Going with your gut: Making decisions based on instinct

For centuries, scientists have studied how we go about the difficult task of choosing A or B, left or right, North or South – and how both instinct and intellect figure into the process.

Will you succeed? One quick trick to increase motivation

Little research exists in the area of self-talk, although internal dialogue often influences the way people motivate and shape their own behavior.

Does success really make people happy?

Happy individuals are predisposed to seek out and undertake new goals in life and this reinforces positive emotions, say researchers who examined the connections between desirable characteristics, life successes and well-being of over 275,000 people.

See yourself as outsiders do to measure progress toward goals

When people feel they’ve hit a roadblock in reaching a personal goal, such as losing weight, a change in perspective may give them the help...

Don’t worry, be happy-ish

Most self-help books on the subject offer tips on how to maximize one’s bliss, but one study suggests that moderate happiness may be preferable to full-fledged elation.

Know thyself: How mindfulness can improve self-knowledge

Research has highlighted the fact that we have many blind spots when it comes to understanding our patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.

Dreams can overpower conscious thoughts

When dreaming is believing: Dreams affect people’s judgment, behavior

One gene’s link to optimism and self-esteem

Scientists have identified for the first time a particular gene’s link to optimism, self-esteem and “mastery,” the belief that one has control over one’s own life — three critical psychological resources for coping well with stress and depression.

Dishonesty and creativity: 2 sides of the same coin?

Lying about performance on one task may increase creativity on a subsequent task by making people feel less bound by conventional rules, according to research.

Brain battles over short-term rewards, long-term goals

If it feels like one part of your brain is battling another, it probably is, according to a study published in Science.

About the almost-realistic ‘uncanny valley’

Find out how very realistic human-looking robots or computer avatars tend to elicit negative feelings in human observers.