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Provocative new research opens up dialogue about less familiar aspects of male desire and need to be wanted.

There’s no question that our culture is — ahem — still evolving when it comes to sexuality. Male heterosexual desire is still highlighted more…


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New research looks at core drivers of sexual dissatisfaction and enjoyment.

Is monogamy synonymous with boring sex, or do vibrant long-term committed relationships open the door to satisfying sexuality? Expert consensus provides an answer: it depends. It depends on the quality of the relationship…


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Formal analysis of life narratives reveals what moves us beyond ourselves.

According to researchers Reischer, Roth, Villarreal, and McAdams (2020) in the Journal of Personality, self-transcendence “is the phenomenon of experiencing one’s self as expanding both backward and forward in time; a feeling of connectedness to all of humanity, the earth, and the cosmos; and a turn toward existential concerns such as the meaning of life and future death.”

They note further that self-transcendence is connected with positive outcomes: greater well-being, positive emotions, optimism, higher self-esteem, greater self-integration, and enhanced life purpose, and with lower depression and neuroticism.

Study authors describe that self-transcendence is related to important personal development concepts, including…


New research shows where recovery from depression and perfectionism may be helped by targeting the connections between them.

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Perfectionism is defined as a personality trait characterized by efforts toward and desires for flawlessness. A perfectionist sets unrealistically high standards for oneself, others, or both. Although in some cases, perfectionism drives performance, it can often undermine achievement of goals when people succumb to highly critical attitudes.[1]

Types of perfectionism

Smith and colleagues (2021) consolidated a multitude of studies on perfectionistic concerns and perfectionistic strivings to determine in what way perfectionism and depression feed off of each other. Perfectionistic concerns center on the belief that perfection is required of oneself, shading into obsession.

Those with high perfection concerns over react to errors, often…


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New research looks at how a surprisingly useful simple daily practice can not only alleviate pain and improve function but also give people a greater sense of control over pain.

Chronic pain, authors (Graziosi et al., 2021) note in their recent study in The Journal of Positive Psychology, takes a massive toll on people and healthcare systems. Unlike acute pain, which typically signals the need for attention to an immediate concern, chronic pain does not necessarily point to an obvious conventional medical problem and is often too easily dismissed.

Chronic pain is quite real, nonetheless, even when the causes may be elusive or intangible. Neuroimaging of fibromyalgia (Richard, et al., …


Research on how trauma is transmitted identifies key behaviors parents can fix

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Photo by Jake Ryan from Pexels

Key Takeaway: The ability to imagine another’s state of mind, control one’s emotions, avoid assuming a hostile or hopeless mindset, and maintain a steady, authoritative parenting style will help anyone parent better, even those who have survived their own difficult childhood.

And you only need to “get it right” about 70 percent of the time.

Does this sound familiar?

You ask your kid(s) to stop playing on the computer in 15 minutes because it’s almost dinner. At the appointed time, you notice he’s still playing, and ask him to stop. He “just wants to finish the round.” Just a minute…


Research and theory are revealing factors that can either hold us back or when harnessed lead us toward authenticity and self-realization.

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“[F]or a living creature to have evolved rich capabilities of perception and categorization but to be constitutionally incapable of focusing any of that apparatus onto itself would be highly anomalous. Its selective neglect would be pathological, and would threaten its survival” — I Am A Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstadter

The most captivating psych topics share core feature which we are yet beginning to understand. What overlaps are there among personality difficulties, relationship challenges, addictions and compulsions, body issues, self-care, personal development, trauma, resilience, depression, and anxiety?

Underlying psychological factors are often easier to discern in others than oneself, easier to…


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Clever research reveals how and why narcissistic people over-value self-image.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see yourself close to how others see you, do you devalue yourself, or do you inflate your attributes more than is healthy?

Mirror mirror on the wall, am I the fairest one of all?

Authors of the study described below in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (2021) review the literature on narcissism and self-image. Narcissistic people rate themselves as more attractive than others. Not only that, but narcissistic people enjoy looking at themselves, experiencing self-confidence and self-admiration.

In spite of this pleasure in self-gaze, there is trouble below the surface. Brain scans of narcissistic people looking at their own…


Emerging research provides clues on how, and for whom, pornography affects sex.

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Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, pornography use is seen as morally acceptable among a rising percentage of Americans, moving from 30 percent approval in 2011 to 43 percent by 2018. This trend follows overall movement toward more liberal beliefs across the boards. When it comes to pornography, the biggest changes were seen among unmarried people and adult males under age 49. Factors such as religion and political orientation affect porn acceptance, with a far smaller percentage of conservative and religious people finding porn morally OK.

Despite growing acceptance, there is serious concern that pornography causes real harm: exploitation and…


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How Inhibition May Be The Paradoxical Key to CreativityHow Inhibition May Be The Paradoxical Key to CreativityPhoto by Thomas Bjornstad on Unsplash

Research on intelligence and creativity inspires release of divergent thinking.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams

Grant H. Brenner

Creativity is a mysterious and coveted trait, the subject of much research and ongoing unclarity. When we talk about creativity, most often people are thinking about divergent thinking, the ability to generate many higher-quality ideas. Creativity is about quantity and quality, defined in relation to the task at hand. Sometimes the task is more open-ended, as it might be for an artist finding their own idiom.

When you collect shells and pebbles at the beach, how do you decide which…

Grant H Brenner

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Advocate

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