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How to Defuse Heated Arguments Before They Spiral Out of Control

When you’re in a heated argument, it’s easy to lose control of yourself quickly. We often say something we don’t really mean. We do something we immediately regret. And we damage trust and respect in a way that’s hard to gain back. These are the potential costs of the arguments we get into. The more […]

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The Psychology Behind What Makes Ideas Popular

What makes some ideas spread like wildfire while others are dead on arrival? Whether you’re a businessman, politician, musician, or artist – your success depends on your ability to get your ideas to spread to large amounts of people. But how do you get people to pay attention to your ideas? And how do you […]

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6 Moral Taste Buds That Shape Our Morality

Why do we all have such a hard time agreeing on issues of politics, religion, and morality? According to moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt in The Righteous Mind, groups like liberals and conservatives operate on different “moral foundations” that make it fundamentally difficult for them to understand each other (although it’s not impossible). One great metaphor […]

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Metaphors We Live By: How Metaphors Frame Our Experiences in Different Ways

Metaphors are a way to explain one experience in terms of another experience. For example, think of the metaphor “The movie was a roller-coaster.” In this metaphor, we are comparing the experience of watching a movie to the experience of a roller-coaster, even though objectively the experiences are very different. A metaphor works by highlighting […]

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The Power of Seeing Things as They Are (Not How We Want to See Them)

Over the past century, psychology has discovered a lot about how individuals can live happier and more successful lives. A lot of this research is covered in the many articles I write for The Emotion Machine. But what’s just as fascinating to me is how much we can also learn from older philosophies. For example, […]

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