The Error Called Nostalgia: Remember How the World Used to be Better? What if it Never Was?

One of my favourite movies of all-time is 'Midnight in Paris'. Let's just forget about the director of the film for a second, and focus on the main reason why I love it - nostalgia. The main character in the movie, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, is writing a novel about a character who owns [...]

The Best Psychology Books of the Past Five Years (10-1)

Welcome to the final segment of my countdown. If you'd like to check out part one first, click here. Otherwise, enjoy! 10. 'Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance' by Angela Duckworth (2016). Goodreads star rating = 4.08/5. Why it's good: Duckworth shows that talent tends to be hugely overrated when looking at who is [...]

The Best Psychology Books of the Past Five Years (20 – 11)

I've already written a previous post on my top 20 psychology books of all time.  These were quite popular and well-known titles, but the most recent publications 'The Power of Habit' and 'The Honest Truth About Dishonesty' were both written in 2012. Since 2013, there have been some other great reads that have had a [...]

Shame and Guilt: Which One is Helpful, and How Can We Effectively Manage These Difficult Emotions?

What are shame and guilt? In the fascinating and comprehensive book 'Shame and Guilt' by June Tangney and Ronda Dearing, they describe shame and guilt as universal human emotions that are functionally important at both an individual and a relationship level. Features shared by shame and guilt (Tangney & Dearing, 2002): Shame and guilt are both [...]

Money and Happiness: How to spend for optimal benefits

Not all the best things in life are free I was on holidays in Queenstown, New Zealand earlier this year, and was amazed at how beautiful the scenery was. I was also amazed by how many experiences were on offer for people visiting or living there... On my first day in Queenstown, I walked into [...]

How High is Your Physical Intelligence?

Physical intelligence is concerned with how different elements of our environment interact with our senses to influence or distort our perceptions, judgments, and emotions, which then affect our behaviours. In her excellent book 'Sensation', Thalma Lobel has neatly summarised all of the important findings that have accumulated so far in the emerging field of physical [...]

Positive Psychology – The Secret to Optimal Well-being

For many years, Psychology, following in the footsteps of Medicine, was preoccupied with the alleviation of suffering. A worthy objective, but the treatments were focused on how to reduce depression or anxiety, not how to increase happiness. Does not feeling bad equate to the same thing as feeling good? If someone is no longer feeling [...]

7 Life Lessons That We Can Learn From Hollywood Movies

I was recently reading a book titled 'Writing Screenplays that Sell' by Michael Hauge and was fascinated to see how psychologically informed screenwriters need to be to create engaging stories with meaningful plots and entertaining characters. Although Hollywood sometimes gets bad press for promoting materialistic and unrealistic goals for the audience, I do believe that [...]

The Need to Belong

Historically Before the industrial revolution, humans lived in small groups that they were born into and had minimal interaction outside these groups for the duration of their lives. Because humans were not great at surviving in the wild, we used our frontal lobes, communication skills and opposable thumbs to work together to build villages and [...]

Dealing With Toxic People

What is a "toxic" person? Sometimes in life, we come across people who defy our natural belief systems about how people "should be". While we assume that most people follow the golden rule of "treat others the way that you would like to be treated", there are definitely some individuals who are not guided by [...]