Betterment

"Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our rafts are checked… the human individual lives usually far within his limits".

William James, The Energies of Men.

This collection is about being more than than the halt, the lame, half-made creatures that we are.

In this collection:

Why being sad isn't always a bad thing cover image

Why being sad isn't always a bad thing

April 7, 2020 by Dorian Minors

A great deal is made about depression these days. Depression is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. Anxiety is on the rise. It's alarming, and it often dominates the headlines. Most egregious is the claim that 'perhaps young people these days are too fragile'. It's not just a deflection of responsibility. What this new media narrative misses is that it's OK to be sad sometimes. In fact, some would say that being sad can actually be a good thing.

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On attraction and love cover image

On attraction and love

March 13, 2020 by Dorian Minors

Much is written on the subject of attractiveness. It has become synonymous with beauty. Attractive celebrities, attractive influencers, attractive art. And through this myopic lens, attraction becomes something ugly. Something that people have or do not have. Something to be jealous of. Something to be torn down. But it doesn't have to be. It can actually be something very beautiful indeed.

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Is modern life really the problem? A return to nature probably won’t solve it. cover image

Is modern life really the problem? A return to nature probably won’t solve it.

February 22, 2020 by Dorian Minors

The movie Captain Fantastic portrays a sort of scenario I think many of us have entertained at one time or another. Pack a knife, some food, and a bag full of books and gap it into the wilderness. Live off the land, and indulge our atavistic tendencies – a simpler, more fulfilling life. Probably too simple…

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Avoiding the scientific ego problem cover image

Avoiding the scientific ego problem

June 15, 2019 by Dorian Minors

Science is often an egoistic pursuit. Something about developing a theory seems to inject an arrogance into the method which can lead to a relentless pursuit of a theory in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. This hurts us, but it doesn't have to.

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Alert - IQ scores are meaningless cover image

Alert - IQ scores are meaningless

January 11, 2019 by Dorian Minors

The Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, is commonly considered a representation of your raw intelligence. At least, that’s the folk wisdom. But the folk wisdom is wrong.

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Attractiveness might be more about the environment, than about you cover image

Attractiveness might be more about the environment, than about you

August 23, 2018 by Dorian Minors

There are a number of things that occur naturally in our environment that can alter the attraction we feel for people. These things might seem small, but they have an outsize influence on our preferences for people.

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Learned helplessness is darker (and less understood) than you think cover image

Learned helplessness is darker (and less understood) than you think

May 3, 2018 by Dorian Minors

As a psychological theory, 'learned helplessness' has an even worse origin story than the grittiest Batman reboot you can imagine. But the story also has a deeper meaning that's often lost in the telling.

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The most powerful way to get someone to like you, is to like them first cover image

The most powerful way to get someone to like you, is to like them first

April 23, 2018 by Dorian Minors

One of our most powerful urges is to be liked. Strange to find, then, that one of the most powerful influences on our likeability is whether others think we like them—‘reciprocal liking’.

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Why your unconscious isn't the bad guy cover image

Why your unconscious isn't the bad guy

January 24, 2018 by Dorian Minors

The idea that humans are on autopilot a lot of the time is not new psychological research, and it's probably not new to you. So many of the self-improvement soundbites that are written and rewritten in our feeds and on our Pinterest boards revolve around the idea that freedom comes from unchaining ourselves from the routines of the everyday. But, something very valuable gets lost in these pithy reminders.

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How being clumsy makes you better looking (according to psychologists) cover image

How being clumsy makes you better looking (according to psychologists)

October 6, 2017 by Dorian Minors

If you're anything like me (and here's hoping you aren't), then you might be delighted to hear that your inability to walk through life unaccompanied by the sounds of various clatters and clangings could actually make you look a little better looking in the eyes of others.

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Why polygamy might be more natural than you thought cover image

Why polygamy might be more natural than you thought

March 8, 2017 by Dorian Minors

Most theories of relationships centre on the idea that humans are well-suited for, and biologically disposed toward forming 'pair-bonds'. But these traditional anthropological and evolutionary perspectives on sex are facing a growing threat from a more recent contender. The idea that human promiscuity is our natural state and community-style lovin' better explains the state of our modern sexuality.

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Four ways to be attractive (and one you've probably overlooked) cover image

Four ways to be attractive (and one you've probably overlooked)

January 22, 2017 by Dorian Minors

What is attraction? Usually, we just think of it as what turns us on. But interpersonal attraction is so much bigger than this. At its core, attraction is the inclination to chase the good feeling you get from someone else. It's the word we use to describe what draws people together. And, it has aspects that are often overlooked.

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How conversation sparks intimacy cover image

How conversation sparks intimacy

August 5, 2015 by Dorian Minors

Conversation is obviously a source of intimacy. But you mightn't expect it to be one of the predominant sources. Often we consider intimacy as a function of physical closeness. But intimicy is about relational closeness in any form. And conversation is an extremely powerful way to generate it.

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The Difference Between Anger, Hurt and Hate—it's about power cover image

The Difference Between Anger, Hurt and Hate—it's about power

February 3, 2015 by Dorian Minors

Emotions motivate us to act. They perform a regulatory function, in guiding us how to respond to something. In this article, we talk about three key negative emotions, why they are so different and just what they're motivating us to do.

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Three hidden needs that control our relationships cover image

Three hidden needs that control our relationships

July 29, 2014 by Dorian Minors

From our friends to our lovers, there are always imbalances in a relationship. William Schutz has a theory about why. He breaks it down into three things that determine how you pick your social networks, how well you click with people and whether or not things fall apart.

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Why some people are 'cold', others are 'clingy', and some just can't let go. cover image

Why some people are 'cold', others are 'clingy', and some just can't let go.

April 4, 2014 by Dorian Minors

Why are some people 'cold' and distant in relationships while others are too 'clingy'? Why do some people never let go of people, or move on when they should? Attachment theory, one of the cruxes of social psychology, has many answers for us.

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