Ariel Victor

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The Power of 'Good Enough'

How settling can make people happier and more satisfied than gunning for "the best"<p>Over a decade ago, psychologist Barry Schwartz published what might be the ultimate psychological life-hacking tome, <i>The</i> <i>Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less</i>.​ In it, Schwartz argues that the modern world's smorgasbord …

Happiness

What Can Our Craziest Dreams Teach Us?

“During sleep the mind can be a remarkable engine of problem solving and emotional processing.”<p>Most dreams are boring, and immediately forgotten. For every monstrous nightmare that wakes you up in a cold sweat, or fantastical dream of flying, there are fistfuls of dreams where you’re probably just …

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy

It’s a paradox: Shouldn’t the most accomplished be well equipped to make choices that maximize life satisfaction?<p>There are three things, once one’s basic needs are satisfied, that academic literature points to as the ingredients for happiness: having meaningful social relationships, being good at …

Happiness

Can You Cure Chronic Lateness?

The thorny habit is a tough one to break—but scientists say that managing it is possible.<p>In a Wait But Why analysis of people who are habitually late—whether it’s to work, social engagements, or major appointments—Tim Urban concludes that some members of this group, including himself, could be …

Self-help

Can we trust emotion over reason?

When you have an important decision to make – for example, the best way to vote in the coming referendum – and you want to ensure that your decision is based on fact, how can you know you’re not being swayed by emotion? After all, our emotions are present from birth – we don’t need to “learn” to …

Psychology

How School Dress Codes Shame Girls and Perpetuate Rape Culture

Some of our most powerful and lasting ideas about the world around us are learned at school. Hard work pays off. Success comes from working together. …

The Millennial Beard: Why Boomers Need Their Younger Counterparts

A friend of mine, who's a little over 50, met with a big firm about a job recently. The good news was that they loved his ideas. But they said he …

Here's Why Women Get Migraines More Than Men

Migraines—searing headaches that feel like a hammer to the inside of the skull—can strike anyone, but they predominantly affect women, who are up to …

The Exercise Benefit You Aren't Thinking About

A new small study serves as a reminder that breaking a sweat is a drug-free way to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of health issues like ADHD and …

What to Say When Your Kids' Friends are in Trouble

Nobody wants their kid to get mixed up with the wrong people. But even good kids face big challenges and tough choices in life. And often, the first …

Scientists sniff out genes controlling human nose shapes

Study uncovers genes which help control the shape of our noses, a finding researchers believe will offer insights into our evolutionary past<p>A collection of genes that underpin the shape of the human nose have been discovered in a study into our facial features.<p>Scientists scanned the genomes of …

Brain vs stomach: why dieting is so hard

The debate over whether fat is actually bad for our health overlooks a more fundamental issue: if we know something is bad for us, why can’t we stop eating it? The weird relationship between our brains and digestive systems holds the answer<p>A recent report by the National Obesity Forum stated that …

'Your film has ruined my childhood!' Why nostalgia trumps logic on remakes

Why do people have such disproportionately aggressive responses to attempts at rebooting their childhood entertainments, like the new Ghostbusters movie?<p>Maybe you haven’t heard. Maybe you’ve been combing the Mariana Trench for a dropped contact lens, or been employed to brush the dust off the Mars …

Street lights lure moths away from gardens, say scientists

Moths’ role as pollinators is disrupted in brightly lit urban areas, finds research<p>Street lights don’t just lure moths, they may be helping to impoverish suburban gardens by causing them to fly too high to pollinate flowers, researchers at Newcastle University report.<p>It could be at the cost of …

Microplastics killing fish before they reach reproductive age, study finds

Tiny particles of plastic litter in oceans causing deaths, stunted growth and altering behaviour of some fish that feed on them, research shows<p>• <b>The paper that this article was based on was retracted by the journal Science on 3 May 2017. Read more here.</b><p>Fish are being killed, and prevented from …

Sleep Can Help You Make Better Decisions

Chances are, right now, you know someone that is trying to improve or change their behavior.<p>They may be trying to eat healthier or exercise more …

How to Make the Perfect First Impression, According to Science

You only get one chance for a first impression -- make sure science is on your side.<p>Positive first impressions can link you to all kinds of crazy-good friendships and securities, so the more of them you can make, the better your odds often are for achieving personal and business goals. On the …

Self-help

The Ugly Truth

One day last summer, I sat in a restaurant near Columbus Circle talking about buildings with an old friend of my father’s. The friend is an architect and a Jesuit priest, and the subject of our discussion was the Hearst Tower, on West Fifty-seventh Street, which he liked and I did not. My problem …

Thelonious Monk