An advertisement for snake oil, 1905

Why Do We Fall for Scams?

People want to believe that the person they trust with their money, or their hearts, is telling the truth. The con artist relies on that.
The cast of the new Gossip GirlThe cast of the new Gossip Girl

Gossip Girls (and Boys)

Researchers found that male and female adolescents may respond differently to gossip or other forms of social aggression.

How LGBTQ+ Activists Got “Homosexuality” out of the DSM

The first DSM, created in 1952, established a hierarchy of sexual deviancies, vaulting heterosexual behavior to an idealized place in American culture.
Depressed teen girl in black clothes playing guitar sitting on bed in her room.

Why Do We Listen to Sad Music?

Scientists investigate the emotional and physical effects of sad music, in an ongoing quest to explain the "paradox of pleasurable sadness."
An image representing negentropy

Could Negentropy Help Your Life Run Smoother?

In physics, entropy is the process of a system losing energy and dissolving into chaos. This applies to social systems in everyday life, too.
An image from the Milgram experiments

The Hidden Meaning of a Notorious Experiment

In Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience, people believed they were giving shocks to others. But did their compliance say much about the Nazis?
A poster with the famous words 'Big Brother is Watching You' from a BBC TV production of George Orwell's classic novel '1984'.

Is the Authoritarian Personality a Legitimate Concept?

A group of thinkers who fled Europe wanted to explain the rise of Nazism, but their ideas haven't withstood scrutiny.
Pensive man looking out of window

Your Brain on Quarantine

Struggling to stay inside during quarantine? Feeling bored? Anxious? Researchers say you're not alone.
Dr. Emile Coue, 1923

The Self-Help Mantra That Got Better and Better

Every day, in every way, the pop psychology of Emile Coué conquered 1920s Britain.
Boris Sidis

How Jewish Immigrants Changed American Psychology

Secular Jewish psychologists like Boris Sidis criticized the positive optimism of Protestant-centered psychology.