From the category archives:


What Doesn’t Kill You – and What Does

by Stephen Mills June 26, 2012

Friedrich Nietzsche said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I’m convinced what doesn’t kill you makes you afraid. This article is about what doesn’t kill you. I get so tired of the media inspired hysteria and hype. We worry about these non-threats due to the availability heuristic of the human brain that comes from dramatic images and stories we see in the media. We can easily bring to mind examples and it makes our brains think they are common occurrences.

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Should We Believe Experts?

by Stephen Mills April 9, 2012

The answer to that question is complicated and my answer is usually yes, but you have to be careful. We live in an age of explosive growth of knowledge. Much of it comes to us in the form of truth claims. Many of those claims are irrelevant to our lives, but some of them aren’t and some of them may are quite important. We all have busy lives and we can’t be experts at everything so in the end we have to rely upon the real experts, but we have to be very careful in how we do so.

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Critical Thinking Skills–A Skeptical Attitude

by Stephen Mills August 1, 2011

The ability to easily share information has led to rapidly advancing knowledge in many fields. At the same time the average person now has available what seems like an infinite amount of information at their fingertips. The ability to discover and take advantage of all this information may be the key to thriving in 21st century.

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Unconscious Influences On Our Behavior

by Stephen Mills January 28, 2011

One of the most fascinating, and to me unnerving, results to come out of a lot of recent psychological research is just how much of our behavior is subject to unconscious influence. I for one and I think most people like to believe we are acting deliberately when in fact we often are not. This article will focus on a phenomenon referred to in research as priming.

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More Myths That Need Busting

by Stephen Mills January 3, 2011

Even Europeans who ban genetically modified food are eating exactly that. Very little food is natural and its genes have been manipulated by humans for thousands of years. Wheat is a hybrid of three varieties of plant. Corn started out as a grass. Many crops are hybrids that are sterile.

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Why Money is Not a Good Motivator

by Stephen Mills December 27, 2010

There are experiments that show people who are being paid will not continue a challenging task, during breaks in the experiment for example, while people who are not being paid will continue to work on it. In other words being paid somehow destroys motivation; it turns something you enjoy into work. Being paid makes people spend less creative time on the task.

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Should You Trust Your Intuition?

by Stephen Mills November 4, 2009
Coin Flip

I’m a strong believer in the power of human intuition, but at the same time I want to understand it from a scientific point of view. I want to know when and if I can trust my intuitive sense. I don’t want to just intuitively accept intuition as a reliable form of knowledge. In this article and the next, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned about intuition and under what circumstances science has found it to serve us well or not serve us so well. A lot of credit for this material goes to David G. Myers and his excellent book Intuition: Its Powers and Perils.

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Are We Slaves to Our Genes?

by Stephen Mills April 26, 2009
Thumbnail image for Are We Slaves to Our Genes?

It is my opinion that we tend to follow our genes. The overwhelming majority of individuals just go with the flow of their natural tendencies. I think that is a fact which has been clearly demonstrated. Let’s face it, people are lazy. But that does not mean we are slaves to our genes. That does not mean we cannot overcome them. Here is just one example that I think most people will readily understand.

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