psychology

Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories

Why are conspiracy theories so prevalent, and how do they intersect with other phenomena such as climate change denial? Stephan Lewandowsky, chair of cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol, answered questions on the topic posed by the public on Reddit. The Conversation has curated the highlights.


Why The Hardest Tasks Matter The Most

Life hacking is all about doing things easier, but it’s important to remember that not everything is easy. There aren’t many “get rich quick” schemes in life — whether you’re talking about money, productivity, relationships or something else. Sometimes, the hardest tasks are the ones that matter the most.


Get Rid Of 'Earworms' By Playing Out The Full Song

Got a tune stuck in your head? Fire up your favourite music player or YouTube and play the song through to the end to get rid of that “earworm”, suggests Dr Fredric Neuman, Director of the Anxiety and Phobia Centre at White Plains Hospital.


How Being Humble, Kind And Calm Will Make Your Life Easier

You’ve heard it all your life: being humble, kind and calm is the “right thing to do”. But if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider this: humility, kindness and calmness can actually help you get ahead in life.


Reduce Information Overload By Being Mindful

Information overload has become an everyday experience for anyone who works with computers, owns a smartphone or waits at a bus stop with minute-by-minute updates about arrival times.


Use The 'Accelerate Or Brake' Method To Make Better Spending Decisions

We all know we should save for the future, but getting in the mindset of doing it is the real trick. Finance blog Early Retirement Extreme offers a mental test for all spending decisions: will this press the accelerator towards your financial goals, or the brakes?


Frustration, Not Violent Content, May Cause Aggression In Gamers

Video games sometimes get a bad rap for causing aggressive behaviour (though this correlation is in dispute to say the least). New research suggests that it may not be violent games that encourage this aggression, but rather the frustration and challenges to the ego that come from repeatedly losing.


Avoid Hotel Bookings At Work For A Happier Holiday

Planning a holiday? It’s potentially a bad idea to make your hotel reservations during business hours in the office, according to a new study by Rice University and Iowa State University.


Find Joy Or Meaning In A Task To Thwart Procrastination

The best way to stop delaying tasks is to find something enjoyable or meaningful in them. That’s the only way to thwart procrastination, according to Fuschia Sirois of Bishop’s University.


Teach Children Gratitude By Making Them Work For Toys And Food

Many parents like to spoil their kids with toys but don’t want their kids to end up “spoilt”. The Atlantic’s Jenn Choi found a great solution: use toys and cooking to teach children gratitude.