The Cluttered Mind Uncluttered

Ph.D., Psychology, author, speaker, consultant

So What Makes Malcolm Gladwell Such an Expert?

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I have to admit that I used to be a fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I read his frequent articles in The New Yorker and several of his early books. I was initially seduced by his apparent breadth of knowledge, cerebral dexterity, and inviting writing style. But the more of his work I read, the more […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

We’re All Disabled

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The Huffington Post, for whom I blog weekly, asked me to write a post for the TEDWeekends edition of its website focusing on the TED talk by the wheelchair -bound performance artist, Sue Austin, titled, Deep Sea Diving…In a Wheelchair. The only instructions I was give was to consider the following themes: “How society views […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

Life is Fragile: Say “I Love You” a Lot

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I remember my life in my 20s and 30s when I was single. I felt invincible. Life was so carefree. I lived in the present, didn’t think much about the future, and didn’t worry too much about anything (except perhaps finding a wife). No longer. I’m well into middle age now (yikes!), married, and with […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

“Getting Old Sucks!”

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“Getting old sucks!” That’s what my 86-year-old father shared with me on a recent visit. He has lived in Boca Raton, Florida, since moving from my childhood home in Connecticut a few years ago. He lives alone; his wife of 49 years, my mother, died of ovarian cancer ten years ago at the age of […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

The Real Genius of Genius isn’t the Genius

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Genius doesn’t usually interest or impress me. My work in performance psychology has frequently exposed me to child prodigies and assorted other geniuses in academia, sports, and the performing arts, so perhaps I have become inured to the experience of people born with special talents. Also, I think genius is often overrated. I have known […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

You’re Not That Important!: Letting Go of Self-Consciousness

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Is it just me or are people more self-conscious than ever before? Thanks in no small part to the Internet, it does seem like everyone, at least celebrities such actors, pop singers, and professional athletes, seems to be “under the microscope” these days. They are stalked by the paparazzi, web sites chronicle their every step, […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

How Do We Humans Ever Make Good Decisions?

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It’s a wonder that good decisions are ever made by the species known as Homo Sapiens. The reality is that the cards are stacked against us whenever we are faced with choices, especially when the decisions are of consequence. Think about all of the horrendously bad decisions that have been made in recent history and […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

Fear, Gloom, and Panic, Oh My!

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In a recent post, I suggested that our survival instinct, which has served us so well for so long, may now be failing us. Why? because the reactions that arise as part of the fight-or-flight response are often no longer effective in a world that is far more complex, unpredictable, and uncontrollable than that of […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

What is the Best Emotion?

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about what I thought was the worst possible emotion. There are certainly enough worthy aspirants including hate, anger, and sadness. But I felt regret was the winner (or should I say loser) because its causes can’t be undone, it slowly eats away at your soul, and it […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology

Is Our Survival Instinct Failing Us?

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The human instinct to survive is our most powerful drive. Since animals climbed out of the primordial muck and as our early ancestors rose from all fours to walk upright, evolution has been guided by its ability to help us survive and reproduce. Just about everything that humans have become serves that essential purpose, in […] [Read More]
Categories: Psychology