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Fun facts about birthdays: Relative age effect, temporal landmarks, and seasonal personality traits

Hard science can begin to look like astrology when it comes to researching the importance of birthdays and season of birth (SOB).  Birthdays are proven to influence everything from your success in school and sports to your physical health.  Birthdays can serve as temporal landmarks that enhance motivation—or deepen depression….

Why do we love Halloween? The psychology behind Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating

Halloween is one of the most popular U.S. holidays—this October, we’re set to spend a whopping $10.5 billion on treats, Halloween costumes, and decorations. The psychology behind Halloween costumes is intriguing: Studies show that when costumes render us anonymous, we may feel more confident displaying malicious behavior towards others.  More…

Past-life memories in young kids: Does child reincarnation hold up?

A division of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia has conducted extensive research into the “past life memories” of children. These spontaneous child “reincarnation” stories usually have elements in common, like the violent death of the previous personality and intense emotions.  Some critics use psychological explanations like…

Dealing with workplace manipulation: Identify the signs, spot dark personality traits, and communicate more effectively 

Workplace manipulation happens when a supervisor or coworker uses guilt, shame, coercion, or other tactics to exploit another member of the team.  If your boss is a workplace manipulator, watch out for traits and behavioral qualities that indicate they might have dark personality traits.  Dark personality traits (narcissism, machiavellianism, psychopathy)…

Understanding intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and how to defuse angry outbursts

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is characterized by short, intense outbursts of anger that can leave destruction in their wake.  People with IED may have brain abnormalities that foster impulsivity.  IED can be misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To calm someone during an…

Strategies for coping with infertility and infertility depression

Infertility is often experienced as a crisis, and women tend to carry more of its physical and emotional burden.  Some coping strategies are more compatible with fertility treatment and infertility depression than others.  Though psychologists usually discourage avoidant and escapist strategies, active distraction can reduce stress. More people benefit from…

Safe drinking tips for college students: Preserve your physical and mental health while under the influence

Alcohol plays a social role in many college students’ experiences, as they celebrate the end of final exams or football victories. While there’s nothing wrong with having a drink if you’re of legal drinking age, it’s important to have a game plan first, which is where our safe drinking tips…

What is financial infidelity? Strategies for talking about your spending habits with your spouse or partner 

Financial infidelity involves engaging in dishonest spending habits while in a relationship by lying about or otherwise concealing purchases and bills from your partner.  Spending habits can be tricky to discuss, and admitting that you aren’t always the best with your money isn’t easy to do, either. But the potential…

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