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions represent some of the brightest and most innovative young psychological scientists in the world. In a series of mini-episodes, Under the Cortex talks with each winner about their research and goals. Today, Kai Chi (Sam) Yam (National University of Singapore) tells us about his …

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