Scientific American

I am a contributing editor at Scientific American and write the Brain Waves blog for Psychology Today (you can find those posts here). My work has also appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Vogue and many other publications. Earlier in my career, I was on staff at Newsweek, and People, among other places and I’ve included a few of my old favorites from those days.

People in Republican Counties Have Higher Death Rates Than Those in Democratic Counties

A growing mortality gap between Republican and Democrat areas may largely stem from policy choices During the COVID-19 pandemic, the link between politics and health became glaringly obvious. Democrat-leaning “blue” states were more likely to enact mask requirements and vaccine and social distancing mandates. Republican-leaning “red” states were much more…

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A Single, Quick ‘Mindset’ Exercise Protects against Adolescent Stress

Reframing erroneous beliefs alleviates the emotional upheavals that beset young people on the cusp of adulthood Close your eyes. Cast your mind back to high school and a high-stakes moment in your most difficult course with your toughest teacher. I’ll go first: : Senior year, Mr. Trice, the final exam…

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U.S. Kids Are Falling behind Global Competition, but Brain Science Shows How to Catch Up

By Lydia Denworth & Dana Suskind On vital measures that predict later success in school and life, small children in the U.S. do worse than kids in comparable countries. This distressing information comes from an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study of five-year-olds. For years the OECD has been examining…

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How To Treat COVID At Home

Some over-the-counter medications can help symptoms, and there are ways to ease isolation Suzanne Myers was sick, concerned and a little confused. Myers, a 55-year-old who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and her husband are both vaccinated and boosted against COVID, and in early spring they went to a weekend party…

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How Pandemic Life Mimicked Pioneer Times

In the spring of 2020, faced with a deadly pandemic and instructions to stay at home, a remarkable number of Americans began baking bread. They planted vegetable gardens. They took up DIY home repair. They sat down for dinner with the same few family members—every single night. For anyone who…

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Making Eye Contact Signals a New Turn in a Conversation

What is found in a good conversation? It is certainly correct to say words—the more engagingly put, the better. But conversation also includes “eyes, smiles, the silences between the words,” as the Swedish author Annika Thor wrote. It is when those elements hum along together that we feel most deeply…

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