PsychNotes • Natural Selection Can Jump in a Lake

We’re approaching binge-eating season. It seems natural selection has saddled us with a powerful hankerin’ to bulk up for the winter. There was a time when a little extra weight helped us live longer, and science has shown that being not-dead makes it easier to pass on DNA. Hence, DNA tells us to store extra fat for what it thinks will be lean times.

But as Steven Pinker said, “my genes can go jump in a lake.” You are free to disobey your DNA if it is telling you to snuggle up with a Cinnabon for the next six months. Here are some compelling, brain-related reasons to burn calories rather than store them this fall. Continue reading

Why College Men Should Not Date College Women

Romance is risky for men. The right relationship can be the best thing that happens to a man, or the wrong one can ruin him. Ask any man who lost his shirt in family court or was trapped with an abusive woman because staying was easier than leaving. Good men need to manage romantic risk the way good investors manage monetary risk.

That’s especially true on college campuses, where the safest course for men may be to avoid dating classmates altogether. Examples of disastrous college romances are plentiful. Let’s start at Columbia University. Continue reading

PsychNotes • Get Me Some Numbers, Stat!

Here’s a fact of life as comforting as it is troubling: most everything regresses to the mean. The good news: every sweltering day will eventually be followed by a cooler one. The bad news: every eight-year-old with a stratospheric IQ will be closer to average by the time they’re 10. Numbers are so beautiful and so heartless. Here are five (5) stories on the subject. No more, no less. Continue reading