To feel a pang of pleasure at the misfortune of others is to be human.
Schadenfreude seems to arise out of envy and a sense of justice. But some psychologists believe a darker impulse is at play.
What sort of signal does holding a door for a woman send?
Social psychologists have been busy documenting the harmful effects that this brand of chivalry has on women. But are they missing something?
The lies most people tell on dating apps do serve a purpose.
Researchers analyzed troves of messages sent between matches and found that the fibs people tell are usually rational ones that serve a purpose.
Surely a socialist.
Politicians on the right surely wipe with their left hand; and vice versa?
Why do people constantly ‘move the goalposts’ when making judgments?
It's a psychological quirk that when something becomes rarer, people may spot it in more places than ever. What is the 'concept creep' that lets context change how we categorize the world around us?
Say cheese … or not. A woman works a stand at a cheese festival in Moscow, Russia.
AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
In the US, smiling is a reflexive gesture of goodwill, but Russians view it as a sign of stupidity. Social psychology research could help explain this cultural contrast.
They only seem to grow up so fast.
Time often seems to fly by when you're a parent. A social psychologist explains why it actually – and fortunately – does not.
The prospect alone can make you want to avoid the person altogether.
We can disagree with co-workers in meetings. We can argue about sports with friends. A new study explores why politics seems to be an entirely different beast.
Young people in relationships tend to have as many backups cooking as singles do.
It isn't cheating, per se. But if you're in a committed relationship and have multiple 'back burners' that you keep in touch with, is your relationship doomed?
Don’t think, just shop.
Rather than simply trying to trick people, the masters of marketing know it's much easier to understand and work with innate human flaws.
Who needs ‘friends’?
Social media is making it easier than ever to measure your perceived popularity against your peers in ways that damage are well-being.
There are methods to avoid madness.
Picking up the pieces in Florida after Hurricane Irma.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
For the first time in years, Americans are acutely aware of the perils of extreme weather, but don't expect views on climate risks to shift overnight.
US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement might eventually be a good thing for the climate. Psychologists call this a 'paradoxical intervention'.
Should we celebrate the multicultural rainbow, or look away?
Cultural diversity is an inescapable fact of modern life. How we should think about it is less obvious. Should we celebrate the multicultural rainbow, merge its colours into one – like a colour wheel spinning…
Australians in the 1970s and 1980s were no more or less fond of themselves than Australians of the same age in the 2000s and 2010s.
Consider three propositions about how Australians see themselves. Young people today, with their preening selfies and their sense of entitlement, have a higher opinion of themselves than previous generations…
A flick, a spin and a…fad?
Adults are dumbfounded – and according to an expert on fads, that's probably the point.
Social psychologists and sociologists have spent decades understanding how values are best assessed.
There has been much talk recently about “Australian values”. The new citizenship test will require aspiring Australians to demonstrate they possess them, or can at least reproduce them under exam conditions…
“She said what??”
Gossiping may well be toxic and harmful in certain situations but there are ways to engage in "good gossip" that can reap rewards in social groups.
Two people dress up as Gaydar bots during San Francisco’s 2014 gay pride parade.
The idea of gaydar, the ability to discern who's gay and who isn't, promotes stereotypes. And research purporting to prove its existence is flawed.