The Faces and Minds of Psychological Science

How We Really Make Decisions

For centuries, philosophers, economists, and social scientists assumed that human beings are generally rational. Daniel Kahneman upended that assumption with findings that continue to reverberate through several scientific disciplines and have enormous implications for public policy.  In his groundbreaking work with the late Amos Tversky, Kahneman, one of the most More

Cracking the Speech Code

How exactly do we learn to speak? Patricia Kuhl has spent her career developing answers to that question. Kuhl is internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, and for her studies that show how young children learn. She is co-director, with her husband Andrew Meltzoff, of More

The Happiness Formula

Ed Diener has focused his career on uncovering the essential ingredients to subjective well-being, a term that includes positive feelings and life satisfaction. Nicknamed “Dr. Happiness,” Diener developed the Satisfaction with Life Scale and other measures of psychological well-being. In one noteworthy study, conducted with Martin E.P. Seligman, he found More

Learning Vocabulary and Grammar

Janellen Huttenlocher has published on a range of research topics, including language, spatial coding in adults and children, quantitative development, and memory. Huttenlocher has been particularly interested in the role of the child’s environment in the development of cognitive skills. One of her most famous findings is that the verbal More

Finding the Inner Voices

Hearing voices in one’s head is a hallmark symptom of schizophrenia. Those auditory hallucinations are caused by overstimulation in the brain regions that process sound. But when the inner voices start talking, the brain fails to respond to real voices. Biological psychological scientist Kenneth Hugdahl and his research team identified More

Mindsets for Self-Improvement

Carol S. Dweck’s empirical work has revealed that when we see ourselves as possessing fixed attributes, we blind ourselves to our potential for growth and prematurely give up on engaging in constructive, self-improving behaviors. In contrast, seeing the self as a developmental work in progress can lead to the acquisition More