“Well sir, the shortest farewells are the best,” Casper Gutman—the fat man—tells detective Sam Spade near the end of Dashiell Hammett’s classic noir novel, The Maltese Falcon.
Thomas Wolfe liked to masturbate before each of his writing sessions: the activity, he said, helped inspire his imagination and put him in the proper mindset for writing (a “good male feeling,” he called it).
Earlier this week, the Bank of England made an announcement that should warm many a literati’s heart: Jane Austen will be the new face of the £10 note.
Last Friday, July 5, the psychology community lost one of its greatest minds, Daniel Wegner. It's hard to overstate his influence on psychology as a whole -- and on individual students and researchers (myself included) along the way.
I’ve never once written about autism. Not a single time. It’s not that I don’t think it’s an important topic—I do, and crucially so—but only that, each time I return to it, I realize how vast and complex the field is, how much it shifts, how multifaceted and equivocal is each study, each researcher, each point of view.
Today, the Northern Hemisphere celebrates the summer solstice, the longest day of the calendar year (happy winter solstice to the Southern Hemisphere!).
Picture the following scenario. A well-respected surgeon successfully concludes an operation. It’s the end of a long day, and he is looking forward to going home for a well-earned break.
When I was little, I ate lilac petals. With zest. I don’t remember too much about our Moscow apartment, but I do recall with absolutely clarity the large vase overflowing with lilac petals that would appear, like clockwork, every May, along with the long-elusive warmth of spring that was, at long last, allowed to flow into our rooms through the newly opened windows.
Central Park almost didn’t exist. When it was first proposed, no comparable urban green space could be found in the whole of the United States—and it seemed unlikely that one would arise on land that could be put to other, more profitable use - especially with New York real estate values on a steady rise.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that, out of all musical instruments, bagpipes make the most infernal noise. That, and an out-of-tune violin. The problem with bagpipes, though, is they maintain their infernality no matter how adept you are at playing them.
Paul Meehl was renowned for many things: his insistence on statistical and research rigor; his prescient views on schizophrenia; his advancements in psychotherapy; his creation of one of the scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI—one of the most widely used tests of personality in clinical research and practice.) He is equally famous for his aversion to academic conferences.
Approximately one month ago, I fell into a rabbit hole – the rabbit hole better known as Writing My Dissertation. I’d been working toward that point for five years and counting, through seminars and conferences, experiments and literature reviews, conversations and late-night therapy sessions with an open statistics textbook and eyes full of tears over yet another beta or epsilon that I couldn’t for the life of me comprehend.
Today marks a big occasion for the Scientific American blog network: the launch of the MIND blogs, the Scientific American MIND blog network. Six new blogs, six new areas of exploration for the human mind--and a transition of all existing psychology-related blogs (like this one) to the new platform.
Georg Tobias Ludwig Sachs was born on April 22, 1786, in the mountain village of St. Ruprecht, Kärnthen, or Carinthia – the south of present-day Austria.
When my wonderful agent, Seth Fishman, got married this summer, he decided on one of the most original and thoughtful presents for his bride-to-be, Marget, that I had ever seen: a bound book of reflections on love from his friends and clients.
When he was 30 years old, Louis Victor Leborgne lost the ability to speak—or speak in any matter that made any sort of sense. Upon being admitted to Bicêtre, a suburban Paris hospital that specialized in mental illness, he could utter only a single syllable: Tan.
When I was your age, children knew to respect their parents. We didn’t give anyone any lip. We owned up to our responsibilities. We took advantage of our opportunities.
Today marks the official US release of my new book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. It all began here, on "Literally Psyched," with a handful of posts that I called "Lessons from Sherlock Holmes." To celebrate the occasion, I am re-posting my first ever Holmesian blog, from back in the summer of 2011.
Alas, this is not how my first day of kindergarten went. Credit: Creative Commons, Archives New Zealand. I remember my first day of school with such clarity that it might as well have happened last week.
Think blueberries are your super-oxidizing, super-healthy friend? Think again. Unless you’re consuming the organic variety, you’re probably better off skipping them altogether—unless you want to be hit with so much pesticide it would make maggots and bagworms squirm and wilt.