Stephen Walsh

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Want to Improve Your Communication Skills? Stop Saying These 25 Words.

Stop saying these words in the office. You'll improve your communication skills and your coworkers will thank you.<p>For thousands of years, our most powerful tools to change the world and our surroundings have been our words. That’s still true today.<p>From the lines you hear on TV, the commentary you …

Communication Skills

A real-life Lord of the Flies: the troubling legacy of the Robbers Cave experiment

In the early 1950s, the psychologist Muzafer Sherif brought together a group of boys at a US summer camp – and tried to make them fight each other. Does his work teach us anything about our age of resurgent tribalism?<p>• Read an extract from The Lost Boys<p>July 1953: late one evening in the woods …

Psychology

The No. 1 trait highly charismatic people all share, according to science

William von Hippel, a psychology professor from the University of Queensland in Australia, conducts eccentric experiments to uncover the thought …

Psychology

The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett review – the science of happiness

The neuroscientist, comedian and science blogger rattles through studies and reflects on his own life in a quest to find the secret of contentment<p>As a neuroscientist, comedian and Guardian science blogger, Dean Burnett knows that science communication is both important and hard to get right. Early …

The Brain

I Was a Liberal Who Worked at Fox News. Here's What That Taught Me About Arguing Politics

It may seem surprising for a liberal commentator like myself, but from 2010 to 2013, I worked in the most prominent den of American conservatism: Fox …

Immigration Reform

7 Ways to Get People To Like You From an FBI Behavior Expert

Meeting new people can be awkward. What should you say? How can you make a good impression? How do you keep a conversation going?<p>Research shows …

Self-help

How to Deal With an Embarrassing Situation, According to Science

When you do something embarrassing, you probably wish you were someone — anyone — else.<p>But new research says that’s not just an instinctual reaction: …

Psychology

Are You Autistic? review – a sorely needed primer

This was an ably presented look at autism. Not only did it seek to overturn preconceptions, but it showed that the condition is vastly more common than previously thought<p>People with autism have a word for those who don’t have it: neurotypical. You might think this reverse labelling unhelpful, but …

Autism

Say ‘No’ and change your life

We live in a world where ‘yes’ is the default. But we need to tame our inner ‘chimp’ and embrace the power of ‘no’<p>My old friend Mick calls me with an invitation to his 50th birthday party. It sounds brilliant. Mick has rented a house for a week. Lots of people I know will be there. I want to go. I …

TED Talks

Using These 2 Words a Lot Could Signal Depression or Anxiety

Maybe that friend who can't stop talking about herself isn't just a narcissist after all.<p>Sometimes, depression can be obvious—say, if a person …

Psychology

Guys, This Could Be Why Women Seem To Think You're Boring

Guys, you've been in this situation before: You meet a girl out at a bar, and she has an adorable accent.<p><b>You:</b> “Where are you from?”<p><b>Her:</b> “Norway.”<p><b>You:</b> …

Relationships

Hate body odour? You're more likely to have rightwing views

Scientists suggest authoritarian attitudes may be partly rooted in biological urge to avoid catching diseases from unfamiliar people<p>People who have a greater tendency to turn their nose up at the whiff of urine, sweat and other body odours are more likely to have rightwing authoritarian attitudes, …

Psychology

Neuroscience News wrote a new post, How the Brain Constructs the World, on the site Neuroscience News

Summary: Two new studies shed light on the processes that underlie the integration and storage of sensory information.Source: SISSA.How are raw …

Neuroscience

9 subtle signs that you're talking to a psychopath

For years, scientists have known that psychopaths' brains are different from normal ones. Brain scans show reduced activity in areas that regulate impulses, emotions, aggression, and morality.<p>But since you probably don't have brain scans at your disposal, there are some other ways to tell if you …

Psychology

The Most Overused Negotiating Tactic Is Threatening to Walk Away

Professional negotiators and researchers alike hail the BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, or “walk away” outcome) as a negotiator’s …

How feeling bad changes the brain

Our emotions can have an unexpected downside of how we respond to others in pain, finds Melissa Hogenboom<p>In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel A Handmaid’s Tale, the many wrongs that befall Offred strike a chilling chord among most readers. When she is struck with a cattle prod we can almost feel …

Psychology

'Would you be willing?': words to turn a conversation around (and those to avoid)

Choose your words carefully and you can get someone to change their mind, or see you in a new light<p>It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it – isn’t it? According to language analysts, we may have this wrong. ‘‘We are pushed and pulled around by language far more than we realise,” says Elizabeth …

Self-help

The neuroscience of no regrets: why people still support Brexit and Trump

Many people still strongly support Brexit and Trump, despite mounting evidence that both are problematic. Much of this is not politics, but the workings of the human brain<p>It’s now over a year since the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, plenty of time to witness the consequences of …

Critical Thinking

The scientists persuading terrorists to spill their secrets

Expert interrogators know torture doesn’t work – but until now, nobody could prove it. By analysing hundreds of top-secret interviews with terror suspects, two British scientists have revolutionised the art of extracting the truth. By Ian Leslie<p>In 2013, a British man was arrested for planning to …

Forensics

11 Personality Traits That Could Derail Your Career

When considering what it takes to succeed at work, we often focus on innate strengths: high intelligence, the ability to learn, the ambition to achieve, and the social skills to develop strong relationships. But these characteristics always coexist with weaknesses—aspects of personality that might …

Personality

You Asked: How Can I Use More of My Brain?

It’s a myth that humans only use 10% of their brains. “That idea is not only inaccurate, it doesn’t make any sense,” says Earl Miller, a professor of …

The Brain

Bad language: why being bilingual makes swearing easier

Bilingual reduced emotional resonance is fairly well-established, but why does it happen? And does that have a knock-on effect for different communities?<p>My dad had a liberal philosophy of childrearing, but he would always tell us off for swearing. As a result, I grew up feeling very uncomfortable …

Language Learning

Can we trust the Rorschach test?

To its critics, it is dangerous pseudoscience. To its supporters, it offers unique insights. What is the future of this controversial psychological test?<p>Victor Norris had reached the final round in his application for a job working with young children, but he still had to undergo a psychological …

Psychology

Psychiatrists use an old trick to get people to trust them with their secrets — and it works just as well in business

And yet one of the best nuggets in "Friend and Foe," a 2015 book by the psychologists Maurice Schweitzer and Adam Galinsky, debunks that idea, instead suggesting that there's a somewhat scientific formula to gaining people's trust quickly.<p>It's less creepy than it might sound. The key is simply to …

Psychiatry

How to Disagree With Your Coworkers Without Getting Into an Argument

Your coworker complains that your loud phone calls are distracting him, and you fire back that he’s always late to meetings. Or you try to tell your …

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

Zach Hambrick has always been fascinated by exceptional performance, or what he calls “the extremes of human capabilities.” Growing up, he’d devour <i>Guinness World Records</i>, noting the feats it described and picturing himself proudly posing in its pages. By the time he reached college, though, he’d …

Computer Science

52 Concepts To Add To Your Cognitive Toolkit

Signalling/ countersignalling – the idea that an action conveys information to someone about the actor. Buying an expensive wedding ring conveys that …

Entitlement is a Recipe For Unhappiness

<i>Summary: According to researchers, those who consider themselves to have a sense of entitlement are often more prone to frustration and …

A ‘Memory Hacker’ Explains How to Plant False Memories in People’s Minds

Scientist Julia Shaw explains false police confessions (and reports of alien abductions).<p>We tend to think of memories as perfect little time capsules—important records of past events that matter to us and made us who we are, as unchangeable as a dragonfly stuck in amber. Well, they're anything but. …

The Brain

How Silence Affects Our Brains in A Good Way, Science Explains

In a world that’s increasingly busy and loud, silence sells. Like clean water, silence is a resource, and can, in fact, be used as a selling point. …